Gist Me – Part 1: I Make Three Times What My Potential Spouse Makes

Black Professional Woman

Before I start, let me introduce myself; My name is Mekus and I will be bringing you weekly articles on a variety of issues that are hot in the streets entitled “Gist Me”. I will decide what to write on based on what I hear people talking about. I attended Umu Igbo Unite Convention this past weekend which was such a dynamic event because the caliber of babes that were in the building was outstanding. There were Pharmacists, MBA holders, Doctors, Consultants, Lawyers, Engineers and so on. I got a chance to sit down and “gist” with a couple females who were part of this group of lovely ladies. Different issues came up during our discussions, but the most pressing and passionate was the fear of a woman making significantly more money than the man in a relationship. Why is it such a big deal?

Let’s take the one normal profession that is “guaranteed” bank, Doctors. Now before the rest of you start claiming that your profession is guaranteed bank too; I don’t doubt it, but name a normal profession that 90%of people in the field are making six figures. Anyways, babes that I talked to this weekend are scared that they are chasing their potential husbands away the second they open their mouth and say what they do for a living. Let’s say a 24 year old female who is starting her first year in residence as an ophthalmologist meets a 26 year old business man who has a “good” job by all standards – probably pulling in $60,000. They start talking and vibing,  they figure out mutual friends that know each other and get through all the formalities. After a while, professions come up and the guy says that he is a business man and she says she is an ophthalmologist. The babe’s initial reaction seems cool … but what she is really thinking is ‘as a business man he is making around $50,000’; she knows good and well after residency she will be collecting anywhere from $175,000 to $250,000. She is thinking about how this is going to work if they get serious. Meanwhile in his head he has the same mental calculation going on. He does his quick calculation and finds out what he is up against. When he realizes the deal he wants to start crying inside. Even if he gets a raise 5 times in the next 5 years – assuming a 5% raise each time – He will be making roughing $73,000, while she is making around $200,000. Now what do you think? Should these two people be together?

I don’t think it makes sense because he will want to go to Applebee’s and she wants to go Sundial ($150 a plate) for dinner. He wants to take a vacation to Myrtle Beach and she wants to vacate to Greece and cruise the Mediterranean. In my opinion I think people should date and marry people in the same ball park in all aspects such as culture, background, finances and so on. In the example above if he is pulling in $150,000 or there about, it’s not that different. But at $73,000 my guy is in trouble.

If you flip the scenario and it is the guy who is doctor and wife is in business; most people will claim that it is okay if he is one bringing the money. But is it really? Why would you want a man to feel like since he makes all the money that he is in charge? Marriage is a partnership and I think both parties need to be able to provide and support equally. There are extreme cases such as straight ballers like NBA players or actors or 19 boys (shame on you) and such but for common man lets keep it in same ball park.

Please don’t come at me with pride issues on the male side. If the guy has pride issues he should go sit down somewhere. This article has nothing to do with pride; it has to do with functionality.

What do you think? How important is your spouse’s money? I know people say people money does not lead to happiness but take a look at the number one reason people get divorced and it boils down to Naira… or Dollars…or Euros. 🙂


  1. It all boils down to personality,and your level of spirituality too. Most people that have the fear of God do not even think of such. A spouses money means absolutely nothing. People mix money and life style together.If a wife want to go to Greece and the husband wanted to go to South Carolina,then they should talk and compromise. Besides,in a very very good marriage,there should be nothing like "my husband is making this" and "I am making that". In a good marriage it should be "we are making ……"!! In a marriage,two become one. They say money makes the world go around. But they also say it is the root of all evil. On the other hand, white women do not even care if they make more than their husbands. For black women,it is a freaking big deal.I hope God opens our eyes one day."Vanity upon vanities,all is vanity. What does a man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?

  2. Regardless of the amount of money a man makes, he is the head of the household and should be treated as such. Even if the wife makes 20 times what he makes, it means absolutely nothing as far as his role as head of the family. The wife should recognize and respect that. As long as the man is ambitious, works, and works hard doing what he is passionate about, one should be satisfied. He should exhibit the qualities of a MAN regardless of his level of income. Conversely, just because the man makes substantially more than the wife does not make him "in charge". Money doesn't make the man OR the woman. Husbands submit to their wives and wives submit to their husbands understanding that ONE captain steers the ship for which God oversees. Marriage should be built on mutual respect borne of the knowledge that each was attracted to the other for the intangible reasons, not just b/c of their "profession" or the size of their bank account.

    As a practical matter, I believe husband and wife should maintain their own accounts in addition to a joint account, understanding that life decisions are to be made together. If the woman can't live without Sundial for dinner every weekend, then perhaps the $$ is more important than the man she married and they will not get very far together. Otherwise, the small inconveniences fade in the brilliance of being with the person one loves wholeheartedly.

  3. I guess it depends on the 2 people involved in the relationship…can the man stomach the fact that she earns more?

    will the woman be able to live with the fact that she earns more than the man and NOT rub it in his face? (especially when they have a disagreement)…

  4. The question is does he have a problem with it? As much as I don't mind making more money but i rather him make more.

  5. i see where u r going with this one.

