He actually asked if I would be dissapointed if he didn't earn at least as much as I'm earning now.
Rob isn't like me, he doesn't just blurt out whatever thought comes into his head, so the fact that he brought this conversation up means that he's been thinking about it for a long time. My guess is since July when I received a promotion, though I can't be sure.
Anyways, my short answer was no, but my long answer is, "Am I really so shallow that my own husband worries about how much he will earn?" And after I thought about it, I decided that my super long answer is a nuanced yes.
Let me explain.
I want my husband to earn at least as much as he's worth
Interestingly, this is not Rob's approach to work at all. Rob is all about finding fulfilling work at a well-funded company. Maximizing earnings is 100% my approach.
If Rob were offered two jobs with different salaries after graduation, and he liked the lower paying job more, he would take that one. I would tell him to negotiate his salary, because he's clearly worth more.
So here's my first question: Should I push Rob to do "career management stuff" like paying someone to write his resume, networking with people, and negotiating salaries, or should I just accept that he's different than me?
My husband might need $5M to start a business someday
However, Rob's ideas aren't brilliant in the academic nature, so he can't just become a professor and get grad students to study his ideas. He will either need to sell his ideas to established businesses, or start his own business. I would love to be in a position where Rob could quit working and pursue a business, even a really expensive business.
Here's my second question: Should I want to be in a position where Rob could start a business if he wanted, or should we not cross that bridge until we come to it?
I care that Rob cares about his earnings
Right now, we think that Rob's income will be our family's primary wealth building tool for at least 5-10 years after he graduates. It's also the primary way that we will provide for our family's basic needs, and how we will practice generous giving. I'm glad that he takes that responsibility seriously. I have every confidence that he can earn more than enough, and I love that he wants to earn a lot.
Here's my last question: Is it weird that I care that my husband wants to support me financially even though I'm willing and capable of providing for myself?