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Spouse of nurse

Nurses   (4,495 Views 74 Comments)

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Question.We all know nursing makes decent money.Those with spouses who are not nurses who make much less money ,do you have increased discord in the marriage ?Spouse has no interest in pursuing education ( kinda dont blame him,we are in our 50 's) ,but makes 50 percent less than me. There is now a big financial strain with cost of living(taxes went up, utilities went wayyy up,gas,old car repairs,etc) I cant stand it anymore.

Am i being realistic to think that spouses should at least make equal money ? (And we both work full time)

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7 minutes ago, martymoose said:

[...]

Am i being realistic to think that spouses should at least make equal money ? (And we both work full time)

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No, you're not.

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29 minutes ago, martymoose said:

Am i being realistic to think that spouses should at least make equal money ? (And we both work full time)

 

What do you mean "at least" equal? Hopefully you don't think it would be okay if your partner made more money than you do, or that it would be alright if a nurse's partner earned more money.

There's something to be said for being similarly invested in the relationship and its responsibilities, but it seems there are numerous ways to accomplish that according to the understandings and agreements between the partners.  No one's defending a freeloader, but you haven't given enough information to substantiate an accusation like that or to explain the circumstances that make this now unacceptable to you other than your circumstances of financial strain.

Edited by JKL33

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

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It's certainly fine to look for an "equal" in terms of income, but 50's is a bit late in the game to demand ambition. That should have been sorted out before the marriage ever happened. I don't think it's a reasonable expectation at this point.

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My husband and I have always just thrown our incomes into one account and it is "our" income, not HIS and MINE.  For many years of our marriage I stayed at home with our kids and did some work from home jobs, so most of the income was from his full time job.  

I only recently went back to school for my RN - now I'm 41 and working full time as well, so our income has increased.  But, my husband is 1 year out from retiring from the military, so when he does that our income will decrease again.

I think expecting your spouse to make equal pay as you is selfish - what if he earned more and expected the same of you?

Try looking at your income as one amount, not two separate incomes.  Then, budget off that total income.  If, ultimately, together you aren't making enough money to make ends meet, then something does have to change, but he may be able to find a different job that pays more without requiring more education.

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NightNerd has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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24 minutes ago, martymoose said:

Am i being realistic to think that spouses should at least make equal money ? (And we both work full time)

Opinions please 🙂

No, you are not being realistic. If you're both working full time, you are working equal hours and contributing equally to your earnings. The dollar amount on the paycheck doesn't necessarily reflect that.

I understand on a personal level that finances can be very stressful when two people who work full time jobs are struggling. Just remember, your spouse isn't the enemy here, and it's divisive and hurtful to insinuate that he isn't doing enough. If you are having an increase in unexpected expenses, you need to work as a team to decide how to handle it - without insisting that he needs to earn at least as much as you do to be making a valuable contribution.

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

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Equal salary is not realistic. It also sounds like the issue is only coming up now because of increased expenses or is only a symptom of a deeper issue. That’s not the fault of him having a lower salary- increased costs are happening to everyone. You need to work as a couple to find the best way to deal with the expenses. 

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BiscuitRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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No way!  There's a huge disparity in my income and my husband's income.  Have you always made more than him?  Is there any way you can downsize to cut expenses?

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in school nurse.

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1 hour ago, chare said:

No, you're not.

So, if the OP's husband lucked into a much better paying job, OP should pick up OT shifts so as not to be "under contributing" to the marital finances?

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I live in CA where RN salaries have doubled or tripled in the last 20 years.  While I work hard and studied hard for my pay, I do consider it luck that the major/career path I chose had the salary shoot up more than other careers.

If I had chosen teaching or another type of business as my college major I could have been making a lot less.  So if my partner made much less $ than me, but still works full time, I would not attribute that to not pulling their weight or lacking ambition.

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Nurse SMS has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

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Are you being unrealistic? Um...yes. You are.

You are in your 50s. He doesn't have the same level of education as you. How would you expect him to pull off this miraculous feat? At some point in time you were fine with his prospects or you would not have married him. Why is it an issue now? Increased expenses? Okkkaaayyy - that's life. You work together to come up with a budget and you tackle it together using both of your incomes.

My husband retired last year. I still have 15 years of work until I retire. We are happy together. There is something else going on here with you two.

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