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  #1  
Old 06-25-2020, 10:51 PM
DaisyF92 DaisyF92 is offline
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Smile Income Disparity Between Partners. How do I navigate vacations and finances?

Hello. This will be my first post. I’m Daisy!

So I’m in a bit of a tough spot.

I have been with partner A for 6 years now and we are basically married (will likely be really married soon). We live together and share finances. We don’t make a lot of money, but have always been happy because we are frugal. I’d say between the two of us, we make about 40k a year combined.

I have been with partner B for about 2 years now. They spend a lot of time at our house and the goal will one day (I’m hoping) be to Get married and all live together.

“Problem” is... partner B makes about 60k a year By themselves and is in track to up that to about $65k pretty soon. Partner B LOVES to travel and book weekend or week long trips every now and then, often inviting me along. Sometimes to Europe or Latin America. And I love going! We just stayed at a very nice cabin resort for the weekend and it was perfect.
However, they never really invite partner A along and this makes me feel a bit guilty. I know partner A would like to go on trips every now and then and unwind, but we just can’t afford it.
I don’t expect partner B to pay for partner A, but I often feel guilty or that it’s unfair of me to have all these nice vacations with B, while A and I can’t afford one. I can sometimes tell partner A is a bit envious.

How do you handle such a large income disparity while keeping both partners happy? Partner A mentioned to me yesterday that they think my partnership with partner B is so glamorous and cool and their life with me is boring in comparison. That made me feel bad. But I still do enjoy being treated to these trips every now and then. I’d love to travel even more if I could afford it.

I feel bad, but whenever I encourage partner A to go back to school, or look for more steady work, they always have an excuse and in truth, don’t really know the meaning of working hard. ( I am in school for finance so will be making around the same as partner B within a couple years).

B works very hard for their money and loves to spend and enjoy it. I just hate feeling so guilty for enjoying it with them and not including partner A.
I do try and have affordable and special events with A as well. Well do a picnic in the park, or have a shopping day, Go camping for a couple days or have a night out. I fear it isn’t enough to keep A satisfied and happy by comparison.
Any advice?

Last edited by DaisyF92; 06-25-2020 at 11:05 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2020, 11:41 PM
Inaniel Inaniel is offline
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My advice is to stop feeling guilty.. Is Partner A going out of the way to make you feel guilty? If not there is no reason to fret. You and Partner A can travel too, even if it must be in a different way… For now encourage Partner A to be happy for you and enjoy the opportunities you have.

I am in a similar situation. My Wife makes about 40k a year, both my girlfriend and I have six figure salaries. When the relationship with GF was blossoming we went on a lot of trips together, however I didn’t let that stop me from traveling with Wife because traveling is a priority for her. You can travel on a low budget, in fact some of my best travel memories were made with Wife back before we made hardly any money at all!

This won’t really apply to your relationships, however I will share how we manage our money to give you an idea of how at least one polycule is finding success… And you never know what’s possible if Partner B and Partner A end up developing a closer relationship.

Currently Wife, GF, and I cohabitate, and consider ourselves a family. Finances got complicated as soon as we moved in together and we eventually settled on an approach based on income burden. When it came to large expenses like the house we normalized the ratio of what we pay by the burden it has on our paycheck. We developed a ratio that would burden each of our income at a fixed percentage. So say we each pay 10% of our individual incomes for the home, the actual dollar amount is different for each of us (because we obviously have different incomes) but we each still have 90% of our incomes to do other things with. For assets such as the house, the dollar amount we each pay corresponds to the individual ownership shares of the home defined in a tenants in common agreement. We did this so my wife was not disproportionately burdened by the expensive house we bought, as a consequence her ownership share is lower.

Over time we started using “the ratio” for more things, particularly expenses that involve the whole family. This enables us all to travel together without disproportionately burdening Wife’s income (That means her trip is partially subsidized by my GF and I). This method works for us because we care more about inclusiveness and shared experiences over money and we are all quite happy with the arrangement so far.

