I earn more money than my partner — here's how it affects our relationship

  • Money is one of the biggest sources of tension between couples, according to research.
  • Differences in earning can cause tension with your partner.
  • I earn significantly more money than my partner, and here’s how it affects our relationship.

When my partner and I first got together nearly a decade ago, we were both pretty broke. Though we had part-time jobs in our respective industries and made enough to sustain ourselves, there wasn’t much left over in either of our budgets once the bills were paid at the end of the month.

Fast-forward eight years, and we’re now married and running a household together. We’re both currently employed, but I’m earning significantly more than my partner, and it has affected our relationship in some interesting and positive ways. We’re not rich, by any means, but we sometimes feel like we are given the stark difference in our financial situation from the time when we met.

Here’s how our relationship has changed now that I make more money than my partner:

1. We fight less because we’re less stressed about money

Liderina/ShutterstockMoney is one of the biggest stressors in relationships.

There were many years in both of our lives when we had to live paycheck to paycheck, and we weren’t sure how we were going to make it to the next payday. This caused a significant amount of stress and anxiety, some of which we occasionally took out on each other.

Now that we can comfortably make ends meet, there’s way less strain and one less reason to argue. As Business Insider previously reported, money can be one of the biggest sources of tension for couples, since it’s a constant in all of our lives, so my increased earnings have turned out to be a good thing for us.

2. We travel a lot more

Dudarev Mikhail/ShutterstockOur budget for travel has grown.

My partner and I have always been curious about and inspired by the world around us. We always dreamed of travelling, but for many years, it just wasn’t financially feasible. Now that I’m making much more money than I was when we first met, we can take impromptu weekend trips to the cities we always wanted to explore.

From Paris and Prague to Reykjavik and Copenhagen, having more cash at our disposal has meant getting to experience more of the world together, which has been an amazing bonding experience.

3. I sometimes worry about what would happen if my financial circumstances changed

WAYHOME studio/ShutterstockSometimes I feel pressured to earn even more.

I’m a workaholic by nature, but I’d be lying if I didn’t occasionally feel pressured to work harder and earn more money so that my partner and I can upkeep the lifestyle we’ve become used to. This pressure is entirely self-induced, but it still creeps in from time to time.

When it does, I worry that if I were to cut back on my workload or if I happened to lose one of my contracts, we’d suddenly be in trouble with money (or at least not as comfortable). I have to continuously remind myself that we’d still be just fine.

4. My partner sometimes feels guilty for making less

WAYHOME studio/ShutterstockNever hold anything against her.

On the flip side, my partner sometimes feels guilty for not contributing as much financially to our relationship, even though it’s not something I ever think about or hold against her. This is a minor and very occasional issue, but it does crop up from time to time.

Our wage discrepancy is entirely circumstantial and something we’ve worked hard to make a non-issue in our relationship, but I think we’d both be lying if we said we’d conquered our respective concerns entirely.

5. We don’t really think about it much on a day-to-day basis

bbernard/ShutterstockWe work hard to make sure money is not an issue.

Ultimately, money isn’t such a huge issue in our relationship that we’re constantly preoccupied with it. Sure, that’s a luxury that accompanies having enough of it that we don’t have to think about it all the time, and we’re certainly grateful for that.

Still, we’re together for so much more than money, and if there comes a time when we’re a bit more strapped for cash and back in the position of struggling to make ends meet like we were when we first met, we know we’d be just fine.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.