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Are there any men out there that are happy for their girlfriend/wife to earn more than they do? I am a firm believer that most men are not wholly, truly happy and comfortable with their female partner earning more than them, and certainly not being the only breadwinner. It hasn’t bypassed me that it’s supposed to be the year 2006 but I really don’t think that the sexes have evolved that much. I know that there is a lot of noise about ‘new men’ and equal women, but there are a lot of wolves in sheeps clothing out there who don’t object to women earning lots of money per se….just as long as they don’t earn more than them and make them feel inferior about what they bring to the table.
I’ve come across a lot of women that find themselves in the grey area of being the provider or significant earner. On many levels they are comfortable with it because it satisfies something in them, and these emotions don’t necessarily come from a positive place. Often there is a deep rooted need to play the Financial Florence Nightingale and there is an element of control, even if they don’t know it yet. In almost every single situation there were problems in the relationship that stemmed from the financial imbalance.
I often read and hear about women in power, with financial clout who are resented by their male counterparts and who despite yearning for the 2.4 children and the wedding, struggle to get a guy that can ‘cope’ with them. I don’t see why there should be a difference, after all, many a woman has been ‘kept’ by a man or had him earn more than her. However, I’m inclined to think that it’s a combination of social programming that has been going on for hundreds of years that make this an uncomfortable scenario for most men involved in this type of situation.
If you’re a woman that has a history of dating men that earn less and who end up resenting you, I’d sit down and ask what you are contributing to this situation to bring about the same issue. It’s not to take away from the responsibility of their behaviour, but you’re only in control of your own. Are you inadvertently making him feel small?
You could also just stop dating men that earn significantly less.
Or don’t shower them with gifts or money to show your generosity. That ‘It’s OURS not MINE’ line doesn’t seem to help in this situation. Trust me when I say it will get thrown back in your face when the rot sets in.
Look out for signs of irresponsibility. The type of guy that will resent you is the type that is irresponsible anyway. If he shirks paying bills, isn’t too fussed about getting or having a job, hits you up for cash like an ATM but doesn’t contribute to the relationship emotionally, has a hissy fit even when you don’t actually say or do anything to make him feel small about the financial balance, run like the wind. Bad enough you’re a human wallet but you don’t need a whiny kid!
If you’re a guy:
Ask yourself why you continue to keep the status quo when you’re so unhappy with the situation. I doubt she’s gonna jack in her job anytime soon so either suck it up and get on with things, get a better job, or get out. If you truly love her, it shouldn’t matter that she earns more.
Remember that men don’t like women that they think of as golddiggers or who are focused on how much a man earns. Remember this the next time you want to maker her feel bad for about what she earns.
Natalie Lue is the founder and writer of Baggage Reclaim and author of the books Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship and more. Learn more about her here and you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter – @baggagereclaim .
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