Is it acceptable for a couple to live on 1 income?


#1

Hi everyone, I had asked a question on here a few weeks ago, and I was hoping to get some help again.

I've been dating a girl for about 4 weeks and I feel like she might be the one I marry at some point. It's still early, but I know what I'm looking for and I never felt after a month about someone the way I do this particular time.
I was wondering about whether it's Catholically acceptable for a married couple to live on the income of just 1 of them ( assuming that the 1 person's salary is generous enough to provide for the 2 of them ).

She has expressed that she doesn't see herself for much longer continuing her modeling job as it's not something that doesn't get tiring after you've been doing it for a while. So, my question here is, is it possible for a man to be a good Catholic husband while at the same time totally providing for his wife? Put another way, is it possible for a woman to be a good Catholic wife while at the same time being totally provided for by her husband? If it's a sin for a good Catholic wife to be provided for, or if it's a sin for a good Catholic husband to provide, naturally I'll need to know.

Thanks in advance for your answers.


#2

[quote="johnsmith2025, post:1, topic:244446"]
Hi everyone, I had asked a question on here a few weeks ago, and I was hoping to get some help again.

I've been dating a girl for about 4 weeks and I feel like she might be the one I marry at some point. It's still early, but I know what I'm looking for and I never felt after a month about someone the way I do this particular time.
I was wondering about whether it's Catholically acceptable for a married couple to live on the income of just 1 of them ( assuming that the 1 person's salary is generous enough to provide for the 2 of them ).

She has expressed that she doesn't see herself for much longer continuing her modeling job as it's not something that doesn't get tiring after you've been doing it for a while. So, my question here is, is it possible for a man to be a good Catholic husband while at the same time totally providing for his wife? Put another way, is it possible for a woman to be a good Catholic wife while at the same time being totally provided for by her husband? If it's a sin for a good Catholic wife to be provided for, or if it's a sin for a good Catholic husband to provide, naturally I'll need to know.

Thanks in advance for your answers.

[/quote]

Is this a serious question? Why would it be a sin to provide for one's wife? I am confused.

Of course it's fine to live on one income, if that's amenable to both parties and the working spouse makes enough to cover the expenses. Often times, when children are involved, this is the ideal arrangement, at least temporarily.


#3

Of course it is totally acceptable, provided you both agree to this arrangement (when you get engaged, there are serious questions and issues you need to work out....will she stay home, kids raised Catholic, finances, etc...) and you can afford it.


#4

Of course it's acceptable, provided one income can totally provide and it's what you both want.


#5

[quote="johnsmith2025, post:1, topic:244446"]
I was wondering about whether it's Catholically acceptable for a married couple to live on the income of just 1 of them ( assuming that the 1 person's salary is generous enough to provide for the 2 of them ).

.

[/quote]

is this a trick question?

why on earth would it not be permissible by Catholic moral standards let alone secular standards to do what most of society has done through most of history, having families where the head is also the provider? where on earth did you even come up with this question, the logic behind it fascinates me


#6

You're dating a model? What's your secret? Are you rich?


#7

It’s acceptable, but to avoid problems or hard feelings, you need to hash out your expectations ahead of time. Which one of you is more frugal? Which one of you is tidier? What are sources for hard feelings?

I quit my job to take care of our growing family. DH is far tidier than I am. He sees a mess; I see a project I’m in the middle of. :blush: He’s focused; I need to work on not overcommitting myself and improving my time management. I’m frugal; he can be stingy. At least I’m a decent cook, but he’s so much better at managing the house than I am that I’ve often teased him he should have married another him. But seeing how capable he is inspires me to work harder to overcome my own shortcomings. :slight_smile:

The differences in our skill lead to friction, but I know other couples who have even more friction— the SAH spouse runs around expensive cafes with her social group and doesn’t get anything done, or travels extensively without the working spouse on a perpetual vacation, or blows all their money shopping for junk they don’t need, or whatever. They forget that marriage is a partnership. If one party of the partnership makes a deliberate decision to not contribute financially to the household, will you be happy with what they do decide to contribute to their part of the social contract?


