我如何告訴我的新男友我賺了很多錢?


192

我通常對自己的收入很秘密。沒有人真正知道我賺了多少,而且我被教導永遠不要跟朋友談論錢。我賺了我男朋友十倍的錢。他也是專業人士,自己賺錢。我們之前討論過錢,但是我一直都只是迴避這個話題。

他經常願意為這件事付錢,而我卻因為我感到難過而試圖與他打半招,但他有時堅持要因為他是那個傢伙。

我們已經約會了三個月,我不喜歡對他隱瞞任何事情。像本週一樣,我確實與客戶進行了合同談判,這使我感到壓力很大,進展非常順利,我無法解釋所有細節,為什麼我只是必須要含糊其詞。

我最大的擔心是這會改變事情。

  • 如果他對待我與眾不同怎麼辦?
  • 如果他不喜歡我,我的收入會比他多嗎?"男人必須照顧女孩"等等。

我知道我對此可能會反應過度,可能會很好,但我真的很想告訴他有關此事,進展如何以及是否合適的時間。我也不想做很多事情,我只想讓他知道,然後我們恢復正常。我該怎麼辦?

我們20多歲,在英國。

13

Alright, I'm gonna sound like a jerk again, but here we go:

If he's the kind of guy to take advantage of your higher income, you want to know this sooner rather than later. Thus, delaying does not help. Also, if you lie to him for too long, he could get offended when you tell him. I mean, there are many ways he could interpret this:

  • You don't trust him with the money (harmful to the relationship)
  • You don't trust his fragile male ego to handle the fact you earn more (harmful to fragile male ego)
  • He could ask "does this come from previous experience?" for example you had an ex-bf use you as a cash cow, and your cautiousness is understandable. But if you feel an argument coming and blurt a lie about the non-existent ex-bf who used you as a cash cow, then it's a slippery slope...

We've been dating for three months now and I don't like hiding things from him.

You don't like it, yet you do it, thus you must have a reason. Find this reason and you will have your answer, I can't read your mind from here.

What if he treats me differently?

What if he treats you better because he's proud of having an amazing GF?

What if he doesn't like that I earn more than he does? "Guys must look after girls" and all that.

"Looking after girls" isn't just about money, it's all the little details. For example after that stressful contract negociation I'm sure a backrub would have been nice.

You seem to be the type to like being in control, to care about your career and be proud of your achievements. I strongly advise against bossing him around at home because you make more, though. If you're a successful manager at work, drop the role at home. Just relax.

I know that I'm probably over reacting to this and it'll probably be fine but I am really stressed about telling him about this and how it will go and if it's the right time.

Well, you're intelligent, so you think a lot, which can lead to overthinking and thus no decision. I think you should tell. The more you wait, the riskier it becomes.

I don't want to make a big deal of it either, I just want him to know and then we go back to normal. How do I do that?

So, how do you tell? Well, there will be that embarrassing moment when you tell. You've already told important things in company meetings, board of directors etc, I presume, so just say "I'd like to tell you something." After he flips out thinking you're pregnant, spill it.

Avoid any phrasing like "I wasn't sure how you'd react" (=lack of trust) I'd instead suggest something more positive like "I was afraid to hurt your pride, or that you'd think I'm your boss or something."


95

If he's the type of person who will treat you differently once he knows, it might be good to know this sooner rather than later.

You say,

He often offers to pay for things and I try to go halfsies with him because I feel bad, but he sometimes insists because he's the guy. [emphasis mine]

I suggest that you take him out to dinner. Nowhere above his pay grade but someplace nice.

If he is insulted, do you want to continue this relationship?

If he is pleasantly surprised, and you want to continue this relationship, tell him after the dinner that you can easily afford it. Until you're ready to make a full commitment, you need not tell him more. If he insists, you can either tell him (I would) or say politely, "It doesn't matter." His reaction to those things will also inform your decisions about your future.


4

I believe the working assumption you want to have is that he has some idea of your income if you have told him what you do for a living.

We, boyfriends, are generally competitive and like to keep abreast of what the ballpark income is for various roles and professions, and the rough differences between salaries and contract rates.

On that basis I recommend you say something like.

You know how I do x for a living! Well quite frankly I make a ridiculous amount of money doing that so how about from time to time you let me buy dinner?

