I Now Make More Money Than My Husband, and It’s Great for Our Marriage

For years my husband Bear and I toiled away at low-paying non-profit jobs.

For the most part, our salaries were pretty comparable. With every raise or promotion, we’d leapfrog each other by small degrees. We both had side hustles, too: me as a freelance editor, him as a bouncer at a nightclub. (Which… sucked.)

Slowly, things changed.

My raises and promotions weren’t keeping up with his.He was outearning me, and able to quit his side hustle (which was great, because getting puked on is no fun). Whereas I had to freelance more to bring in even close to what he brought home. It was one of the first signs that I needed to quit my job at a non-profit publishing house. So I did. I left for a higher-paying job in the for-profit sector. And I was back on track, making a salary equal to my husband’s! All was well in the land of Equal Division of Labor!

But then things changed again.

I got a newer, better, cooler day job.My side business took off, too. And suddenly, I now make more money than my husband… by a lot. Which has given me a lot to think about what a truly equal marriage looks like.

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How to Get Married: Bureaucracy, Finances, and Legal Paperwork to do before “I do"

How To Get Married: Bureaucracy, Finances, and Legal Paperwork To Do Before “I Do”

Every once in a while we Bitches are asked marriage or relationship questions. And it amuses me to no end that we are seen as ADULTS with STABLE MARRIAGES and HEALTHY LIFESTYLES. Because we live in keen awareness that we’re floating slowly down a river of Parmesan cheese straight into the yawning mouth of the Ninth Gate of Death, just like everybody else.

Not that’s it’s necessarily wrong! My marriage with Bear just feels like such a humble, natural thing. How could it possibly be instructional to others? He’s currently listening to a podcast in the shower while I do blog stuff from the couch and I love him so stupidly much. 

Yet our loving relationship has much more to do with why we got married than how. Being in love and wanting to spend your life with someone is, sadly, not the only requirement for getting married (common law marriages notwithstanding).

So today I want to talk about the logistics of marriage: the paperwork, the bureaucracy, and the legal gauntlet you must run to get hitched.

In this era of modern romance, it’s pretty common for people to move in together before getting married, even to combine finances or buy property together. We did! That gradual combining of lives makes things pretty painless. But let’s say you’re doing it all at once around the time of the wedding! With that in mind, here’s a list of the steps you need to take to get married… punctuated with gifs from the wedding of John Legend’s dogs.

This is the slippery slope: dogs getting married.
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If someone else's generosity makes you uncomfortable, dig deep and figure out why. Your gut may be telling you something your brain ain't ready to hear.

Ask the Bitches: “How Do I Put a Stop to Unwanted Monetary Gifts?”

Since we’re all living through fairly doomy and gloomy times, I want to occasionally slip in a question that’s firmly in the category of a nice-to-have problem.

Just such a question appeared in our Patreon inbox this week. (Patreon donors get direct access to the single glowing brain that Piggy and I share, and can ask us questions directly, which we are guaranteed to answer!) Since this question involves some venting about their family members, I’ll protect their identity by calling them Fran.

Hey Powerful Sunflowers, 

I’m a financially secure adult in my late twenties. My husband and I are homeowners and prolific savers. We’re doing great! However, my parents still insist on treating us like kids.

My father loves to give me money anytime I go to visit. It was awesome when I was in college, but started to feel infantilizing as I’ve grown. So I started to refuse to take his money, but he sneaks it into my purse!

It’s always more than a hundred dollars. Sometimes much more. 

I donate it when I find it, but it’s still frustrating! I really do not need or want my parents’ money. So it’s partially a money question and partially a relationship question. Is there anything I can do to stop taking the money? And if not, is there a better way to be using it? 

Thanks Bitches.

– Patreon Donor Fran
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Season 2, Episode 3: "Why is my girlfriend pissed at me for being generous?"

Season 2, Episode 3: “Why Is My Girlfriend Pissed at Me for Being Generous?”

We have friends in real life.

No really, we do!

Why don’t you ever hear about them? They, uh, live in Canada…?

This week’s question comes from one of our IRL pals, whom we’ve called Will. He’s in conflict with his girlfriend over money. Specifically, she seems to be giving a lot of side-eye to his personal generosity—especially when the beneficiaries of that generosity are her family members.

Luckily for Will, one of our main skills is correctly guessing why women are mad!