#8

Of course it is.In fact I believe part of our problems may be due to the fact that women are often working and can't spend enough time raising their children.For centuries the woman's place was in the home.Not saying that is always bad for women to work.It can work .But it could be that this society believes that women should work.THis society propagates the idea that everyone should seek to have material wealth.Children aren't viewed as as important anymore.Many think 2 children is reasonable and people with 10 aren't normal.We must get back more to basic values.This world isn't our final destination.


#9

As a father of 5 with a stay at home wife, my answer is YES! Is it easy? Not really, but it can be done.


#10

Been doing it for 23 years...again as others have voiced, why would it not be...:shrug:


#11

Adults need to do productive work if they are able. They don't have to be paid to do it. If you marry and your wife opts not to have a paid job, then she would of course be bound to do something with her time other than amuse herself. That doesn't mean she has to bring in a salary or even that she has to volunteer outside the home, but that there is a limit to how much leisure we ought to allow ourselves, even if we can afford it.

So yes, either of you could opt out of paid work, even before you have children, if you make some good use of your time in the service of Heaven. How the money comes in is up to the two of you.


#12

Yes it's ok. And it's really good. Maybe you two can be one of those families that used to be the norm before weird feminists protested that they wanted to do jobs traditionally left to men [then most jobs] where the parents actually can spend time with their kids for more than a few seconds instead of work, work, work.


#13

Why wouldn't it be?


#14

This is between the couple in the marriage. Whatever works for them is fine, including living on 1 income. But even if that’s the plan, if circumstances change you have to work together to deal with the changes.

BTW, working in the home can be far more difficult, challenging and rewarding depending on circumstances. My ex-wife was a stay at home Mom until the kids were well into school because that’s what we decided to do. We lived within the income I could provide. She had the harder job of being there for the kids which was our goal (not the housework/cleaning). There’s also volunteering, that is, a couple can decide to live on one income so that one can devote themselves to a volunteer effort they’re committed to etc.

The couple has to agree on the finances, how they’ll be spent/tracked. All of our accounts and credit cards were joint and we were compatible financially- trusted each other on minor expenses and talked about anything we considered major (over a specific dollar figure).


#15

[quote="puzzleannie, post:5, topic:244446"]
is this a trick question?

why on earth would it not be permissible by Catholic moral standards let alone secular standards to do what most of society has done through most of history, having families where the head is also the provider? where on earth did you even come up with this question, the logic behind it fascinates me

[/quote]

Not exactly true.... Women used to work a lot more, generally on farms, family businesses, etc. Only since last century had women not had jobs.


#16

My Mother did it for 30 years. I see nothing wrong with supporting your wife. My Dad was a good provider and never resented my Mom staying home. If the two of you have children, the cost of your spouse working needs to be considered. Child care, extra clothing that wouldn’t buy otherwise, transportation, meals out, etc cost lots of $$$. At that point I would figure out income of two minus the cost of the above. Could be she would end up working for very little take home pay.


#17

It’s a great thing for the kids! My two sons have never had to go anywhere when they were sick, I was always able to stay home and take care of them myself and hubby never lost any work time from them being sick. Everything they did, they did with me there. I got to experience all of the milestones and steps and I have all the memories which I am grateful for.

The one thing I would suggest is that your prospective wife find some kind of job interest/career interest that she can do on a very part-time business if you decide to send your kids out to school (if homeschooling, working is more difficult). That way, she will have something she can start up again once the kids are grown and gone. I know, I know, I am going WAY far out into the future, but I never picked anything up and now I’m being laid off as a full-time Mom and I have no idea what to do next!

But I have LOVED being a full-time old-fashioned home-maker, every bit of it. If your prospective wife is the kind to stay at home, you will find this out as time goes on, don’t rush it.


#18

I was a teenager in the 1950s and I well recall that ordinarily wives did not work then. Generally, only the husband worked. In fact, this social norm was enacted in the media, as the early "I love Lucy" shows, for example show. This is not to say which arrangement is right.
I wondered where this question comes from? Perhaps the opening poster has encountered the same sort of people my wife has met. These women were acquaintances, and not even family members. When my wife told them she does not work they don't like it and make it clear that something is wrong in her life. But I always thought that such attempts to intefere in our lives out of line, though unfortunately it gets my wife upset.
The Church over the last two thousand years has never said anything about whether wives should work or not at a job, let alone whether one arrangement or another is sinful.


#19

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