In her angry moments my wife always threatens by saying she will earn more money than me and show!

We have been in the set up where she has taken care of the house and i have been the provider. But in the last few years I see that ego issues have come up. She feels bad about not earning. And brings it up often that she is not comfortable spending 'my' money…don;t understand how this happened. I do not like wastage but I have always been so but now (we have been married for 20 years) when I say anything it becomes about her not earning. I am at a loss. Please advice!  

16 replies
June 7, 2017


  1. Have your kids grown up and left the home? It looks to me that your wife must be feeling less useful now after 20 years of marriage, if your children have become independent amd are busy with their own lives. She must be feeling like she is contributing less to the family. Sit her down and have a frank talk with her amd also encourage her to get involved in her hobbies, social work or other community activities that will keep her occupied.*p*

  2. You have mentioned "ego" both in your original question as well as in your comments to my reply! *p**p*Well… That's the crux of the issue. Ego. Unless you keep aside your ego I'm afraid you might continue to have friction in your marital life. There should be no place for ego in marriage. *p**p*Just try encouraging her to explore her money earning potential and who knows she might realize after a while that it's not that easy to earn more than you! *p**p*If you don't take any action either to change her thinking or yours don't expect miracles. *p*

  3. Every person craves for freedom which includes financial freedom!*p**p*Imagine the reverse scenario. Just for a moment assume you are a househusband (so to say!) and your wife is the only earning member. You take care of all household work, cooking and children etc., But you do have friends and would like to spend few evenings with them. Now once in a while you do need to host a party for your friends. How do you feel asking for money from your wife (or "explaining" that item of expenditure from the monthy budget given to you!). You'd feel embarrassed. Right? And crave for financial freedom too. Right? Same thing is happening with your wife. Absolutely nothing wrong in the way she is feeling.*p**p*The way forward is to encourage her to pursue her passion  (whatever field) if she has a talent too in that domain. Encourage her to earn money for the feeling of financial freedom, to realize her dreams, to chase her passion, for self actualization and NOT to compete with you. There should be no competition among couples!*p**p*And both of you should also discuss and decide what percentage of "her" income she wants to contribute to the common kitty! Let her come out with the figure and you accept it…don't bother to negotiate…its not worth it. *p**p*The key to solving any issues in marital life is communication and acceptance. Unfortunately majority of the couples don't practice these and that results in minor issues being blown out of proportion. *p**p*Have a heart to heart talk with your wife with a view to find out "how" she can start earning money. Does she want to go in for a job? And if so what are her chances of getting one given her qualifications and not working for 20 years? Discuss. *p**p*Does she have any special talents/skills and also passion in the same domain. Can she cook extraordinarily well…encourage her to take up small orders for home functions.She need not cater to all the menu items but can specialize in certain food items! An extension of this idea is that she can prepare the items in the customers kitchen with their ingredients and charge for her services! Or can she paint? Then let her start painting and encourage her to sell the same in different ways! Initially she can simply "gift" few of her paintings to friends/relatives with her signature for free word of mouth publicity! Get the drift? Think out of the box.*p**p*Finally in word the solution to your problem is not in asking "why" but rather "how"!*p**p*PS: 3 of my best friends for decades are househusbands and they are all very happy with that arrangement! Of course one of them is earning money in share market and another guy is earning money through real estate…like buying a plot and selling it after 2 to 4 years and the profit he gets is more than what he could earn in a job in all those years!! The 3rd guy is stinking rich and doesn't need to work at all but his wife has pursued her passion by working for a few years and gave it up now for the sake children. So don't think the scenario I've mentioned in the very beginning is a fairy tale and doesn't happen in real life! *p*

  4. I am telling something here not because i am very good at it, but somehow i am facing same situation.I also listen same thing from my husband .I have been married for more than 2 years.I am also working.Its not like that i like wasting things,rather than wasting i always prefer to provide needy people.I also try to manage things but sometimes happens.Please dont think that i am telling you my story instead of suggesting you .I just want to convey that if your wife is managing  things from so long ,then she must be knowing that how to manage .It happens with every body .you must have told her that she always use to waste things,at that point of time  she must be rembering her all long years when she managed things very well.and due to that she get angry and says whatever u mentioned in above.It actually make her feel bad .Please understand her , trust me she will understand you 1000 times more.*p**p*Also she must have felt threatend and inferior, thats why she is telling you in the way she did.A woman never earn to compete man ,she just want to help her husband .*p*

  5. I wonder whose ego we are talking about here.*p**p*To me, it seems it's your ego that is troubling you and not hers.*p**p*After 20 years she feels unfulfilled? That's too late. It should have happened a long time ago.*p**p*Times have changed. Your feelings are normal for typical Indian middle-class hubbies of the previous generation. They revel in their role of being the provider and feel threatened when there is an encroachment on this hallowed territory. The believe the kitchen is off limits for them and feel justified. *p**p*It's time this attitude ended.  Women are educated and empowered today. They are as capable of earning as the men are and if they wish to show it, then it is best to encourage them.*p**p*If she earns more than you, don't feel inadequate.Celebrate it. Congratulate her. *p**p*Even if she does not, don't mind it. Appreciate whatever extra income she is able to bring in and don't enter into a competition with her to earn more.*p**p*Before she begins, sit down and see what domestic preparations you need to make and sort out issues that are likely to crop up once she starts going out for a job.*p**p*Being away from work and leading a domestic life for 20 years, she will be starting with a major handicap. Appreciate that and help her overcome it.*p**p*You are lucky. I know hubbies with wives with an attitude that is opposite.*p**p*Even when they have marketable/encashable skills and spare time, they say there are entitled to stay at home and expect the hubby to be the provider. Many husbands groan under the strain.*p**p*I think you have no problem. You have just landed a solution.*p**p*All the best to you and your wife.*p**p*GV*p**p* *p*

  6. There is no problem with her earning but this is not the way she should put it. If it is because of her ego alone and not a behaviour which is induced by your tauntings then she should put her ego aside as it can destroy the relationship. Just sit with her and discuss about the problems. The reason she feels that she wants to earn is because she is not able to spend as much as she wants. But the question is why now? Why not before? That is a question you need to ask. Have a decent conversation and sort it out.*p*