It is no surprise that in many households these days, female breadwinners are earning more than their male counterparts. While unfortunate statistics show these type of households succumbing to a slightly higher divorce rate, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some key tips to avoid the common pitfalls:
It is unbelievable how many couples fail to communicate with each other in healthy, open, safe ways. Instead of discussing the issue with others outside the relationship, have a real honest conversation with each other on how it makes you feel, and how you’re going to move through it. It’s only an issue if you make it into one.
In prior-generation traditional households where the man earned more than a woman, he might have contributed that certain % more to shared household expenses. Talk to each other about what you both think is fair and reasonable. Remember, resentment breeds breakups. Fix this at the beginning when you are dating/before moving in or fix it in divorce court.
Not money, but come up with a pre-determined list of household chores and tasks that each member of the household is going to be responsible for. It’s not just based on income, but also time at work, etc. If both of you work 50 hours a week, it’s different than if one of you puts in 30 hours and one puts in 55 hours, for example.
Expectations, that is. If a ‘power woman’ who makes more than her man has to also put in long work hours, will the man be resentful at having a woman far busier than him? It sounds silly, as you would think he would jump at the chance to watch extra Sports at the bar/pub with his friends, but it should be put out on the table to make sure all parties are aware of each other’s expectations.
Note, these same rules of thumb can and should be applied to more typical scenarios as well, wherein the man may earn more. Here in the US, money issues account for one of the top three primary reasons for divorce, so it is of utmost importance to make sure you not only are comfortable with your respective financial obligations into your future household, but also your overall financial values. Is one a big saver vs. the other who is a big spender? How will that work for both of you? As I write about in my book How to Find and Create Lasting Love, resentment is a huge silent killer in failed relationships.