I live in Japan, my long-term girlfriend is Japanese. Been discussing getting married and moving to America next year when my job finishes up. The good thing is, we agree on managing money--separate accounts + one joint account for household expenditures, each contributing an equal percentage of our income to the joint account so it's fair. No issues there. Where we are running into problems is with what she will do for a job. I want her to work, and she wants to work. No issues there either. But, she studied English here in Japan, and it goes without saying that translates very poorly into a real job in a native English country; she has zero interest in translation or teaching work, and I don't blame her having done that myself. So we started looking at what she could realistically do that she likes, and decided that she would need to go to school and do like a one or two year program somewhere (nursing, paralegal, cosmetology, etc). Sounds good, eh? Well, the program she wants to go into is hospitality management. Ignoring the fact this is largely a dead end and very unglamorous field, she isn't aiming to be the hotel general manager, or the event/meeting planner/coordinator, etc. No--she wants to be the front desk clerk. Average salary from everything I've found is a piddly $20,000 a year. Pretty sad. Definitely not worth student loans and a couple years of school. So without saying I want her to make $XXk I tried tactfully to steer her towards the event planner as I think she'd like that and be good at it, and she mentioned it once in the past but she doesn't seem too interested (salary is in the $45k range to boot). In fact she's now gotten angry at me about this. She thinks I don't care about her happiness (I do, and I guarantee she won't enjoy making $20k sitting at a front desk at a Hampton Inn or some other dry ass hotel), and that I expect her to make $100k a year. But that's not it at all. My background is engineering, so yes I can support both of us. Not very well, but we could 'get by' which I'm not overly enthusiastic about doing. I would have absolutely zero problem doing it for a few years while she went to school to learn something, but I don't want to be doing it the rest of my life as it takes her 10+ years to hit the magic $30k benchmark. Call me a dick, but I didn't bust my ass HARD at school just to 'get by'. It's just not logical; she should be able to make enough to get by comfortably on her own, and so should I. Two people who can support themselves coming together results in two people who will live comfortably together. One person who is capable and one person who is not coming together is not a good recipe. I love her, I do, but the math doesn't compute. It's a complete waste to go to school for a couple years, take student loans, and then make $10 an hour in a dead-end job. I made $12/hr shoveling shitola at the grocery store in high school, and $14/hr doing data entry in college. $20,000 a year is damn near the absolute worst you can do full-time. But she says to me, that she doesn't think $20k is that bad for a foreigner without experience. Ok, I'll give her that, her coming to America is difficult, where there is a small/non-existent Japanese community, and where nobody--nobody--will speak Japanese. I can come here to Japan and get by with my English if I have to, and I can go down to any neighborhood foreigner bar and make English speaking friends, all here in the same boat doing the same thing. I realize she doesn't have it that well going to America--she's more or less on her own sans myself. But there's issues here--$20k in America means about $15k take home. She tells me she doesn't think $20k is bad because that's what she makes now here (women don't make a damn dime in this country) but the thing is, her taxes per month on that salary are less than $50 for the month. I make over twice what she does, and my taxes are less than $90 for the entire month. She also lives at home, so she isn't really that cogent to the true cost of food. She knows bills and stuff, and she has a car payment, but I don't think she understands the full magnitude of the price of food and especially the price of home ownership and all the incidentals/repairs that come up. I'll be blunt--I want her to do better than $20k, especially if she's going to choose to spend money on school to learn something. Thing is I don't need her to do that much better, is like $30-$35k asking too much? That's still pretty low. FTR I have not made any mention of a specific dollar figure because that's a bit jackass I know, but I have told her $20k is just too low. I like nice things, I'm pretty materialistic and want to have a high standard of living. I want her to have a higher standard of living too, and that means she can do better. Surely there's something she likes that pays better than 10 bucks an hour. Thing is she's looking at this emotionally and not logically. What if I lose my job and the two of us have to live on $20k? Sure if she loses her job I can still support us with an engineering salary in the meantime until she finds another job, but $20k just doesn't cut it, not to mention it's just the epitome of dead end. I tried to explain that it just makes sense for her to at least make enough to support herself in the worst case scenario (I die, etc) and that goes a long way towards avoiding money problems or showing resentment. So she's all stressed out; I understand her stresses, she's got a lot on her shoulders to leave Japan and start a new life completely unsure of anything, and I don't think I'm helping per se but it's a discussion that needs to be had because it will affect both of us for life. Like I said I haven't mentioned any dollar figures, just gently pushed her away from something so crappy. The other thing is it stresses me out to think that I'm supposed to shoulder a house, car payments, and supporting two people all the while making the in-laws smile because Japanese parents give a big crap that you have a good job to take care of their daughter. Am I a dick or am I spot on? EDIT: yes I realize this will probably solicit lots of comments about love and how nothing else should matter, that's all warm and fuzzy but it doesn't help your standard of living, and it's how you end up filing bankruptcy like my sister and her husband. Money is the number one cause of divorce, starting out with none or little and little chance to climb the ladder doesn't help those odds.