It is now more that factual that the number of women who are the primary breadwinners in their families is on the rise. With the growing middle class, you are likely to find that one in every four marriages, women make more than their male partners. This is something that cannot be lightly taken especially if you take time and delve into what it is likely to cause.
When a woman’s income rises way above a man’s, this starts impacting on the man’s mental and physical health, life satisfaction and the entire relationship. Generally men are most anxious and least stressed when they are the sole breadwinners in the family because that what the traditional social gender norms suggest. But men become more uncomfortable and more stressed when their wives start earning more than them with the fear that they may lose control in providing for the family to the women.
Even in the midst of modernity, women empowerment and equality of men and women, we still find ourselves adhering to the deep-rooted unconscious belief that a man should be the provider. This kind of belief is likely to damage a man’s self-esteem and self-worth. This peculiar resistance from being vulnerable has its own advantages as we all know but it is also capable of breaking down a man to the point of seeking mental health support.
There is a way money adds a layer of confidence to a man’s self-esteem as head of a family and absence of it brings hard time discussing any confusing emotions. Dispelling the belief that a man must dutifully provide for his family is not easy. The couple is likely to continue grappling with this imbalance until the man willfully accepts to become vulnerable. What some couples do is to try and level the playing field. They may share the family load depending on each one’s financial muscle. But before any of these is to take place the man must accept to swallow his pride first.
And dear men, some women don’t expect you to pay for everything. We understand that as the economy is struggling, everyone else is too. We love a struggle party where everyone is invited because frankly, it’s better to sit in the mud together than alone. And with the gender pay gap men are increasingly a little more in the mud than women so there is a need to put hands together as a couple. Actually the whole notion behind equality is everyone doing their part on the money side, even though one partner isn’t making as much. Don’t think that every time a bill comes your way, women will look in the other direction. In most serious relationships women don’t need nor expect a man to cover it all.
As a man, talk to your wife about money and how u feel about it. When it comes to money, men are expected to earn a living without complaining or discussing how they feel. Women talk a lot about how patriarchy sucks for them, but, we get it can suck the life out of you too because of expectations of masculinity. Now, we are not expecting you to have an outburst of emotions all in one go but know that there is a safe space in you two to have those chats. Make sure that your partner won’t hold it against you or use it as a weapon in an argument because frankly, that is childish. Ideally your partner may not be in love with you because of money.