Men shouldn’t care if a woman earns more money — I don’t

women-breadwinners-earn-more-than-husband

Why should I care if a woman earns more money?

I’ve never understood men who feel threatened by a wife or girlfriend who brings home a bigger paycheck. Is there a household competition about who can earn more?

If there is, that’s stupid. A person’s income is based more on market conditions than intelligence anyway. So why should the partner who earns more feel superior and the other inferior?

I’ve never sought a woman who made less than me. But most of the women I’ve dated and my two ex-wives did earn less.

Still, I’d be delighted to date (or even marry) a rich physician or high-powered attorney. If we had a joint bank account, there’d be more money for me, right? Bring it on.

A recent Time magazine had a cover story on women’s rising income. “The Richer Sex: Women are overtaking men as America’s breadwinners,” it said. “Why that’s good for everyone.”

I couldn’t read the entire article because it was for magazine subscribers only. But the author, Liza Mundy, wrote a piece discussing the cover story.

Women should tout their income – not hide it

She says some women in the dating world actually lie about their occupation and income, thinking they’ll drive away men if they’re truthful.

“A growing body of research shows that while there may have once been a stigma to making money, high-earning women actually have an advantage in the dating-and-marriage market,” Mundy writes.

I agree totally. If I was attracted to two similar women and one earned twice as much as the other, I’d go for the higher earner every time.

Mundy says several studies show that many men do, in fact, value women with fat paychecks.

For instance, University of Wisconsin demographer Christine Schwartz wrote in the American Journal of Sociology in 2010 that “men are increasingly looking for partners who will ‘pull their own weight’ economically in marriage.”

Amen! Keep pulling, sister.

Seriously, it’s about time couples stopped using income as a barometer of power in a relationship.

In today’s turbulent job market, a six-figure earner one day could be unemployed the next. Then the partner with a job – no matter the income – suddenly has the power. That is, if a paycheck is used as a measuring stick.

Actually, money management is far more important in a household than income. If a man and woman share views on managing money, a disparity in income shouldn’t be a problem.

I suppose some men still shy away from a woman who earns more. But they’re limiting their potential partners and holding onto an unhealthy, outdated attitude.

THE TAKEAWAY

Money is often a source of conflict in a relationship. The conflict can be lessened if both partners don’t compare paychecks. Each should focus on keeping a job and managing money well. Then they’ll spend less time in an economic power struggle and more time enjoying their money.

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About Ed Housewright

Ed Housewright is the chief cook and bottle washer at Single Dad House. After three decades as a newspaper reporter, he’s trying to adapt to the social media world. He’s matrimonially challenged with two divorces under his belt and is trying to do a better job at raising his 12-year-old son, Connor. Follow Ed on Twitter: @singledadhouse.