Six Months In & My Boyfriend Still Doesn’t Know I Earn More Than Him

Money is the biggest killer of relationships and the last thing I want to do is make it an issue in mine. My boyfriend is pretty traditional but he likes to think he’s progressive. If I told him I earn more than him, I’m sure it would end in disaster.

  1. I don’t want to emasculate him. As I said, my boyfriend is pretty traditional. I know that a big part of his male identity lies in being able to provide and protect for his lady. Telling him I earn more would be like pouring a bucket of cold water over his body. What’s the harm in letting him believe in a fantasy that keeps his masculine identity intact?
  2. I don’t want him to stop treating me like a lady. One of the best things about my relationship is the fact that my boyfriend is such a gentleman. I love the fact that he opens doors for me and that he pays for everything. I also see how happy taking care of things makes him. I don’t want to lose that part of our relationship. I want my boyfriend to continue treating me like a queen.
  3. I’m saving up to start a business. I’m not happy with my day job, and the job market is tougher than its ever been. That’s why I’m saving up to start my dream business. I don’t want to save less so that I can pay for things now. My boyfriend is happy with his job and spending a part of his paycheck on me. Why should I change things up and put my future on the back burner?
  4. I don’t want to embarrass him in public. I’ve been at restaurants and seen the awkward moment where the waiter brings the check and slides it over to the guy, only for a quick and hushed conversation to lead to the woman grabbing it. The look on the guy’s face is always pained. I never want my boyfriend to have to go through that. I want him to look and feel confident wherever we are. I’d rather have him overdraw his bank account than offer to pay.
  5. I want to have the same family structure I grew up with. I grew up in a very loving family, one that was traditional in a lot of ways. While I’d never be a stay-at-home mom like my mother was, I’d like for us to have clear roles. Whenever I needed permission to go out and do something, I asked my mother. When I needed money, I asked my dad. They designated clear parenting roles, and that made for smooth sailing. I want the same. If I tell my boyfriend I earn more than him, that would change the dynamics of the family I want to build. I want money to be his thing in our family.
  6. I don’t want him to work doubly hard to beat my income. I’ve seen how my boyfriend gets around his guy friends. They compare everything and he usually comes out on top. I don’t want my boyfriend to have to take on extra work to earn more than me and save face with his friends. Not only will that make him more unhappy, but it’ll start to affect our relationship. I don’t ever want to dim my light for him. I’d rather keep it hidden.
  7. I don’t want to have to plan my finances better. This is a little selfish but I don’t care. With the way things in my relationship are set up, I can afford to splurge whenever I want. I still make sure I pay my bills and save a little, but other than that, I’m free to have as much fun as I want. If I told my boyfriend I earned more than him, I’d feel guilty about not paying for stuff. That would mean I’d have to think about someone else when it came to my finances. Right now, as a 25-year-old, I’m not feeling that. I’d rather keep our finances separate.
  8. I don’t want to jump the gun in case he gets a promotion. My boyfriend is a hard-working guy. I believe that there’s every chance that he could get promoted and surpass me in income. Why should I jump the gun and bring up something that may not be true for much longer? I love him too much to rock the boat right now.
  9. I don’t want him to resent me. OK, I know that life isn’t always fair. If for some reason, my boyfriend never got a raise, I wouldn’t want him to resent me going forward. I want to build a life and a family with my boyfriend. He’s old school in a lot of ways, so I know he’d want to be a provider. I don’t want to take that role away from him by basically telling him that I can provide more than he can. Sometimes, you have to let a man think he’s in control.
  10. I don’t want him to leave me. I’m very close to my brother. While he’s a great guy, he has admitted that he would struggle to remain in a relationship with a woman that earned more than him. My brother is pretty progressive, but even he can’t seem to get over a woman earning more than him. I don’t want to risk losing my boyfriend over something that doesn’t matter.
Hannah is a twenty-something-year-old freelance writer, obsessed with reality TV, and all things sweet.