I’m unsatisfied that my master’s degree holder wife earns only $600 per month

By Duy Tran   April 3, 2024 | 06:28 pm PT
Despite her master’s degree, my wife initially pursued an online business venture that yielded minimal profits before transitioning to a remote role with a company, where she earns VND15 million (US$600) monthly.

My wife and I got married six years ago and have been residing with her parents since our union, given my parents’ residence in a more rural setting. With an age difference of eight years between us, we are parents to two young children aged two and five. As sole children in our respective families, we are poised to inherit our parents’ homes, relieving us of financial pressures.

I earn a monthly income of VND30 million, which is entrusted to my wife for the management of our household expenses. Residing with my in-laws, our primary expenditure is food, and thanks to my wife’s effective financial management, we have succeeded in saving funds.

Yet, my contentment is marred by my wife’s approach to her professional life. After our marriage, she chose to stay home and manage a small-scale online business, which did not prove very lucrative. When I suggested she seek employment to augment our finances, she voiced concerns about our children’s young age and the incapacity of her elderly parents, then 80, to provide all-day care.

I convinced her to consider childcare once more when our children got older, so that she could seek employment, but my wife remained hesitant about leaving them. She had faced challenges in securing work and ended up employed in a remote capacity.

I have repeatedly encouraged her to explore more rewarding opportunities at larger firms, arguing that her earnings are insufficient for a holder of a master’s degree. She countered, highlighting the young age and frequent illnesses of our children, which would necessitate frequent absences in a conventional 9 to 5 job, and stated her current position offered the most favorable conditions.

My doubts about her justifications stem from observing female colleagues at my workplace, who, despite having two children, manage to secure substantial incomes effortlessly. I thus perceive a lack of drive and ambition in my wife, attributed to her comfortable familial background. In addition, I believe she could earn more if she desired, especially with the ample free time afforded by her current remote job, during which she even finds time to engage in physical exercise.

Another issue is a shift in my wife’s demeanor towards me post-employment, influenced by interactions with her coworkers. Previously, she had undertaken all domestic chores and child-rearing responsibilities, recognizing my exhaustive work schedule from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. However, now, under the influence of her colleagues and siblings, she suggests I participate in household tasks such as ironing, cleaning, and engaging with our children.

I have firmly communicated that given my salary’s superiority, it’s only logical for her to handle home and child care duties exclusively, or alternatively, increase her income to afford domestic assistance. I consider her expectations of increased contribution from me, against her low earnings, as unjust.

Furthermore, her choice to dine out with coworkers, leaving our children in their grandparents’ care and neglecting meal preparations for me, is particularly irksome to me. When confronted, she defends that these outings are infrequent, contrasting with my regular social engagements.

This evolution from a partner committed to my care to one I perceive as neglectful has left me frustrated and disapproving of her associations with what I deem as meddlesome individuals.

What should I do now?

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