In your heterosexual marriage, who earns more money?

Thread title says it all, but if you’re wondering why I care:

I know that historically in America, it was traditional for the man to earn the money for the household. Even if the woman held a job, it was not typically as well-paying as the man’s job. Today it is much more socially acceptable for a woman to earn as much or more than her husband, but I know that at least when it comes to highly visible well-paying jobs, men still hold most of the positions (e.g., CEO, politician). What I’m wondering is whether the tradition of the man earning more money is still largely entrenched in the average American household.

Disclaimer #1: I realize the Straight Dope does not equal average American household, but I still think seeing the answers could give me some insight.

Disclaimer #2: I apologize to anyone in a homosexual relationship, single, asexual, etc. for making a thread you can’t honestly participate in.

Disclaimer #3: I realize not all Dopers are American. Whatever, I don’t care if you’re not American and you vote.

Note #1: If you live in the same household as a significant other but are not married, I think that counts, too, for purposes of this poll.

My wife does by a good amount. She also has a Ph.D., and I don’t do anything related to my undergrad degree, so that helps. But, hey, while she was in her doctoral program, I was way ahead of her. :wink: And I think I’m still slightly ahead with my contribution to our lifetime savings, but that’s going to be overtaken soon.

I currently make more than my wife. She’s earned more than me in the past, and I’d be happy if she’d earn more than me in the future.

Currently he makes a little more, but a promotion is processing for me that’ll even us out again. We’ve alternated quite a bit over the years, thankfully with zero insecurity from him when I’ve earned more.

Hetero marriage, I’m the guy. Historically I’ve earned more and still do, but she’s gaining on me.

I’m a full-time engineer at a large firm, but not supervision or management (just cubicle occupant). My career has had a lot of ups and down as I moved from firm to firm and from direct to temp employee. In engineering, temps frequently make twice the income of directs, so my income record is all over the map. It can double one year, and then be halved the next. Hers however, has been a slow but steady rise from bank teller to Executive VP in charge of an entire state operation. Counting her bonuses, we’re neck and neck now. It’s a toss-up whether she’ll pass me before I retire.

Over 40 years I’ve out-earned my wife by a considerable amount. In recent years she’s caught up, has earned two Masters degrees in management, and without my bonus she makes more than I do. Which thrills me because it means I can retire sooner.

I am divorced but my ex-wife made more than I did during the last part of our marriage and I wasn’t doing badly myself. Now she makes many times what I make. This isn’t going to be a popular opinion but being in that situation is like throwing chickens into a jet turbine. It doesn’t usually work out well. The ideas that men and women have about sharing the wealth are completely different. Men tend to be providers and want to share while American style women think “I earned it, so what is mine is mine and what is yours is mine as well.”

That isn’t universal but it is a good general rule. I have dated a bunch of very rich women since my divorce. People tend to think that I am lucky and assume that they actually pay for things. No, it doesn’t work that way. The more money they make, the more they cost. My ex-wife calls me constantly asking for money even though she already got the house and I pay over double the required child support and sometimes much more.

She claims that she is broke despite making half a million dollars a year. Maybe, just maybe, if she quit going on $10,000 Disney vacations followed by a $15,000 Caribbean vacation the next month, a closet that would make Imelda Marcos blush and jetsetting all over the world at every whim she would have some savings to put towards our daughter’s future college fund. Oh hell no, that would compromise the lifestyle of which she has become accustomed to. Luckily, I have a personality that allows me to say "NO!’ after a predetermined stopping point.

My spouse and I traded off head wage earner over the years. Some years he earned more, some I did. You didn’t really have that as a choice in your poll, you seemed to assume one or the other would earn more throughout the entirety of a marriage and that’s just not always so.

One of my sister’s has a similar marriage - sometimes she earned more, sometime he earned more. They each did a few years as a stay-at-home parent.

I suspect that pattern is a bit more common than people consider.

It’s about equal for us. I think the trend is starting to move toward women making more though. I read a recent article about how women are more likely to attend and graduate college, and that’s probably the single biggest predictor of future earnings.

I’m not married or cohabitating but I make a lot more than my boyfriend.

Thinking of the couples I know, the pairs where the woman makes more she is a doctor or a high-level nurse.

I would consider that to fall under the “It’s about equal” option.

For the year before we were married and the two years after, I made twice as much as he did. Then I quit my job and made nothing for three years. At that point he quit his job and we formed a partnership LLC; since then we’ve earned exactly the same amount, though he does most of the work. I’m developing my side hustles.

My wife earns about 10% more than I do. Which is fine by me. Heck, she can earn 110% more and I’ll stay home :smiley:

Definitely not the case in my household, and not in the households with a similar dynamic I’ve observed. Maybe it changes when you get into serious upper middle-class bucks (like you said, your ex-wife at a half a million a year), but not in the company I keep.

My wife doesn’t work for pay, so it’s all me.

I have never worked a significant amount. (For pay) I am just a lazy slob. I don’t do well outside of my comfort zone anxiety-wise. Mr.Wrekker is now retired, so his income has decreased, but not by much. And I get a check (nice!) It’s the only time in my life I have had a income. Feels weird.

I made more before I retired. I voted about equal now, since I’m not sure how to count investment income. Right now she gets twice the Social Security that I do since I’m on spousal benefits until I hit 70, when I take mine and she gets half of what I get. (Which is more than what she gets now.)
We have to see what the royalty check looks like when it comes. That might put her ahead.

I make infinitely more, since my wife makes zero. She’s a SAHM, so the job is underpaid. Ask me again in 5 or 10 years.

Everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s Day. Everyone’s American on the Internet.

For the first three years of our marriage, we were about equal. Then she got out of fellowship, got her first job as a practicing physician in her specialty, and vaulted way the hell ahead of me, probably about 4 or 5 times my salary. Now, 13 years later, I’m closer, but she still makes about 160% of my salary. She recently went from an academic practice to a private practice, so she’s probably going to get pretty far ahead of me again as her practice builds up.

My old pappy used to tell me, “Son, it’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich woman as it is with a poor one.”

And I’d tell him, “Like hell; it’s a LOT EASIER to fall in love with a rich woman!”

Despite that, I ended up with a woman who makes a lot less than I do. Dammit.