When wives make more money

When she makes more than he:

  • Men over 50 have a much harder time when their wives make more money than they do.

  • In most homes, men worry more than women do about the fact that she earns more than he does.

  • In 22 percent of the homes of couples in the 34-40 year age group, women earn more than men.

  • While a majority of women said that they'd marry for money as late as the mid-60's, the vast majority of today's women say that they wouldn't marry just for money. Today women are much more likely to look for a guy who is in touch with his feelings, communicative, and willing to share parenting and housework.

  • When men lose their jobs or if their income decreases, they are much more at risk for depression, anxiety, drug/alcohol abuse and to have a big decrease in their ability to parent.
Tips featured in the segment:
  • If there has been a loss of job or a decrease in income, try to be sensitive to how humiliating a job loss can be.
  • Most men still get the majority of their self-esteem from their jobs. Therefore, they may have a harder time feeling good about themselves if they can't provide as much income.

  • Men need to be sensitive to how his earning less may impact her feelings of security or well-being.

  • Many men don't feel like they have a lot to offer if they can't provide much income.

  • If you're a woman, try to communicate your requests that he either picks up the slack or works harder to find a job in a sensitive way. If you're a man, try to show your appreciation for what she's providing and to pick up the slack at home.

  • Brainstorm with each other ways that he can provide value to the couple or family.
About Dr. Joshua Coleman:

Dr. Joshua Coleman is Co-Chair of the Council on Contemporary Families and is a psychologist with a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He has been a frequent guest on the Today Show, NPR, The BBC, View from the Bay, and has also been featured on Sesame Street, 20/20, Good Morning America, America Online Coaches, PBS, and numerous news programs for FOX, ABC, CNN, and NBC television.

His advice has appeared in The New York Times, The Times of London, Fortune, Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune, Slate, Psychology Today, U.S. World and News Report, Parenting Magazine and many others. He has served on the clinical faculties of The University of California at San Francisco, The Wright Institute Graduate School of Psychology, and the San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group.

He is the author of numerous articles and chapters and has written four books: "The Marriage Makeover: Finding Happiness in Imperfect Harmony" (St. Martin's Press), "The Lazy Husband: How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework" (St. Martin's Press), "When Parents Hurt: Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Don't Get Along" (HarperCollins) and "Married with Twins: Life, Love and the Pursuit of Marital Harmony."

His books have been translated into Chinese, Croatian, and Korean, and are also available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia.

For more information, visit www.contemporaryfamilies.org and www.drjoshuacoleman.com

>> Find this book on Amazon: The Marriage Makeover: Finding Happiness in Imperfect Harmony

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