Selfish breadwinner?

Post date: 2024-04-11 01:02:34
Views: 17
Hello mefites. I need help understanding why I am not ok being the breadwinner when my salary definitely supports it. I am in a helping people profession that happens to have a very high salary (think doctor, but I am not a doctor). My spouse has a PhD in humanities and teaches two or three classes per term as an adjunct. His pay is abysmal, like $12 an hour when you account for all the grading, student meetings, etc. He probably works 25-30 hours per week, plus commute. We were in these professions when we met and fell in love, late 30s.

We got married and had a kid. We split household chores evenly (one person doing household chores while the other has the toddler). He also does one weekday of childcare instead of kiddo going to daycare that day while I am working.

I had a period of time last year where my job got really stressful and I wanted to quit. I asked spouse to look for a better paying job. He said yes but later admitted he didn't try very hard because he really doesn't want to change jobs. Meanwhile I figured out a way to make a job switch within my organization for less stress. My current role is not that high stress and the hours are currently manageable (usually 40ish and I have some autonomy). I am lucky to have found this solution.

This financial set up is fine on paper. We paid off his student loans. He hadn't saved for retirement and now will have the benefit of my salary to ensure that we retire comfortably. We own a small place (2 bed/1 bath) in a neighborhood we like.

There isn't a reason we need him to get a job with decent pay and benefits. We can live on my salary and be quite comfortable. And yet. I really would like him to just get a proper job and for me to not be the only one who can contribute to the retirement or the college fund. But we really don't need him to do so.

I realize how privileged this all sounds. I didn't set out to make money (quite the opposite). And I detest how capitalism makes everybody white knuckle through the life-cycle. I just inadvertently ended up making a bunch of money. Given that good fortune, why can't I let my spouse enjoy his passion project instead of wanting him to get a full time gig with benefits? I resent that he was able to just trust that the universe would provide, and voila I provide, but honestly what is wrong with that? He lucked out and "married rich" in a way. I seem to not be able to just let him enjoy that good fortune and I...really don't like that about myself. I need your help figuring out why I am feeling like this (mindset of "my money" "your money" which is not actually how I want this marriage to be).

He is a loving spouse. We have talked about this and he is willing to resume a job search if I want him to do so. But I am struggling with why I want that.

If you have had to adjust to the role of breadwinner, not because of partner's disability or desire to be a stay at home parent but just because of their job choice, how did you do it? Or, aside from finances, if you have noticed yourself being a bean counter with your partner, how did you stop being like that?

Thanks for your insights!
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