Sunday, July 6, 2008

Marriage and money

Dear friends, it's lovely to read all the comments and emails you have sent in the last couple of days. I hope your weekend is/was lovely.

One of my readers asked me whether I think a woman shouldn't agree to be pursued by a man who doesn't make enough money to support both himself and his wife. Since this is an important topic, I thought I would address it in a separate post.

Yes, a basic amount of money is needed to support a family. And yes, men are to be the primary wage-earners (even if the wife has a side income from a home business or giving lessons, I don't think it's wise to rely upon it). However, from here to thinking, "I expect to be supported by my husband, so I will only agree to be courted by wealthy men", the road is long.

In my opinion, the amount of money a man - especially if he is young - makes at a given point has little to do with his future potential as a good provider for his family. Many young men combine work and studies, or are just starting at their work place - naturally, with low wages. Maybe he has just started his own business, and is waiting for it to pay off. Maybe he lives off a scholarship for a time. Tossing a good man aside because he doesn't make much money right now is more than unwise, in my opinion. Few are born rich or even somewhat well-off. Many work towards building financial security for themselves and their families.

Instead of asking yourself, "how much does this man earn and will it be enough for both of us and the children too?", ask the following questions: is he hardworking and reliable? Is he steady, trustworthy, responsible, and careful in his financial decisions? Does he tend to spend a lot of money on nothings? And most importantly, does he see himself as the provider for his future wife and children, or does he expect his wife to pull an equal share of the financial burden, if not more?

I went out with many young men who had higher degrees and better-paying jobs than the one who eventually became my husband. But my husband was the only one who said he wants his wife not to work outside the home at all. Only in him, I saw the readiness to assume the responsibility of providing for a family. The willingness, if necessary, to work a boring job, day after day, in order to make his wife and children feel secure. He wasn't focused on himself, his studies, or his career, but on the needs of his future family. And this was among the many things about him that captured my heart. It's called maturity, and it's a rare gem to be found in a man nowadays.

Unfortunately, not many men today will accept, even temporarily, a less prestigious job to provide for their wife and children. Too many will sit with their feet up until they find a job that is in their opinion worthy of their degree or their talents. It might be a radical example, but a former executive who lays bricks in order to feed his family looks much better in my eyes than a man in a similar position who expects his wife to provide until he finds a "suitable" job.

Also, one must keep in mind that a caring wife, a life partner to her husband, can also become a financial asset. Many young men are less motivated at their place of employment, and tend to spend more money, because they know they have only themselves to provide for. Once they find a wife who encourages them, praises their hard work, offers support, advice and companionship, and does her best to live cheerfully and frugally on a small income, their motivation grows and with time they find ways to become better providers.

Marriage isn't about sponsorship. It's a partnership. Like the young bride and groom grow together in their marriage as husband and wife, and later as mother and father, men, assisted by their wives, may grow and become more established in their finances. It's the right attitudes - maturity, responsibility, and readiness to provide for a family - that are important to look for in a potential spouse.

33 comments:

Buffy said...

Excellent answer"

Gothelittle Rose said...

This is exactly how it happened with me. I watched how my now-husband worked, looked at his resume as if I was going to hire him, heard about his responsibilities and demeanor, and made my decision there.

He was, a college student just out of highschool, trusted to bring the money to the bank at the electronics chain store where he worked. Everywhere he went to work, his coworkers liked him. He managed to stay clear of office politics. He didn't leave a job until he had another to go to, and he started working part-time during highschool.

I could tell immediately that he was a worker, a day-by-day with no complaints worker, who would not quit just for being unhappy.

When we were newly married, we both worked, him full-time and me part-time. When I lost my job and he realized we couldn't live on his income alone (95% of it was going to housing), he went back to school. Now he's working a steady job that provides for our needs, accepting a slightly lower salary at a more stable company because he's a slow-and-steady, not a risk-and-profit.

The way I learned it from my mother's silent example is that you don't ever demean your husband for what he makes. It's your job as his wife to take what he makes and make it stretch. With that philosophy, we've been consistently living on the edge in an economy where his salary would be considered woefully inadequate for most.

Anonymous said...

I think this is so true. I look at my parents and what a good example of this it is. My mother married my father young, he was well off, in college, and had many priviledges many people do not have. However and this is the big however, he did not have the maturity to handle the care of my mother and eventually me. When my mother became pregnant with me after they had been married for a couple of years and his response was "What are we gonna do about it?" Needless to say unfortunatley that marriage didn't last.

