I have this incredible finance audit job. Since I started four and a half years ago, I have been promoted twice and now have a great salary and staff. My boyfriend is a marketing analyst. He does well, but in terms of salary, I am much more successful than he is. Sometimes I feel like that bothers him. I do work longer hours and travel quite a bit. Maybe my absence is what is weighing on him, but I think it is about salary. I love taking him out to dinner and buying random gifts, but he is stubborn about accepting the fact that I like to pay.
Is it bad that I make more money? What can I do to reassure him that it doesn’t bother me?
More Successful Than My BF
Dear More Successful Thank My BF,
I would like to start by saying congratulations on all your professional success. From the promotions, it appears you are very skilled and career focused. That is something to be very proud of. The important thing to remember is that as a couple, you will make compromise and discover a life together as partners. Yet, you cannot lose sight of the fact that you are two unique individuals. Before you met, you set goals for your future and trained through school and hard work to be successful. Don’t ever doubt that all the efforts you have put in.
The male ego is fragile. It has been for hundreds of years and will be hundreds of years from now. He will feel the pressure of your success and to some degree internalize it. He loves you and thus, he is still be your side. If you get the feeling that he is pushing back or holding back, make a few minor temporary adjustments. Let him pay for a meal or movie and hint at a few small gifts you would like to receive. He will begin to feel that level of male dominance again and feel less threatened by your success. That will create a calming affect on the relationship.
You may have to do this a few times, but he will get more and more comfortable over time.
*If you have a question for Priscilla, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org