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Most Men Are Accepting if Women Earn More

Most Men Don't Mind If You Earn More

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.


Join The Conversation
Sammi_784 Sammi_784 9 years
my (ex) best friend was male and he absolutely hated it whenever i outshone him, be it earning more, beating him at a video game, did better in a test... the list was endless. i'm not sure if i agree with the figures above, i mean, how many men want to admit that they are jealous, not just of women, but anyone who is 'better' than them? and that doesn't just go for men as women hate admitting they're jealous too. men are supposed to be the providers and women are the nurturers, it is part of our evolutionary make-up. when you switch the roles, some people can deal with it, others can't. i feel that if you can find a man who is secure enough to let a woman take the lead from time to time, then you are incredibly fortunate.
javsmav javsmav 9 years
I make over twice what my boyfriend makes and he definitely doesn't mind. Of course, in 2 1/2 years when he's done with his residency, he'll probably make twice as much as I do, so then he can start paying for more. It really shouldn't matter and if it does, the guy has serious issues.
oceanluv oceanluv 9 years
My boyfriend is looking forward to it!! I am going back to school for a nursing degree which in my area is very lucrative and stable. He's super involoved in the house cleaning and cooking aspect which is great... and wants to be super involved with the children when it's time. Right now he makes more and you'd never know it and before I left my job in Manhattan I was making more. Like anything in a relationship there are bound to be times when one is doing more, making more, and handling more but as long as it evens out in the end who cares.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
for a little while i was making more than my boyfriend and he didn't seem to mind - (we live together and share the bills). i don't know if that's the truth - but at least he said that it was ok.
imLissy imLissy 9 years
Very true brittanygh. If my boyfriend volunteered to clean, I think I would die of shock. You know boys, they can be knee deep in dirt and still say the place isn't dirty. He does do the cooking though, mostly b/c I'm suck at cooking and he'd rather not eat the stuff I make. And he takes out the garbage.
millarci millarci 9 years
My parents are pretty traditional, but the reality is that my mother makes more than my father. However, I don't think it bothers him or at least he doesn't show it.
brittanygh brittanygh 9 years
I think a bigger problem is that even when women are earning more they still have to take care of the majority of the household.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Hahaha wellllll I knwo my boyfriend wouldn't be ok if I earned more! He is very traditional with some things, and this is one of them. Whatever though, I am ok with it ;)
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
I know my fiance wouldn't care. He would actually like it. Maybe then he wouldn't have to buy me dinner all the time and I would get the tab.
imLissy imLissy 9 years
I think this has to do with the fact that the economy sucks and couples need all the money they can get, more than anything. As for more women thinking their husbands have a problem with them earning more, they probably do and don't necessarily realize it. My boyfriend's definitely ok with me earning more. He knows if I didn't, he wouldn't be able to afford all his video games.
kaenai kaenai 9 years
**that is to say, if the wives are feeling like that, it's for a reason.
kaenai kaenai 9 years
that seems a tad skewed, IMO; i don't think some of these guys are owning up to whether or not they're whiny b***hes. i think the numbers are generally accurate, but they're not exact.
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