What's it like being married while working in Finance?

Wanted to hear from the older folk on this forum - what's it like being in a relationship or married assuming that you're into your 30s, 40s or even 50s and you have been with your significant other for many years?


How is life different with your s/o from when you were in your early 20s and dating? Read on another post about how some people struggle with some aspects of their relationships after a few years, so been wondering if that's common for people as time goes on, or how people's experiences have evolved after possibly decades.


Could be on anything from your own or your s/o's attitudes, temperaments, shared hobbies, the way you interact, your attraction to each other, the quality of time you spend with each other etc., so not necessarily centered around the working in finance aspect, although that could be an important consideration for some as well

 

Are relationships usually different after 10 or 20 years than say year 3? I thought after a couple of years there shouldn't be much difference but I'm not sure

 

hahaha crickets…this is a wrong forum for relationship advice. Look around your office, it’s the same everywhere for everyone. Take hours of the week, -hours worked, -hours slept, -hours for what you need for mental and physical fitness….and you’re left with a grand total of negative hours for a relationship. So, I guess depends on a partner.

 

it's a tough lifestyle and you have to be very realistic with your partner about the demands of the job, really it takes a committed effort from both you and your spouse to make it work in finance as your spouse is going to be left to do more of the household stuff, lots of cancelled plans, lots of missed events.....additionally you're going to have a lot less free time on your own

in my world i've got my family, my job, and my free time (hobbies, working out, etc)....my free time is basically non-existent since i started in finance as i devote any extra time i do have to spending with my wife and kids, so i'm not as healthy as i used to be and i don't pursue my hobbies very often anymore

things should improve as you climb the ladder with more flexibility but the demands of the job never go away and that's something you've got to take on with your spouse

 

Do people in relationships still stay happy after many years, while working in finance at the same time? 

 
Most Helpful

I think that being married in finance can make it either much easier or much harder. Some of my friends have spouses with higher emotional metabolisms, and finance becomes truly terrible for them. Their bank tells them they're not putting in enough effort at work, and then their wife tells them they're not putting in enough time at home, and so it goes on in "quiet desperation". 

My wife makes finance much easier -- it might make the occasional late night harder (since I just want to see my wife), but as the years go by, having a partner and a friendly ear to listen to my dumb work stories, stabilize me when I'm flying off the broomstick after xyz boss asked me to do that one stupid thing, and giving some level of purpose to an otherwise purposeless line of work. Bottom line: choose carefully.  

 
SPYShorts

I think that being married in finance can make it either much easier or much harder. Some of my friends have spouses with higher emotional metabolisms, and finance becomes truly terrible for them. Their bank tells them they're not putting in enough effort at work, and then their wife tells them they're not putting in enough time at home, and so it goes on in "quiet desperation". 

My wife makes finance much easier -- it might make the occasional late night harder (since I just want to see my wife), but as the years go by, having a partner and a friendly ear to listen to my dumb work stories, stabilize me when I'm flying off the broomstick after xyz boss asked me to do that one stupid thing, and giving some level of purpose to an otherwise purposeless line of work. Bottom line: choose carefully.  

For the love of God, you guys in your 20s, read this, screenshot it, and read it again every couple months. Who you marry may be the single most impactful decision in your life. Divorces can cut your net worth by half and unhappy marriages can absolutely ruin your life. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer
 

SPYShorts:

I think that being married in finance can make it either much easier or much harder. Some of my friends have spouses with higher emotional metabolisms, and finance becomes truly terrible for them. Their bank tells them they're not putting in enough effort at work, and then their wife tells them they're not putting in enough time at home, and so it goes on in "quiet desperation". 



My wife makes finance much easier -- it might make the occasional late night harder (since I just want to see my wife), but as the years go by, having a partner and a friendly ear to listen to my dumb work stories, stabilize me when I'm flying off the broomstick after xyz boss asked me to do that one stupid thing, and giving some level of purpose to an otherwise purposeless line of work. Bottom line: choose carefully.  


100% agree.

Although my husband doesn’t work in finance and has a very broad understanding of my day-to-day life, he’s my rock and makes life so much easier.

