She Lived Lavishly When He Wasn’t Earning Much, And He’s Now Earning $300,000, So She Wants To Share Incomes – Is He Wrong To Refuse? 

A 31-year-old man, married to his 30-year-old wife, had recently completed his PhD and concluded a postdoc position. His wife earned significantly more than him during this time. After a change in financial earnings, his wife makes a financial suggestion he is not happy with. Here is what he had to say: 

The Couple’s Income Differences

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The man’s earnings during this academic journey amounted to a modest $26,000 annually for his Ph.D. and $32,000 during his postdoc. In contrast, his wife earned significantly more—approximately $100,000 annually—resulting in a notable income disparity within their marriage. 

Unease and Unspoken Envy

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Throughout their marriage, the man harbored feelings of envy toward his wife, who consistently enjoyed a more lavish lifestyle due to her higher income. However, he never openly communicated his sentiments to her. 

The Wife’s Suggestion

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In response to this earning discrepancy, the man’s wife proposed an income allocation strategy to maintain fairness within their relationship. ‘She came up with the idea that we should put some of our income for ourselves and some for the family, and this would be proportional to our income, to keep it “fair”’, he wrote. 

A Life-Altering Opportunity

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While working as a postdoc, the man ventured into networking and seized an opportunity to invest in a startup company. As a result, he reaped significant financial benefits, amassing an income of $300,000 in the previous year, not accounting for his stake in the company. 

Beginning to Indulge

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With his newfound wealth, the man indulged in luxuries, notably acquiring a Tesla Model S, financed entirely from his earnings, including insurance. His spending habits began to shift towards more extravagant purchases, providing him with a newfound sense of gratification.

The Proposal for Income Sharing

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In light of the man’s substantial increase in earnings, his wife proposed combining their incomes, aiming to distribute equal “personal funds” to each of them while allocating a portion for their shared expenses.

The Man’s Reaction

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The man did not react positively to his wife’s new suggestion. “She wants to have her cake and eat it too”, he wrote. “I just said no, she wasn’t being fair.”

The Clash of Perspectives

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The ensuing discussion escalated into a heated argument. The wife contended that the proposal was rooted in principles of equity and fairness, emphasizing the importance of sharing their resources equally. She provided an impassioned speech on the importance of addressing income disparities within their marriage.

A Decision to Uphold Autonomy

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In response, the man maintained his stance, asserting his right to reject the proposal. He believed that fairness should not entail equal distribution of their income and that he should be allowed to manage his newfound wealth independently. He felt that the proposal undermined his autonomy and personal achievements.

The Internet’s Thoughts

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Confident in his decision, the man logged on to an online forum, hoping for others to agree with him. Some commenters did take his side: “You are just following the agreement she came up with”, one wrote. “Now that the agreement isn’t to her benefit, she wants to change it.”

Not Expressing His Feelings

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However, many people believed that the man’s decision was routed in resentment, which was fuelled by him not expressing his feelings. “You didn’t tell her something that was bothering you for years, and now you want to punish her for not realizing it?”, a reader questioned. “You’re not a very good partner. But sure, hold your wife to whatever you think is “fair”’.

A Stark Warning

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Other commenters warned the man that this would not end well. “During your PhD and postdoc, your wife supported you, keeping a roof over your head and food on the table”, one person pointed out. “She made it possible for you to concentrate on your studies and earn your PhD. The only thing you’re going to earn now is a divorce. Hope that’s what you want.”

What if Things Changed?

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One reader asked the man a question, suggesting that his opinion would differ if his financial situation changed again. “You’ve both had the short end of the stick now, and you both hated it”, they wrote. “If your current company went under and you had another stretch of making less than your wife, would you be resentful again about splitting everything proportionately?

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Images are for illustrative purposes only

Source: Reddit