There may be some ego issues along the way, though. When Erin, a 33-year-old editor, met her future husband David, he was a struggling grad school student. "I had established my career a little earlier than David, and in turn, was making about three times as much as he was," she explains.
When it was clear that his budget didn't allow him to pick up the check for every dinner, movie, and museum exhibit, money quickly became a sticking point—from his perspective. "I didn't want to emasculate him, so I got strategic: We would take turns paying for dates. I made sure his turn was breakfast or something else inexpensive, and I'd cover dinners." When he caught on, she says she smiled and explained that she wanted thing to be fair, and it was her turn to pay. "He knew exactly what was going on, but it offered him a way to contribute," she adds.
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Erin, who continues to outearn her husband, says that she occasionally wishes things were different. "Sure, I'd love to be surprised with some glittering rock of jewelry, but it's not going to happen. I knew that going into the relationship," she says. "I'd rather have a partner who is emotionally and physically present than some Wall Street guy who's never home and apologizes with presents."
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Personally, this reporter has faith: the Bill and Hillary show might have had a few bumps in the road, but when Bill was a Yale Law grad and a Rhodes scholar, he chose the smartest girl at Wellesley... Hillary!