Don’t let the title mislead you; I have never viewed the subject as something I “deal with”. The title simply addresses the question I have been asked. After countless emails on the subject, I was finally triggered to address the question following a Facebook thread I happened upon:
My short answer is that I don’t deal with it at all. I have grown enough to understand that if a man defines his value by money alone, he is not someone I want to associate with, at any level. I also believe that nearly everyone has value beyond money, however their failure to recognize it within themselves causes them to be defined by the material.
The sense of competition that surrounds money is something that has always baffled me. I can’t recall a single time where I have measured anyone based on their income, income potential or material possessions. Perhaps this comes from my background; my parents taught me that if I wanted something, I had to earn the money to buy it. Simple as that. I am 40 years old and have yet to have anything handed to me, nor do I think I could accept it if it were. It simply isn’t something I think about in another person, since I have always taken care of myself.
On the other hand, I have also always followed my passions and whims of the moment. I have left high-earning jobs to take lower-earning jobs because I wanted to do that more at the time and have made everything from just above minimum wage to six-figures, all in my adult life. Yes, I like to live comfortably and have always found a way to do so regardless of my income; including when I had part-time jobs at around $8 an hour and periods of unemployment. I have just never cared about money that much, but I do care that I enjoy what I am doing and that my job is emotionally healthy for me.
Considering the above, I am sure one can understand why someone who holds ridiculously high value in money doesn’t appeal to me, or the fact that someone earning more than their partner has any relevance at all. It doesn’t compute.
One thing that I have never been able to communicate is that a man’s passion for what he is doing trumps their level of income. I could give two shits what someone makes, especially if they are able to maintain the standard of living they want and enjoy what they are doing. If I make more money than my partner, I have never understood why that makes me viewed as more of a man than they are. This line of thinking is beyond irrational, reeks of low self-worth and is unfortunately common. It took me years to learn to weed these types out of my associations, but the time spent weeding is beyond worth it, because it then becomes something I simply don’t have to deal with.
Behold my trigger point:
Oh boy; the common misconception that INTJ females are power-alphas who want men who cater to their every whim. My favorite, and beyond inaccurate.
Betas make great friends who enjoy turning to us for advice, but really nothing more than that. Despite our conceived minimalistic and “cold” exterior, we are wildly feminine creatures who seek out an equal partner more than anything else. By equal, I am not referring to income, but equality of mind, power and a masculine balance to our femininity. We don’t do well with dominant alpha males either, so that leaves a very small pool.
Personally, I can attest that if a partner starts displaying signs of having a problem with a woman making more money than they are then it is likely time to move the hell on. For some, it can probably be worked through, but not in my experience. This is often a sign of something much more deep-seated going on, which likely has nothing to do with one’s level of income. A small resentment only gets worse over time and I have no personal knowledge of a positive result.
Also published on Medium.