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Episode 11: "I feel cornered by a friend who keeps asking to borrow money."

Season 1, Episode 11: “I Feel Cornered by a Friend Who Keeps Asking to Borrow Money.”



An anonymous reader has given a mouse a cookie—and now the mouse wants a glass of milk.

Except the mouse is a person, the cookie is money, and the milk is yet more money. Keep up, people!

This thorny dilemma comes from our Tumblr, which you should definitely check out! Piggy answers tons of questions for readers there, and posts lots of exclusive stuff you won’t find on the blog.

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He has a college degree and is physically and mentally able, but he does not work This is crazy, right?

Ask the Bitches: “My Friend Is Going Broke Dating a Man Who Contributes Nothing. Should I Say Something?”

Today we have a question from a Patreon donor on a subject that’s always hard to answer: what can you do when a friend is doing something really, really financially dumb?

(Have you heard that we answer donor questions directly? It’s true! Find out how at Patreon.com/BitchesGetRiches!)

Donor Alyssa writes…

Here’s the situation. 

Last year, a good, long-term friend of mine (40 year-old woman) had her boyfriend (38 year-old man) move in with her. Before that they were long distance, so only recently have I gotten to know this dude and their relationship.

Despite him having a college degree and being physically and mentally able, he does not work. Not at all. Not one minute and not for one cent. He is also not a trust funder nor does he otherwise have money of his own. He is also not looking for work and he is not in school.

My friend supports him 100%. She provides all housing, food, transportation, vacations (!!!), and everything else. They do not have children or dependents to support, and neither want children in the future. He does do most of the housework and cooking. But they do not have a vast estate that needs tending. From what I glean he spends most of his time playing video games.

My friend tells me that she is declining further and further into debt. She has said, wistfully, that she wishes she could save for the future. She also says that she and her boyfriend are “great communicators,” and she likes that he is always available when she is.

So that’s the situation. Here are my questions: do I do anything/say anything about this? If so, what? It certainly isn’t my relationship, and they are both grown ass adults, but … THIS IS CRAZY, RIGHT? And just in case it’s not clear, I am Team DTMFA.

– Alyssa H.

Alyssa, thanks for this question, and for your support of this blog! I see two layers of questions here. First: is this dude’s behavior acceptable? Second: what (if anything) can you do about it as her friend?

Let’s get into it!

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Podcast Episode 003: "My parents have bad credit. Should I help by co-signing their mortgage?"

Season 1, Episode 3: “My Parents Have Bad Credit. Should I Help by Co-signing Their Mortgage?”



When life stresses me out beyond belief, I find nothing more soothing or rejuvenating than reading about petty dramas I’m not personally involved in.

Neighbors feuding in all caps on Next Door; running blogs dragging the shit out of marathon cheaters; Facebook mommy groups erupting into explosive schisms over international geopolitics. Ahhhh… reading them is like slipping into a warm bath. So juicy! So low-stakes! With so much to fret about in my life, it’s nice to pause and contemplate the completely optional frettings of random other people I will likely never meet.

Which is why I love Reddit! And I’ll occasionally pull random questions that feed the drama-devouring beast within me interest me! Today’s question was found on r/personalfinance, a board where I lurk on the reg for obvious reasons…

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Perfect opportunities aren't often handed to you, like a ripe peach from the leather-gloved hand of Jereth the Goblin King.

I Was Happy to Marry a Poor Man. Then Things Changed.

On the day my partner and I got married, I didn’t promise him much. Life is long. Uncertainty is its only certainty.

For poorer? In sickness? Forsaking all others? Until death?

Like, death-death??

I have questions. Why are we poor? Are we poor because capitalism sucks and robots took our jobs? Or poor because one of us hid a gambling addiction, and poured our life savings down a slot machine somewhere in Hollywood, Florida? Because those are pretty different things!

What sickness? All others? Because if I get a neurodegenerative disease, and I lose every memory of you, but you stay by my side, and the kind nurse (who has been with a long string of undeserving guys and who’s super pretty but doesn’t know she’s pretty) leans over to check my vitals, and compliments you on your unfaltering loyalty to me, and then your eyes meet, I do want you to kiss her. Details from my upcoming self-published romance novel to follow.

When comes the death? Who dies first? How different will we be? What kind of world will we live in? What will it cost me to keep these promises?