    Money does play a key factor in relationships.

    But it all boils down to the two players.

    My cuz is a doctor, and she is paying off his loans, so applebee's might just work fine.

    But yea, i get ur drift!

  6. Interesting spin – not sure I have looked at it from that angle in the past.

    I think money reveals who we really are.. The secret desires we have only ever fantasized about become reality once the money to bankroll them comes . My take is that the guy/girl who isn't ostentatious at heart will not fuss over money if it comes, as long as enough to meet the basic needs is available. The question – which depends on each individual though – is what constitutes a 'basic need'. If both parties agree on a similar definition, there should be no problem. I do know close friends of mine where the wifey makes waaaay more money than the bloke but bloke makes enough money to take care of things around the house and he insists on providing that.

    I think the problem with money comes when the intrinsic tastes of the individuals are very different in the first instance – that, is a recipe for trouble in my humble opinion.

  7. The essential element of a REAL relationship is PATERNERSHIP, so if she is pulling in $250,000 and he is pulling in $60,000, that is $310,000 for the family. Whoever brings the bigger part in is irrelevant, it is not a game, it is an emotional commitment. Money should not be an issue.

  8. Unfortunately Doctors will not neccesarily stick to Doctors and Social workers will not stick to dating Social workers. In terms of her making $310,000…what makes you think that she is automatically gonna gun for the Sundial restaurant while he guns for Applebees.

    I mean, I kinda sorta see what you mean but I feel like if the couple loves and respect each other, the fact that she makes 3x more should not be an issue because I doubt that she would wanna pick a house with a $6,000 mortgage knowing that her hubby can not afford it. In the same vein, he might make 60k but as long as he can provide for the family/meet her halfway and still be the man…it shouldn't be an issue.

    Sometimes I think that individuals elevate this whole $$ issue and blow it out of proportion.

  9. heheheee!!…if a woman is making more than a guy–before all this yarn about love, respect, God even comes to play..its game overrrrr!!!!…you need "airtime" in order to develop all these necessary checkpoints…and my brothers You will not get any "airtime" with your Home Depot job (even at corporate office).

    Fine and good if you are reacquainting yourself with a babe you knew from high school or maybe college–where some initial genuine "good feelings" can be resuscitated–beyond that!!! you dey crase!!! if you think a) you will be able to ignore the amount of dinero she is raking in and b) even if you closed your eyes for the first six months someone is going to say something-(and then the fight will start!)–guaranteed!

  10. I don't know about all these preachers..but my hubby gats to make more or close to what I am making. He has to meet me somewhere somehow; cos a man's EGO is inevitable…A woman making 3x of what her man is making is f***ing with his ego…

    60,000 and 310,000 is way too different…someone is definitely gonna start feel insulted (man) or used (woman), love or no love.

    Its easier said than done preachers!

  11. No doubt… If a man dey make less than the babe. ehay you go suffer. Either she dey make you suffer or you suffer sef. I have had this discussion many times with babes and recently had the discussion with a good friend of mine who' s sister was married to a guy who had a substantial amount of money. No Nigerian man, much less any African man wants to marry without being the true head of the household. Your woman can never look at you in the right light if it is not this way.

  12. Omo I tire for people that are sugar-coating stuff man… the reality of the African household is that the man can't be lagging too far behind the woman if at all… It sucks that it's like that, but most of us grew up with the mentality of the man being the bread-winner in the house-hold…. now whether or not that is correct is a different issue, but it's the reality.

    Love, mutual respect, and all that is good when things are going ok, but when fight starts things will change to the man saying "U're talking to me anyhow and disrespecting me because you're making 3 times as much as I do", or the woman will say "Look at this useless man… Your mates are providing for their families and u're here leaching on my money"…lol.

    It sucks, but i've seen this in Nigerian homes too many times to be naive about it. At the end of the day it's all personal choice. If u feel like it wont be an issue for you then by all means, enjoy… U just have to know the kind of person you are marrying. This goes for the man and the woman.

    • "U just have to know the kind of person you are marrying."

      – Exactly.

      Parity is ideal, but doesn't always happen. One likes to think that if you fall in love with someone, you knew their profession/earning potential BEFORE you entered into the marriage/engagement, and you knew what kind of person they were BEFORE you proposed/accepted. So all other things being good, if you break off a relationship with someone you love b/c your potential spouse doesn't "make enough money", that's your own.

      In this day and age, good luck finding someone else. My thought is that you go all the way in love and let the money follow. Hopefully (in my case) the man has the drive and ambition to continue to increase his earning power so that you can grow TOGETHER.

