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"Men unhappy when wives earn more"

(71 Posts)
ixion Sun 22-Nov-20 14:25:57

Title of an article from today's Sunday Times.

'The study's findings come as a growing number of women are now earning more than their husbands. "Men appear to need to be the bigger earners in a marriage to feel good about themselves".
(Researchers) found that men feel a "psychological kick" in life satisfaction if a salary boost increases their earnings superiority within a marriage'.

Would you agree?

Luckygirl Sun 22-Nov-20 22:07:56

My OH was also a student when we married - and so was I for one year afterwards, but I could put him on my Home Office grant as a dependent - he was very happy about that!

When I started earning and he was still a student I had trouble with the Inland Revenue who would not accept me filling in the tax return in my own right - I had to fill it in in his name as if my earnings were his - barmy!

Davidhs Mon 23-Nov-20 07:27:53

My eldest daughter earns far more than SIL - spends more too!. Doesn’t cause a problem, they are not short of cash, in general it’s OK as long as the relationship is good.
The changes we have seen with more women taking middle management jobs might cause a problem for some men, admin and professional work that men would have done. With technology, mobile phones and computers it’s easy now to work from home for many women and fit in with family life.
A man with a high earning wife should consider himself lucky, he could have a lazy one at home always complaining how hard life is.

cossybabe Mon 23-Nov-20 10:23:10

I nearly always earned more than my husband, consequently, I now have a bigger state and private pension. As all the monies go into one pot there is never any mention of it - so no problem at all.

TerryM Mon 23-Nov-20 10:24:03

My daughter in law earns more than my son.
Son hopes in the next few years to be earning more but in relation to his wife's wages it is irrelevant.
Household money is household money

Davida1968 Mon 23-Nov-20 10:28:48

I'm guessing Davidhs, that you've been a house-husband without small children at home. (I make this guess because it's a post-retirement situation.) What a difference that makes!

Chardy Mon 23-Nov-20 10:29:11

I've worked with a lot of professional women (usually graduates), perhaps over a thousand. I can only think of one whose family including her husband moved area for her career. However I've had many female colleagues who moved sideways or down a pay grade or 2 when the man got a promotion that was in another part of UK.
So if the question is whose career was more important? Man's almost every time.

jaylucy Mon 23-Nov-20 10:34:08

Depends on their background and how they have been brought up I'd guess.
If their father was one that was seen as the "head of the household" it may cause problems, but what happened to the "marriage is a partnership" idea?
If both salaries go into the same pot, it surely can't matter who earns what.
I would love to know just where the info for this statement comes from.

SillyNanny321 Mon 23-Nov-20 10:46:29

My Ex always hated me earning more than he did. Said his friends took the mickey out of him. Why did he tell them? Could never understand that! Glad not to have to have that ‘discussion’ regularly any more!

Grandma11 Mon 23-Nov-20 10:46:47

In some men they see themselves as the family provider, and dislike the thought of a wife bringing home her own income, it's the old fashioned idea of the Hunter gathered role whilst she stays home to raise strong healthy children. My own Grandfather was like that, born during Victorian times, it was simply not the done thing for a woman to work, and young girls were expected to give up their job and become stay at home house wives the day they got Married!

This sometimes went a step further, with only Sons allowed to inherit their Fathers estate, not Daughters, and to this day, it's common to see a Company listed as ' John Smith &Son' but very rare to find one registered as 'John Smith and Daughter'!

If a Man only had Daughters, it often fell on his Male siblings to inherit his fortunes, or even a Son-in-Law if he had worked in and help to develop a partnership in the family business.
Thankfully the Laws have now changed and Daughers have equil rights in inheritance to their brothers, but my own husband disliked the fact that my inheritance from my father was for a greater amount than he had inherited from his Dad over 20 years ago!

optimist Mon 23-Nov-20 10:55:44

If that is so then the men have a problem that they need to address.

bonfirebirthday Mon 23-Nov-20 11:03:26

Have these men never heard of Women's Liberation and the gender pay gap?

4allweknow Mon 23-Nov-20 11:05:38

Given the number of couples who are not married, have separate accounts and only contribute equally to household expenses (even married couples live like this nowadays) don't think it is such a problem as the media is reporting.

polnan Mon 23-Nov-20 11:07:54

since dh died, a year ago, I have learned how good we were together..

a lot of our time together I earned more than him, I asked him at one time, never bothered him, or me... he did stuff around our homes,, gosh that is lovely to remember.. how good we were together.

