It is less and less uncommon to have a female head of household, and it works very well for many couples. However, these changing roles can bring new challenges for both sides of the relationship.
I know this is true because I am a female breadwinner. In 2016, I earned nearly $1,000,000 from my business, and I am on track to earn even more 2017.
Even though I am the breadwinner, my husband takes on an equally important role in our relationship. He is responsible for the majority of the behind the scene duties that allow us to live a great life. He does help with the blog, but he is mainly in charge of us traveling full-time, cleaning, making our meals, managing the household, and more. He even makes sure that I am taking care of myself, especially making sure that I manage a good work-life balance.
We have a great relationship, and that’s because we make equal contributions to our relationship.
However, because I am a female breadwinner, it means that people often pass negative judgements on the both of us.
If our roles were reversed, it would be no big deal to have my husband as the sole breadwinner. Most would actually applaud him for his financial contribution and wouldn’t bat an eye at me taking on the role he plays in our relationship.
Our roles work really well for us, and there is nothing wrong with what is considered more traditional gender roles, as long as everyone is happy. Actually, more and more women are playing roles in their family’s financial well-being.
According to TheStreet, nearly 50% of women in the U.S. are the breadwinners in their family and around 66% of women are either primary or co-breadwinners.
This means that the number of female breadwinners is increasing, and I wouldn't be surprised if females soon surpassed the number of men as the head of household.
Despite this growing trend, the thought of a female breadwinner still seems to confuse people and leads to crazy amounts of judgement.
The fact that I am the breadwinner comes up a lot, especially since we travel full-time as RVers. The average RVer is older than us, and they tend to have traditional gender views when it comes to the roles a husband and wife play. And, it isn’t just RVers that have this viewpoint. I hear it a lot, from all sorts of people.
When people ask us what we do and find out that I am the breadwinner, they ask what Wes “does all day.” People even assume that I must be super bossy. But, it’s not like that at all. We both play equal roles when making decisions. We consult each other before making purchases, discuss where we’re going next, and talk openly about all of the big and little aspects of our life. Still, this confuses a lot of people.
Recently, I had someone email me to say that I was spelling my name incorrectly all over my blog – that I wrote Michelle instead of Michael. They actually apologized for thinking that only a man could have built the business that I built. This isn’t the first time either.
And, with my Forbes feature, How This 27-Year-Old Made $1 Million Last Year, many people thought the story was about a man who made $1,000,000. Many just assumed that only a man could be that successful and that I was a gold digger, despite that fact that it said my name several times within the feature.
There were many negative comments on the Forbes interview, like the following:
Being a female business owner and a breadwinner can be a new thing to some people, but it shouldn't be viewed in a negative way. Men AND women can each have their own success in life. And, no matter what the roles are, they are equally valuable.
Being a female breadwinner can bring new challenges to a relationship, but it can also be a very positive thing.
Whether you're a female breadwinner or if you are on the other side of the relationship, here are my tips for making it work for you and your spouse.
Being a female breadwinner doesn't mean that your husband is worth less.
In relationships with a female breadwinner, men often say they feel that they are worth less. Some men feel this way because they feel they aren’t providing for their family, but providing for your family isn’t just financial contributions. There are also men that are embarrassed for others to find out, there are some that say they feel less of a “man,” and others even feel resentment towards their female counterpart.
I can’t say this enough, when both parties are happy and have an equal say in their relationship, it doesn’t matter who is the breadwinner. It’s about supporting one another and creating a life together.
As long as you are happy, then who cares who earns more?
Be proud of your roles.
Traditionally, it is thought that women are the ones who need to put their careers aside to take care of the household, raise the children 24/7, and more.
It causes a lot of negative judgement when the roles are reversed, and if you don’t believe me, check out these articles about female breadwinners:
- Are female breadwinners a recipe for disaster?
- Women thrive as the primary breadwinner while men suffer, study finds
- Female breadwinners: why earning more can poison your marriage
Farnoosh Torabi, author of the book When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women, conducted a survey of female breadwinners and found that these women reported less happiness in their relationship and even embarrassment.
Whether you are a female breadwinner, the partner of one, or in a relationship with a male breadwinner, you should be happy with the roles you play. It doesn’t matter who makes the most money or who earns less.
Sometimes women make more, and other times men make more.
This is 2017, and times are changing!
Whenever someone says something negative to you or your spouse about your roles, just ignore them. Everyone has an opinion, but it doesn't mean that they are correct.
Only you and your spouse understand the situation that is right for your family, and what is right for you isn’t necessarily right for someone else.
Be proud of the roles you play and embrace them.
If you’d like to hear from a man who isn't the sole breadwinner in his relationship, read How to Deal When Your Wife Makes More on Club Thrifty.
Regularly talk about money.
Regular money takes are always important, no matter the role you play. However, if your roles are changing, you may need to talk more about how these changes are affecting your relationship
Having open discussions about money is an important step for every relationship. It will help prevent any surprises, ensure that both people in the relationship are aware of what’s going on, and so on.
You and your partner should sit down and talk once a week, once a month, or whatever timeframe works best for the two of you. You may want to try out different lengths of time to see what does and doesn’t work.
By talking about money, both of you will feel more involved in financial decisions. This will make sure that both parties contribute to the household and feel as though they have an equal say in financial matters.
Learn more about regular budget meetings at Family Budget Meetings – Yes, You Need To Have Them.
Realize that times are changing.
It is becoming less and less common to have a male providing for the family and a woman who stays at home. While there is, of course, nothing wrong with a male breadwinner, times are changing.
The roles men and women play in their relationships have changed a lot in the past few decades. More and more women are becoming the breadwinner in their relationships.
Due to this, realize that you are not alone if your relationship does not fit what is considered traditional.
One day, relationships with a female breadwinner won't be seen as “odd.” Until that happens, there are still many people like you who may be experiencing a similar situation!
Are you the breadwinner in your family? What do you think of changing roles and female breadwinners?
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