Perhaps the fact that he doesn’t work in the same industry is good as well, because when I come home and he tells me about his day, it just makes me see things from a completely different perspective.

One thing I would add though is def try to find someone with either a similar lifestyle or that understands the sacrifices that have to be made early on in your career.

 

Been wondering this too - surely in your 30s or 40s you have more time than when you were an analyst but how does your relationship with your s/o evolve at that point? What’s it like being with someone for that long? 

 
[Comment removed by mod team]
 

Been wondering this too - surely in your 30s or 40s you have more time than when you were an analyst but how does your relationship with your s/o evolve at that point? What’s it like being with someone for that long? 

Similar to how two people who have worked together professionally or like two athletes who have been on the same team forever, you kind of develop this ability to read each others' mind. You know there's someone who has your back no matter what and who you can rely on for anything. A bit of a "you and this person vs. the world" partnership. It's cool.

Commercial Real Estate Developer
 

What happens when you go bald and your wife becomes a chubster? Or what if your wife stays attractive but you get a big beer belly? I would imagine people still feel emotionally attracted to each other but how do couples keep the same attraction to each other when they’re in their 40s or 50s compared to when they’re in their 20s?

 

What happens when you go bald and your wife becomes a chubster? Or what if your wife stays attractive but you get a big beer belly? I would imagine people still feel emotionally attracted to each other but how do couples keep the same attraction to each other when they’re in their 40s or 50s compared to when they’re in their 20s?

You have to work at it. It's kind of rare for one to stay super hot and fit and the other to turn into a slob, because that's more of a sign that the marriage or relationship is in a bad place, but it's definitely easy for both people to gain weight and have to have the "alright this is bad, we need to eat healthier and work out more" convo. In a healthy relationship, that's an easy convo to have. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer
 

Asking a forum that is 99% guys in their early 20s for marriage insights is certainly an interesting move, but as someone who is mid 30s and married I'll bite. Been with my wife for 10 years, lived together 9 of them, and married for 2.5 of them. 

I think this many years in, as long as you last, you are kind of in the sweet spot. I think in years 2-4 it's easy to get into kind of a lull as you adjust from the infatuation of a new relationship to actually working on a partnership together, but once you build that partnership, it's kind of effortless. We know everything there is to know about each other and can navigate the day to day almost perfectly. We haven't had a serious fight in years and if we weren't both so hard headed and stubborn I don't think we'd even have minor arguments. We know exactly what each others strengths and weaknesses are, where to give a little more, where to get a little more, etc. Our goals and vision for the next 2-5-10-etc. years are totally in sync and aligned. 

Happy to answer any specific questions, harryLDN, but for the most part, marriage is dope. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer
 

CRE what’s your advice for making it work during the 80 hr weeks? I can’t help but feel bad I’m sitting behind a screen at the office while my gf is bored at home watching reality tv or something while we have no new friends in our new city.

We have been dating for a few years and I’m going to take on a more demanding role and am a little anxious to how people make never seeing their s/o work.

She is extremely loyal and supportive, but I feel bad and wish I could spend more time with her. Thinking abt moving to the next step soon and then shortly having kids thereafter. I’m in mid 20s want a family of at least 4 just don’t understand how it’s doable in finance.

 
idrkwita

CRE what’s your advice for making it work during the 80 hr weeks? I can’t help but feel bad I’m sitting behind a screen at the office while my gf is bored at home watching reality tv or something while we have no new friends in our new city.

We have been dating for a few years and I’m going to take on a more demanding role and am a little anxious to how people make never seeing their s/o work.

She is extremely loyal and supportive, but I feel bad and wish I could spend more time with her. Thinking abt moving to the next step soon and then shortly having kids thereafter. I’m in mid 20s want a family of at least 4 just don’t understand how it’s doable in finance.

I'll preface this by saying it's been a few years since I've worked those kind of hours, but your gf/wife needs to find something that she's passionate about or committed to beyond reality TV. Mine works longer hours than I do due to the travel nature of her job, but she still gardens, is obsessed with our dog, rides the peloton, reads 40-60 books a year, goes to dinners with her friends, and naps like it is a legitimate hobby. You don't want the kind of person who is "bored" or expects you to entertain them. 