A few years later my mom met my step-father. At the time he was only a waiter but my mother saw in him the determination to rise above and be the man he is today. After marrying, they started a business together and for 10 years ran it successfully and then they were able to sell it and semi-retire at a very early age. My mother was able to get an advanced degree and now she practices medicine part time while my step-father tinkers around with a side business. Also they raised 4 children during this time. They are truly a team and an inspiration to watch, I'm so blessed to have them as an example for my husband and I.

Completely off this topic, I was wondering, how many languages do you speak? I'm currently trying to learn my husbands first language (Japanese) and I'd love any tips you might have.

-Jen K.

CappuccinoLife said...

Great thoughts!

I, too, picked my husband on the basis of his character and work-ethic, rather than his income or even income-earning potential.

It proved to be sound judgement.

He will work *any* job in order for his children to be fed, clothed and sheltered, and have mother at home with them. At one point he was scrubbing carpets in the morning and delivering pizza's at night. Certainly those were not jobs he was passionate about. But he did them without ever complaining.

I know many women who's husband's make far more than my husband does, but who still insist thier wife works because they "can't afford" for her to stay home. :(

lady jane said...

"Never despise meager beginnings."

It was 1947 when my in-laws married. He, a WW2 vet & completing his degree & working at a defense base. She, young & set up housing in a cottage provided by the base. A cottage is a grand term, in this sense, for a modest one-room with 3/4 bath & a hot plate, fridge and shelf. They had almost zero $ but oh so happy. My mother-in-love thinks on those 3 years as some of the best in their marriage. Once his degree was earned things changed moneywise, of course, but the memories lasted through the many years.

:o)

Catherine R. said...

I think this is good advice you gave to the questioner. It seems that where men stumble with lack of character by choosing a wife based only on physical appearance, some women struggle with choosing a husband based on "net worth". Hence you have many examples of 2 superficial people who have married to suite eachother's basest desires.

I admit I struggle with anxiety over financial matters. I only married my husband a year ago and he was already in his early 30's with not the greatest job. However, I am impressed with his work ethic and even "old" newlyweds like us can achieve financial security with the right attitude. My hubby never has never been married or had a woman in his life to provide support and encouragement. Let's see what he can do now.

Jia said...

I loved your points Anna and I just wanted to add my own two cents.

I think anyone who is thinking about this, finding a man who can support them both, should think about what exactly being supported means. Roof over head, food in your belly, love in your heart.

A lot of people are very materialistic these days. I've met many women who look down on their husband because his wages don't bring in enough money for two cars, for a yearly vacation, jewelry, fancy resturants, or cable tv.

Priorities must be kept at all times, especially when you're looking for a spouse.

Kelly said...

Well said Anna, and every commenter here.
I agree you need to look at the maturity, responsibility, and desire to provide for a family more than money on it's own.
We are by no means wealthy now, but my hubby made ALOT less when I married him, but we made it work. And also with my support and encouragement he has moved on to better jobs since then. He has also turned down higher, much higher, paying jobs that involved too much travel away from home because he didn't want to leave his family alone that much. He now has a good job where he travels only a week every other month or so.
Also wealth now doesn't mean wealth later, it can all go in a flash. In that case I would rather be with a hard working loving man any day. My hubby has said over and over we will always make it work even if he has to work digging ditches he'll do what he has to so that I can be at home.
Kelly
PS I too make some money on the side but we leave it out of our budget so we NEVER count on my income. We live on what my hubby makes.

Suzanne said...

This is a wonderful post, Anna. I think you've found a good man. :)

My cousin currently makes almost twice what my husband does, but doesn't believe they can "make it" on his salary alone.

My husband has always been hard-working, but when he lost his job last year and had to take anything he could find to keep me at home with our daughter, I realized just how hard-working he is. I am very blessed to have him.

Thanks for this great post.

Laura Brown said...

I'd like to echo what Jia said. It's reasonable to expect a man to work long hours at a boring job so his family have food, shelter and clothing; less reasonable to expect him to do this so his wife can wear the latest fashions, the family can go on expensive holidays or his kids can have a video-game console. A woman who expects to be supported by her husband should ask herself: "Would I be willing to live a very simple lifestyle if it meant this man could do work he truly loves, or that he could work fewer hours and spend more time on family, friends and hobbies?" And if the answer is no, then she shouldn't marry him. In my opinion, such a woman isn't really prepared to be a partner and helpmate -- she's just looking for a paycheque.