This may open up the way to have a more intimate talk about money in general and future plans.


248

As someone who has been the boyfriend in this scenario, tell him. I can completely understand your concerns but you need to find out sooner rather than later.

What if he treats me differently?

He might, and you need to know as soon as possible. In my situation the person had the same career as myself but had some spectacularly lucky (wise?) investments so I really had no indicator of the difference in our earnings until she told me. I was relieved. Some of her spending decisions prior to telling me seemed risky at best, after I understood her situation better they made a lot more sense. The good thing here was that she told me about it quite early on, it didn't feel like she had been keeping a secret, it was just something that hadn't come up. If it was two years in before she told me then I think I would've felt hurt. Not only this but let's say he reacts poorly, is jealous or emasculated by your success. Do you really want to find out after you've invested more time into the relationship?

What if he doesn't like that I earn more than he does? "Guys must look after girls" and all that.

I'll be honest here, and I realize it doesn't reflect well on me. I'm the "Guys must look after girls" type of guy. Pulling chairs out, paying for dinner, and all that other slightly sexist although hopefully slightly chivalrous stuff that is frowned upon these days. This didn't change after I knew the difference in our earnings. I never paid for dinner because I thought she couldn't afford it, I paid because I liked her and I'm maybe not good at directly discussing my feelings so: "here is some food, I hope you get that this means I like your company". As to this part:

What if he doesn't like that I earn more than he does

Good, you found out early that he's a boy, go and find a man for the time being. On the other (and more likely) hand he probably won't particularly mind, He didn't think you were on the edges of poverty before you started dating.

A couple of things I would note:

  • There are some people who would dislike you simply because you earn more than a certain amount, I imagine you would already know if he held that view but it is perhaps worth considering.
  • Letting him "in on a secret" might be a good way of telling him. This way you're showing trust in him, and can explain why you don't want other people to know.
  • trust between two people takes time and effort. Giving him more trust will make it easier for him to reciprocate. Having shared secrets can be fun.

This was longer than I intended and a bit meandering.

Tl;dr: Tell him, waiting holds no benefit.


9

Your question was "How Do I Tell", not whether to tell. If you tell, you risk not being received well and that is unavoidable.

I think the way is to preface it with what you DO want, and without complaint or bragging. In your own words to fit your real situation:

"I like you, I think we have a relationship going and I want it to continue. Until now I've avoided talking about my job and my pay with you, I just don't do that casually. My job is in contract negotiations between businesses. I've been doing it for years and I love it and I am very good at it. So that is a part of my life we haven't discussed, and really I keep it very private and I don't want people to know. But now that we are getting on so well, I don't want to hide such a big part of my life. Or my pay. I earn about half a million a year doing this job. I hope that kind of money doesn't change a thing about us."


3

I am a guy (30) living together with my girlfriend (27). Our salaries are about the same, but she inherited a huge amount of money and properties a few years ago. We manage to treat it as it is: it's her property, I don't do anything for this. We halve our outgivings for household, car and entertainment. I don't believe money could ever cause problems in our relationship.

Just be honest. If he cannot handle it, consider it as a sign.


0

Invite him to something (great seats at a ball game or musical, expensive restaurant, river cruise, skiing, etc.) that is outside his price range and when he balks tell him not to worry about it, that it is your treat because 1. You want to go and 2. You want to go with him and it won't be any fun without him. He'll act surprised and you can mention that you make xx dollars a year so it isn't a problem. Don't make a big deal out of it.

This allows you to stroke his ego while delivering the news while avoiding comparing your salary to his. Stroking his ego is important because regardless of his position on feminism, he is likely to worry that you will think less of him because he makes so much less. And, even if it doesn't seem to bother you now, he may worry that it will bother you eventually. So making it clear that you see your earnings as a good thing for the two of you is important.

Also, I wouldn't ask questions like "does that bother you" unless he really does look bothered. He's likely to be surprised, and he may take a moment to absorb it, but unless he looks angry or really upset I don't think you should make a big deal out of it. What you want to avoid is making him think that you think it is a big deal. If the guy is husband material he won't care if you don't care.

If the guy is so old-fashioned that his pride won't adapt to dating a woman making more than him, you'll lose him eventually anyway so you may as well get it over with.


