1. Kids & Family

Tell Me About It: Husband's raise doesn't have to change dynamic of relationship

Q: My husband and I make about the same amount of money. Soon, he will make more than three times as much. While this is great for us overall, I am worried about how it will affect the dynamic of our relationship, particularly since my job is a freelance, work-from-home type thing. Any tips for finding the balance between picking up the slack as he transitions into a more demanding role and not accidentally turning into a housewife?

Income Disparity

Carolyn: This is actually a time question, not a money question. If you both keep putting equivalent time toward the greater good of the marriage — which can include child-rearing, earning money, doing chores, talking to and listening to each other, maintaining ties with friends and family — then there's no reason your marriage dynamic should change as a result of his raise. As long as you deal with conflicts as they come up, versus letting them metastasize into resentments, it's strictly a matter of adjusting the division of labor to account for his more demanding job.

Anonymous: How about using the additional income to farm out chores he can't do? I make three times what my husband does and travel for work. We have a list of people to do odd jobs so that he isn't overburdened — he also works full time. I try to keep in mind how I would feel in his place. Just because I am earning more doesn't mean he should have to pick up more work. I equate more money as an opportunity for both of us to have a little better life.

Carolyn: Thanks. You're likely helping others who need the work, too.