In a way, when you have less every day time together, you have to be more intentional about scheduling specific time together. It is very rare, for instance, that my wife and I don't either go out to eat on Friday night or stay in and eat pizza and drink wine, do something together on the weekend (doesn't have to be big, but can be), and then have a "family meal" on Sunday. Having dedicated and scheduled time together kind of allows the rest of the week to be ok with less interaction, whether due to hours worked or her being out of town for work. 

Another thing that I think is huge is having aligned goals. It's a whole lot easier to be at peace with the grind when you know in X months you're taking a trip together to Italy and in Y years you'll have enough to buy a house. 

Finally, when you do have kids, a mentor of mine has told me that no matter how many trips you take a year as a family, make sure you schedule at least 1 vacation that's just you and the wife. Similarly, no matter how many times you go out to eat as a family, make sure you schedule at least some of those as simply 1 on 1 dates. Keep that fire alive. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer
 

I am a firm believer that your three most important choices in life are as follows: the person you marry, the profession you choose, and how you invest/spend your money. If these three work in harmony, everything else will follow

 

The harder part is having kids with this career. Especially if spouse is also working. Being married while in this career isn’t the challenging part. Wife knows I am working for our common prosperity. She gets it. She picks up slack where she can. Supports me and the choices. But kids? They are time sucks and highly unpredictable. And they put huge strains on marriage.

Example: Monday night the 2 year old didn’t sleep much. Fucked up my whole week because I have insomnia and the little dude keeping me up all Monday night fucked up the next 3 days. Productivity low. Falling repeatedly asleep at the desk. Useless on any complex work. And that’s just this week. Got to get the 8 year old to class in morning. Gotta clean up after them. Help with homework. Entertain them and take them to weekend extra classes and sports. That’s much harder.

Marriage and wife? Relatively less strain.

 

It makes life a lot less stressful. But I am lucky to be with someone who knows I value my career and is supportive of me. If that wasn’t the case it’d be an issue so I recommend you nail that personality trait before committing.

I did the early 20s, party a lot, always try to hook up with girls life and had an awesome time but now I’m much more content from both a personal life and career standpoint.

 

If you can last long enough in finance to get to 30s and beyond the hours aren't nearly as bad and the flexibility is way more (avg 50 hour weeks, ability to wfh, take calls from anywhere). There are still some roles/firms that are way more hardo than others, but I'd say as you're older that is more the exception than the rule. Thus, managing a relationship/family in finance isn't really all that bad if you end up in the right spot, which to a degree is within your control. Certainly it isn't much worse than moving up the corporate ladder and much easier than other areas such as big law. 

 

In my experience if you are in a client facing role and you have to travel it is likely the other way round. Once you get to 30s you will be traveling a lot, often at short notice, while at the same time you may have young kids at home. This is a tough situation to be in and requires your spouse to adjust from the long hours but more predictable 20s when your spouse had their own time rather than kids to look after. You have to make an extra effort when not working. 

Definitely important to pick the right spouse who understands what the career is like long term. 

If you want lots time with your family, look at the seniors in your firm and pick the roles that will accommodate that. 

 

I'm still a little young for your question, but I'll bite given a lack of engagement from the elders. I got married as an Analyst in my early 20s, but we had already been together 5+ years. Few years in and still the best decision I've made.  

Don't discount the benefit of having someone unconditionally in your corner in an industry that can be a bit isolating. Having an "instant best friend" at home is a game changer when the job gets rough and the perspectives and context that you get from someone not in the space can be surprisingly helpful for work-related troubles. As long as you're with someone who understands and appreciates the amount of hours you are pulling, I think it is a lot more fulfilling to approach the job with an "in-it-together" mentality rather than on your own. I also find that banking is an industry in which nobody tells you when to "stop". Having someone who knows you best tell you when its time to pump the brakes or see a doctor is extremely valuable. I can credit my wife for being one of the few voices telling me when I need to step back and take care of myself. 

I do think it's really important to find shared hobbies though. We both really like biking and are pretty adventurous eaters, so we're able to do things that offer "exercise" and "basic necessities" while spending time together.

