What are your thoughts when you hear that a married woman is the breadwinner in her home? Be honest. Do you think, “wow, that is awesome… she is doing her thing?” Or, do you think, “why the heck is she the breadwinner… what is her husband doing?”
My husband and I both work outside of the home. He makes more money than I do. To be honest, he always had. I have never had an issue with it because – well, why would I? But what if I made more money than him? Would that change things? Would he care? Or better yet, would I care?
My husband is a pretty cool guy. He cooks, he cleans, he mows the lawn, he fixes things – I can’t front about the fact that he really is a good guy. But as cool and as liberal as he is, I still wonder how he would feel if I brought in significantly more money than he does. We’ve spoken about it (because I am trying to make that paper) and he says he would be just fine with it. But saying you will be fine and actually being fine are two different things.
Now, let’s say he is genuinely fine with it, and he has no problem with me making more — am I fine with it? Would I feel some sort of way if I made more money than my husband – if I was the breadwinner? Would I feel like he needs to step his game up? I don’t think I would. As long as he remains an active contributor to our household, I can’t imagine having a problem. After all, my money is our money, right?
I think most men might have an issue with their wives being the breadwinner. Sure, many of them might say it’s cool because on the surface all they are thinking about is financial security. But if they dig deeper they will come to find that providing less financial support in the home can make them feel like they just aren’t doing their part. Maybe it has to do with how they were raised, or maybe it’s about societal expectations, but I think most men want to be the breadwinner. Men are hardwired to provide, and how much they can provide is often attached to their self-worth.
On the other end, women may say that they want to be with a man who is secure enough to accept his wife bringing home more money, but I think most of those women are thinking on the surface, too. As great as they might feel about their income, many women may secretly wonder why their man can’t step it up and bring home more money. They might wonder why they have to bring in most of the money while still doing all the things they do to keep the home together (especially if there are children involved).
So many factors can determine how a couple might manage a situation like this. Was the wife always the breadwinner? Is she in an industry where she will always make more money than her husband? Is he in an industry where he will never make what he deserves (e.g. education)? Is the relationship already on shaky ground? Does the husband feel respected as the man in the house? Are there kids in the picture? I could go on and on. All these factors matter.
I plan to stay on my grind and bring in a pretty sweet income one day. I am really not concerned about making more than my husband. And, if I married the man that I think I married, he will gladly stand by my side, cheer me on, and do what it takes to make sure I keep bringing in those checks. I think there are plenty of men out there who would do the same for their wives. I don’t ever plan to make him feel like less of a man, and I am confident that he will gladly embrace every extra dollar in our bank account.
BMWK Family, is it okay if the wife is the breadwinner?
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