My Husband Does Not Make Enough Money

My Husband Does Not Make Enough Money

5 Steps to Inspire Him to Become More Prosperous

Just think--by the time you’re done reading this, you’ll know how to inspire your husband to be more prosperous. Click To Tweet

What I’m going to share with you is powerful, whether he’s out of work, retired, or just under-earning.

But it is not at all obvious. In fact, it’s completely counter-intuitive. At least, it was for me, and has been for many of the women I’ve worked with.

It took me many years to figure this out, and even when I did, it was hard to believe.

But now that I’ve seen it work–not just in my own marriage, but in thousands of marriages all over the world–I can’t deny that it’s ridiculously effective.

The results I see are husbands starting businesses, or growing their businesses, and getting promotions—three in one year, sometimes––or winning sales contests and getting raises.

And it was all because their wives took this scary, but enormously gratifying, approach.

Step 1: Stop Talking About It

If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried telling your husband that he needs to make more money, or that things are tight, or that you think he’s capable of making more.

Or you’ve suggested things he could do to get more income, or job changes he should consider, or asked him if he’s ever thought about going back to school.

You’ve tried being encouraging about it.

As you already know, none of that works.

In fact, just like jealousy, it has the opposite effect, which I explain here.

First my husband made less, then he made nothing as I continuously hinted, reminded, nagged and urged him to find a way to earn more income.

It all sounded like complaining and criticism to him.

That’s because it was.

Trying to explain or show him how to make more money is the same as saying, “You’re not very capable.” That is a sure way to create a lot of resentment and tension in your relationship.

So the first thing to consider is not talking about how you want him to earn more.

He already knows anyway.

Step #2: Focus on What You Have (Not What You Don’t)

Wanting my husband to make more money was actually a colossal distraction from another problem I had, which was that I worried about money. A lot.

And by a lot, I mean it was my hobby. I might as well have subscribed to “Financial Fear Weekly” or “Debt and Disaster Daily.”

Of course, it’s not that fun to think about all the ways financial disaster might strike, but that didn’t stop me.

My fantasy was that my husband would make more money and that would put an end to my unfulfilling pastime. If we had a certain amount in the bank, or paid off all the debt, or had a particular income, THEN–and only then–did I believe that I could stop fretting.

That was my logic, but it turned out to be backward.

I had feelings of financial insecurity because I focused on them, and what you focus on increases. I was focused on what I didn’t have, so I never had enough. That’s just how life works.

The only person who could change that was me.

I had focused on how much I lacked, which made me lack more, and then I wanted my husband to defeat the laws of the universe by somehow making me feel abundant.

It simply wasn’t possible. There’s plenty of money in the world, but there was never going to be much in MY world because of how I thought.

I thought my husband could fix me by providing more, even as I stifled that possibility with my incessant worrying.

What actually fixed me was the only thing that could fix me, which was making a different choice about what I focused on.

Choosing a policy of focusing on what I had instead of what I didn’t have by making a daily gratitude list for all the abundance I was enjoying in the moment was a great first step, and I highly recommend it.

You might notice as you’re making your list that you write something like, “I have food in the fridge,” and the next thought is, “But we won’t pretty soon if we don’t get some more money!”

That’s okay. That’s gonna happen at first.

Just let those thoughts fly by and stay focused on what you have. That’s the key.

Step #3: Decide to Trust Him

Besides what I was saying to my husband about how he needed to please find some way to bring home more money, I didn’t trust him to handle our family finances.

I felt I should do them, as I was positive that I was much better at doing that than him.

Except that I was wrong. He handles them now, and it’s much better for us, both financially and in terms of the connection in our marriage.

Lots of things got better when I decided to hand over that chore and demonstrate through my actions that I trusted him to do well.

People tend to rise to your expectations. My husband definitely grew, felt the full weight of the responsibility for our finances, and got the inspiration to start a successful business.

I’ve seen the same thing happen for lots of other couples where the wife found her faith instead of acting on her fear.

I know there are probably dozens of reasons it doesn’t seem like a good idea to let your husband handle the finances. There were for me, too. But mostly, I was just used to being afraid we would run out of money.

One woman who was a CFO for a $40 million private school took five years to take this leap, but when she finally did, her husband stepped up and doubled his business and bought her a brand new house. She quit her job and went back to school.

What would happen if you did the same thing?

Step #4: Honor Your Desires

Here’s a critical element of this approach that some women skip, but that’s like leaving the spaghetti sauce out of the spaghetti.

If you know money is tight, you may have a tendency to dial back your desires, to squish them down so they go away. They bubble up and you tell them to get lost because you think there’s no money for that.

That never works. All you’re doing is cheating yourself out of the things your heart yearns for, and also cheating your husband out of the opportunity to provide them for you.

Instead, consider honoring those desires by stating them to yourself and to him. Maybe you want a vacation, or a bigger house or a newer car.

Maybe you want to cut back on your work hours, or to buy some new clothes.

Whatever it is, the more you acknowledge them to yourself and to him, the more inspired he’ll be to want to get them for you.

That’s because what motivates and inspires husbands more than just about anything is being able to make their wives happy.

I know it may not seem like that at your house right now, but keep in mind that he may be defending himself from your inadvertent criticism. I know you didn’t mean to demoralize him, but that’s what happens when you encourage him to make more money.

Once he sees that you think he’s smart and capable again, that morale will improve and then his drive to please you will be back in full swing.

That’s why it’s so important to know what you yearn for and express it to yourself and others. Not that you’re expecting anything—you’re just hoping.

Step #5: Express Your Gratitude to Him

Your husband contributes to making your life more abundant and easier everyday. I know it doesn’t seem like he does enough, but he does do some–and that’s what you want to focus on, because the next step is to appreciate him.

Making your list of things you’re grateful for (step #2) is going to serve as a way to keep your focus on what you want to increase, and it will also help you express your appreciation.

His contribution may be really tiny. Maybe all you can come up with is that he made the coffee or he took out the trash. Maybe he drove one of the kids somewhere, or picked up cereal at the store.

Those are all good things to appreciate about him.

Whatever he contributes to the family financially is also worth appreciating, because what you focus on increases.

For the sake of your family’s prosperity, consider experimenting with these five steps in your relationship to see what emerges. You might be surprised at how rich you feel.