7

The first observation to make is that you're placing a lot of weight on the money thing when there's no practical need to.

You both earn comfortably more than you need from the sound of it. This question should only be an issue if :

  • One of you was relatively poor (or actually poor)
  • Your boyfriend has his ego attached to his wallet

The first one would be important as a simple matter of practicality.

The second reason is something I'd find unacceptable in a person I was in a relationship with, but YMMV. It would, in your case, make money a source of tension in a relationship and I doubt it would work out if he was like that.

I make about ten times what my boyfriend does. He's also a professional and makes good money himself.

An obvious suggestion is to tell him the same way he told you the same information.

Or a simple remark like "Just so we're being straight with each other, you told me your pay and you should know mine." Glass of wine over dinner, waiting for the meal in a restaurant.

We've discussed money before but I've always just avoided the subject.

Why ?

He often offers to pay for things and I try to go halfsies with him because I feel bad, but he sometimes insists because he's the guy.

I see no problem here.

If he was poor or on welfare or something that would be different. There is simply nothing to worry about in your or his case.

We've been dating for three months now

A drop in the ocean of time, believe me.

and I don't like hiding things from him. Like this week I did contract renegotiations with clients and it was stressing me out and it went so well and I couldn't explain all the details why I just had to be really vague.

Based on this I wonder if you actually do feel comfortable with him.

A life partner is someone you share everything with. You seek comfort from them. You expect support. Not being able to say "Jeez, these contract negotiations are driving me nuts !" and vent to him is a sign of not trusting him. Maybe he's not someone for the long haul if you feel that way.

My biggest fear is that this will change things.

Everything changes something.

What if he treats me differently?

Easy. Dump him.

He should not be dating your wallet and if it's a problem now it's better to dump him after a short time than after you become deeply invested (emotionally !) in the relationship.

What if he doesn't like that I earn more than he does? "Guys must look after girls" and all that.

Then he's an idiot. Dump him. Quick.

And call me. :-)

I know that I'm probably over reacting to this

Yep.

and it'll probably be fine but I am really stressed about telling him about this

Again I suspect you have a sense that his ego will be in the way.

But hiding this will simply get you both deeper involved (presumably) and if it's a problem when you announce it, e.g. a year from now, you'll be even more hurt than you will if you do it now.

Get. It. Done.

Let the cards fall where they may.

Because they will anyway.

and how it will go and if it's the right time. I don't want to make a big deal of it either, I just want him to know and then we go back to normal. How do I do that?

Normal ? Never heard of it. Normal is whatever works for both of you and doesn't cause you or your loved ones harm. That's pretty broad.

But I wonder what's not normal about your current situation?

We're in our 20s, in the United Kingdom.

You are kids. :-)

If it works out, you'll look back on this in twenty years and laugh.

If it doesn't, you won't remember his name in five years. You probably don't believe that, but I bet there are a lot of older people reading this and nodding their heads. :-)


44

I am usually very secretive about my income. No one really knows how much I make and I was taught to never talk about money to friends. I make about ten times what my boyfriend does. He's also a professional and makes good money himself. We've discussed money before but I've always just avoided the subject.

This is awesome. Perfect! This works well for friends, family, boy/girl-friends, weirdos, and strangers. Unfortunately, if you're going to share your life with this person then, well, the income is part of your life.

Alright here we go. Totally double standard activate!

He often offers to pay for things and I try to go halfsies with him because I feel bad, but he sometimes insists because he's the guy.

Let him. Let him buy. Right or wrong us guys were taught that we should be able to provide. Doesn't mean that you need him to survive financially, but he will still feel that he should be able to provide. Again, it's not about having to provide; it's about ability to provide. Heck I still feel the urge to whip out my debit card when my wife and I are out, and it's a joint account.

We've been dating for three months now and I don't like hiding things from him. Like this week I did contract renegotiations with clients and it was stressing me out and it went so well and I couldn't explain all the details why I just had to be really vague.

RED ALERT!! RED ALERT!!

Why have a boy friend if you can't share your feelings. If it's just for sex, then there are names for that, but it's not boyfriend. If you can't share your feelings then you're in trouble. Yes three months is still new, and yes you have to let a little crazy out at a time, but you should not be in a position where you have to hide feelings. There are so many more fun things to hide.

My biggest fear is that this will change things.