Neuropoet said...

Finding a man who is willing to work - "no matter what job" - is an amazing gift. With the disaster in the mortgage industry, in the past year especially, my husband had a hard time finding work. He was happy to find work as a waiter in our small town bakery, and he knows that I appreciate everything he does. Some men might refuse to work a job that is so "beneath" them - he has a double bachelors degree for goodness sake! But my husband will work whatever job he has to in order to support his family. I am very proud of him... "Money troubles" are all part of life and they come and go, but a man who knows how to "hang in there" with his wife when the going gets tough is worth his weight in gold. :)

~Jenny

MarkyMark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Character...I believe that it is the defining word to determine whether someone is going to be a good husband and a good father. Being a good provider may (for unavoidable reasons) not be possible during the marriage but being of good character will make all the difference in a life partner.

My mother told me two of the easiest ways to determine character of a potential husband: (1) how does he treat his own mother, grandmother. Is he considerate, gentle, responsible? No, I am not advocating marrying a "mama's boy" (2) does he always return the market cart to the return stall in the parking lot. This sounds silly until you realize that not doing this demonstrates a lack of concern for others in general and the "cart boy" that has to hunt down the carts in particular. It is also an indication of basic sloth which does not bode well in a life partnership. Again, small things are "tells" about character.

I am so glad that I listened to my mom. No matter what other compromises I have had to make in my life I have never, ever had to worry about or apologize for the character of my husband, my best friend.

tales_from_the_crib said...

another excellent post.
thank you.

Laura said...

Anna,

I don't know if you saw it or know what it means, but in markymark's post he says "bastard children". That is a highly offensive term that shouldn't be used! I hope you will delete it.

Laura

Thursday's Child said...

Excellent post. You are so right.

Anonymous said...

I find Markymark's post here insulting and rude-not to mention uninformed throughout most of it. This is not a forum for negativity and cuss words. Find a therapist to deal with your anger issues.

Stacee said...

I just happened upon your blog through some other blogs I was reading - and had to stop for a moment to say what a beautiful, eloquent post! I think it held both men and women accountable for their choices and convictions. My husband is not much of a reader, but I am going to share your post with him - I think it is something he needs to hear to help strengthen him and show him that he is on the right path (recently giving up his struggling business to go back to working for someone else in exchange for a guaranteed solid paycheck each month!). Your post is so motivating, I had a lot of negative energy today and really needed something to lift my soul!

ChelB said...

This is a wonderful post!
: )You've definitely written some very truthful words as well as the other women who've posted here too. I also wasn't worried about my husband's financial ability to provide for us when I married him either even though when we met he didn't have a steady job. He's a professional classical freelance musician and children's music teacher too, so when he works it's purely based on his own reputation of talent and professionalism.

Sadly, my father-in-law attempted to discourage me from getting involved with him at all because when we met I was actually making more money than my husband. He also made certain to mention this exact point to my mother the first time they talked on the phone too telling her that I would have to take care of him. My husband was deeply hurt by this, but now over one year later my father-in-law has changed his tune a lot. My husband is slowly trying to forgive his father for this, but struggles with it. I do think that because his father is near 70 years old and also a first generation American (of Southeast Asian descent)he isn't 100% sure how to handle his son's career in professional music.

We are definitely not wealthy, but my husband loves his career and has been fortunate to happen upon some nice opportunities. I actually bought him his first set of business cards and made sure he has a cell phone (only for work purposes) set-up too. I also found his first teaching job at a private school and helped him prepare for the interview. Just recently, they've doubled his salary going into his second year.

At times, I know he's frustrated and tired because he has to drive hundreds of miles a week teaching lessons, going to rehearsals, and performances. However, I know that he's doing this to make sure things are OK for our family. I've always loved and supported my husband from the beginning...even when we were just dating.

When a husband is being loved and encouraged by his wife and/or children his career potential skyrockets in my opinion.

Bethany Hudson said...

This is so true, Anna. When I married my husband, we were fresh out of college--and I'm talking 2 days after finals; we didn't even have diplomas yet! And, he had a lot of debt--BUT that debt was because he worked his butt off to go to a school where he got a full scholarship, rose to the top of his class at a major university despite working to pay for his housing and meals, and I knew that he was resourceful, determined, responsible, motivated and an extremely hardworker. Until the month after we got married, when he started his new job at Microsoft, we were living off of checks from our wedding! But, I knew that he would be an excellent provider, and he is.
~Bethany

Bonnie said...

