Blog > Finance in Marriage > 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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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?

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.

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.

By Laura Doyle

Hi! I'm Laura.

New York Times Bestselling Author

I was the perfect wife--until I actually got married. When I tried to tell my husband how to be more romantic, more ambitious, and tidier, he avoided me. I dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. I then started talking to women who had what I wanted in their marriages and that’s when I got my miracle. The man who wooed me returned.

I wrote a few books about what I learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills™ that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. The thing I’m most proud of is my playful, passionate relationship with my hilarious husband John–who has been dressing himself since before I was born.