Change is constant. Get over it. I know that's not nice, but it will change things. It may be for the good; it may be for the worse. But change is change.

What if he treats me differently?

If you like the new treatment, then look at dresses and cakes, if you don't like the new treatment then look at new boyfriends. Simple. He is not the only man on the planet. There are others.

What if he doesn't like that I earn more than he does? "Guys must look after girls" and all that.

What a guy wants

It really makes me surprised how many girls don't know what a guy wants. We want essentially 3 things.

  1. Sex - That's easy.
  2. Emotional Balance - Shhhh it's a secret, but we have feelings too.
  3. To be needed. This is the one you risk toying with. She doesn't need me, she can buy her own happy meal. Well most guys know there are more than a few ways to be needed. So you don't need him to be able to afford your cup-o-noodles. Make him feel needed in other areas. Pick one. Try to keep it simple. "You're the best handy man, best problem fixer, you keep me sane and stable, that thing you do in the bedroom is amazing, You order the best pizza." It doesn't matter. If money is the only way he can feel needed, then it's time to move on.

Side Note

When we choose who we date, most of us guys choose women that we know can take care of themselves. We still want to be the take-er-care-er-of-er, but how many times have you heard a guy go, "Wow I want to date that homeless chick, she has big knockers and could really put a strain on my wallet!"

Side STORY

I make 5 times what my wife does. She makes awesome money as well. Guess what happened. Sure as water is wet, my business hit a snag and we lived off her income for 6 months.

Now we are stronger for it, but back when we were dating, we discovered that she was better at getting the deals, I was better at doing the negotiating.

We looked at aspects of "money" and picked what we were stronger at, so that the "us unit" could be stronger at all aspects of money.

I know that I'm probably over reacting to this and it'll probably be fine but I am really stressed about telling him about this and how it will go and if it's the right time. I don't want to make a big deal of it either, I just want him to know and then we go back to normal. How do I do that?

Then just drop the bomb.

  • "Lets go out and celebrate."
  • Pick a place that you would normally go, one that is in his price range so he doesn't fudge his pants trying to figure out how to deal with it.
  • "I'm so excited. I finally closed the Publeys deal. Man that signing bonus is going to be nice. I mean 50k in one day. I usually have to work at least a week to get that."
  • Expect a bit of a jaw drop.
  • Let him pick up the tab for dinner.
  • See what happens.

Obligatory warning

When I talk about guys I mean most, normal, good, men. Not the rotten ones. There are plenty of bad men. Also keep in mind that the notion of good and bad is based in culture. Though I feel that the info here is generic enough to count.


0

Another possibility: He already knows (or has a general idea). This could be a good thing (as in, he's already the great guy he appears to be, even knowing), or (and I don't want to sabotage anything here) maybe he's a gold digger. I don't know what the warning signs are for that, but you might want to learn them and look out for them.


2

I don't know if its typical, but as a UK male, I wouldn't have any concern if my partner earned more (and right now, they do). Your boyfriend might not have an issue even though stereotypes say it should be different.

First off, good question and yes, openness is best. Also if you are fairly self-dependent, and you have a partner who will find it hard to handle, you need to know sooner than later, to make good decisions about your future relationship. So does he. And might as well get it out in the open sooner. Work around any discomfort earlier. Works well all around.

A good approach is to be up front, which sounds like it will suit your style. Don't make a big deal of it yourself, or it signals it is a problem. Tell him that you want to be open, and discuss incomes and money, and emphasise what you've said here - its practical but not relational, I like you not our earnings, and if we have more than we need, it might be important some day.

A good way to approach it is that the extra gets you both extra security. Emphasise that (or if) you think about your extra income as security - to save or out into a pension, not to flaunt, or in case you, your mother/father, husband or child in future needs expensive care.

So if (say) he earns 20k and you earn 60k, instead of emphasising who earns more or how much more, emphasise this means if you live together you can both contribute 20k to the household budget, and also put 40k into an emergency fund, pension, healthcare, childcare, a slightly better house, a holiday, or whatever. That way the extra is a (joint?) bonus beyond everyday expenses, and for everyday expenses, you are pretty much equal and can contribute on equal terms.

(There's a twist to this: at any time one of you might get ill, in which case the past savings and the income of the other may be crucial, whoever earned it. So look on it as a common resource and present it as one.)