 

I thought I would chip in.

In a nutshell, it all comes to who you marry and how they envision life. The unfortunate but also fortunate truth is that you will likely marry someone who values life and how they spend their time. I married someone who prioritizes work life balance vs. anything else including money (even though she has great credentials).

And this is what can create tension and additional stress, which only will get worst when you have kids. No one will understand why you kill yourself, work at night, always are connected and answer to frustrated superiors when the financial upside doesn't even set you for life fast. You will also likely work the hardest when you kids are they youngest which ends up in you not spending enough time with them or your partner. Your partner will feel the load alone and will start to be frustrated rightfully so - "what is the point of life then? To only work? Not see your kids".

The stress will build up as you wont know what to answer as she is right and you miss your kids. An answer I have seen here recently with people laughing about it was about an MD saying "If you want this life, let me work" or something along those lines... That's incredibly sad as you will always end up realizing it was not worth it. And if you think it is worth it, then you likely married the wrong person. That's why so many seniors in finance are not married or divorced.

So what about me? Well I have 2 kids, work in PE but found a role where I can set up my rules (i.e working from home etc). My wife is still frustrated but less than before so I am trying to make it work.

So my point is - it is hard and you will realise it too.

 

Been married a couple years, together nearly 10, have a toddler, and recently joined IB.  Not exactly the busiest deal environment, but so far, I feel like the work-life balance is manageable.  Some things that seem to help me:

1) Right Spouse:  she works less hours and is able / willing to pick up the majority of the domestic work without being resentful.  Obviously, you need to be gracious for the help.  Don't just throw money at her like its transactional.  Make efforts to contribute when you can.  Even giving her just a 15 minute break from the toddler goes a long way.

2) Manage Expectations: we decided on the career path together, so we both knew the tradeoffs and agreed to them upfront. 

3) Good Communication: it helps to share daily / weekly updates, so she knows if she can plan something like dinner accordingly.  She's pretty understanding about cancellations, but earlier the notification the better.

4) Better Hobbies: I had to cut some of my old hobbies, but I don't necessarily miss them.  You save a lot of time and health by not chasing flings and drinking all weekend.  Also, I enjoy finding active things to do with my toddler, so I can multitask a workout with family time (e.g. bicycle trailer, running stroller).  While deep in the recruiting process, I had to "sacrifice" my one chance to surf, so I could take my kid in the ocean for the first time.  I think the latter was more memorable.

5) Prioritize when you can.  With the right prior planning, you can almost always carve a window to do bath/bedtime.  15 minutes shouldn't break a deal. 

Whether banking or elsewhere, family can be a huge asset to your career.  They increase your motivation to excel on the job, while also being a strong support system when it gets rough.

 

It's wonderful that you're seeking insights from those with more life experience. Relationships do evolve over time, and here are some general observations from older individuals:

  1. Deeper Connection: Many people find that their connection deepens over the years. Shared experiences, challenges, and triumphs create a bond that often strengthens as time goes on.

  2. Evolving Priorities: As people age, their priorities may shift. In your 30s, 40s, and 50s, career stability, family planning, and personal growth may take precedence over the priorities of your early 20s. This can impact the dynamics of your relationship.

  3. Communication: Effective communication tends to improve with time and experience. Couples often learn how to express their needs, listen actively, and navigate disagreements more constructively.

  4. Shared History: Having a long shared history can be a source of comfort and joy. You build a life together, accumulate memories, and develop a unique understanding of each other.

  5. Individual Growth: Personal growth is an ongoing process, and it's common for individuals to evolve over the years. This can bring new dimensions to the relationship, requiring both partners to adapt and support each other's personal journeys.

  6. Romance and Intimacy: The nature of romance and intimacy can change. While the fiery passion of early love might mellow, it often transforms into a deeper, more profound connection.

  7. Challenges and Resilience: Life throws challenges at everyone, and long-term relationships often face their share. How couples navigate and overcome these challenges can significantly impact the strength of the relationship.

  8. Quality Time: The nature of quality time might shift. With busy schedules and possibly children, finding moments for each other becomes even more important. It's not always about grand gestures but the little, meaningful moments. 

 

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