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Women who are the main or sole breadwinners in their families are more commonplace than one may imagine.
Interestingly, did you know that at least one in four wives makes more money than their husbands? In addition, in three out of four marriages, incomes are almost equal. Yet the idea of the man as the provider and the woman as the homemaker persists.
It is not uncommon that women earn more than men, particularly, more than their male partners. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women have out-earned men in over half of households since 2018. And while there are several factors that contribute to this wage gap, one thing is for sure: when she earns more, it can shift the power dynamic in a relationship.
If you are in a relationship where you are the primary breadwinner, you may feel like you’re carrying more of the weight. You may feel like you must make all the financial decisions or that your partner is less invested in the relationship because he is not contributing as much.
Sometimes, the situation can even lead to resentment. Your partner may feel like he cannot compete with your salary and that he is less of a man because he is not the one bringing home the bacon.
It is important to communicate with your partner about your concerns. If he feels like he can’t contribute financially, see if there are other ways he can demonstrate his value to the relationship.
The anomaly is that most couples ignore the fact that income roles have changed. Even though most people state that men and women are equal, many men are still ashamed to earn less than their wives. By the same token, wives usually never admit to earning more for fear of hurting their spouse.
When Wives Out-Earn Their Husbands
Marriages struggle when women earn more than men. Female breadwinner marriages are 50% more likely to result in divorce than male marriages, according to a University of Chicago study.
His stress level is said to increase in tandem with her salary – the more money she earns, the more stressed he will become.
Consequently, it is critical to view your partner as a teammate rather than a rival. It is crucial for a couple’s relationship that money not become the center of attention. The person and the relationship should be the priority, not the money. Money should not create a rift because love is what bonds you two together.
Furthermore, it should not matter who makes more because it’s a joint effort to succeed.
The Money is a Joint Asset
In marriage, most couples believe that when it comes to money, it is a joint asset and all of it should be considered when financial decisions are made. This means that both partners are entitled to an equal share of the finances, regardless of who earned the money.
However, this is not always the case women earn more than men. In some relationships, one person may be the primary breadwinner, while the other partner stays at home to care for the children. In these situations, it is fair to say that money is not a joint asset.
The money is a joint asset only when both partners have an equal say in how it is spent. If one partner is controlling the finances, then it is not a joint asset.
If you are in a relationship where you feel like you do not have a say in how the money is spent, then it is time to have a serious discussion with your partner. Money should not be a source of conflict in a relationship. If it is, then it is time to seek professional help.
Examine Your Marriage Roles
If you are bothered by making more than your spouse or vice versa, you really need to examine your marriage roles. Perhaps you are trying to maintain a traditional marriage due to your religious beliefs. You can still do that even if the woman earns more since the income is a joint asset of both couples and not owned by just the person who earns it.
The other parts of the role don’t have to change based on who earns more.
When it comes to marriage roles and money, there are a lot of different opinions out there. Some people believe that the husband should be the breadwinner and the wife should be the homemaker. Others believe that both partners should work and contribute to the household finances. And then there are those who believe that each couple should figure out what works best for them, based on their own unique circumstances.
No matter what your beliefs are about money and marriage roles, one thing is certain: money is often a source of stress and conflict in relationships. If you and your partner are not on the same page when it comes to finances, it can be a recipe for disaster.
One of the best things you can do to avoid financial conflict in your marriage is to have regular conversations about money. Talk about your budget, your spending goals, and your concerns. If you are not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources out there to help you get started.
Communicate Openly & Transparently
Sometimes people do build up resentment if one spouse earns less regardless of which spouse it is. That may increase when women earn more than men, but that is only due to societal pressures. Do not allow society to place responsibilities on either of you. If you are both doing jobs, you enjoy doing, that is what matters.
It is so important to communicate openly and transparently at home. We all come from different backgrounds and have different communication styles. Openly communicating with our loved ones allows us to build trust, feel closer to one another, and avoid misunderstandings.
It can be difficult to know how to start communicating more openly, especially if it is not something that you are used to doing. Here are a few tips:
- Make time for open communication. Turn off the TV, put away your phones, and sit down with your family or partner to talk. This will show them that you are ready to communicate and that you value their time.
- Be honest. Be open about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This will help to create a more trusting relationship.
- Ask questions. Instead of making assumptions, ask your loved ones about their thoughts and feelings. This will help to ensure that you are on the same page.
- Really listen to what your loved ones are saying.
One of the most important things in any relationship is communication. It is the key to understanding each other, sharing information, and keeping things running smoothly.
When Women Earn More Than Men
When women earn more than men, finding a way to talk about money and finances is important. Sure, it can be an emotional issue for some people. For example, bringing back concerns of control or bad experiences when growing up.
What if your partner is secretly gambling? Wow, that can have a devastating impact on your finances and relationship. Yes, money talk can be incredibly frustrating for both partners. One might think they are being nagged, while the other might feel like their finances are in danger because of their partner.
There is a general thought that a woman is less likely to marry a man if she makes more money than he does. Yet, there is no shame in women earning more than men. In fact, the more equal women become in the workplace commanding the same salaries as men, the better for everyone.
Seriously, it really should not be a negative issue in your marriage. If you are both happy in your lives and careers, it should not matter.
What are your thoughts on marriage roles and money? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Related Article: I Make Much More Than My Husband