Markymark should understand, though, that the families that we strive to have don't need to have the "nice, new vehicle and motorcycle. . . with all the goodies", but instead a happy home with basic needs being met (i.e. food, shelter, clothing). These homes are completely sustainable one a one income family most of the time when both husband and wife can come to terms with what basic needs really are. Our children need love, attention, time and direction, all things that an extra income cannot buy, but a SAHM can happily provide. Our husbands need love, support, esteem boosting in the tough work situations that they are put in, also better provided by a wife who has the time to strive to make a happy household and the energy left over at the end of the day to pay mind to him.

Also, just as Anna pointed out that us women need to look for men who are willing to provide for their families, men need to look for women who value their husbands and the provisions that they intend to make for a family. Their are women out there still that want a hero, and are more than willing to submit to their husbands in order to live better and have happier families. There is probably a reason it seems to be like finding a needle in a haystack for you, maybe your attitude has built a wall that they cannot see beyond. Many women probably live on the fence, caught between a true desire for the "traditional lifestyle" and the lure of the world that we live in. When approached by a man with your attitude, which way do you think that they would lean, protecting yourself goes both ways.

As for divorce, that should not enter ones mind when wedding or thinking of doing so. If it does, then the relationship is not only wrong to begin with, but also doomed from the start. Forever was God's intention, there should be no thought of anything else, for the thought alone is the beginning of the end.

Anonymous said...

I only skimmed Mark's post....my eyes started glazing over at some point....but saying 'single mothers whelp out bastards'..????? Could anything be more derogatory or nasty? (Interesting, it seems these single women conceived on their own, as no mention is made of their male partners. Or are they dogs too?).

Shelf life/age has nothing to do with it. There are many lovely 40 year old women looking for a mate; some life-long singles, some widowed, and some - gasp - divorced. But they're out there, and indeed, the 'market' is oversaturated with mature women looking for a mate. I have to guess Mark's lack of luck in finding one has more to do with his rage at women in general than with the options before him.

Most women (traditional, convervative, feminist, etc) prefer positive, happy, cheery fellows and stay clear of those with major axes to grind.

I married at 19 and consider myself a feminist to this day (almost 2 decades later....). Whereas I know many lovely conservative, traditional gals who still haven't found their mate at 30 or 40. It usually is less connected to values than to personality, luck, willing to take risks, luck, luck, luck.
Tammy

Anonymous said...

When I met my husband his finances were in bad shape and his business was flagging, and it was just window cleaning, earning him very few dollars a week, and he was 36.

However I saw in him excellent potential and skills. With some course correction, encouragement and guidance, he is now a qualified tradesman and can earn what he wants and work 7 days a week if he wanted to.

I am now at home with our babies, not working at all (outside the home LOL).

However in the qualifying years, we lived frugally indeed, and still do, its just my habit.

I found these links for how to live on a $45 emergency menu or a $70 menu (assuming no cupboard ingredients) to be a God send.

These links may just help you too.

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/40dollarmenu.htm

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/70dollarmenu.htm

Anna your post is amazingly accurate and true. A good man with good and mature attitudes, coupled with an encouraging wife, will most likely soar.

Sincerely
Cristina

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

I just have a quick and respectful question. I'm Liz the feminist (posted as Anonymous, but signed my post - I don't have a blogger or other account). I posted a comment yesterday evening (with some respectfully stated anecdotes about my own life, which is structured differently from what one would consider "traditional") that was free of vitriol, curse words, etc. I'm just wondering why a post like markymark's (full of negativity and vitriol (and really quite misogynistic), as several of your posters have pointed out) gets approved, when mine does not. I realize that this is your blog and as such you have every right to censor comments as you see fit. I'm curious what exactly about my post was offensive enough to censor it. Again, I enjoy your writing and wish you the best in your marriage and life in general.
~ Liz

Anonymous said...

Hi MarkyMark

I am saddened that your view of women is what it is. I can only imagine that it has taken much pain and hurt to get that way.

Anna found the perfect mate for her amongst what I suspect were many who would have been unsuitable and not shared her goals for a traditional family life. She did this by talking about what her hearts desire was and meeting and being introduced to possible suitors, until she found a man that shared similar goals. This took effort and care and did not happen by accident.

