DEAR ABBY: I must respond to "Confused Young Woman in Love," who wonders whether a relationship can work between a man and a woman who earns significantly more than he does.
It most certainly CAN. I have been blessed 10 times over by a loving husband who made less than half what I did when we married. Today, eight years later, he's a stay-at-home dad, and I am the income provider.
My husband and I were both comfortable with who we were as individuals when we met. Our marriage has grown, and our love and commitment have deepened despite not only the income disparity, but also other areas of difference in our lives.
The ability to bring in money for the family is important, but not nearly as important as cultivating a loving, nurturing, supportive environment for yourself, your spouse and your family. That ability comes from the heart -- and is not dependent upon how much money a person makes. -- BLESSED IN DENVER
DEAR BLESSED: I agree. And many other couples will attest to that. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I make substantially more than my husband -- about 30 percent more. You know what he thinks? He thinks I deserve MORE.
We are a team. Our incomes go toward supporting our family, and the more either of us makes, the better.
Were I that woman, I wouldn't hide my income, but neither would I bring it up. If he's the man she thinks he is, he won't care about her income when he learns what it is. Or, if it does bother him, he won't let it affect their relationship. A real man will get over it. -- CATHY W. IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR CATHY W.: That's true. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: Yes, it is possible to have a good relationship when the woman makes more money. I am a successful professional and earn a very good salary. My husband is an artist. He makes very little in the way of money.
When we married, relatives on both sides of the family predicted we would be divorced within two years. Ten years later, we are still together and the naysayers are the ones who are divorced. I have a wonderful man who happens not to be rich in money, but he is rich in the inner qualities that are the most important. -- BEEN THERE IN CANADA
DEAR BEEN THERE: You have your priorities in the right order, and I commend you for it. Thank you for the input.