Bijou Mon 23-Nov-20 11:11:20

My granddaughter is the breadwinner and her husband looks after the three children and all the household tasks apart from cooking. He also converted the garage into a playroom and did the loft conversion unaided.
They are a very happy family.

eazybee Mon 23-Nov-20 11:14:45

The couples I know where the wife is the higher earner don't seem bothered by it; the trouble seems to come if the husband is unemployed and resents being a house-husband.

Being a house-husband when there are no children is not comparable to being a stay-at-home-mum, any more than being a stay at home-wife with no children.

Mollygo Mon 23-Nov-20 11:16:09

When we were younger, DH was proud of what he earned so I could stay home with the children. (£6pw for shopping! How on earth did we manage?)
When I went back to work, and earned more, it all went into the same pot so wasn’t mentioned. When he was made redundant, we were both glad I was earning. I do remember my dad apologising for not earning so much when he changed jobs but it didn’t seem to be a big issue.

grandtanteJE65 Mon 23-Nov-20 11:18:29

DH and I have never had this problem, but a lot of women both in our generation and amongst the young do.

Basically, a lot of men feel uncomfortable or threatened if their wives earn more than they do, or are more intelligent than they are.

Ask a woman with two good university degrees or a professional musician especially one whose husband plays the same instrument professionally, and I'll bet they will agree.

It takes more than three generations to change these attitudes apparently, but at least we don't have to ask our husband's permission to work, as my mother did.

She had to fit her work into a schedule that suited my father. Even when she was making a major contribution financially, he treated her job like a hobby she did in her spare time, when and as it suited him.

Bijou Mon 23-Nov-20 11:19:49

I never went to work after I had the children but my husband suffered poor health so I did all the gardening, veg growing, decorating, house painting ( up the ladder to the gable) laying concrete drive etc. We were better off than if I had gone out to work.

Razzy Mon 23-Nov-20 11:21:18

I can only go by my experience. My OH always says he isn’t bothered if I earn more but when we married and I wanted to pool everything he refused, wanting separate accounts. I am nearly 10 years younger when we met, and had just had a career change which was expensive. I would say for last 15 years I’ve earnt alot more than him and have a very good pension. He is relying on inheritance to fund his. But underlying all this, he definitely believes he has more money because he is better with money than me. True colours. I’ve worked in male dominated industries alot and I firmly believe that yes, men want to be seen to be the breadwinners and head of household. Probably why they still expect women to give up their name on marriage and men rarely do.

CBBL Mon 23-Nov-20 11:31:53

We are both retired, but I now have more pension income than my husband. He used to have a business(where he would have earned more than me) and prior to that he worked as a Transport Manager, so again, would have earned more than me. He had to retire due to ill health, and his business partner (an Accountant) ran off to Spain with the contents of the Bank Account, and so he was made redundant. This took away his Pensions, Life Assurance etc. All this happened before we met and married, late in life when I was widowed and he was divorced. We don't have any problems with attitudes to money, or who has what. We have separate Bank Accounts, but will happily transfer money from one to the other, at any time, to meet any need!

Sleepygran Mon 23-Nov-20 11:32:58

My Dh didn’t like it when I earned more than he did at times in our marriage. He felt it was his job to provide for us both. After our child was a few months old I was offered a job,we almost came to divorce because he felt I should stay at home and bring up the child.I took the job with no help from him.over time he got used to it and eventually saw how it helped our finances.It also helped me,I wasn’t that maternal,so time out made me value the time I had with my child.

Spec1alk Mon 23-Nov-20 11:35:07

My husband earned more than me for 25 years then I caught up and we earned about the same for 15 yrs and for the final 10 years I earned more. I now have a pension that is double his. No problem, it’s OUR money!

LondonMzFitz Mon 23-Nov-20 11:59:27

Hmm. My ex started off very happy I earned more than him, but over time it rankled, there'd be some snide remarks .. It all went in the same pot, he sorted all the finances (I would say controlled now, looking back). I had no idea what debt he'd run up in our joint name ...

When I was left money by my Mum when she died he opened an ISA in his own name with some of the money, while half of my legacy went to pay the joint debt. Came up in mediation recently and he denied it. I don't think I'd ever trust another person with a joint account. Actually, I know I wouldn't.

Kim19 Mon 23-Nov-20 12:23:55

After many years of 'housewifing/baby rearing' I eventually got back to work. It took me a few years to get back up the ladder. Eventually, I commented that my 'contribution' to the pot was greater than my husband's. He smiled, winked and said 'about blooming time!'

homefarm Mon 23-Nov-20 12:24:41

Perhaps it's an age related thing? It's now a very different world.