We should have a thread about how poly members manage finances. I think it would be a fascinating read.
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  #3  
Old 06-26-2020, 12:23 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
However, they never really invite partner A along and this makes me feel a bit guilty.
Why? Guilt implies you are responsible for something you did that is bad.

Partner B isn't obligated to offer partner A trips.

Quote:
I know partner A would like to go on trips every now and then and unwind, but we just can’t afford it.
So it is a personal limit. And it may take longer to save up for trips on that side. It's not anyone's fault. it's just Life. Some careers pay more than others. People have to deal with their budgets.

Quote:
I don’t expect partner B to pay for partner A, but I often feel guilty or that it’s unfair of me to have all these nice vacations with B, while A and I can’t afford one. I can sometimes tell partner A is a bit envious.
Slow this down. Are you saying this?

1) You believe everything in your relationships should be exactly the same or else it isn't "fair."

2) You think to yourself that is not ok to enjoy nice vacations with partner B. Because Partner A doesn't have any.

3)And thinking all this makes you feel bad.

Is that how it goes? If so, could change your belief that both relationships have to be exactly the same.

Quote:
Partner A mentioned to me yesterday that they think my partnership with partner B is so glamorous and cool and their life with me is boring in comparison.
Could not take Partner A's feelings on board for yourself.

Could ask them why partner A talks down about themselves like they are boring.

Could ask them if they need reassuring that you are happy being with Partner A.

Quote:
I feel bad, but whenever I encourage partner A to go back to school, or look for more steady work, they always have an excuse and in truth, don’t really know the meaning of working hard.
So basically they don't want to change anything about their job or finances? That's ok. You could leave them to it. Let their stuff be their stuff.

Quote:
I just hate feeling so guilty for enjoying it with them and not including partner A.
I think you could let that go. Your two relationships do NOT have to be exactly the same.

Like if you were dating a single person without kids... those kinds of dates would look different than if you were dating a divorced parent where room has to be made for children, right?

Would you sit around feeling bad about that? Or accept that each relationship has it's own things?

Quote:
I do try and have affordable and special events with A as well. Well do a picnic in the park, or have a shopping day, Go camping for a couple days or have a night out.
That's nice.

Quote:
I fear it isn’t enough to keep A satisfied and happy by comparison.
Why is it your job to prop partner A up? Or rescue them from their feelings?

I think you could detach a little bit. It's not a hinge's job to be doing everyone else's emotional management for them.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 06-26-2020 at 12:27 AM.
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  #4  
Old 06-26-2020, 02:27 AM
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vinsanity0 vinsanity0 is online now
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This is something I've never had to worry about because all my relationships are separate. There is no inviting along a partner's partner.

Just do with each one what they can afford to do. Money doesn't mean a whole lot, hopefully. I mean, hopefully you aren't comparing the two based on that.
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  #5  
Old 06-26-2020, 04:20 AM
DaisyF92 DaisyF92 is offline
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Hi Galagirl,

Yes I suppose I do believe in 1,2, and 3.
My worry is that since I’ve been with partner A for so long and they are my fiancé, they will want to close the relationship if they see too much of an imbalance or if they start becoming depressed. I wouldn’t put up with them asking me to close, but it’s not a point I want to reach.
A has asked once if they could come along on a trip and I said we couldn’t afford it, but I would ask B If they’d be willing to splurge. Unfortunately B got a little annoyed and said they couldn’t afford to take another adult to Europe, but a smaller trip in the future would be ok.
B already contributes lots of money to the household in the form of groceries and B gives A pretty expensive bday and Christmas gifts. I feel like A wants me to push harder to get and to invite them along, but I just can’t stomach it.



I guess not everything has to be equal, but partner A has started to feeL bad when I’m in trips. They can’t sleep, cry sometimes, and feel bad in general. This isn’t something I want to happen because I do value both relationships the same. If I could afford to bring A along, I would offer on occasion, but I just can’t.
And Vinsanity, no I am not comparing the relationships. I want them both to be happy. It just seems that what makes B happy (travel With me) ends up making A unhappy and feel bad about themselves. The trips are important to me because since A and I live together, the only real alone time I get with B is when we do week or two long trips abroad. I think alone time is important for growth and connection... and while A has had me all to themselves for 4 years, B had never had that opportunity so I try and make up for it how i can.

