Does your wife earn more than you? Do you feel like you need to get another job? Do you get home early before her because of the calibre of her office? Did she buy her car herself and paid for the children’s school fees? Do you sometimes wish you could just have her resign her work and just stay home taking care of the kids? Not to worry, you are not alone in these thoughts, most men in your shoes share similar misgivings. Novelist Tony Parsons famously once said “his pennis literally would have dropped off” in a long term relationship where his partner earned more than him. Ok well, that’s a bit cynical Tony. But the truth is that people actually feel this way. How do they deal with it? Well, lets see.
Take the story of Julius a school teacher who happen to fall in love with a banker. They soon got married and were blessed with Children. His wife’s salary is more than triple his own and as such she is the bread winner of the house. They live in a posh 4 bedroom apartment in Lekki, Own two brand new cars and every year go on vacation anywhere in the world as a family. Julius doesn’t mind abdicating his natural responsibility as a bread winner. In fact he makes it up by being at home on time, going through home work with his kids, making sure dinner is ready for his wife and patiently waiting for her every night till she is back. He claims, they do not have issues with the twisted reality of his life. Part of his secret weapon he claims, come from love making. He regularly ensures his sex life is improved upon and never lets his wife lack in that area. Orgasms are regular between them and they can’t seem to have enough of it. He believes if he can’t meet up financially then he should compensate in other areas of family life.
Evelyn on the other hand is married to a Lawyer whom she met and dated back in University. She now works with an Oil company and makes far more money a month than are husband makes in six months. But that’s how far her edge over her husband goes. He instructs her to pay all or part of her salaries into his account every month and from there gives her what he feels is enough for her for the month. She says, its not a situation she likes, but after several rebuffs from her had landed her in hot water she decided her marriage was more important than her opinion. Today they are ‘happily’ married with her money funding the luxurious lifestyle she and her kids enjoy. Her kids are happy Daddy’s “takes care of them regularly”.
Emma is a Medical Doctor who has over the years established himself as a seasoned consultant. His wife works for a multinational and is equally successful. On the average she earns more than her husband and her jobs takes her to places even him will dream of going. But he doesn’t mind, he likes ambitious women and pushes his wife to achieve more. He believes his earnings, though smaller than that of his wife are enough to cater for his family. He pays for everything payable in the house and will not allow his wife spend a dime. He believes the money she makes are for their kids. He advices her to save in an endownment fund somewhere. He saves for them too but only just. To him, a man must take charge.
Adelice an Accountant works for one of the top accounting firms in Lagos and has been married for over 10 years. Her husband is self employed and is mainly into general merchandise, general contractors, etc. His business entails several ups and downs depending on what is available. Still he believes by nature he should be the bread winner. But he can’t turn away from the steady income that comes the way of his wife. In fact, when they initially got married he almost asked her to resign believing her jobs may one day make her insubordinate. He thanks his stars he didn’t do just that. Today, his wife’s steady income augments his income and they both in a way contribute to the day to day running of the house. He gets to put up one off payments like rent, vacation, school fees etc while the wife takes care of daily consumable like food, fuel, utility bills etc. He feels this has helped the family remain bonded and makes him even work harder to keep up with his part.
Peter and his wife of two years have had issues dealing with her new job. She earns far more than him, a situation he hasn’t been able to deal with. Worse is the fact that she has to get home from work after him every day. He believes in his traditional roots and takes the advice and experience of his father seriously. His wife loves him so much and can no longer stand the incessant quarrels at home. She accepts his instruction to resign since he can’t find a better paying job. Now they live on his salary and live ‘happily’ together.
The above illustrations are typically the ways to deal with situations like this. From experience, no one way is totally correct as most would argue in favour or against till thy kingdom come. The reactions on all of the above is as diverse as it can come. Some Men feel Julius “is a sissy and should man up”. Women think Evelyn “is in trouble and think her husband is a machismo and can swear he beats her”. In fact, most don’t mind parting with some of their salary but not all. Most believe Emma “is simply too carefree. Why shouldn’t he know what she does with he money”. “What if its so much she starts to dash people. Money is the root of evil” they say. Adelice and her husband way of dealing with this is commonly more acceptable. However, some believe it can only stand the test of time “if the husband’s business continues to do well”. As per Peter, most traditionalist believe “is the real deal”. “A man has gotta be a man. No half measures”.
If you are in a situation where your earn more than your husband or your wife earns more than you, what would you do?
* Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.