Real Talk w/Terry


March 17, 2014

Dear Terry,

What are your thoughts on a woman making more than her man?

-Primary Breadwinner

Dear Primary Breadwinner,

I have no issue with a woman making more income than her man; but then again, I am a woman. This question is highly personal and the best person to ask is a man as their answers will vary based on several factors including their level of self-esteem, how they value money and if it is tied to self-worth, and their view on gender and roles.

I do have a perspective on this issue, since I know of situations where the wife makes more than the husband; and know that for some marriages and relationships this is indeed an issue when the woman makes more money than the man. Modern Day career women have the privilege of being more educated and having more vocation opportunities available to them than women did 50 years ago; and now, more woman than ever work outside the home which has resulted in a vast number of women who have excelled in their career and has resulted in them making just as much as and in many cases more than their spouse. I have witnessed instances where men have publically stated that they do not have an issue with their wife making more money than they do, however, behind closed doors the sentiment is quite different. I actually switched up the AskTerry segment this week and led the Twitter discussion last Thursday to assess people’s general view on this subject. The discussion in summation was that some men do have a problem with their partner making more money than they do because of 1) traditional views of the male being the primary breadwinner, 2) male ego, and 3) men being intimidated by a woman who can provide for herself. There are some things a woman can do to ensure that she does not make her partner feel inferior if she does make more money than he. The first and most important is that she does not belittle his salary or efforts as a provider of the household. Second, the spouse that handles the finances should be the one who is more knowledgeable and responsible in the area of finances and not necessarily the one who makes the most money; in other words, roles in the house or for the family should not be determined by who makes the most money. Finally, the wife should never ever use that fact that she makes more money as a “one up” on her husband insinuating or stating that she is in fact the one holding the house down.

DISCLAIMER: The information or advice in this column should not be substituted for professional counseling. The thoughts expressed in the “Ask Terry” segment of the Relationships-411 blog are the thoughts and opinions of the writer and should be viewed as information and entertainment only. By submitting a question to the column you are hereby granting us permission to publish your question on this blog.

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