In spite of feminism’s best efforts, in spite of our determination otherwise, decades of clearly defined gender roles can simply prove hard to undo, and women today may still be fearful of their wealth and power.
Subconsciously (or, even consciously) they don’t want to outshine men, because they know that men can feel obsolete when they’re no longer the breadwinner. In traditional gender roles, men may be more defined by money, therefore when they’re not the one bringing home the biggest paycheck, it can weigh on their ego.
Sometimes, it’s not only men who are conflicted when their role as breadwinner comes into question. Often, women are uneasy about this circumstance, if only subconsciously.
Money conflicts in relationships
The most common way these feeling manifest themselves in a marriage or relationship where the woman is making more than, or has just as much professional responsibility as, her male counterpart, is through conflict that centers on money.
No matter what stage of a relationship you’re in, there are tips and tricks to keep in mind in order to help minimize these struggles. Even if you’re still early on in a dating relationship and you’re unsure of who makes more, it’s nice to have these ideas in the back of your mind just in case the situation arises.
Money shouldn’t be the most important thing in a relationship, or in life, but it is often the most PROMINENT cause of struggle, even among friends.
What men can do if their significant other makes more money…
*Validate what she does professionally, since that is a big part of who she is, and she no doubt wants your support!
*Focus on the positives of your situation. You may have more free time, more entrepreneurial possibilities and freedom to take more financial risk
*Encourage her if she’s traveling for work or working late hours. Don’t contribute to the guilt she may feel
What women can do…
*Be his biggest advocate concerning the role your partner has professionally and in your relationship.
*Be discrete. Don’t brag about your earning power. This is something that should be done no matter WHO’S making more!
*Discuss money, but in the context of shared goals. Acknowledge that his paycheck is also helping you reach these goals
What to do together…
*Take turns paying the bills so it doesn’t feel like one person has the “financial upperhand.”
*CREATE moments for fondness and appreciation.
Married AND single people struggle with these things and it can be hard for women who tend to have society telling them two very different things.
1). They are encouraged to pursue their dreams, but 2). are sometimes made to feel guilty if they outshine men or chose their career over “traditional” feminine roles. This creates problems not only for the women themselves, but for their significant others as they try to relate to the woman in their lives.
Men and women, ingeneral, have different approaches to acquiring power and money, so it becomes even more important to take the tips above to heart and to communicate with your partner to avoid sliding into any type of revenge behavior or financial infidelity.