One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and lots of other women who care about having amazing relationships, be sure to click here to join my FREE private Facebook group.

95 thoughts on “My Husband Does Not Make Enough Money”

  1. After 3 months of applying the skills and relinquishing control of the finances, my husband switched jobs and increased our household income by 25K per year! I now thank him everyday for working so hard, so that I can be available to our kids. Before that, I’m not sure I had ever said thank you, for the work he did, in our entire 9 year marriage!

    Thank you, Laura!


  2. Hi . I’ve being receiving your emails and I have to thank you. About this particular issue, I have many questions . Does it work the same for remarried couples ? My husband and I got marry 2 years ago and both of us have family on our own . Kids r adults already but sometimes I feel like we r not in the same page when we talk about financial situations . Shall we put our money together ? We are both Christians .

    • Tharis, Only you know what’s best for you as you’re the expert on your own life. I can say for me I put a high value the intimacy in my marriage, and I find this has brought us financial intimacy. I love feeling taken care of this way.

  3. Laura, I really love your advice, and I’ve read two of your books now, I tried to implement this one of the intimacy skills, but hit a roadblock when my husband outright declined to do it. I asked him and he said he didn’t want to. So I guess I’m asking, what now?

      • I guess I could, but I’m a big chicken! It didn’t go too well last time, lots of tears on my side. I guess I just don’t know how to express my desires, I fear the repercussions, based on our past interactions. In the midst of our latest argument my husband told me I don’t come to him and tell him what I want, I only come to him with arguments…. 🙁 I guess in some ways he is right…

  4. Gosh, what a refreshing and lovely article. I have been in a negative thinking spiral the last few days, judging my beloved man, and doubting him. I have plenty of justification for this doubt too!!!
    Reading this article put me back on track. When I have historically followed the principles you just laid forth I am always amazed at how abundant life feels, and how much my lens quickly changes to seeing all the ways my man shows up. And you are right, nothing pleases him more the knowing he has made me happy. Your work is so empowering and helpful, a breath of fresh air. Thank you.

  5. Hi!
    I started implementing the steps and so far it might slightly b working??? I have asked for money upfront and been refused . Fortunately, after two years of nagging and waiting, it seems as though my hubby will look to making money to support us…. ( I cutback to work halftime ) He seems so aggravated about the situation but at the same time more masculine.
    I suppose I should keep my nose out of pointing out good investments….so far all my effort has been futile.

  6. Hi Laura, such a good article, I can see if I do these things which I sometimes do and then forget, it will be so good for our relationship. My problem is slightly different. My husband is very controlling and suspicious of me, for no apparent reason. Seriously I don’t know why he is like this! Any wrong step or look from my side to the opposite sex and that’s it! (He imagines alot of stuff I think) He’l be on may case and I just can’t take it and so I’ve just come to the point where I’m like Yeh I looked at him what u gona do about it!?(when I haven’t)but what I’m trying to say is that I’m not gona justify myself anymore, because I know how faithful I am, so what do I do:-(

    • Hannah, Sorry to hear you’re having to deal with so much unwarranted jealousy from your husband. It feels awful to be wrongly accused on a regular basis.

      Although I see how your problem is different than mine, I notice that your blog comment is mostly about your husband, and I know for me when I was focused on what my husband was and wasn’t doing, it never got me the connection and security and peace I was looking for. It wasn’t until I took my energy and focused on my own paper–my attitude, my words, my tone, my happiness–that things got a heck of a lot better.

      It can be tricky to do that by yourself, I know, so if you’d like more support you might consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to uncover the best move for your relationship. You can do that here:

  7. Hi Laura

    With regards to this specific intimacy skill, (relinquishing control on finances), how does this play out when the husband wants the wife to be (somewhat?) in charge of the $$, or he specifically likes to have dual responsibilities on the bank account? In my case, my husband is super laid back about finances, I am the one who is terribly anxious and nudgy about it. He wouldn’t even have a clue of the situation if I didn’t mention it to him.
    I will admit, that after reading your book, I stepped back alot in this area, but dont get the feeling that he appreciates me stepping back, or whether he has just come to rely on me…this plays out in other areas also, not just finances.

    • Rachel, You sound a lot like me! One woman recently shared that as she was saying “Whatever you think” to her husband a lot he said to her, “You keep saying that and now I’ve had to start thinking!” That’s my experience too. Nature abhors a vacuum. If you don’t want the job, you can resign.

  8. What do I do if I don’t like my husband but do not want to divorce since we have six kids together and I do not want them to suffer?

    • Rena, Sorry to hear that your marriage has become so unpleasant. I admire your commitment to your kids! Since you are committed to staying with their father, consider experimenting with The Six Intimacy Skills to see how that effects things at your house. It will definitely make your husband more appealing. I lay them out step-by-step in The Empowered Wife, and you can read a free chapter here:

  9. My husband lies through omission. He says he’s working late but fails to tell me-at the bar. That he only spent so much on something when in actuality that was the price for the lower end stuff and he bought the higher end. He’ll book trips for himself with zero conviction, to which I say good for him!(o could actually learn from him to have that state of mind) unfortunately, when it comes to the desires of my heart, there just never seems to be “enough money “. All I get is promises that get pinned in the wind never to be remembered by him again! In my marriage “what is good for the goose is NOT good for the gander”. You say not to expect but have hope. What do you recommend when Hope is lost?

    • Paloma, That sounds really disappointing. I remember my husband used to be afraid to tell me things because he knew I would be mad and yell at him. Once I became safe for him to be himself, he became more forthcoming. Have you read The Empowered Wife? It lays out the Six Intimacy Skills, which will be life-changing for you. You can read a free chapter here:

  10. Hey, Laura! I continue to find so much value in your teachings. Someday I want to be able to do your coaching because even though I have a wonderful marriage, I am always working to keep it that way and I wish I had a coach for all of the little questions. For now, can you advise me on how to handle a situation where hubby hates his job and is miserable and talks about wanting to quit every day? This is not possible until something else is lined up, but he feels stuck and like there are no options for him. How do I support him?

