A new survey from Elle and MSNBC of 74,000 men and women shows that the majority of men don't care if their wives make more money than they do, and just 12 percent of men surveyed said they would be resentful if their wife was the bigger breadwinner. Observing these results, Stephanie Coontz, director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families said, “This is a real sea change that’s going on in gender roles.”
The survey came up with several other interesting statistics: 75 percent of the surveyed men have working wives and 5 percent wish she stayed home; of the other 25 percent with wives who stayed home, 40 percent wish their wives were working; 16 percent of women and 10 percent of men said the bigger earner has more power in the relationship; and 30 percent of women who earn more think their husbands are resentful.
What's striking to me is that while 12 percent of men resent their higher-earning wives, 30 percent of women are under the impression that their husbands are resentful of their bigger paycheck. One of these women, a 31-year old earning more than twice as much as her husband, said, “I think it is hard on my husband and on me that I'm the primary breadwinner in our home. I think it's hard for both of us to accept that we're in non-traditional roles.” It seems that it's not just men who are adjusting to new dynamics, and some women are still getting comfortable with the idea of earning more than their husbands.