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The polarization of men losing their breadwinner role

Valued Contributor

The polarization of men losing their breadwinner role

There's something about money and men, as I am reminded we once discussed how many men here have fiance's/wives with better credit than you.

Researchers have long shown a link between men's identities and their income: Men tend to work more hours if faced with the threat of their wife earning as much as they do. When men make less money than their wives, they tend to do less housework, not more!

Now, a new study finds that when a man's contribution to his household's total income drops over time, it affects his social views, too. Both groups of men intensified their views when they contributed less to their household incomes than they had two years earlier.

Message 1 of 15
14 REPLIES
Established Contributor

Re: The polarization of men losing their breadwinner role

When we were younger, hubby worked longer hours to catch up" I guess. I pushed him to look for other work or a promotion. He got a 10k a year raise at work which we all benefited from.  As far as housework, I would say we do about the same with him edging me out quite a bit.

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Message 2 of 15
Established Contributor

Re: The polarization of men losing their breadwinner role

Evelutionarily speaking (is that a word?), human males are hardwired to be the "providers" and females to be the "caretakers."  Yes, societal dictates exaggerate this difference (look at Middle Eastern cultures today, or the 1950's as two of MANY examples).

 

Just because we are an intelligent species that can override biological and evolutionary predispositions, doesn't mean that on an instinctual level they aren't still there.  Some men have a stronger urge to be providers than others...  They could very well be unconsciously choosing to work longer hours to fulfill that instinct.  Conversely, they could be helping out less at home because they are unconciously depressed that they aren't the providers.

 

Personally, my wife has a State job and makes significantly more money than I do (even with overtime), and I'm fine with that.  And I don't think I would be allowed to help out less around the house, even if I wanted to!  Smiley Happy

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Message 3 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: The polarization of men losing their breadwinner role

When my income increased significantly beyond my ex husband's income, weird things started happening. Where we used to bank together, make financial decisions together, etc he started making a ton of (often bad) financial decisions without me. We started fighting over money all the time when it was never an issue before, and he started being very reckless with money. It was a significant factor in things going sour.

 

He did do a lot of housework though -- dishes, laundry, other cleaning. But not because we decided that based on income...more that he was much more obsessive about things being clean than I was (AM! lol!).

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Message 4 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: The polarization of men losing their breadwinner role

On paper I am unemployed.  Our biz is "owned" by DW however  I write all the contracts and handle all the  money. She deals with the clients.  Our biz deals with government contracts and is woman owned certified. Anything more than a few hundred dollars is joint deal personal or biz.   

Message 5 of 15
Regular Contributor

Re: The polarization of men losing their breadwinner role

Losing the breadwinner role was pretty hard on my partner. It took active effort to keep his shame over being "unable to provide" from affecting our emotional intimacy. There were times that it did, and he processed through it rather than let it consume him.

 

As far as housework goes, it's my natural tendency to do more of that because A) I'm far more experienced at it, B) I've personally always aspired at being a domestic goddess and C) I'm more bothered by mess and dirt than he is. That said, being out of work meant I was asking him for help with the housework more often. It gave him a good break from applying for jobs. Smiley Wink

 

Neither of us are all that into gender roles. We found I was super good at finding job leads he wanted, whereas he found that process exhausting. So our routine became once or twice a day I'd send him all the leads I'd found and he'd apply for them.

 

In other words I help him with job stuff as needed/able, he helps me with housework as needed/able, and the the way we support each other just naturally ebbs and flows in whatever direction is most needed in the moment. Smiley Happy

 

Now that he's secured a good job, his confidence is certainly boosted and it's a great thing to see. As far as housework goes, well, we'll see... Smiley Tongue

Message 6 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: The polarization of men losing their breadwinner role

I make more money than my wife but I would be tickled pink if she made more than me as that would mean we had at least 270k of household income.  Just imagine all the things I could buy.  

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Message 7 of 15
Highlighted
Established Contributor

Re: The polarization of men losing their breadwinner role

@atomic, heck yell, the things we could buy! I make more than DW but my spouse is very bargain minded and cheap. I spend more but we split the bills still. Her credit is better but I have bought cars, and many big purchases for her. She always needs my approval on purchases and that drives me crazy.
Message 8 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: The polarization of men losing their breadwinner role

DW makes 39% of my annual gross income WITH her bonus (82,000, 206,000) couldn't ever catch myself being jealous if she one day made more then me... I'd ask her to help around a little more Smiley Surprised
Message 9 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: The polarization of men losing their breadwinner role

She's a CPA just for a data point
Message 10 of 15