    • Kaya, I remember when my husband was miserable at work and I was miserable too because I listened to him complain about it a lot. So that’s no fun. I don’t know that he needed my support, but I sure needed to limit how much listening I did to the complaining. These days I’m always reinforcing how strong and capable he is, and how grateful I am for all he does to make my life easier. His job is not on my paper. Now he has his own business and he seems a lot happier. Coincidence? Perhaps…

  11. Hi laura thankyou again for a great post, money is an issue for alot couples, people seperate over it
    What to do in a situstion where hubby repeatedly gets into debts over expensive cars and hobbies and i have to work my butt to clean his mess
    He has been in debt so many times i cringe when he talks about another loan

    • Lisa, Sorry to hear about the financial stress at your house. Is your husband managing the finances there? That changes everything, in my experience. Why do you have to clean his mess?

  12. Yes, i love my husband, he is sweet, and we pool the money and he manages the finaces, but every 6/8 months he comes to me saying we dont have anymore money, i think alot to my self(we would have money if u hadnt xyz) but i dont say anything, suck it up, pool more… It has happened uncountable time
    My only solution without arguing or disrespecing him would be to keep secret money, but i find the idea disloyal..
    But i might end up doing that
    I dont know how it’s going to work in the long run

  13. I considered saying please find a way on your own because i cant do anymore than i am already, and then risk loosing home
    but i find that too selfish because now its our problem as a couple, regardless of where he irresponsibly spend our money

    • Lisa, I can remember doing the same thing–it’s very stressful. But my husband started taking much more responsibility when I stopped being Mrs. Fix It and I let him solve his own problems while reflecting that I trusted him to work it out. I’d love to see you get some support around this. Consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to connect with one of my coaches and determine the best move for your relationship and your finances. You can do that here:

  14. Thankyou laura,
    I always find my answers when i reflect back to your book and I buy the book for my friends working to make their marrige better.
    Thankyou again

  15. Hi Laura,
    Just wanted to thank you for writing your book and bringing goodness to the world with it. Although I have just started trying to b surrendered I can see ome change in my situation. Please continue your good work!

    • Yes, she speaks on behalf of sooooo many of us on the net who run to our emails looking for only your stuff. 🙂 Thank you dearly for your lifework. We love you too much.

      • Thanks, Lisa, Ali and Jenny! I’m grateful that I get to do this work, and it’s because of you that I get to do it.

  16. Laura,

    I really enjoy your articles and have successfully applied your advice to my marriage, but I have difficulty with letting my husband handle the family finances. I work and he stays home and takes care of the children. I make enough to comfortably support us, but he would spend any money we have in the bank if he had control. He does not believe in savings accounts, college funds, retirement savings, or life insurance, so no money would go to that. Any suggestions?

    • Skylar, That’s a difficult position you’re in. Sounds like you’re handing the finances now, so one question I have for you is, how do you know what your husband would do if he had the full responsibility of handling the finances for your family? People respond very differently when they know they are truly responsible.

  17. Hey Laura!
    Is a wrong for the wife to handle the finances? My husband appreciates me doing them, and I also enjoy doing them. I am a hairdresser, but went to college for a few years of business finance. I often times wish I could have had a career in that area! Managing our families finances is very rewarding to me.
    However, I do make more than my husband and this bothers me sometimes. I feel like it isn’t fair to “require” your husband to earn more than you do though. Every career provides a different salary. Of course I would love if he made more money…who doesn’t want that?! But this expectation might be unrealistic? What are your thoughts?

    • Rebecca, Of course it’s not wrong for a wife to handle the finances. You’re the expert on your own life and you know what’s best for you. I hear your pain around earning more than your husband and I felt the same way until I relinquished the finances and started focusing on my desires and receiving graciously from him, and that’s when he excelled and I felt much more taken care of. I wouldn’t trade that now. If you wanted to experiment with it, you would find out how capable your husband is.

      • Hey Laura!

        Thank you so much for writing me back. I love your perspective. I really would love to think more about my true desires and actually receive those from him. I have always had to take care of myself and allowing someone that vulnerability is hard for me. My husband is a lot more capable than I give him credit for. Do you recommended any other articles on this area of finances?

  18. Hey Laura what you said seems very difficult and yet right. I have a question. My husband is very very forgetful. He frequently asks me to remind him of things or just forgets to do important things in general. I feel I have too much responsibility and no longer want it. I want to let go of it, but I wonder how good of a partner in am being if I don’t take on the responsibility for something like the budget that I may be more skilled in naturally.

    • J, I can relate to feeling like I had too much responsibility and that my husband was forgetful. That was exhausting and lonely. I also thought I was better at budgeting than him. I’m happy to report that he’s great at it! I was suffering from a superiority complex, which kept me exhausted and lonely.

      I’m pleased to say I’m a much better partner now that I’ve given up that particular responsibility and the superiority complex. Neither of us would want to go back to the old way. Of course, that’s just my experience. You know what’s best for your relationship. It might be fun to do an experiment though and see how it goes.

  19. Hi Laura. I read through this blog and I plan to implement and see how it goes in the next few months. I see that you give advise to some women here who relayed their problems to you.
    I hope you can give me some insight as I am about to share my situation with you.
    In the past 4years my husband had 2different jobs which he would come home quite frequently complain of his work/colleagues/how tired he was. The last job he had he quit without telling me, until the next morning when I questioned why he wasn’t getting ready for work. I was sad and disappointed at that moment because that meant again he would have no income and be idle. In my opinion he has entrepreneur mind and always have ideas for businesses, which he always confide in me and honestly most of the time I dismissed the idea for different reasons, mostly due to risks involve. My husband had tried 2different businesses in the past 3years. I supported him, our household expenses and his business through my 9am-5pm job. I think I make a good 6figure/year salary. I have been doing all our book keeping throughout years. He always says that he doesn’t need money, even if he has money he would give all to me. He has no money no savings to his name. And just recently his joint business venture didn’t work out, he decided to withdraw to which I was supportive throughout the ordeal. He had voiced out that he would be looking for jobs and for us to cut down anymore loses as we are expecting our firstborn in few months. The problem is that now there is an offer for him to joint venture in a smaller scale business with a promising idea (I think) and he starts to feel excited. I have mixed feeling about this. Since the past business ventures our financial stand hasn’t improve at all.
    I honestly do not know what to say/think. On one hand I do want him to venture and go for it. I do not want him to have any regrets. On the other hand, I am worried about our financial situation especially with our little one on her way. Honestly I am also tired of supporting him financially. I feel resentful that I have to work 9-5, support him financially and no freedom of my own time. On days that he felt down he had the option to stay home and not tend to his business. I am not a feminist. I am a traditional woman who values man being the breadwinner and head of a family, unfortunately I do not feel that my husband is so. I have nagged and spoken on the subject very gently and lightly but most of the times we ended up upset of each other.
    I have expressed my resentment/feelings to him. I have told him of my unsupportive financial stance in this new business offer. He did feel awful for not contributing financially and had gone to find his previous employer to look for a job immediately. I feel bad but am I being selfish for wanting to have financial stability? Do you think I ask to much? Should a wife’s support be limitless or borderless?
    I want to be able to appreciate and respect my husband like how I looked up to him when we first met, but I realized that the more dependent he is on me financially the less respect I have for him.

