I have always believed that men should protect and provide for their wives and families. To some, that may sound old fashioned but that is part of who we are as human beings. Men are biologically programed to be bigger, stronger and more intimidating than women which makes them natural protectors.
Where it gets a little tricky is that women now have almost as much earning potential as men. While we have made a lot of advancements in the women’s rights movement, we have still not reached a point where men and women are paid equal salaries for equal work. It is still however possible and quite common for a woman to find herself with a better paying job than her husband or for her to have a business that brings in more income than her husband does.
This arrangement works best when :
1. She is still respectful and does not adopt a negative attitude about it: Many women will complain that men can’t handle strong women but what hey are calling “strong” is actually a bad attitude and doing and saying emasculating things to the man they claim to love and respect.
2. He is not insecure: Some men’s sense of identity and self worth is very closely tied to their ability to earn an income and provide for their loved ones. Being in a relationship with a woman who earns more money can feel threatening for a man who strongly feels like he should be the main provider.
The truth is that even though many people will gloss over this issue, it really is a very delicate issue that requires a lot of maturity to handle. It may seem like one small issue but it has many implications. Many of us have have been socialized to believe that men are providers and protectors and women are the nurtures and having to live a life that contradicts that may not be straight forward.
Of course women have been working and earning incomes for generations but for many families, even when the woman works, she is generally perceived as supplementing her husband’s income while she is also expected to be the primary care taker of the children and the home.
It is a good idea to have an honest and open conversations and set up some expectations and agreements about how finances will be handled and by which partner. There may also need to be a shift in other household responsibilities so that there is balance and fairness and setting up clear expectations and agreements is always a good way to manage such issues.
Agreements and expectations should be open to negotiation and adjustment so that each partner feels like they are both appreciated and supported by the other.
Nomalanga is a Life Balance Expert. Her speaking and coaching programs help busy women who struggle to balance Marriage, Motherhood and Money-Making™. Nomalanga is an experienced instructor, author and avid blogger.