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Wives bringing in bigger paychecks

In a trend that researchers call "the rise of wives," women are increasingly better-educated than their husbands and have emerged as the dominant income-provider in one of five marriages, according to a new report released today.

Looking at the impact of nearly four decades of social change, the report shows that men increasingly get a significant economic boost when they tie the knot -- improving their household incomes and often pairing up with a partner who has at least as much education as they do. Compared to 1970, when men usually married women with less education and fewer wives worked, these changes have contributed to a "gender role reversal in the gains from marriage," the report said. Read the full article.

For the women:

For the men:

By Jodi Westrick  |  September 14, 2010; 9:24 AM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I am comfortable with wife making more money if she is not crazy and badgering. Women from other countries make more money than men but they are not so arrogant about it.

But if my wife is black ( I am a black man ) I would probably leave her if she made more money because she is already hard to deal with, and it would only get worse.

Posted by: dustycowboy2004 | January 19, 2010 11:33 AM

We've bounced back and forth income wise. Some years he has earned more, some I have earned more.

Through it all the housework split hasn't changed much. That is because it has ZERO to do with income and everything to do with who's more tired that day and who can run that errand on the way home from work and what needs to be done and who's good at that task and what all. Even if one of us made a pittance, it would be the same because our incomes are shared. The only difference would be if one of us were unemployed - I would expect that person (no matter which it is) to do the bulk of the housework.

I'm trying to imagine a marriage where income is in proportion to housework and all I see is a marriage with a divorce looming. You're in it together, for both income and housework.

Posted by: DCCubefarm | January 19, 2010 11:38 AM

DCCUBEFARM has it right. I couldn't answer the poll question "for the ladies" because income has no bearing on the question (or shouldn't have). It's more about who has the time/opportunity, and further division then based on who is better at specific tasks, or hates them the least, where possible.

Posted by: TonyatheTiger | January 19, 2010 12:45 PM

Don't worry there are plenty of wives with small paychecks and men with small paychecks and families with both husbands and wives with small paychecks and families with no paychecks! The big wives paychecks is a just a big wives tale! We all know more women are getting jobs now because they can be paid less. There are few wives getting 1.4 BILLION dollar yearly bonuses like some hedge fund managers! There are lots of husbands and wives getting poorer as the corporate and managerial salaries are going higher and a privileged elite are getting very rich! Maybe if some wives are lobbyists they are getting more than their congressmen husbands however or are in think tanks or working for corporations their husbands happen to be doing legislation on.

Posted by: Wildthing1 | January 19, 2010 1:53 PM

It depends on the year for us, who has made more than the other. Because of my career choice I could garner more, so big deal. More often than not it was me but it all went into the same pot so who cares. But as my husband always says, "I don't care how the money gets in the house just so it does!"

Income has no bearing on housework and that is such a sexist question/remark. That question really fried me. Thankfully I am married to a 21st century man who doesn't think like a neanderthal unlike the person who posed that stupid question.

Posted by: malizia3456 | January 19, 2010 3:04 PM

We both work FT, and we have 5 kids. I make slightly more, and work more hours at work---I take care of the 5 kids, and I go to school Full Time. The reason I don't expect more is because you can't get water out of a stone. Socially, men still expect wives to be their mothers. When will I exact my revenge for this? When he's in diapers begging for assistance...*sigh* I'll just be a bit too busy to help....HA!

Posted by: ADery | January 19, 2010 3:10 PM

"We both work FT, and we have 5 kids. I make slightly more, and work more hours at work---I take care of the 5 kids, and I go to school Full Time"

ARE YOU A SUPER HERO? I can't imagine doing all that - I salute you.

Posted by: pkm123 | January 19, 2010 3:57 PM

That's interesting - I hadn't read the the question as "do more housework than me" but simply - "do more housework". I think it's accepted that a bigger paycheck tends to come with longer hours, more responsibilities, more conflict, after work meetings, training and/or travel than a smaller paycheck. If a husband's going to enjoy the benefits of the wife's bigger paycheck (while she pays the price in time away, energy expended, etc...), shouldn't he expect to shoulder more of the household responsibilities?