    • Praying Wife, I can see why you’re so tired of being the bigger earner. I hated feeling pressured to make enough to pay the bills. Of course it’s normal and appropriate to want financial stability, especially when you’re pregnant! I couldn’t understand why my husband wouldn’t be more ambitious and focus on making more money. But looking back it makes perfect sense that me deciding what he should do was never going to work very well. People like to have autonomy over their own lives, and husbands are people. The steps in this blog above are a great starting point for you. If you want more support, you would find working with one of my coaches very valuable. You can apply for a complimentary discovery call to find out about that here:

  20. Hi Laura,
    Just came across your advice, very helpful indeed. Just to share my experience and need some insights from you too. I was a type A personality as well but my husband didn’t want me to work because he said I was putting too much pressure on myself and also on him. I would vent my frustration and anger on him because he didn’t make enough for both of us. Now that I had quit my job as were preparing ways for me to conceive , I can see that he started to really take up the responsibility to provide though there were some restrictions on the budget. We lack of nothing so far but we seem to be a lot more careful of every dime spent. Now the only problem is that he have not found any job that pays enough for our savings. Expenses perhaps yes, but when come to savings, we don’t have any. I am now thinking of going back to work, what do you think? Or shall I grit my teeth and wait? Also sometimes, I had to use my savings to cover some etc emergency spending like car maintenance and what not. Just very in doubt if we’d can live like this in the long run.

    • Jen, I hear you–I know how scary it is to turn over control of the finances and to feel that financial insecurity. I love how you acknowledge your husband for taking responsibility and providing for you, in spite of those fears! And how you’ve been willing to trust his thinking. I also acknowledge you for your willingness to relinquishing control of the finances. That is advanced surrendering that takes many of us years to even consider! It’s definitely no fun to track every dime. For me, relinquishing financial control has meant NOT depriving myself or worrying about how every dime is spent. If that kind of freedom is what you want, I have an upcoming free webinar you’ll love. It’s called How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it here:

  21. Hi Laura:

    I love your advice. I’m a little stuck at how to implement it in my situation. We’ve been married for 6 years. We’ve always kept our finances separate; we don’t even have a joint account. We manage our own. I make much more money than my husband; more than 3 times more. I therefore pay most of the bills; mortgage, all utilities, house insurance, property taxes etc and he covers all car costs, food, and internet. I do get frustrated with him because he seems to work all the time (he has his own business), hasn’t increased his income, has debt that is not lowering and refuses to look at what the problem is.

    I try not to feel frustrated, but I can’t seem to help myself. We fight about this a few times a year. He refuses to take any advice; check credit rating, get line of credit to pay of credit card debt, speak to people in the same line of work and see what their doing and even when I’m not giving any advice and showing my appreciation, it doesn’t change anything. We are now talking about retirement and I sometimes wonder what the point is?

    • Anya, I can see why it’s frustrating that he won’t pull his own weight or take any advice to change. It sounds challenging to trust him financially when you’re so successful and he appears to have taken little initiative here. Considering that disparity, I’m in awe you for being so courageous and receptive to my approach. I was terrified to try these steps myself, but the result was greater intimacy, feeling like we’re dating again, not to mention him taking more initiative and becoming more successful. I want that for your marriage too. I know it’s possible to leave the fighting behind and inspire him to become more of a provider. I’d love to give you further support to help you get there. I have a free webinar coming up called “How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life.” You can register for it here:

  22. I nag him because I feel like he’ll be complacent at this low paying job and keep it out of convenience despite having an MBA. He says he will look for something better and that this is just to bring in a paycheck but he also said he should give this place 6 months since they are spending time on him. I didn’t like that thought at all. The company is used to being a springboard for people looking to go higher. I am worried we are mismatched in financial goals and dreams. I like finer things and he’s less maintenance but tells me wants to be well off one day. He comes from a wealthy family of high earners and future inheritance too but living so poor atm off my teacher salary was never where I wanted to end up. All I can think about is divorcing him despite the fear and pain of leaving him. I can’t figure out if his plan is too vague for his career.

    • Christina, I hear how scary it is to trust your husband’s professional choices. I admire you for reaching out for support and exploring alternatives to leaving him. I love your awareness and your commitment to your marriage.

      I totally relate, as my biggest fears have been financial. I did not think I could trust my husband to earn enough and often told him so. That became a self-fulfilling prophecy that only fueled my fears further. The 6 Intimacy Skills have turned thing around so my husband soon became Mr. Moneybags! Complacency gave way to him taking initiative in his career.

      I would love to empower you to inspire your husband to live up to his potential in a way that actually deepens your intimacy too. I invite you to my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at

  23. Hi Laura
    I have been with my fiance for 3 years now, in these years, he has been retrenched for about a year, the minute he went back to work he saved up and ensured to propose and prepare for marriage as we are in a couple of weeks. Problem is the same as everyone on here, I get paid more and therefore feel more responsible for the finances. We been going to premarital counselling but it does not seem to have had an effect on him. I nag, a lot and have realised that, thats the problem, even my late mother kept telling to just keep quiet sometimes. I am honestly scared that if our attitudes do not change we will not have a great future. He used to be supportive and romantic but over the past year or so I have seen a more laid back guy who seems to enjoy hanging out with buddies than listening to his nagging eife to be. I know he loves me, he is very loyal but sometimes I wonder if its enough. Being so independent all my life has seen me taking care of many people and getting myself into so much debt with no assistance. I know I need to change but scared that its too late. I feel like he is relaxed in his business cause he knows I can support/ help him when things go south, I honestly dont believe in this dream of his cause he is not showing any ambition towards it. I think I let myself take care of him too much before marriage and worried that this has set us up for disaster.

