By Jonathan Fields
Women are the primary breadwinners in 38 percent of all heterosexual marriages, according to 2009 figures with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A recent Harvard University study found that, in heterosexual marriages, when a husband is not working full-time, a couple is 32 percent more likely to split up than when the man is fully employed. Apparently, subverting traditional gender roles, even today, is fatal to the marriage.
Another recent study published in the Harvard Business Review showed that women who earn more than their husbands commonly suffer from “status leakage,” a term for people believing their own status is elevated if they affiliate with others of high status or that their status is lowered if they affiliate with others of lower status. As a result, they can feel embarrassed by or resentful of their spouses’ lower job status because they fear “that their status could be compromised by that of their husbands,” the study explains.
These marriages can work if the husband helps out significantly with “high levels of instrumental support, such as helping with domestic responsibilities or child and elder care.” Emotional support, on the other hand, didn’t cut it.
Farnoosh Torabi, author of When She Makes More: The Truth About Navigating Love and Life for a New Generation of Women, tackles these issues in a recent book that has many tips for better relationships in these financially disparate marriages. She even has a crib sheet here.
NOTE FROM FIELDS AND DENNIS — FOR SOME RECOMMENDATIONS OF BOOKS AND VIDEOS ABOUT THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF DIVORCE AND ABOUT PARENTING PLANS, VISIT HERE.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF DIVORCE, VISIT HERE.