      If we're talking about potential boyfriend/girlfriend, that's a whole other thing b/c you're able to make that decision before you've fallen in love with that person. But if income all of a sudden becomes an issue at the point of marriage, then perhaps the person should have done a better job getting to know their potential spouse or had more diligent family members conduct the "investigations". Otherwise, If the man is on point, I would put my whole heart into working on that relationship (hardships and all), not give it all up to find someone else who has more dollars in the bank account (but could just as well be seriously lacking in other areas). "A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush." And the way things go these days, the woman will be 50 before she finds those other two birds. lol

  13. depends on who is involved & (to a large extent) where the person is from.

    as an african, nigerian and ibo person for that matter…….i must say, a woman earning 3x her hubby will really, REEEAAAALLY not seat very well in an ibo…etc marriage…. dont get me wrong… its not a bad thing, it happens and has been successful in the past but those very few success stories real exceptions. it shouldn't be so, there should be a level of equality ….but hey, blame it on great-great-great-grand-pa & his friends 😀

    if na oyinbo family…the man doesn't even mind being a stay-at-home dad…& there will be peace

  14. To be honest…a marriage like that will take A WHOLE LOT of work and HUMILITY from both parties; and that's why its not usually recommended. Because a lot of people are just not prepared to do the work; or are so blinded by wordly things that they forget that the true purpose of marriage surpasses monetary enjoyments like luxury holidays, fancy restaurants, nice "his-and-hers" cars etc.

    A man's ego is inevitable and NO WAY IN HELL will a man not feel (even if just a little) intimidated by the fact that his wife makes that much more than him. Most times, that inferiority complex is already there so all that needs to trigger it is a little argument. I don't mean females are exempt from blame but most wives in this situation are always walking a thin line; any simple disagreement or argument can be misinterpreted by the husband as disrespect "just because she makes more than me". That's usually where the problem starts

    Truth is; any self-respecting man wants to provide the best things for his family; and most of the time his vision of provision will be linked to how much money he has. So the fact that his wife can essentially "provide" more than him, is already a threat to his position as the breadwinner. The wife just has to remember that the man is STILL the head of the family and treat him as such i.e he still makes the final decisions etc

    And also this kinda marriage needs ALOT of prayers.

    • I agree with you 100%… that's why I'm looking for Market women, and house girls to marry… If she opens her mouth to disrespect me, I'm sending her back to her father's house in the village… Nonsense…LOL.

  15. The only exception is: If your wife got political appointment after marriage, in which case it is understood that the money na chop chop awoof money. Which really is ours to share because I am the one providing the pseudo company names for contracts.

  16. I think it'll be hard if the woman makes more than the man, more for the man becuase he's the one making less money. But it really comes down to the personality of the two people involved, their level of communication, their egos and how much the truly love and understand each other. I think when people and naive about this issue and develop problems in Marraige it reflects not just money issues, but issues in terms of them not having fully communicated with each other on their expectations from marraige. however, bear in mind that at least in the USA – money of the #1 cause of divorce!

  17. This is interesting because I can relate to this…Here's my story…

    I'm Nigerian…I grew up here though…I've visited but, never stayed longer than a month (Abuja)….when I started dating…it was Akata and Oyinbo men…my fiance is the first Naija guy I've dated….

    I met my fiance a little over a year ago…at a party thru some mutual friends. We talked and eventually got to the "what do you do to keep the lights on" conversation…He makes a pretty decent living…but I am WELL into 6 figures…

    I work in IT…but from what I say I do…you cannot tell my salary…I have a nice car and my house matches my car…we dated and I mostly let him pick the restaurants…I would mostly drive to meet him places because I work crazy hours…anyway…the first time he came to my is what he did that I liked…I gave him a tour…he did not gosh or gasp or any of those things…he just commented on the decor…I'd cooked…so we had dinner…apart from the obvious things from day to day life…I do not think I have ever made him uncomfortable with my spending nor have I rubbed it in his face…

    My family are uncomfortable with our union…because of the gap in our wages…even his family is uncomfortable…and I just do not see what the problem is…my engagement ring is lovely…just lovely…he didnt have to steal (I think…LOL) to get it…and it is decent…we've decided to have a destination wedding to cut cost (his idea not mine…but, whatever)…he's excellent at managing money. I am not putting any pressure on him to "do better"…if you ask me…I'd gladly let him quit and sit at home and get some sort of hobby…because adding what he makes to what I make is not any impact at all…but he is a man and "Must wake up and go to work in the morning" and "Cant have the kids asking why only Mommy goes to work"….so…it is what it is…

    I do not care what he does with our money…as long as I can buy shoes and travel whenever I can get some time away from work…I just simply do not have a problem with it…now…he may be feeling a different way…

  18. Yeap am definately on the same page with mekus, you have to marry someone on your level. For instance, I don't want to pay mortage for any man am sorry…… have to get on my level at some pointsomething def has to give…xoxo

  19. Honestly, I do not believe this a good example. First off it takes several years after residency to command the type of salary you are discussing in this example. Second off must medical professional do not have the personal resources to pay for undergraduate and medical school unless they came for an otherwise wealthy family. If that was the case in this example, I am sure that someone that came for a wealthy family that had their education paid for would not be worried about their spouse's income because nine times out of ten they probably are due to inherit some type of trust. In the trust scenario, his income would be insignificant as they would be choosing their partner based on non financial motivators. The flip side would be if the individual did not come from a wealthy family. I can assure that their student loans shall be monumental and if they found a partner that has an above average steady income with no debt I am sure they would fill they hit the lottery seeing as most physicians graduate with hundreds of thousands of dollars of student debt.