    • Annabelle, it sounds scary that you’re starting to see these changes in your relationship. I can see why you’re fearing disaster. I hear how much you want to be your best self and make your upcoming marriage work. Congratulations! I really admire your awareness and your beautiful vulnerability.

      I was certainly not ready to give up responsibility for the finances early on. Fortunately, there were plenty of other ways to get back our intimacy first. I was a first-class nag and saw my husband retreating further and further from me. Counseling only seemed to make it worse. Then I found the 6 Intimacy Skills, which made my marriage playful and passionate again.

      I can’t wait for you to have that too. I’ll show you how in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at

  24. Hi so back in 2014 i had to let my husband do the finances because i was pregant and very forgetful..however he messed everything up with in two months. Stuff was shuting off and bills were not getting paid on time. We had to take over $500 from family to pay our house payment. I am exactly like you and i find my self stressed out about money. Its 2017 and i am so scared to try again..i mean our house, credit score and everything is at stake.

    • Natalie, it does sound scary to relinquish control of the finances after your husband messed them up in only two months. I hear you! I really admire you for even considering taking this step.

      Financial surrender is a graduate-level skill that worked best after I had a firm foundation in the 6 Intimacy Skills. Once I got the support to transform my marriage, I was then empowered to relinquished control financially too. My husband started to take even more initiative, and I got to feel provided for and like we were dating again!

      I’d love to give you the support to see if it’s a good time for this step in your marriage. I invite you to my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at

  25. Hi Laura, reading your advices is like a confirmation for what I have to do to face similar situation at my marriage n family finances. My question would be have you ever thought of walking away and leaving your husband when things get really tough in the finances?

    • Stephanie, I love your openness to seeking financial intimacy. From your question, I hear that it must be a tough situation. I definitely considered walking away! But I’m so glad I didn’t. What I didn’t realize then was that I had the power to inspire my husband to be his best self when it came to the finances too. He started earning more and became more successful than ever after I started practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills.

      If I can turn this around, I know you can too! I’ve found applying the Intimacy Skills in finances to be most effective when the Skills are practiced in other areas of the marriage. I’ll give you that foundation in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills.

  26. Please don’t get me won’t, but wouldn’t it have been even better if you had taken a step up to shoulder the burden if financial responsibility with your husband.

    Maybe I feel this way because I’m the husband and my wife doesn’t want to work. Even though I earn enough for both if us to live a good life, I’d still like my wife to work and contribute financially. Especially since we don’t plan on having kids. Am I wrong to expect this?

    • Srijith, I love that you are supportive of your wife and such a good provider. It sounds frustrating that she doesn’t want to work when you would like her to contribute financially. To clarify, I’m not advising all my readers to quit working. In fact, I find that the 6 Intimacy Skills empower women to find their purpose, which often leads to more success in their careers. That has been the case for me too. If you’d like to inspire your wife to try the Intimacy Skills to find her purpose, check out my blog post for husbands.

  27. Interesting article but what if you think you make decent money and your wife is never satisfied and only focuses on material things… ie wants a bigger house, a new car, vacations and stay at home so she doesn’t have to work, otherwise she’s miserable and my fault. What if she’s focused on impressing her friends and facebook more than enjoying the comfortable lifestyle we have and being grateful for our two wonderful kids?

    • J, yikes, that’s a tough place to be! I’m sorry to hear that your wife seems more concerned with impressing the Joneses on FB than on gratitude for your family. While I coach only women, I invite you to check out my blog article for men here about how to turn things around with your wife.

  28. This is exactly what is happening in my relationship but flipped. My husband wants me to be like him. A money hungry go getter and make more money than I currently do and continue to strive for more but I am not like that. This is one of our major issues that are leading to a divorce. He wants to be able to lean on me financially when he needs to and he can’t. He loves the lavish things in life but family and time together is more important to me so the strive for more money isnt there like it is for him. I have a full time job but I dont have as much income rolling in as he does. I also feel that a change a career isnt in the cards for me. You need time and money to go to school to get a degree to get a good paying job and I just dont see me being able to do that nor do I want to take time away from the family, take out school loans and be exhusted all the time. Please please help

    • Elizabeth, I’m sorry to hear that your husband’s expectations around your earning are causing such a rift. That is painful to have conflicting values and not be accepted as you are.

      I thought my marriage was hopeless because my husband and I were too different. With the 6 Intimacy Skills, my husband cherishes me as I am and wants to support me.

      I want that for you too! I’ll show you how in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

  29. Hi Laura
    Thank-you for this article and the work you do. My husband makes slightly more than I do, but the problem is that he is self-employed and works only three days a week. I have a lot of resentment over that. I feel that if he worked five days a week or worked a different job, we would be more comfortable financially and I wouldn’t have to worry so much. The other thing I resent is that he spends his two days off on himself for the most part. He exercises, gets haircuts, shops for himself. He also helps around the house with outdoor work and does the laundry. I have no time for myself or any alone time. Although I am grateful for what he does, I find myself holding back on affection due to my resentment. When we first met he seemed so ambitious and talked about how much he wanted to make, have a big house, go on vacations, etc. But very quickly he settled into a contentment with a very modest existence but I feel like he did a bait and switch on me. I love our life but this resentment doesn’t seem to go away. I feel like I was lied to and it’s hard to get over.

    • Benning, I can see why you’re feeling resentful. It would anger me to watch him enjoying all that free time when you are doing so much. That sounds exhausting. I love your authenticity and commitment to healing your resentment and your marriage.

      I totally relate! Seeing my husband lounging on the sofa when I was overwhelmed having to do everything myself infuriated me. With the 6 Intimacy Skills, I started being treated like a queen and supported around the house, not to mention my husband became more successful than ever.

