Women are increasingly earning as much, if not more, than men. This is creating problems in forging new and maintaining existing relationships. More men are finding this new normal to be threatening. They are noticeably taken aback when they find out women earn more than they do.


The reality is that women are earning more money than men and placing an increasing importance on their careers


Statistics show that 15 percent of men in the United States make less than their spouse. This figure is hugely dependent on age with younger men far more likely than their older counterparts to earn the same or less than their spouse. In addition, a Pew Research Center study found that 66 percent of young women rate their career high on their list of priorities, compared with just 59 percent of young men.


A recent survey experiment found that men thought that women who earned more than them were a potential threat to their gender roles. The survey, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind poll, pushed men to think about threats to their societal roles.


“Being the breadwinner has been a linchpin of US men’s masculinity for decades, so even the potential of making less than one’s spouse threatens accepted gender roles.


“Merely asking the question about spousal income led to enormous shifts in men’s preferences in the upcoming presidential election,” writes Dan Cassino, an associate professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University, for the Harvard Business Review.


He concludes that while there are certain behaviours which are considered intrinsically masculine, there are increasingly different ways for men to demonstrate their masculinity.


“In the household that may mean redefining masculinity to include being a good father or a great cook.”


For instance, if you’re considering starting a family, either via traditional methods or by researching adoption in South Africa, having your partner available to take time off and spend it with your child could be beneficial.


Farnoosh Torabi, author of When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women, says men often feel inadequate and unable to provide for their family when their wives earn more.


“The words ‘competence’ and ‘adequacy’ to men – even as wives are increasingly earning more than their husbands – still imply the ability to financially provide and take care of your loved ones – even as times are changing.


“So, as alpha women, if we’re demonstrating that we’re able to take care of everything on our own, that we don’t need a helping hand, then the alpha male won’t necessarily feel challenged and will move on.”


So, some men could be threatened by your earning power


But the right man will not only accept your increased earning potential but embrace it and enjoy contributing to your household in different ways.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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