Marriages in Which Wife Makes More Tend to Be Unhappier, but Why?

Say What!? 30

Women are more capable than ever before. We are educated, we are working, and we are taking control of our lives. Gone are the days of getting married soon after high school and standing barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen while cooking your husband some meal made entirely of canned ingredients. Unless that’s what you want, of course. To each her own.

A growing number of married women are now the breadwinners of their family, something that was virtually unheard of in our mothers’ generation. How could a female make more money than a man? Why would she want to? As it turns out, maybe they had a reason for not wanting to out-earn their husbands -- marriages in which the wife earns more money tend to be unhappier.

Why is that? One theory is that men like being manly and women enjoy being feminine, so when you toss the gender stereotype that the man brings home the bacon on its head, there’s bound to be internal conflict that could lead to strife in the relationship. This is backed up by the fact that women who out-earn men are more likely to take on the majority of the housework as well, as if they’re overcompensating for their "economic masculinity." Things are bound to spiral downward as the lady begins to feel like the weight of the world is on her shoulders -- what’s wrong with that lout she married?

Has the feminist revolution stalled in the home? Are gender stereotypes to blame? Maybe. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Chicks dig strong guys, no matter what their bank statements say. Men, we are not trying to show you up by earning more money than you -- we are just trying to reach our own full potential. Don’t take everything so personally. If you act like men, we will treat you like men.

Be chivalrous. Be confident. You know what’s sexy? A man secure enough in his manhood to not feel threatened or act pissy when his wife out-earns him. How about showing a little pride or even some swagger over it? Yup, that’s my girl … isn’t she amazing? Compliments are especially good when they’re heartfelt ones from our husbands.

Breaking preconceived notions about gender roles in marriage can be difficult -- but it’s not impossible. All relationships have their quirks that make them non-typical, and there is no rulebook to making it work. Just respect and admire your spouse for his or her amazing attributes, even if you’re a dude and your wife makes more money than you.

Who makes more money in your relationship?


Image via DonkeyHotey/Flickr

commitment, in the news, love, marriage


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linzemae linzemae

My husband makes so much more than I do!

Bloom... Bloomie79

I was really expecting this article to go the way of that Fox News anchor who implied that if we women could just find our "place" our men would be happier. No matter how much money I make I want a strong dominate man, my personality can be pretty dominate and I hate when a guy lets me walk all over them. So yes outside of being proud of your successful woman nothing about being a manly man has to change. Real men are proud of their women for being everything, great mothers, great wives, successful in business... Whatever.

Todd Vrancic

I am a SAHD, and I am PROUD of that and PROUD of my wife, who made it possible for me to stay at home with the kids.

nonmember avatar megan

For a good year I worked and he didn't, when he finally got a job I was still making more money then him, and now he gotten his raise he makes more then me. At first I was upset cuz I'm use to being the bread winner. Now I don't care cuz we both are putting all we have in making a good life for the kids and us.

cmjaz cmjaz

I've always made more money, but always had to do the housework too. I was so exhausted. I decided that it was just nicer being single.

nonmember avatar Shandeigh

It's hardwired in our DNA. The man has an instinct to protect and provide. The woman has the instict to protect and nuture. It's going to take more than a few decades of feminazi's to overwrite millions of years of evolution.

the4m... the4mutts

You know, IMO, and I may be wrong, I would assume unhappy marriages with the woman being the bread winner, would be the same marriages with the woman acting superior and treating her husband like a dog. Making him feel guilty for not making any money/as much money.

In a mutually respecting relationship, I can't see there being unhappyness stemming simply from who earns the most.

the4m... the4mutts

Oh, and I'm not saying men don't treat women that way sometimes. Just how I feel in this instance

Lilyp... Lilypad523

Well said the4mutts. My MIL makes about 3X what my FIL makes, but it works for them. They're incredibly happy, and very rarely make financial decisions without consulting each other.

Estel... EstellaHavisham

"It's hardwired in our DNA"

Do you write for Cosmo, Shandeigh? Next we'll be reading about "Since the time of cavemen..." It's hardly being a "feminazi" -- which is a really tired term. It's getting a return on your investment. Women aren't getting MAs to sit on them. I've always made more than my significant other and he's fine with that... and if he wasn't, we wouldn't have gotten together in the first place.

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