      I know you can have that too. I’ll show you how in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

  30. Hi Laura
    I have always wanted lots of children and to be a stay at home mom. But we have come across fertility issues causing us to have to do ivf fertility treatment. This is a very expensive procedure and is putting us into more debt than we already are in. My husband is a freelancer and entrepreneur but doesn’t seem to be getting enough work to carry us month to month let alone these extra fertility expenses. I currently hold a part time job and have had difficulty finding more work with my limited skills and experience. My husband has had many “million dollar ideas” as he calls them, for new money making businesses but has yet to make one take off. I know he feels the pressure to provide but I feel like we’re stuck in a rut and he will never get us out. This scares me even more now that a potential child is in our near future. I just don’t know what to do.
    Please give me some advice

  31. Thank you so much for this article! its on point and so glad i came across it! I have worked so hard to.keep our family together finacially, was Ok with it for some time, but recently been feeling unsatisfied and a bit resentful. Been telling myself if only he got a more paying, job I will relax and have a life, been giving him hints about why we need more money, been taking responsibility for and even saving for family food budget, holidays and other fun things, kept putting down my personal desires for the sake of saving or rather fear of not having enough in the future to maintain the nice things (probably ddnt trust that he will step up and was feeling i couldnt work harder than i already was to make more money)…been feeling tired, unprogressive, stuck and helpless basically, but yet if someone looked at our life they would say we are so accomplished! I now definately know i have trust issues (financially) with my husband and have to deal with them before i start to resent him!

  32. What do you do Laura when you have tried this- I did it for 6 months when my husband decided to start his own business, yet frequently didn’t go to work or pay any bills. We got charged over and over again. He buried his head in the sand. When money came in from the sale of my house (which I had before marriage) he just wanted to live off and spend all that money (which I had hoped to use to save for a house deposit or a new car). I threw him out when it reached a year of me paying all the bills and the rent. He ran up 3 parking fines in my name (he used one of my cars too) surely there has to come a point when you stop enabling someone who is irresponsible, even if they talk a good talk?

  33. Laura,
    I just finished “The Surrendered Wife” and began “First Kill All the Marriage Therapists” today. I have a question as I haven’t seen my situation represented in your blog. My fiancée and I have been sharing a home and life for 4 years now and will legally marry soon. He is a strong masculine man who is a hard worker, an excellent and productive handyman at home (we’re renovating), is deeply loyal, completely loves and accepts my son as his own (I was widowed 5 yrs ago) and is fully committed to me and our life together. He is a financial disaster (but always has good intentions in this regard – “the road to hell is paved with…”) He has not paid his taxes in years, didn’t pay much child support from his previous marriage (his kids are adults now and he has good relations with them and his ex), is denied a bank account of his own due to problems with his account management, owes on past traffic fines he refuses to pay, won’t call his insurance company to get claims paid for when it’s due to him – (instead, letting me pay the whole bill when we’re struggling financially). He promises to take things back for refunds and never does – costing us thousands over the years. He is severely wasteful with our material resources – ex: going out to buy new stuff when he can’t find the old ones in his mess and throwing or giving away valuable items instead of selling them – then going out to buy the next model he fancies. I make more money and I used to have a substantial savings but I don’t anymore, mostly due to his spending habits. We pay the bills but only have debt now instead of savings. He told me his ex-wife just gave him an allowance of sorts in their marriage and I’ve tried that but he consistently over spends. When he was single years ago and made a ton of money at a previous job, he blew it all as fast as he got it which is still true. I trust him in every other way as I know he’d take a bullet for us in a second, but I can’t imagine surrendering the reigns of all of our finances to a man with this level of financial irresponsibility. Would you still advise giving it a go with his type of history?

  34. Dear Wondering,
    I am in the EXACT boat… I read each reply trying to find one that resembled my situation and can’t wait to read what Laura has to stay about this. It sounds like a ridiculous thought to hand over the financial responsibilities to a person that has zero ambition to save a single penny! After 7 years together I have not found a financial plan that works for us. We tried a joint account but he spent more than he contributed every week! We tried the allowance budget but the weekly allowance NEVER lasted for him, while mine was suffiencient. We now have separate accounts and while I pay for the house, utilities and the groceries, he is only responsible for his truck payment, his auto insurance, his cell phone and the light bill, but he still pays those bills late every month… He wastes $ on late fees and overdraft fees and He doesn’t contribute for a single household item. if we eat out, I have to pay for the bill, if I want a getaway I have to fund the entire trip… While I believe the love is there, I can’t help but sometimes feel used. Granted, 45% of his income goes to child support, it doesn’t help that his vehicle loan is 40% of what’s left of his monthly income. His truck payment is as much as our house payment and when I’ve suggested that he trade it in for a less expensive vehicle he just gets mad… Where is the silver lining??

  35. It sounds ridiculous because IT IS. You don’t hand over the financial reigns to someone who has demonstrated a complete lack of discipline or skill in that area. You especially don’t do it, if you are the one putting most or all of the money in the accounts. I make a steady, consistent income and have large savings from years of discipline and financial prudence. My husband is the exact opposite, his sales “job” is 100% commission only and he only gets that payout 2-3 times a year. So the rest of the year, I pay all the key bills myself (mortgage, food, entertainment, etc.). Then there’s tension throughout the year with me supporting us by myself, while he spends freely. When I ask him to get a side job so he could have even a little money coming in throughout the year to help pay the bills or reduce his debts, he refuses. Why would he though? I make life easy for him by covering all the expenses, so he has no pressure to get a job that pays throughout the year. He shows me absolutely zero appreciation for this and gets angry when I ask when he thinks he’ll be getting paid. Before he met me he had out of control debt, Final Notices and eviction threats as part of his normal life. I’ve provided finanical stability and a safety net for him. I do resent that he won’t find a way to supplement his low paying commission only job. But I darn sure am not giving someone who’s spent their life in debt, control over the finances that impact me.

  36. I see the point of the article but let’s be clear. This will not work in all situations and it takes 2 for anything in a marriage including shoring up finances. I’ve been married 21 years. Presently, I make 35k a year and spend my entire earnings on running the house. We don’t live frivolously because we can’t. My husband chooses to stay at a job at 13/hr because he gets to talk about wine such most of his night. He makes about 27k a year and I see maybe 600 a month. I definitely resent! It’s always been this way and I will never share a bank account with him. We barely make rent monthly and our kids have always done without because his goals are just to enjoy work. I work in a field that I’ve been in for 15 years where there is no growth and most workers make no more tha 17/hr which is what I make. I started that job and kept with it so I would not have to Pay for daycare and so one of us could have stability. He has had about 20 jobs our marriage. At this point, I’m the one that can now make the change since our kids are 11, 15, and 18. I’m working so I can fly solo and fix this mess.