I'm in the UK and in UK culture this may work well.


2

The old stereotype is generally wrong. Men admire successful women, because contrary to feminist propaganda, we are quite aware of the fact that life is not all roses for a woman and success in business doubly so.

Men do, however, value clear, direct communication. Don't toy around with him. Clearly say what's going on. When you think that it is slightly too much in-your-face, that is probably exactly right.

The tricky part is that you've already kept this from him for some time. Not enough that it can't be saved. You have two ways out:

a) the direct, honest one: "Dear, there's a secret I want to share with you. I don't tell this to many people, and I didn't tell it to you so far. But we've been dating for three months now, and I think you should know that I actually make more money than it seems. Much more. $x last year to be precise."

b) the less confrontational one: Wait for or create an opportunity. For example when you talk about your week, mention that hard negotiation and let the talk naturally glide towards how much it was for. When he mentions that that's a really great deal, mention that you are lucky to make such deals routinely, and btw. it didn't come up yet but you make $x a year, give or take a bit.

One thing that won't work long-term is to keep it a secret. The later you tell him, the more serious the message of "I didn't trust you".


1

Several valid answers have already been posted, but I believe this is a decent alternative:

Let him enjoy being a gentleman

You mention that he has a good income, as such it should not put him in significant financial difficulties to treat you to dinner and spoil you in different ways.

Personally I would be very surprised if he does not enjoy it, and you should be able to enjoy this too.

You may not need it financially, but this should not prevent you from enjoying the nice little things.

Be open, but don't rub it in his face

Ofcourse it is very unhealthy to keep secrets. So if he shows interest in this field it is definitely best to share information.

And even if he does not actively ask, it is probably good that he gets a bit of an idea that you have such a good income that you don't depend on him financially. (And thus that he is in no way obliged to treat you.) Probably he can easily deduce this from your lifestyle, but if he really didn't seem to get it yet, you can of course buy something crazily expensive for yourself to give a hint.

However, if you were to mention that you earn 10 times as much as him, it is very likely that he will be somewhat intimidated. So unless he actually wants to know, I would not start talking figures too soon.

For reference: A friend of mine has parents who have been happily married for decades, but don't share their income information.

Beware of social differences

Because the difference is so large, you should be aware that it may possibly lead to some difficulties.

  • Different kinds of friends and family
  • Different tradeoffs (fly first class? Buy a new car/house?)

To avoid surprises/conflicts here, I would make sure that he is at least somewhat aware of your financial position before you run into these kinds of more serious issues.


Finally a practical tip: Assuming you have resolved the issue around 'secrecy', a way to aim for the best of both worlds could be to let him treat you for many little things, like dinner, whilst you chip in for the bigger purchases, like a car or a house. That way he can spoil you a lot, whilst all money is put to good use!


1

The other answers provide a lot of good thoughts, but here are two things I think you need to understand and proactively discuss come from your primary questions:

What if he treats me differently?

He probably will. His understanding of you and your life will change, and this will necessarily change how he interacts with you.

A large percentage of relationships fail due to financial issues - not necessarily lack of money either, but how it's being earned and spent.

You will have to decide together what the "rules" are for your incomes and how they'll mingle as you two become closer, and this should be a high priority discussion frequently as your relationship changes.

What if he doesn't like that I earn more than he does? "Guys must look after girls" and all that.

This is going to rear it's head in several ways, but one big one is that he'll realize he's been doing activities, and going to places that he may feel are beneath your standards. He'll feel bad even if you explain that you don't expect more from him.

Probably the best way to head this off is to explain that you are frugal, even though you have a high salary you don't spend it on luxury. Explain that you've enjoyed all the time and outings you've had with him, and they are perfectly in line with the lifestyle you already lead, and prefer to lead.

He may feel the need to contribute, even if it's financially difficult for him. So your desire to lighten his load, while well meaning, may not be possible depending on his personality. Some men won't mind being the sugar baby, but this is something you'd have to approach carefully if it's a possibility you'd like to consider.

That said, a frank and open discussion is clearly needed, and if you are willing you might want to better understand his trajectory and desires for his life and then see if together you can accelerate his path. It could be that he's just a little education, or a few good networking events, or a series of job hops away from making a much better salary and placing him on more equal footing to you.