Obviously there is a pleasant future we’re aiming for where none of these mundane trials become marriage-ending events. But I am a realist. Life can change people, sometimes beyond recognition. I don’t make promises I can’t keep. So I would never promise to stay married to someone no matter what. And I would never expect a pledge from a partner that I myself am unwilling to give.

In the end, what we promised each other was this: “I will always enable your happiness.”

If we were happy together: mazel tov. If we were happy apart: so it goes.

That was a promise I knew I could keep. And it was the only one I wanted in return.

But I did make one other promise that day, this time to his parents. I took them by their shoulders, looked them square in the eyes, and gave them this pledge:

“I will take care of your son. You never need to worry about him ever again.”

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I don't know how helpful these images are.

When Money is the Weapon: Understanding Intimate Partner Financial Abuse

Content warning: abuse.

Our culture’s view of domestic abuse lacks imagination.

A quick Google image search for the term shows image after image in the same composition: sad, broken-looking women with bruised faces and smeared mascara. There’s often a menacing figure looming somewhere in the foreground or background. A hand—either her own, or the abuser’s—covers their mouths, preventing them from speaking.

These images are certainly evocative. They’ve been burned into our cultural brain by many years of prevention campaigns.

And they work. Maybe not exactly how they’re meant to, but they certainly influence behavior. I’ve injured my face a few times—a split lip from accidentally head-butting the dog, a black eye from a too-quick turn near my own woodworking project. Every time that’s happened, I’ve felt the concern of acquaintances and strangers in full force. There’s skepticism in their eyes when I explain about the dog or the two-by-four. I can feel them watching me for other signs. It’s both annoying and affirming. The world is full of people with good intentions, and it’s nice to remember that.

But I don’t know how helpful these kinds of images are. There are a lot of people who are in abusive relationships and genuinely don’t know it. When there’s such a codified cultural idea of what an abuse victim looks like and you don’t look like her, it makes it easier to silence your own suspicions that there’s something very wrong in your relationship.

It’s hard to look at a staged photo of a cringing, weeping, blood-splattered woman and say “I think I deserve access to the resources set aside for her.”

There’s a huge spectrum of abusive behaviors and relationships that isn’t captured in this simplistic picture. Abusive relationships aren’t an exclusive plague upon heterosexual relationships. Victims aren’t always women. Abusers aren’t always violent, and the damage often doesn’t leave a mark. And we’re going to talk about one of the most prevalent kinds of abuse today: financial abuse.

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Money is to relationship as icebergs are to feats of engineering hubris.

How Dafuq Do Couples Share Their Money?

As we’ve discussed previously, the Olde Method for merging finances was simple and straightforward:

The Man and Womyn shall meet when they are idiot teenagers. They shall marrie when they are both seventeen years old, after two weeks of casual dates at the soda shoppe. The couple shall thereafter commence cohabitation. The Man shall seek salaried employment, and shield the Womyn’s eyes from their mutual finances, excepting the allowance to keep herself in straight pins, and the house in mutton, and the sheepe in the oat corne, and the rye corne, and the barley. And i ‘t be true the Husband gambles her dowry hence, the Wyfe might not but wend to Reno and return to her father’s home in shame and disgrace. Oye, oye, oye, forever and ever, Amen.

Mmhmm, yep, that’s just how it went!

Because labor outside the home was classically a masculine burden (at least in the last few centuries and at least for middle- to upper-class folks), salaries and investments were largely the purview of men. Women, conversely, were usually tasked with domestic labor and household budgets.

The history of gendered expectations around money is long and bonkers. It was only in the 1960s that women gained the legal right to open a savings account of their own. Until the mid-1970s, banks refused to issue lines of credit to women without their husbands’ permission—and not at all to unmarried women. This is a great example of a situation where the patriarchy makes life unpleasant for all genders of people: women are treated like idiot children, men are treated like the long-suffering babysitters of their life partners. And it was all within living memory for our parents! Jeeeeezuz.

Point being, it hasn’t been a long time at all since couples were legally forced to merge most aspects of their individual finances. (We also invented gay marriage since then. You’re welcome.)

That means that couples today are almost certainly managing their finances radically differently than their parents and grandparents. We have a very shallow bench of examples to pull from! And we’ve made up individualized systems as we go, aided by technology.

Here are the successful ways I’ve seen couples divide, partition, and share their finances. Read More