Seeing people who work less time and have to put in less effort than you but get paid more compared to what you make is frustrating. You may think it’s unfair and that those people don’t know what real work actually is.

But what if that person is your significant other? It feels like it’s supposed to be different. People in a couple should be supportive of each other and be happy that the other person isn’t getting overworked, but is being paid enough to have a comfortable life.

In reality, that’s not always the case. A man was pretty upset that his girlfriend was earning more and working less. Moreover, he told her that and also confessed it on the internet where people wanted him to see how wrong he was.

More info: Reddit

Woman gets accused of not being worth the money she’s being paid and her boyfriend doesn’t understand why she’s mad

Image credits: Annie Spratt (not the actual photo)

The story takes place a couple of years ago when the pandemic was still in full swing and workers were recommended to work from home if they were able to. The Original Poster (OP) lived with his girlfriend and at the time, they were both working from home.

The OP does network infrastructure support for a living and his girlfriend is a safety validator for software and works at a consulting firm. Before, they didn’t know about each other’s days in the office, but when the OP saw what his girlfriend’s schedule was, he was pretty annoyed.


She started work at 9:30 with a meeting but she woke up about 15 minutes prior to it. The woman showered, ate her breakfast and did her chores all during her working hours. There were only a few hours where she sat down to work, but mostly, she was just keeping an eye on messages and emails.

The author of the story works in tech as well as his girlfriend and during the pandemic, their home became their office

Image credits: u/throwaway862610

Also, she would take a very healthy approach of being non-responsive outside her working hours. Sounds like a dream and on top of that, she was earning $120k a year at just 25 years old. The girlfriend thinks that the biggest contributor to it was trying out new jobs, as since college, she had 3 full-time jobs.

The OP, on the other hand, would work the whole day without taking breaks to eat or to do chores. He started earlier than his girlfriend and finished later, but he earned a bit more than half of her per year despite being loyal to his company and staying in it after getting a job after college.

Seeing his girlfriend “slacking off,” as he called it, made him annoyed that she was actually not working and was being overpaid. Jealousy is a naturally occurring emotion, but the boyfriend never identified it as such and just told his girlfriend she should have a better work ethic.


The man never knew his girlfriend’s work schedule but was aware that she was making almost double the amount he was

Image credits: u/throwaway862610

At this point, the girlfriend got frustrated too because she was being blamed for being lazy despite doing all her work and taking care of their home in the meantime. Not only that, but she actually could have gotten an even higher paying job, but she took this one specifically because it offered a better work and life balance.

The boyfriend felt the need to point out that his girlfriend is privileged to have such a high-paying job and not to do that much compared to others. Which is not wrong, but you can’t be mad at her for her employer valuing her job and it showing in her pay.

During the lockdown, he noticed that his girlfriend doesn’t do a lot and spends working hours doing chores or taking a shower


Image credits: u/throwaway862610

People in the comments were pretty confused why the OP saw his girlfriend having a successful career as a problem and what outcome he was expecting after making his comment. Many of them diagnosed the boyfriend with jealousy. They suggested he try finding a better paying job for himself instead of making his girlfriend feel bad.

The Motley Fool admits that “It’s understandable to be a bit jealous of your significant other’s success ⁠— even though that success also benefits you. However, it’s not OK for that jealousy to lead to resentment on either side of the couple.”

Therapist Shirlee Kay agrees that feeling jealous is unavoidable, but handling it is a whole different matter: “It’s important to normalise feelings of jealousy and envy, because everyone feels them at one time or another. The secret is to know them and express them in a way your partner can hear and digest. This requires one to become familiar and connected to how they feel so it becomes clear.”

It is clear that the girlfriend’s salary and her working hours aren’t the problem here and he never mentioned lack of money or the gap was the issue, so we can deduce that it’s the boyfriend’s jealousy or insecurity.

It frustrated the man as he was working twice as hard but was being paid half as much


Image credits: MadFishDigital (not the actual photo)

We can’t say for certain if those feelings are contributed to by stereotypical gender roles, but a curious fact is that a study revealed that men get stressed if they earn less in the relationship and even if they earn about an equal amount.

The author of the research, Joanna Syrda, pointed out the findings: “men appear to be more relaxed when their wives or partners earn anything up to 40% of the household income.

But their distress levels increase sharply as their spouse’s wages rise beyond that point. And they find it most stressful when they are entirely economically dependent on their partners.”

He didn’t hide his feelings and accused his girlfriend of slacking and believed she was being overpaid for what she did

Image credits: u/throwaway862610

This shows that men still feel pressure to be the breadwinner of the family by societal norms and not living up to that image causes them to feel stressed. The researcher also points out that men tend to hide their emotions and their wives don’t even know how their husbands feel about them earning more.


Dr. Joanna Syrda said, “The results are strong enough to point to the persistence of gender identity norms, and to their part in male mental health issues. Persistent distress can lead to many adverse health problems, including physical illness, and mental, emotional and social problems.”

The woman took offense at his words as she was being paid for her knowledge and competence and the CEO decided that it was worth paying her for it

Image credits: u/throwaway862610

Image credits: Alexander Grey (not the actual photo)

Undoubtedly, men’s mental health issues are as important as anyone else’s, but making yourself feel better by putting someone else down saying they are not worth the money they are being paid won’t solve the issue.

Do you think the OP could have worded his feelings differently? Did you have the impression that the girlfriend was slacking during work hours? How do you feel about Dr. Joanna Syrda’s finding? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Readers agreed with the girlfriend who called him out for being jealous and encouraged him to find a better job himself