Can a marriage work when the woman is the main breadwinner?

If he has a low paying job and won't try to get anything better but she earns decent money. She pays all the bills, mortgage, food etc. how do u think this will work out?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Logically I don't see why it matters what the two of them make. If the genders were reversed it wouldn't be an issue. Realistically it is a huge problem for most couples.

    Women are normally not going to be happy with a guy long term if she is the main bread winner. Instead they want a man that she sees as being on her level or higher. The majority of women still expect men to fulfill our gender roles, even if they don't realize this. Likewise the guy may not feel like a "real man" if he is following a non traditional path.

    Gender roles have changed over the years, but every society has had some form of gender roles. This is an important part in standing out as a member of your gender in finding and attracting a mate. Likewise we look for the traits the other gender has to add value to our own lives. This is why it is important that men feel like real men, and for women to be made to feel like a woman. It validates our success as members of our gender.

    Perhaps if all of society said making money was girly, and that real men stayed at home and cooked and cleaned then such a relationship could work. However if a couple want a happy long term relationship they almost always need to follow gender roles to some extent. The idea that men and women can inhabit the same roles and be happily married is foolish. They just end up fighting over power, while pushing responsibility on their partner.

    "he has a low paying job and won't try to get anything better" This pretty much tells me how disappointed the woman is that he isn't acting in the way she thinks men should act. Clearly she doesn't care that he likes his job, and instead only cares about him having a job that she approves of. Gender roles are vital for happy relationships in any society. Otherwise we end up with a hookup culture were people don't want to commit.

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    • there already is a hookup culture with plenty of people not wanting to commit so are gender roles vital? Not necessarily.

    • @idkwtftoputhere You totally missed the point. lol There is already a hookup culture with plenty of people not wanting to commit BECAUSE of the lack of gender roles in our society. If gender roles were tightened up and enforced then this hookup culture would start to disappear. A gender role creates a need for a partner. If you need a partner then you will naturally want to get them to sign a contract to commit to you, which historically is what marriage has been about.

Most Helpful Girl

  • It will not work out because he "won't try to get anything better".

    A person with no drive or ambition is highly unattractive and she'll get annoyed with such a slobbish nature pretty quickly considering that she made a career for herself.

    Guys seem to be more forgiving in that department as long as she's hot and sweet, they tend to not care about the rest.

    70% of the time I earn more than my boyfriend, however we always split all the bills down the middle. Whichever one of us earns more that month pays for all the groceries too.

    He's doing his business and is working hard to build a future and that's what's attractive. He's not just sitting on his arse in a deadbeat job going "whatever, she earns more, so I don't need to try". I could never be with such a person.

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What Guys Said 22

  • Absolutely needs some good communication and ground rules. The mere fact your asking shows concern. Masculinity is a very fragile thing and can be crushed easily by women today.
    It's down to you to show appreciation and nurture it. Let the maternal compassionate side of a woman's nature come out at together time.
    You will be fine.

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  • It will work out fine. As long as there is love, nothing else matters. Lol.

    But if you lose feelings for your man, you'll start to get impatient with him and unhappy that he has no ambition and you'll start to think the r/s wouldn't work out.

    So really, just focus it all on keeping the love alive and it doesn't matter which spouse reels in more cash every month.

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  • Oh it can work and it does in many cases. For example if the woman is a physician I've seen examples where the husband does most of the child raising, since doctors work very long hours. And even if the woman doesn't have those long hours, a lot of the time as you mention, the guy doesn't really try that hard to get a career that pays all that well. Fine if both individuals are "on the same page" with it.

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  • It can. If, that is, she's content in her role as the breadwinner of the household and her current lifestyle satisfies her expectations.

    If not, it'll likely end in divorce.

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  • A better question would be why SHOULDN'T it work?

    It's the 21st century after all and it shouldn't matter who earns more so long as they earn enough.

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  • A lot of wrong with that. The woman will eventually resent him and lose respect for the man. I don't understand why we are trying to go against how we are biologically wired. I understand it is the 1950s and women should have equal opportunities but men becoming housewives is not acceptable in my opnion.

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  • It's been proven to work already. It's all about survival. Someone, or some combination of the two have to make enough money to pay the bills. Someone, or some combination of the two will have to keep up with the household chores. Someone, or some combination of the two will have to administrate your lives (make sure plates and other licenses are up-to-date, things like that).

    You just work out who does what. If the lower earner has more free time, then he can do a little more around the house, or whatever.

    It doesn't really matter who does what, so long as it all gets done and everyone is happy.

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  • I think the whole "won't try to get anything better" is more of an issue than the actual wage gap itself.

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  • yes this type of marriage can and does work if both people are comfortable with it. if he is other wise a great guy, caring, supportive , helps out around the house , etc it should work out just fine. if he doesn't have these other quality's it ill eventually strain the relationship

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  • It wouldn't bother me if my wife made a lot more money than me. I don't see why it's a big deal. As long as we were both passionate about what we do.

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  • There's nothing wrong with that, all long as he contributes.

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  • Yeah that would be fine.

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  • Yes, they can.

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  • If you 2 truly love each other, than yes why not.

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  • Obviously 💁🏻

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  • I know a couple of happy couples where ma is the breadwinner and pa is stay at home pa.

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  • Not for the majority of women. But there are exceptions.

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    • "But the data on actual marriage and divorce rates suggests slightly different attitudes.

      A recent working paper by economists at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the National University of Singapore found that, in looking at the distribution of married couples by income of husband versus wife, there is a sharp drop-off in the number of couples in which the wife earns more than half of the household income. This suggests that the random woman and random man are much less likely to pair off if her income exceeds his, the paper says.

      The economists also found that wives with a better education and stronger earning potential than their husbands are less likely to work. In other words, women are more likely to stay out of the work force if there is a big risk that they will make more than their husbands."

      www.nytimes.com/.../...on-the-rise-study-says.html

  • If your married your a team. Your income usually is combined. If you both like your jobs then why change for more money. As long as pride doesn't get in the way then it should be fine.

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  • If the couple respects what they do for each other, then why not?

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  • Less chance of divorce from the woman but still would feel low unless she really made me feel that it was great for her to take care of everything

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  • Women are hyergamous and want men who are basically better than them. The argument i've heard from women is that they don't want to be raising some dead beat. When pressed further most women perceive any many who makes less than her (even if by a few hundred dollars) to be such a man. In short, women lose total respect for men who make less than them but have no problem being the one in that situation in the relationship.

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  • I would feel strange in that situation

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What Girls Said 9

  • I think it could work out good, except both parties have to except this and agree, the wife shouldn't feel like she HAS to and the husband/boyfriend should not feel like overtime he owes her something. It's important to communicate loud and clear of your wants.

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  • Yes, my parents are like that. And their wage differences are pretty damn drastic. Mum pays all the food, mortgage, my dads phone contract, bills. Been working out pretty darn well for them, still together after 22 years, and I really don't see it ending any time soon. ☺️

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  • Those marriages are far more likely to end in divorce

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  • Yes of course!

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  • Why not? Is there some rule that says a man must earn more than his wife? I know of at least one woman who is an engineer, her husband is a stay at home house hubby, he takes care of the home and the kids. Seems to work well for them. So why not?

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  • only if she doesn't resent him for not making money / living off of her
    only if he doesn't resent her for being the breadwinner
    only if they respect each other

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  • Yeah if the man is a wimp, seen that all day long.

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  • If who makes more money is the issue in the relationship then values need to be reevaluated. This is the 21st century.

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  • Sure, if he's not a caveman and she's not a harpy... but he does need a way to feel useful.

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