Couldn't you do the same? Please don't put all divorced ladies into the same tank, some husbands left and abandoned them. There are many men out there with problems too.

Some questions to ask a lady on a date are:

- What does your ideal family life look like?
- What do you think makes a happy home? (Love? Material possessions? A simple but happy life? - the answers could be interesting).
- What are your ideas about loyalty?
- Would you enjoy making a home cosy and inviting?

There are many other questions, and of course, during dating, you would find out many things about the woman by observation.

Does she want to sleep with you out of wedlock? Does she cook at home or buy ready made dinners? Does her place of residence look like a pig sty? Does she have a sweet, encouraging nature, or is she loud and boisterous? Is her idea of a great night being at home with family or out nightclubbing?

Observe, observe, observe !

Don't sleep with a woman before marriage - this can bring out a lot of true nature (and the same goes for the man). Also, premature intimacy can feel like love and commitment even when it is not.

Be chivalrous at all times, forever. Some men are lovely while courting, and then soon after the woman discovers she's married a man who lives for the television and expects his dirty underwear picked up off the floor. Who you are when courting is who you should remain.

Discuss dreams, make sure they are the same, re faith, children, retirement, entertainment and activities, everything.

MarkyMark, become the man a traditional woman would want, and then observe any woman you date and ask the right questions.

A large number of women who write and frequent these traditional blogs are true women of faith. Is this a coincidence?

MarkyMark, as risky as marriage might be, with the right choices and observations in choosing a mate (not necessarily "love/lust at first sight") you could have a lovely help-meet and beautiful children, and a retirement filled with your offspring, and much joy.

Don't give up yet :-)
Cristina

Laura Brown said...

I do wonder if Anna found her eyes glazing over at Mark's comment too (it would certainly be understandable) and inadvertently let it through without fully taking in its contents. Some of the language and attitudes expressed there do not belong on a family blog, in my opinion. And it really seems to me like Mark has more issues than we can help him to deal with. Having said that, some of the responses to him have been very wise.

MarkyMark said...

Ladies,

I cannot possibly address all of you, as I do not have the time; I won't be able to acknowledge who said what; therefore, I shall respond to the points I remember, and I shall try to do them justice.

One, I apologize for the language being harsh, as my intent was not to offend, but to inform. Two, tact & diplomacy have never been my strong points; I've always been called a bull in a china shop. Three, I did state that what I said wasn't directed at the readers here; if I wasn't sufficiently clear about that, then I'm sorry. Finally, I know that you all (the readers) know female friends; I know that they may not read this blog or others related to it; if they cry about not being able to find a good guy, I hope that my comments will be relayed to them.

There is more to this than the usual explanations that are proffered about women finding men to marry. We men aren't trying to deliberately hurt women or anything like that; we surely haven't gotten together to engage in some vast conspiracy. It's not as simple as men not growing up, yadda, yadda, yadda. In a vast majority of cases men, as individuals, do a cost/benefit analysis of the marriage & dating scene, and they come to the conclusion that the risks far outweigh the benefits. Men may not talk about relationships the way that women do, but we do think about them, and we think about them a lot.

Now, to address one point about the importance of selecting for character, there's no question about that. I've made that mistake before, and I've paid for it; it's not a mistake I'll make again should I ever get involved with someone again. As Anna pointed out, many modern relationships start off with both parties having superficial values and practices; is it any wonder that many relationships and marriages crash & burn?

As for living carefully & frugally, I suppose it is possible for a family to live on one income, but it would be EXTREMELY difficult to do so. Where I live in Northern NJ, a 2 bedroom apt goes for $1000/month-minimum. Where I live, that would be considered a GREAT DEAL; that's considered cheap! Can you find places that are more reasonably priced? Yes, but your commute will be longer; with today's increasing gas prices, not to mention increased vehicular wear & tear, your savings are wiped out and then some. I'm not wasteful, and I find it hard to stretch my paycheck just for myself; I can't imagine stretching it for a wife and child(ren) too. One reason I come here in search of ideas to make my money last longer, as Anna has good ideas that we could all use.

@ Laura Brown, I scrolled up and reread your question, and I am in basic agreement. If a husband and wife agree that a traditional lifestyle would be best (and I think it is by a long shot), they both need to realize that sacrifices MUST be made to realize this goal. You asked if a woman isn't willing to make do with what her suitor makes; if the answer is no, then she shouldn't marry him. She's not wishing to be a help mate, but rather looking for a paycheque (you're from Britain, I see). That's a mature, adult outlook, one with which I agree with this outlook wholeheartedly.