Just tired of feeling guilty... I guess I shouldn’t though.
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:39 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyF92 View Post
Yes, I suppose I do believe in 1, 2, and 3.

My worry is that since I’ve been with partner A for so long and they are my fiancé, they will want to close the relationship if they see too much of an imbalance, or if they start becoming depressed.

A has asked once if they could come along on a trip and I said we couldn’t afford it, but I would ask B if they’d be willing to splurge. Unfortunately, B got a little annoyed and said they couldn’t afford to take another adult to Europe.
!!! OK, this is a bit shocking to me. You live in the US and felt pressured to ask one partner to take the other partner to Europe??

And you say, "unfortunately" B said no. Gosh. That took balls, even to ask. I could imagine it made B feel like they are expected to be a sugar daddy to someone who isn't even their own partner.

Quote:
... but a smaller trip in the future would be OK.
That is generous. $65K a year isn't really all that much money, especially if you're paying off student loans, or saving something in an IRA or something! Or maybe putting something aside for a future child's education. Whatever. No adult needs to spend a thousand or much more on their partner's partner (or whatever tickets, hotels and food would cost abroad)!

Quote:
B already contributes lots of money to the household in the form of groceries, and they give A pretty expensive b'day and Christmas gifts. I feel like A wants me to push harder to get and to invite them along, but I just can’t stomach it.
A sounds like a leech. I have a really strong aversion to this kind of entitlement. A is lucky to get expensive gifts for birthdays and Christmases. My meta doesn't buy me gifts at all.

You say A doesn't know the meaning of hard work. Are you getting fed up with their low income and lack of ambition, not to mention this idea his meta should take him along on expensive trips...? It's not like B is making $250K a year!

Quote:
I guess not everything has to be equal, but partner A has started to feel bad when I’m in trips. They can’t sleep, cry sometimes, and feel bad in general.
I'd say, let A feel bad. If they break up with YOU, or start to fuss about going mono, just because you get to go on trips, that shows their character. Ideally it might motivate them to work harder and start earning more so they CAN go on fancier vacations. Asking B to gift A would be counterproductive!

Quote:
This isn’t something I want to happen, because I do value both relationships the same. If I could afford to bring A along, I would offer on occasion, but I just can’t.

And Vinsanity, no, I am not comparing the relationships. I want them both to be happy. It just seems that what makes B happy (travel with me) ends up making A unhappy and feel bad about themselves. The trips are important to me because since A and I live together, the only real alone time I get with B is when we do week or two long trips abroad. I think alone time is important for growth and connection... and while A has had me all to themselves for 4 years, B had never had that opportunity, so I try and make up for it how i can.

Just tired of feeling guilty... I guess I shouldn’t though.
Feeling guilty because your partner is whiny about not being able to afford trips, while they don't do anything to earn more money, is a problem. Maybe A is using YOU. Maybe you are letting A use you. Look inside yourself. Why are you enabling this behavior?
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  #7  
Old 06-26-2020, 07:21 AM
SEASONEDpolyAgain SEASONEDpolyAgain is offline
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Personally, I couldn't go for fantastic vacations abroad while my nesting partner sits at home because we can't afford it. I wouldn't be accepting these gifts that I cannot contribute to in the first place. Not regularly. I'd want to be able to have my own spending money and be able to pay for things myself and if I can't do that, I don't have the money to be there.

It just isn't the type of partner that I am.
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:15 PM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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Murf and I have been on many nice vacations as Murfs treat. Murf has no children, has not had any big health issues (where I have jad 6 surgeries on 5 years) and is very very frugal the rest of the year.

Butch has been envious but he just deals with those feelings. I do not rub it in with stories about where I went and what I did.

On the other hand Butch and I do a lot of kick ass local stuff. We go to amusement parks, the Renaissance Faire, Highland Games, day trips all over. Murf gets upset by that because he works every other weekend and etc. I remind him he chooses not to do these things in his spare time because he either wants to save money or is wishy washy about going.
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