In my recent youth (five years ago), I made the mistake of blindly walking into circumstances that ultimately led to having a breadwinner wife. There is plenty of discussion about the social phenomenon that 40% of wives are now the breadwinner. However, the story is never told from a perspective that will help us men make the best decision for ourselves.
My story is one example. I wasn’t some chump—I had a MBA from a good school. My fiancée was an awesome girl. Loving, nurturing, domesticated, and hot. And I had choices to pick from. Oh yeah, and she was in Law School during our first two years of marriage- basically it was like her having a part time job.
I come before you today to dispute all of the reasons people have for why it is good to have a breadwinner wife:
1. “It is good to have a breadwinner wife you sap! More money for you!”
There isn’t more money for you. It is her money. Traditional men look at women as sacred possessions and take pride in providing for their women and children. Women, even good women, just don’t have this characteristic. Money she earns is her money and she isn’t going to be smart with it.
When we were living on my decent but smaller income, we actually had a savings. When she started making twice the money, I bowed out and let her deal with the finances. It was a complete mess for two years. No savings, spending $200 at the grocery store and coming home with nothing for dinner, leased car, and purchased but unworn clothes and more.
She had more respect for my money in the beginning then she did for our combined money later on. Go figure that out.
2. “You now have time to pursue more masculine past times such as hunting, fishing, or extreme body building.”
Unless you quit your job, there isn’t more time or money (see above) for masculine interests. It is actually the same amount of time you had before, except now you get to be the beta when you go home. If she has a career that requires lots of hours, you will find that you have to construct your life according to your wife’s job schedule—whether that’s planning the vacation, weekend trip, or what time the family is going to eat dinner.
3. “The challenges of being married to a ‘strong’ woman will push you to reach your untapped potential”
A woman who works 8-10 hours a day is a tired, worn out, and cranky woman every day of the week. Expect very few breaks from this reality. She just doesn’t have the stamina that you do as a man. When it is 7 p.m. and she hasn’t had time to cook, clean, work out, or anything, she is going to be in a bitchy, nagging mood. Not the best environment for self-improvement.
On one hand, you can just do all the housework. It only takes about an hour anyway. But then, she will lose respect for you faster than she already was from being the breadwinner. She doesn’t want the guy at home washing her panties, so kiss your sex life goodbye. Additionally, due to her likely Type-A personality, she will become threatened if you try to improve yourself any higher than your status as designated laundry bitch.
4. “Your wife will love you even more for supporting her Career Ambitions!”
While she was breadwinner, I went through a period where I did the cooking and cleaning when I got home from work just to make the evenings more pleasant. My firsthand experience is she actually won’t love you more or appreciate your support. She will lose respect for you.
We all know what happens when your woman doesn’t respect you. It sucks for all involved. Do a quick search and read the blogs and comments where breadwinner wives discuss their “husbands.” If men talked about their housewives like that, they would be thrown in jail.
5. “You just feel emasculated because of outdated societal constructs- it is all in your head! Quit complaining!”
The truth is you lose a large part of your masculinity by not being the breadwinner. Once you see how your in-laws have no respect for your authority (because you have none) or how your wife talks down to you constantly (because she doesn’t respect you), you will understand.
So you feel emasculated that your wife makes more? That means there is hope for you! Your balls can still drop back down to their original dangling position they were in before! Go hug your old man – he probably did right by you if you feel this way.
I survived and so can you. With diligent effort towards self-improvement, this too shall pass. Tips to help specifically navigate yourself out of this situation is a another conversation for another day.
I believe that knowledge is power. I only know three men whose wives are the breadwinner that seem content. One of them coaches baseball and two of them are Green Berets. The guy who coaches baseball just wants to coach baseball. Green Berets say they need independent women that can manage through their long and frequent deployments.
Most men I know whose wives are the breadwinner, however, are either dissatisfied with their personal life or are very meek in nature. So be careful, be knowledgeable, be particular, and plan accordingly.