real life

"I gave up a six figure salary for my husband."

I made my husband’s dreams possible.

His ability to “have it all” is built on the back of my sacrifice. We chose to move to a place that allowed his career to blossom and mine to stagnate. We chose to have a family, a decision that ended up impeding my ability to find a job. We chose these things together, but they did not come without a cost… one that was paid mostly by me.

Before anyone passes me a tissue or lights a torch in my honour, I want to point out that I am NOT a martyr. I didn’t spend those “investment” years crying in a corner or suffering in silence. I got to live abroad, which had always been a dream of my own. I took advantage of the luxury of financial stability and very affordable childcare to explore some smaller dreams — running my own business (without needing to make a profit), getting to know my children, creating my blog and writing for fun. None of these things would have been possible had I stayed on my 60 hour-a-week, fast-tracked career path I’d been on before we settled down.

I gave up my six figure salary
“His ability to ‘have it all’ is built on the back of my sacrifice.” (Image: Facebook- The Nomad Mom Diary)

But as much as I can play around with imaginary numbers and try and put a price tag on my experience as a sacrificing spouse, the actual losses from four years of virtually no salary cannot be overlooked. Over half a million dollars in earnings — not potential earnings, but the real, total of four years of paychecks at my pre-baby salary — this is the true cost to me (and to our family) for putting my husband’s career dreams at the top of our list. Four years of bonus checks I would have otherwise received and stocked away in my bank account to spend however I wanted.

When the topic of the wife bonus topic came up recently, as distasteful as the word is to many, I couldn’t help feeling a little bit of camaraderie with those women, especially the one who wrote this article. Just like me, that woman walked away from a well-paid gig when her husband got a great job offer. Now I would never call my husband my boss (not even while under an anesthetic), but I would absolutely agree with her that I earned some chunk of my husband’s bonus check.

i gave up my six figure salary
“Splitting the household chores and child-related responsibilities are all part of the day-to-day task we opt into when we get married and have kids.”
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Why bonus check and not regular paycheck? In our case, the regular paycheck went into covering all of the regular things — mortgage payments, food, clothing, childcare — and a little slush fund for savings. But the bonus — the one time of year when his employer said, “Hey, thanks for going above and beyond, for giving us 110% this year and doing more than the job description required. Here’s a little extra money for you to spend as you see fit,” — I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be given equal consideration. Splitting the household chores and child-related responsibilities are all part of the day-to-day task we opt into when we get married and have kids. But big sacrifices like the ones I made — giving up a career and a fat paycheck of my own — well, those deserve a little extra recognition. Calling it a bonus and making it clear that it is mine further underscores my right to spend it as I see fit.

SelfiewithDaughterLynnMorrison
In our case, the regular paycheck went into covering all of the regular things — mortgage payments, food, clothing, childcare — and a little slush fund for savings.” Image: Facebook- The Nomad Mom Diary

How much money I got in a bonus and how I spent it is nobody’s business but my own. And if you don’t think that my sacrifices earned me that money, you can STFU. I made my husband’s dreams come true, and that is worth some money.

(Read more from Lynn at The Nomad Mom Diary and on her Facebook page.)

This article was published on Huffington Post. It has been republished here with full permission. 

For more on relationships, check out these:

Don’t eat the last cookie. And 5 other tips for a happy marriage.

Would you road test an open marriage for a year? Robin Rinaldi did.

The brutal ‘marriage CV we wish we’d written.

‘I’ve had three marriages and not one of them was a failure.’

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