Hello SOTGC community,
If you aren’t a female breadwinner yourself, chances are you know someone who is. With higher education and more opportunities, women are quickly closing the ranks with men and bringing home larger paychecks. According to a recent Pew report, four out of 10 households have a female breadwinner. Wait…did you read that correctly? Yes! That’s almost 50%! But before you get out the confetti and honk your horns, let’s discuss a side effect of this news: relationship issues.
In relationships where the female is the primary breadwinner, roles often become reversed. More husbands are staying home to take care of children. With the recent recession, some households have needed both spouses to work in order to keep up with financial goals. Or, women are now working simply because they have the opportunity. However, though both parents are working or men are taking more responsibility with children, women are still bearing the majority of household responsibility. Women are becoming resentful, and husbands are feeling emasculated.
When researching for this article, I thought about my own household. Throughout my marriage my husband and I have traded responsibility being the primary breadwinner. My husband has always been my greatest champion, cheering me on when I am the breadwinner. I thought, “What makes us different?” In reading about other couples like us, I found that there are some keys to success that can help couples overcome some of the obstacles that come with societal pressures to conform to our “traditional roles.”
- Both spouses must be passionate about something. Is it a career? A hobby? A side business? If you are the spouse who stays at home with the children, this is especially important. Whatever your passion is both you and your partner must have one. That way, when you are having a romantic dinner, you have something to talk about that makes your eyes light up!
- Both need to respect each other. This issue is paramount. If you do not respect your spouse, then how can you truly be partners? If your relationship has already developed a lack of respect, it cannot grow into a healthy bond.
- Both need to have “drive.” If you or your spouse is “stuck” without drive and confidence, then your relationship will suffer. Find your drive and you will find a more fulfilled partnership!
- Don’t be an “additional” baby. If your husband (or wife) is home all day with the children, you do not want to treat your spouse as a child at the close of a hard day. If your spouse has taken a childlike attitude, they have possibly lost respect for themselves. You must both take adult responsibility and act maturely.
- Both spouses need assurance that we are still feminine or masculine. In the end, we are all still men and women! Men want to be treated by their partners as men, and women want to be assured that they are still feminine.
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Tanith, Cary. The Survival Guide for Breadwinning Wives. Daily Mail. 10/13/11. Online. Accessed 2/17/14. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2048459/Survival-guide-breadwinning-wives-1-4-earn-husbands.html
Gardner, Ralph. Alpha Women, Beta Men. New York. 12/4/13. Online. Accessed 2/17/14. http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/features/n_9495/index2.html
Rampell, Catherine. NY Times. 5/29/13. 2/17/14. US Women on the Rise as Family Breadwinner. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/business/economy/women-as-family-breadwinner-on-the-rise-study-says.html