Posted by: 2ove | January 19, 2010 3:58 PM

My husband is retired and has more time during the day, exept on days he's involved with his church. (He's an ordained deacon in the Ctholic Church.). He is very cooperative about doing some of the mundane chores during a typical day in the home, and I really appreciate it (unloading the dishwasher, making the bed, picking up mail and laundry, etc.).

Posted by: connellyj | January 19, 2010 5:41 PM

I wouldn't marry a woman that DOESN'T make a nice living. Why would I? Als, who needs a woman burdened with tens of thousands of credit card debt, second mortgages and a 7-year car payment? Conversely, what woman of means would have a man in the same lame position?

Who needs THAT? Times have changed. Equality is equality. Women that want financially stable men need the same means as the men they wish to pair up with. Women, in effect, the same as men have lo these many years, must pony up. No romance without solid finance.

Posted by: JamesChristian | January 19, 2010 7:10 PM

It doesn't matter who makes more or less, if both spouses are employees, they should share household chores. How they share them is up to them, but neither side should get a pass because they get paid more in their job away from home. Some consideration should be given if they have to work longer hours, and when it's a particularly tough time at work, it's best to be accommodating.

Posted by: silverdog6 | January 20, 2010 1:54 AM

Given historical pay inequities between men and women, chances are good that a woman who is making more money than her husband has increased responsibilities at work and probably working longer hours. While career opportunities for women have expanded, the expectations at home have not necessarily evolved at the same rate -- particularly when it comes to child-rearing and, to some extent, housework. The money may be pooled, but the responsibilities aren’t. It would be interesting to see the male version of the WP Magazine cover story about women’s leisure time (or lack thereof).

Posted by: melissar2 | January 20, 2010 10:16 AM

When did doing housework become the barometer for domestic fairness? Where do lawn work, cleaning out gutters, changing oil, fixing balkey AC, scraping and repainting doors, refinishing tables rate? Quit whining girls...just get to work.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | September 14, 2010 9:32 AM

"Do you expect your husband to do more around the house if you're bringing in a higher income?"

What a (*#&% biased question.
If you REALLY want to do a survey, why wouldn't you ask "Do you expect your SPOUSE to do more around the house if you're bringing in a higher income?"

or even
"Do you expect your WIFE to do more around the house if you're bringing in a higher income?"

or why not just come out and ask what you want to ask:
"Should we continue to pretend that the 1950s was an idyllic time when, we assume, the husband went to work and the wife stayed home and everything was perfect in such a household?"

Posted by: robjdisc | September 14, 2010 9:56 AM

I made more money than my husband for many years. No, if we both worked outside the home, of course I didn't expect him to do more than I did around the house. Work is work. Any job is work. Why would I assume that because he doesn't make as much money he's not working every bit as hard? I expect us to share the work, in and outside the home, equally.

Posted by: Tara12 | September 14, 2010 10:45 AM

I think many men would welcome a wife who earned a significant income. That would mean far less pressure for buying a house and paying bills etc.

However, society still puts pressure on men to be the "breadwinner". Other people might look down on a man who didn't earn more. That's just a reality. It's a kind of peer pressure. Everyone wants to feel respected but in our culture, many people who opt out of classic sterotypes are not entirely respected. (Example: stay at home dads)

I include women in the societal pressure. Even now that women are earning more, and many will claim they have no problem with a husband who earns less, many are not being sincere. A guy who loses his job or earns less might in fact be looked down on. For example, wealthy men have no trouble attracting women. How about poor men or unemployed men -- are women eager to date them? So I suspect that what people say and what they do is not always the same thing.

Equality is a great ideal. In reality, people are selfish and petty. That's why our "equal" society has obscene levels of poverty and income disparity.

Posted by: info23 | September 14, 2010 3:01 PM

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