Where the problems arise is that there are too few women who HAVE this healthy, adult outlook. I got off track in my previous post, but Anna addressed superficial criteria that men & women have. Men tend to seek out the 'hottest' woman, while overlooking what is on the INSIDE; I see too many men make this mistake. She then went on to say that women tend to focus on whether a man has big wallet.

As a guy, if I had a dollar for every time I got blown off for not having a big enough wallet, I could retire! I know, I know; I realize that I'm BETTER OFF without such a gold digger in my life, as her presence will only lead to heartache. I know that on an intellectual and logical level.

But, on a heart level, that HURTS! That really hurts to be ignored because I didn't have a big enough wallet at the time. For those of you who were ignored by a guy who noticed a hot girl with no character, I'm sure you know how I feel. All I can say is that I've had this happen so often that it seems as if it's normal.

Why don't I date or try to meet someone? I have, but after having been falsely misled countless times, I lose interest. What am I saying? I realize that this doesn't apply to the readers here, but this has happened to me and many other guys.

I and other guys I know will have a woman show interest. She'll smile, be friendly, etc. I don't know about anyone else, I interpret that as possible interest from the female in question; if she seemed nice, I'd FOLLOW UP on her overtures. I'd ask for her number, ask for a date on the spot, something. Do you know what often happens? The gal will say, "Ooops, sorry, but I have a boyfriend," or something similar. Needless to say, men feel that: 1) they were MISLED; 2) after t his happens a number of times, a guy just ASSUMES that this will happen, and he will no longer respond to any woman's apparent overture towards him. I've had this happen to me often enough that I no longer want to bother trying; I really don't. If that sounds hateful, I don't know what to say...

My mom said that dinner's ready (I'm at her place visiting), so I have to sign off. Please remember that, even though you and your friends may be wonderful women, no make that LADIES, that a guy's opinion, feelings, and views of women have been formed by those who've come BEFORE you. If I have time later, I might finish this later. Bye for now...

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

Hello Anna,

This is the first time i have ever felt a need to leave an ~anonymous~ comment on your blog. Places like this are supposed to be a safe place to read, and letting in such an offensive comment as the man above really took that away. I dont even feel safe signing my name right now, becuase that ___ may be a troll looking for other places to haunt. I think your blog is so dear Anna, but i really wish you might consider not letting in the vermin to such a normally sweet and safe place.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Mark,

I think your comment contained some harsh expressions, but it also pointed out more than a grain of truth. That's why I let it through comment moderation, however I will kindly ask you to try and be more gentle in the future. I appreciate your contribution and enjoy hearing a man's perspective from you, just please keep in mind this is a forum for ladies.

Liz,

I didn't let your comment through because I felt compelled to reply to it, and couldn't do that at the time. Now I think I shouldn't have deleted it, but instead should have kept it until I had access to the comments section again.

In general, I try not to give stage to descriptions which might encourage unbiblical family models.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

I really appreciate your acknowledgement of my post and your explanation of why you deleted it.

I realize that I went off on a bit of a tangent with my descriptions of my (un-biblical) home life. My original intention was to point out the fact that there may be more than one path to financial stability within marriage (or partnered relationships). I think exploring different ways of generating income within relationships can serve to both enhance a family's financial security and reduce the intense pressure a primary breadwinner can experience. Economic viability is harder and harder to achieve (and maintain!) these days and I say that as someone who is living a pretty frugal lifestyle (single car shared between two adults, frequent home-cooked meals, with most ingredients derived from a great CSA membership [BTW, how do programs like that work in Israel? Just curious, as I think CSAs are an amazing way for people, city-dwellers in particular, to support local growers and become more connected to our food], no AC, dishwasher, washer, etc.). Please don't forget that many women enjoy engaging careers, step away from full-time employment to rear children, and return to their careers when their kids are older. My own mom did that, staying home with me for almost 10 years, which was really wonderful. She returned to her profession and we now have great conversations about our work (we're both in the education field).

At any rate, I think we can all agree that considering a potential mate's financial status is a sticky subject. I think you did a great job addressing the fact that excellent relationships aren't about sponsorship, but are about partnership. Even though I choose to work full-time out of the home, I wholeheartedly agree that work does not have to be paid labor in the marketplace to be valuable and defined as actual hard work. And there's no denying how vitally important it is to ensure that two people's value systems are very much aligned before committments are made and children are added to a family.

