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Two-income families- how do you decide which career takes precedence?

  1. googly-eyes

    GOLD / pomelo / 5737 posts

    When I go to work (currently SAH) DH's career is more important. He'll have been there longer and makes more $.

  2. rawrasaur

    pear / 1769 posts

    DHs job/career path definitely dictates where we will live. This town sucks as far as job opportunities go, so it made the choice to be a SAHM easy. I am not opposed to working, but it would have to be a job that I enjoy and is worth my time. In my mind, the job that will provide the better life for us makes the decision, whatever that better life entails - money, schools, city, extended family.

  3. MediaNaranja

    pomegranate / 3244 posts

    My career will take precedence. I am somewhat specialized and we've decided that we will move to wherever it is that I find a job (I just finished grad school). Luckily, he can do what he does almost anywhere, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

  4. Mrs. Champagne

    coconut / 8483 posts

    I compromised for my husband. He got a job offer right out of university (we went to the same school, different programs) so we moved 3 hours away from home two days after our last exam.

    His job for sure takes precedence. Last year he made almost exactly 4 times what I did.. and I have a decent job! He will be making even more in 2 years if he passes the program he is in.

    If we moved somewhere where I could make more, I'd probably only* ever make about $80-100k (in a big city after years of work) which is a lot less than he does.

    I wish it was more equal, but I'm proud of him and glad we made the sacrifice to move here and follow this career path for him.

    *realize this is A LOT. but I say "only" because it's less than hubby.

    ETA: we moved from just outside of Toronto where there are PLENTY of Marketing opportunities (and I know so many people that could have helped me get a job!) to a very small town of 7,000 people. Marketing majors aren't really needed here! I was lucky to find something, but I doubt I'll have any options going forward if I want to change companies.

  5. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    I'd say we both respect each others careers equally and know they are important, but at the end of the day DH makes over 2x what I do. His career is always changing and likely we will have to move as a result of it. For financial reasons it has to come first. However in his most recent job change he took a job in our current town so we could stay close to family to have our LO and I could keep my job. I'm not under any illusions that we will be here forever but I appreciate the sacrifice he made.

  6. Mrs. Lemon-Lime

    wonderful pea / 17279 posts

    Without getting into the why, DH's career will now take precedence. He has a better benefit plan than mine and greater earning potential even if he stays in relatively the same job function throughout his career.

  7. mrs. 64

    nectarine / 2936 posts

    It depends. We dated for long distance for several years including while we were engaged because I had gotten a job in our ideal place and he couldn't find one. It was the height of the recession and we didn't want him to leave the job he had until he had one lined up. Once the wedding rolled around we still weren't in the same place. We toughed it out for 6 more months of long distance before he got a job where I was living. It was incredibly hard figuring out what to do and who should quit their job (if anyone) when we got married. Ultimately the deciding factor was where our family was (near me). We decided to tough it out until he got the job here and thankfully it wasn't longer than 6 months because I probably would have quit my job at some point if it were longer than that.

    At this point, I would say his job is more important. He makes much more money than I do and if only one of us had a job, it would have to be him. I hope they never move him to another office though because I'm not really willing to move away from family.

  8. TheReelDeal

    kiwi / 742 posts

    I haven't sacraficed for my husband. He's a teacher and around here getting a new teaching job is hard, one of our friends has been looking for over 6 months. We are both equally educated and while he makes more now, I haven't even come close to my earning potential. I got a new job without consulting him because I knew moving wasn't an option but I also wasn't going to let that stop my career goals. Do I travel more than I like for work? Yes, but getting paid more helps us both.

  9. ValentineMommy

    pomelo / 5791 posts

    My career takes precedence, even though I would prefer that HIS did. I have a masters degree, and he barely has an associates. Since I have so much more education, I have a muuuuuch higher paying job (and one that is fairly stable). He has been out of work several times, due to being laid off, and I have been able to support the household. If I lost my job, however, we'd be totally screwed.

  10. Bookish

    GOLD / cantaloupe / 6581 posts

    I really love all the responses I'm getting. It sounds like the majority of y'all have had a pretty successfull time balancing your careers, which is amazing!

    I had a long talk with DH about our jobs last night, and he showed a lot more ambition than he has in the past. He has some things he wants to accomplish, so it looks like we will just have to see where the two of us are in a couple years when I graduate. These can be hard conversations to have, but I'm glad I'm having them! And glad to hear from y'all!!

  11. LazyLightning

    pear / 1664 posts

    Whomever has the better opportunity takes precedence. Right now that's my husband, even though I've finished my advanced degree and he still has some left. So his job leads us for now because it pays better and has more opportunity for advancement. If that changed, mine would. Basically whatever works best for our family's long term goals (savings and such).


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