It happens a lot more than we know, and if we think about it, it is an inevitable part of modern living for some women to be earning more financially than their partners. In universities across Jamaica, female enrolment more than doubles than of males, and even if a girl gets pregnant as a teen, she is quicker to get back on her feet than a boy who drops out of school to smoke weed or hang out with his friends.
In the United States, more than a third of all heterosexual relationships have women out-earning their spouses. Additionally, women are now crossing over into previously male-dominated fields that are high-income earners, so they are studying longer just to ensure that they see the financial rewards.
What does this all mean for their partners? Well, first of all, the Susie homemaker scenario is out the window, as while woman are still domesticated, they can now hire someone to do all of that for them while they bring home the bacon. Think about it though: Who really wants to come home and clean after a two-hour board meeting and an intense presentation or sales pitch in front of your colleagues? Absolutely no one. Women now either hire domestic support or if they have an understanding spouse, he will take up the slack and put the laundry in the machine and pick the children up from school in the afternoons.
But what about when her partner is not happy that he does not have all the say in the financial aspects of their relationship? Quite a few men feel emasculated, not only because their spouse makes more money, but their friends and family members are aware of it. They view her purchasing power and her independence as a way of subtly belittling him or not facilitating him being the head of his household.
Christian men, especially, may have an issue with women who earn more, as they may interpret it as her not being submissive to him. He may become argumentative or verbally abusive in order to try to cut her down to size or ‘remind her of her place’.
He may also be resent of the hours she works or if she takes work home to complete in the night. In his mind, she is trying to rub it in his face that her work is important. If he is a blue-collar worker, his work seems less technical in his eyes, and therefore, ends when he punches out at work and leaves it all behind.
In order to mitigate these issues before they become a burden on the relationship, both parties need to be on the same page. The man has to know that his contribution, whether financial or around the home, is valued. He should also ensure that he has financial input in the household. So, if ‘wifey’ pays the mortgage, he should take care of the smaller bills so that there is some semblance of fairness.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of BUZZ or its employees.