What happens when women make more money than men?

June 30th, 2013 by admin in Marriage, Relationship, Video, Women
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According to a recent study, women are the breadwinners in nearly 1 in 4 homes.  This information caused quite a stir as talk shows, online articles and the media all tried to dissect what this means for families (and relationships).  I was interviewed about the topic (and what it’s like to be the breadwinner for my family) for a KGW segment, you can see here.

Some of the research suggests that women earning more, can negatively impact their male partners.  This article describes ways men’s health may suffer if their wives earn more (including stress, anxiety and even erectile dysfunction).  While I have seen some men who aren’t comfortable earning less than their mates (this article reports that men who make significantly less than their partners are more likely to cheat), I think we are underestimating men.  Or maybe underestimating relationships and partnerships.

The world is changing, gender roles are changing, relationships are changing, life is changing.  In the past, men and woman had more clearly defined roles in heterosexual relationships.  Men provided financially or provided security and safety.  Women took care of the home and children (though I think we all know of exceptions to this even from past generations – grandmothers who worked because grandfathers were injured or absent, etc).  Now both partners may work (so then who takes care of the home or the children?  and what about couples who don’t have children?) As the world changes, how can we adapt?

If men used to provide financially, how can they “provide” even if they make less money?  What can they provide?

As women juggle work and children and a partner and a home…how can they also attend to themselves?

What are the roles in your relationship? Do you split household chores?  Do you co-parent?  Do you share financial responsibilities?

If your role has changed, what gives you value in your life?  If you used to be the breadwinner and now you aren’t, how do you still feel important?  What do you contribute?  From where do you get your worth?

There isn’t a “perfect” formula for every relationship or every family.  Relationships are deeply personal and not one-size-fits-all.  So what works best for you?  And if things are working, what are you doing to do to make them work?

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