What Happens When the Wife is the Spouse Bringing Home the Bacon? August 2012
About forty percent of american women earn a higher salary than their husbands. In many of these households this has created quite the dilemma, how do you maintain a healthy marriage between an alpha female and a beta male?
This recent trend has led to over-exaggerated versions of the more available dad. As either just sitting around watching tv, playing video games while the children wreak havoc or as extremely thoughtful and diligent cooking, cleaning and driving the kids wherever they need to be. These two prototype dads represent the opposite ends of the spectrum and paint an inaccurate picture of what it means to earn less than their wives. The fact of the matter is that most modern men have no problem with their wives earning more than them as they were raised in the midst of women’s movement toward equality.
That being said most men prefer to have their salary be high enough so that if necessary they could support their entire family. This is admirable and understandable. However some real problems can arise when this goal isn’t met, both psychological and marital. It all depends on the income level that family resides in. In the highest level this tends to be less of an issue than in lower income families where financial pressures are felt much more heavily.
There is also a huge difference in families with children and those without. In marriages without children a difference in income levels is not nearly as much of an issue as marriages with children.
A huge source of tension in these marriages is the seeming reversal of traditional gender roles, suddenly men have to take sacrifices in their career in order to ensure that the children are cared for. However, when husbands do earn enough to support their entire family they don’t feel as if they’re sacrificing as much. They are more likely to view earning less as a choice.
What is key to the survival of these marriages is respect. Women who earn more must respect and be thankful for their husband’s work with the children and at home and men most appreciate and support their wives who have to work hard to earn their higher salaries. If you appreciate one another it will be harder for resentment to breed.
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