Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Balance of Power

Have any of you been in a relationship with someone who made much more or less money than you did, was lots better or worse looking than you, or was many years younger or older? Usually people feel most comfortable with someone from a similar socio-economic group and who represents about the same number of looks that they do (as in someone who is a 3 not with a 9). How did it work for you if you were involved with someone in a different category like that? Was there an imbalance of power where you were aware of this and couldn't get beyond it?

I've dated and was married to someone who made quite a bit more money than I did, which isn't that hard to do with teachers' salaries being what they are. With the exception of a couple of times, it went well. Sometimes men acted as if they could make all the decisions and "take care of me" in patronizing ways, but they didn't get to stick around. I guess when the woman makes more money, is taller or older, or has a position of power in her career, things could be more difficult since those are not our role models. Lipstick Jungle has been dealing with this with the characters on there. I've been in relationships where I was from 10-15 years older than the guy I was going with, so I know something about that. In some cases it posed a problem but had more to do with other issues. Generally it was OK.

How do some of you same-sex couples handle this? The latest episode of Brothers and Sisters made me wonder since the gay couple on there dealt with one of them becoming more successful than the other who had made more money before. Does being equal play a big part of your relationship or not?

Anyway, what about you? Any thoughts on this?


frogponder said...

Well, all my years as a SAHM, The Engineer made all the money. Now he makes about four times an hour more than I do. But no, never, ever any problem. This is what we signed up for, always planned for and what we do.

Berry Blog said...

Too many variables to learn much I think.
* I made less money, but managed it better because the partner blew it all on other things.
• The partner was better looking and I had more $ power
• the partner had more money/power, but I can't get it up if they are emotionally wimpy.
• i really, as much as I might love someone, get it on if not physically attracted
• if I am turned on, no matter what their status is, I grovel in some way
• a partner can be the nicest and most generous person in the world,and self respectful too, but it just doesn't click being in love/lust. we just netrualize each other.
- it just goes on.. hard to tell.
- in mid life, I simply got my own place and was determined to maintain it no matter who came along. I had followed love too many years and gone through losing everything too many times.

David Dust said...

Joy -

What prompted this post? Are you dating a 25-year-old millionaire ... again?????


Dan said...

Auntie Flame -
Being that Luis makes a ton more than I, it was more an issue for me than him. Pride has a lot to do with it. I have had to except the fact that he brings in more, and to make myslef feel better about it, I take on more chores.

I think it helps balance it out.

Joy said...

I think that's it, Dan, doing what makes us feel that it's balanced out.

Right, DD, you caught me! How did you know? LOL

Actually, I think those TV shows made me think of it. My mind works in mysterious ways!