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Breadwinner wives – How do men feel about it?



Since the dawn of humankind, families and communities were built on the assumption that men are those responsible for assuring all the needs. Food, shelter and security were all left on the shoulder of men, while women stayed at home, raising children and taking care of the house. But things have changed a lot, especially in the last century and gender equality is close to becoming a full-time reality. Women are now able to take jobs they were once forbidden and have the same rights as men do. But traditions are not easy to be swept aside, especially when it comes to those at the foundation of the family concept. Women as breadwinners for the family, is still a subject for debate.

Women’s earnings have been rising relative to men’s over the past decades. Although they are still behind on average, the improvement was so drastically that it had no precedent in the history of workforce distribution. Because it’s obvious the trend won’t stop here, it’s logical that problems would arise if men keep their desire to be the primary breadwinners.

Some studies have shown that a family where the women earn more than the husband has more chances of reaching divorce than a family where the balance is even, or in favor of men. Statistics rarely lie and thus we could conclude that men don’t handle too well being on the second place in terms of income. The situation is more dramatic in couples where the husband is unemployed for longer periods, a clear indicator that although financial needs are being met, the sources of income should come from both directions.

There is a misconception regarding women who earn more money than the average. They are being suspected by others from outside the family of taking advantages from their position and avoiding house chores, traditionally belonging to their “job description”. This is largely a myth and sociologic studies have shown that the effect is opposite. Women who do well at the office bring with them the same work philosophy at home. They are more efficient, productive and able to find smart solutions. They are able to transplant better strategies of time management. Running a family is after all very similar with running a business or a career. You invest time and resources in order to obtain a benefit, usually on the long term.

As stated before, families have strong traditions at base, traditions which are regarded as the secret of well-being. But things are on the move and the society we belong to is in a continuous transition. That means change is natural to occur and parts involved should embrace it.

We’ve all heard about alpha, beta and other letters of the Greek alphabet used to describe how person acts inside a group and at which level in the hierarchy it resides. The same is usually said about partners in a relationship. Judging from this point of view, an alpha female in the workspace is expected to receive the same crown at home. But things are not usually that simple and most alpha women leave beside that statute inside the family background and embrace a more feminine and submissive.

Strong and independent women are worthy of admiration and should be allow to become the head of the family. Of course, for that to happen, men should take a step back and ignore their strong ego. We all know how emasculating is for men to lose a debate, game or anything else involving competitiveness. But a marriage should not be seen the same way. A marriage should be a continuous cooperation, a symbiosis in which the two parts assemble their skills, knowledge and power for the general well-being of the family. If one, wither women or men, is better equipped for a certain activity, no obstacle should be raised by the other one. Envy and resentment should be restrained from public display, as they provide nothing of added value. There is definitely no shame for a man to accept that his wife is better than him at certain things. Men should learn to accept next to them women who are better breadwinners than them.

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