More On “Wives Make More..”

By , February 22, 2010 8:23 pm
Couple posing with a piggy bank

Before I wrote this post about more wives earning more money than their husbands, I sent an email to several male friends about the trend. Why just guys? Because I first read about “The Rise of Wives” in this New York Times article. The piece only quoted women who said who said they had difficulty finding and staying with male companions. They claimed the men they dated were insecure about being out-earned. I found a few articles on the increase in stay-at-home dads, but nothing from men on this study. It was like half the story was missing.

So, I emailed some of my guy friends. Here are responses from two of them.

Feliciano wrote:

I don’t mind when I find out the woman I’m dating makes more than me. The real challenge is deciding when or if to reveal how much I make. It’s something that should come out naturally. I’m always wary of women who want/need to know how much I make right away. It’s funny, I wonder if more guys are figuring out clever ways to find out how much the woman they’re dating earns…sort of a new twist on gold-digging.

Rich, who said his mother makes more than his father, doesn’t have a problem dating a woman who out-earns him. He wrote:

I think there’s more going on [in the New York Times article] than just ‘the guy was insecure about how much money I make.’ At the end of the day women’s salaries, while having increased as much as they have in the past forty years, are still not equal. Because of this, for a woman to be successful she most likely has to put forth more effort and time, to rise on her own merits and abilities rather than through a buddy system of golfing and racquetball partners. It seems like the man might resent that she spends more time than he thinks she should working towards success, rather than the amount of money she makes.

I find this trend fascinating. It has so many implications for our expectations of marriage, what men and women look for in a mate compared to a generation ago and who’s more likely to be a child’s primary caretaker. It’s also related to the fact that women are out-graduating men from college, the recession (or “mancession“) and, as Rich pointed out, pay equality in the workplace.

I would love to hear from more of you: stay-at-home dads, wives who earn more than their husbands, people who are currently dating.

Join the conversation and leave your comments.

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