  37. I’m in the same situation as the past few responses. I’m thinking that nothing is ever easy and wondering if these six things work in every situation. Enabling someone who is being irresponsible is not good on a marriage.

  38. After reading this article I’m glad I scrolled down to see real life problems. The advice sounds nice but that would be if your husband had motivation to support the family, for which mine lacks. I don’t know what else to do at this point. He works low end jobs with no benefits and Ive been begging him for years to find something better so we didnt have my puny salary to rely on. I understand one of your suggestions is to stop nagging but then it seems nothing will change. He doesnt seem to care that I carry all the stress on my shoulders of our finacial matters and at the end of the day he has zero money for anything. I pay bills, groceries, vacations, preschool costs, medical costs – everything. The question is – how do I get him to CARE that this isn’t the life I wanted or expected? Nothing seems to motivate him. I’ve already mentioned all of this to him as a reason I am unhappy but then he jumps the gun and just assumes I equate money with love. Help!!!!!

  39. Thirty five years my husband has had a commission only job. I have worked various jobs and scrimped and saved to keep us out of debt and make sure we were never late on a payment. He is currently averaging way below minimum wage (making around $3 an hour) and doesn’t seem to care. For thirty five years I asked him to get another job so we could have some security. It never happened. Whatever went into his 401k got mostly gambled away in the stock market. Some men simply take the path of least resistance and don’t worry about the future and probably shouldn’t ever be given control of all the finances.

  40. Thank you Laura for the work.
    Your idea on finances is good. However, what do you do if your husband’s health is a challenge, and you find you can not surrender the finances to him?

  41. I have gone through the online Surrendered Wife Empowered Woman program and read The Surrendered Wife. I am working on surrendering. I’ve included my husband in more financial decisions including having our spending money in a joint account. In the past, he had his own account for personal spending, but always spent it all and wanted me to transfer money over to his account. It was too much for me. So by opening the joint account it was for him to have access and control. He texted me that all the money in both accounts are empty and he wants me to transfer money so he can buy cigarettes.

    I know I cannot transfer the money. I don’t like that he over spends, but he needs to not always expect me to “fix” the situation. He gets paid Friday. Today is Wednesday. He can figure it out. He won’t like it, but he can definitely figure this out.

    I want to continue to surrender. What would be an appropriate response from a surrendered wife?

  42. I have noticed that a large percentage of wives who demand their husbands to make more is due to shopping addiction of the wife. Did anyone notice the same?

  43. Ah! The woes of money. Our family has been struggling as well with financial issues. Four years ago my husband quit a full time, good paying but highly stressful job to start his own business. We anticipated some changes, but not the seemingly extreme struggles we’ve had. I feel he is good at the creative parts of his business and is very personal with his clients who like him, but managing time and money are not his strengths. Though I pay the bills, we’ve had late payments several times due to lack of funds and even withdrew some from our retirement funds, which I really opposed, just to pay the mortgage. I was hoping things would get better, but now our income is so low, it isn’t enough to sustain us, not to mention save for anything. We are down to the bare bones, and so many things need replaced – lots of basics, shoes, clothes (so many of my things are holey or falling apart). No shopping addiction, just trying to cobble together enough to meet our needs! I do worry a lot about money and know he does too. I have asked that we develop a plan together to help him with his business – both short term and long term goals and have offered to help him however I can. He says sure, but I feel like I ask all the questions about where he wants his business to go or have even asked if he wants to try something else. The discussion usually ends with him saying he’ll “try harder.” I’ve tried leaving him alone to manage his business as well, only to discover there isn’t any new income sometimes for over a month or more! We have 3 kids – the oldest to start high school in the fall. And I want to save up for the kids’ college. And though I’m very thrifty now, kids grow and need clothes and stuff for school. I’ve been working part time on a new career over the last several months, which is just starting to make a some money, but I need to put in my time to really make anything significant. Hopefully, I’ll see results in a couple more months. If he went back to working for someone else,and I think he could find something he enjoys, I know he could make decent money, which I think would alleviate much of the stress in the household. I feel we are all on edge. Just a couple nights ago I took my husband to the ER because of chest pain – thankfully nothing life threatening. Doctor thought likely stress related. Whenever I approach him to discuss money, he become somewhat short with me and leaves the conversation before I feel we are done. We are currently trying to sell our house to move somewhere less expensive. Selling the house will also allow us to pay off all our debt. However, once that is all said and done, there still won’t be enough monthly income to meets are basic needs. Suggestions?

  44. Hi Kate, Unfortunately I feel your pain. My husband quit his good job with benefits and cashed in his pension to become an entrepreneur 16 years ago. Since that time, he has had 6 different businesses and has had years where he was completely unable to contribute to our family’s expenses. Our last business was the most successful and because I am a teacher, I was off during his busiest season to work for the our business. Now, he is unhappy and looking for something new. He spent thousands of dollars saved for our son’s college tuition to attend a conference for his next idea. At this point I’m just tired. If he is trying, I would say to hang in by his side. At his busiest, my husband refused to work for any more than 30 hours a week and usually less than an average of 20 hours per week.
    If I could go back in time to 10 years ago, I would leave.

  45. This is a great article, I can truly say I’ve found most of these steps. However, my challenge is.. my husband is a entrepreneur just starting up His businesses and unfortunately some things are just not giving him any income at this moment which I understand takes some times but I’m 14wks pregnant and I haven’t seen and doctor yet because my job doesn’t include and benefits and I don’t qualify for any governmental assistances. My expenses are too high and I already have a 8year child from outside of my married that I take care of. I want to be a great wife and I try my hardest to be patient and to understand but I don’t want to pull of two or three jobs with all the other commitments I have going on if my husband is capable of finding a part-time gig or job in the meantime to help out with my health needs and finding a outside insurance to take care of my pregnancy. Before I got married I was a single mother doing everything I can to make all my needs be met and it was so hard yet since after being married it seems even harder. I may have high expectations but at the same time it’s only because I want to care for our current child and I would like for my husband to do something else on the side while is business is starting to care for our current financial needs. Any advice?