Again, thanks for responding to my second comment. I look forward to your response.

~ Liz

Catherine R. said...

A couple things, one, someone provided a link to hillbillyhousewife.com for their emergency low cost shopping list. I just want to say unfortunately the figures they use must be at least 10 years old because I have never been to a place that sells boxes of mac n' cheese for 25¢. I am not saying this to discourage. I wish someone would make a basic necessities list based on realistic food prices *today*.

Second thing, MarkyMark has several good points. However, his manner is quite cynical and long-winded, but still understandable. I would understand if Anna rejected his comments but I also understand why she approved them...feminism is very powerful and destructive and it's true ugly effects should be displayed. MarkyMark is sort of a casualty of feminism. He still acknowledges that many of us are nice ladies though.

On that note, reading and decided whether or not to approve this large number of comments with focus is something I would personally find very challenging!

MarkyMark said...

Anna,

Please accept my apologies; I'll do my best to respect your wishes, and the wishes of your readership. I could have made my points in a more appropriate way; I could have said what I said in a nicer way. There was no excuse not to do so.

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna & other readers,
I have really enjoyed reading your post Anna and all the comments were very interesting indeed. Mark's original post was deleted but judging from the comments I am pleased I didnt read this but on the other hand his latest comments have been good and very acceptable. It was also very nice of him to apologise for his previous post and to be courteous and more informative and explain about why he wrote what he did - I would say very few men would have done that so for me that was a sign of humbleness and I have respect for him.

Anna I just loved and agreed with your post wholeheartedly and also all the replies given were in agreement and made fabulous reading.

I live in England and I am newly married and not working and havent been for health reasons but now we can not survive on my husbands income especially as he is changing his job to one which pays a lot less than he is earning now. Unfortunately he has to do this as he works as a Baker and has been in the same Company and job for 28 years. The company was taken over 2 months ago to a polish family (I have nothing against the polish) but they have turned really nasty since we returned from honeymoon two weeks ago and are trying to push my husband out. Two members of staff have left and another soon to be leaving and they are employing polish people (as they can pay minimum wages). My hubby is so stressed out that it is affecting our marriage and praise the Lord this job came up with a large supermarket chain that is not to far from where we live. There is much more potential and far more prospects but the hours are less (he works 54 hours a week for not good money anyways) and he will work for 39 hours with this new Employer. Hubby will have to look for part-time work on top of what he is doing now to make up the monies but I am also going to have to look for part-time work just so that we can have a little money to put by and save (this will not be much more than $300 a month) and we have no emergency funds. Our mortgage is almost $1400 a month (Prices in England are much higher as is the cost of living over here more so than America and Canada). We have council tax to pay plus other bills which we cant cover. Any part time work I do will be great and i hope to start up a business working from home. I dont agree with working outside the home but we have no choice for the time being. I also believe that my hubby should be the main provider as this is also biblical but unless God provides a miracle at the moment then I do have to work to bring some income in which will be used to pay basic bills.

I dont know if my hubby agrees with me about being home full time but I would like to show him that this is possible and my job is for me to be a loving wife who keeps the home and encourages and so on. I do have to work even part time but so be it. I dont agree and dont need a lifestyle where by we go on expensive holidays, expensive clothes or cars etc and having lots of money does not make one happy and you can't take it home with you either. I also believe that with both husband and wife working full time can be stressful and you then come home, are too tired to cook a proper meal for your husband, have to do all the chores at the weekends, you dont have much time together and you get irritable and stressed. Then you have to pay out monies for work clothing, travel, find time to make lunches for both of you and a lot more monies can go out. Ok you may be more comfortably off financially but where has all your joy gone, where do you find time for the home, for looking after your husbands needs, need I go on. What is better in the long term? Even by my working part-time, I can still look after my hubbys needs, provide a loving and stable home, keep the house clean and fresh looking, keep his clothes ironed, cook nutritious meals and bake his favourite cakes etc. This to me is far more important. I am looking forward to the time when I can do this full time especially when we have children and I plan on homeschooling as I will not work then but somehow as is now - God knows all our needs and He is in control - even if it doesnt seem like it at the time.

Ok sorry this is so long winded but i hope I have made sense. Excellent post Anna - thank you and I will show your post and comments to my husband and will let you know what he says :)
Hugs
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