  46. I think the biggest struggle for me is to actually BE grateful, for my gratitude of what he is currently providing to be genuine. I am bitter and jealous of his easy life as I have climbed the ladder and am the sole financial contributor. I am pregnant with our second and I want nothing more in the world than to be able to spend more time being mom and less time with executives. In order to make this shift, he needs to step up and I am so worried I will be trapped in corporate America paying our mortgage and slaving through the household chores missing the moments with my littles until this life is a memory that I missed.

  47. What if I don’t want to reverse psychology my husband into taking some initiative..he doesn’t thank me and praise me for all I do. I work, take care of the house, groceries, have a side business that makes as much as my job and take care of all out finances..he hasn’t contributed in two months so I’m supposed to tell him how great he is? WTF?

  48. So, my husband attempted 7 different entrepreneurial business ideas- all the while having 110% encouragement from me. Unconditional support. For a solid year it was nothing but praise. He failed miserably at every single one. And after blowing our entire savings of $48,000, he finally got a real job making barely 29k…. Barely enough to cover our basic needs as a family of four, but not even close to getting out of $25,000 of debt. I. Can’t. Do. This. Anymore. I’m stressing out everyday. Debt collectors are calling me 12 times everyday. I’m so scared we’re going to be evicted… I’m crying in my room right now after a fight… What am I supposed to do? I’ve tried everything in this article and am sinking faster and faster…

  49. My husband doesn’t do anything but clean house and workout. I’m tired of being nice and not saying anything. Nothing motivates him to work. He’s content with me making the living. When I go through slow times in my business he doesn’t offer to help. He only asks me when I’m going to have more money. We’ve been married for 31 years and I’ve had enough.

  50. What if you don’t have money to start a business or good credit to get a loan that’s were iam stuck my wife is selling health insurance but for 6 months she only made 600 and all the stress is on me she keeps saying it will get better but now we are behind on bills like when is She going to realize it’s time to find a new job

  51. I’m just tired of encouraging and seeing no results. I stopped for a long time mentioning how much more I make and do and things got better but it is a lot of work. I am tired. Very tired. I barely get time off and when I’m home, I long for alone time. I just want to be by myself without his constant eye and criticism. He talks about getting a better praying job but after 5 years, I’m losing trust. I’m stuck.

  52. I feel this is awful advice and frankly, I’m so sick of society telling women to do anything to get a man. Cook, clean, be pleasant and grateful, lower your expectations and raise your skirt. It doesn’t work. The man will stay doing exactly what he did when he managed to get you to marry him… it worked so why stop? I’m my marriage my husband became ecstatic at my increasing income while I continued to do almost all domestic work. And he still expects to be the head of the household. Reality is if you want a breadwinner then marry one. Don’t marry potential.

  53. Hello, I just found this blog
    cause I’m in this situation at the minute . I’m not married yet but engaged for more than 1 year . Me and my fiance work full time , he earns less than me but still above minimum wage . For a year now we are trying to save up for deposit to buy a house . He didnt save a penny , so I was trying to encourage him to do something else , study something that he likes so he can earn more to be able to save . No chance on earth he’ll do that . He expects me to buy groceries , pay bills , share just rent and than for me to save money for the house . I feel so angry and ready to leave this relationship, I feel like he’s not worth it anymore ….

  54. Isn’t it weird how when the roles are reversed, the wives have to show appreciation for all the ways the husbands help out non-financially yet when it’s the wives that makes less financially, there is no guide for the husbands to show their appreciation or worse, gets thrown at them when important decisions are made.

    Where’s the equality in appreciation at?

  55. My husband could do so much better and yet he is so complacent with his current employer. Late last year, there were rumors going around that he would be laid off, my husband didn’t complete one job application when I asked him why, he said that the current openings were positions that paid $5 less an hour. We have 2 children and live in a home in need lots of expensive updates,instead he told me that if I want those updates, I need to go back to work

  56. My husband is a painter so the weather affects his work. I end up paying for Christmas alone, the electric bill, propane and food. He contributes when he can but he is so busy paying his own bills or geetting himself out of dept that there is never any money left over.
    We built our home with my inheritance and it was never finished. He worked on it some then didn’t want to be bothered as he was focusing on his band. I payed the bills my $ ran out. I work two jobs and have hinted that he could work a part time job 2 or 3 days a week. He will go for months sometimes without work but refuses to get a part time job. Our home is now falling apart as after 10 years he still cannot find the time to work on it. All the while saying he does all he can do. I appriciate him when he does help but I feel used and don’t want to feel this way.

  57. Thank you for sharing your insights and personal growth. You made some very great points and I will be looking for your book.

  58. Hello Laura,

    I am not yet married but was in a relationship /courtship that has ended due to financial insecurity on my part.

    I became fearful of what our life would look like. I was looking for a house, trying to plan a wedding and although he said it was feasible his paycheck was not cutting it and he was not willing to take other side jobs to help make more money. So I felt like financially I would be in it alone.

    When things ended he then stated he could not come to me to ask for him to pay for his tuition because he knew how I would react.
    He was an international student so his fees are high. Should they be an expectation of a girlfriend/fiancée?
    He did have other wonderful qualities which I did appreciate and probably could have verbalized more to him.

    I would like to know if I should have handled things differently and not nagged as much?

  59. I hope to get some advice.
    I really need another’s perspective.
    My man and I are 18 yrs apart, we met in my early 20s when I had less sense of what I wanted. Now, in my late 20s we are running into a big conflict. He is very satisfied to do what work he knows (physical, a couple times of week) and collect the money from his pension (retired city employee). His income is modest as are his house contributions. He is a simple person. I have a great education, but nonetheless my work is fairly standard and works me very hard. I have a lot less time or freedom and also carry the overwhelming majority of domestic duties. I’m tired and see no future in this. I want to have a family but he only envisions that family with both of us working – and him continuing his VERY relaxed work schedule. He says I need to continue and just find a better job w better benefits, but that he will never be able to support us. I’m constantly told my traditional views are that of wanting a man to simply take care of me while I just be a housewife. I’ve told him we could try to do a business together, and he says I ought to lead the ideas. He doesn’t try to educate himself about more, he just watches Facebook nonsense or cartoons often. I feel like I’m the only one who is not content. He thinks I ought to be satisfied to not be paying electric bill etc. I don’t know how to move forward.


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