I read this article and found it worth sharing…Enjoy!!!
By ijustmetme on Oct 06, 2014 06:39 pm
I recently wrote the article “Joint v.s Separate accounts – The underlying relationship issues we are not talking about” (READ IT!) that brought about some deep questions/responses from my readers both on and offline and I while I have answered as many of them as I can, one question seems to come up a lot and that is “What happens when the woman makes more or all of the income in a relationship or marriage?
Image courtesy of Sdmania at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Ask most men and they will tell you that they prefer to make more money than their wives and that’s somewhat natural. For the ladies reading this, let me say very quickly that this is not because all men want to suppress you or anything like that but I think that most men and especially good men out there simply want to have the means to take care of you and provide for you…because we tend to measure our self-worth by how well we can take care of you. Isn’t that great? Isn’t that a good thing? Read on…
This was easier to do decades ago when women didn’t have a presence in the workplace and didn’t bring in much (if any) income. Unfortunately, many men violated that trust and power. They turned their wives into financial slaves and fed their own power trip. Yes that is true.
But why is it a problem when our wives make more money than us? How does it become a cancer in marriage?
Men, let’s be honest with ourselves…we are a huge part of the reason why it’s an issue and this article will look at how we make it an issue, how we SHOULD think and ACT about it.
(Ladies don’t go on a parade yet…watch out for your own article coming after this.)
Men…How you make it an issue:
1. You created wrong expectations at the beginning of the relationship: The dates you couldn’t really afford, the gifts you maxed your credit card for…yea. You positioned yourself as what you are not and now she has a sense of entitlement. But you know what…we can’t really blame ourselves. A lot of women out there these days want you to “prove” these things before giving you the time of day.
But you know what, those are the exact types of women you need to stay far away from. When you start feeling like who you are and where you are in life is not enough, when she starts to measure your manliness and leadership based on the size of your wallet, run…and do it fast.(or at least take a step back). Am I saying don’t go on fancy dates? No sir. I’m just saying that if you allow her to define you early in the relationship by the size of your “perceived” wallet, it will be difficult for you to deal with it if she starts making more than you. It’ll feel like your very identity is threatened.
2. You equated your right to lead, to the size of your wallet: You sold yourself out and cheapened yourself. God created and bred a prince and you sold that birthright to the almighty dollar or whatever your local currency is. When God put you as head of family, he didn’t do it based on the size of your wallet and he didn’t do so based on your ability to intimidate your wife. He put you as a leader based on your ability to lead, protect, defend and grow your family. I say this carefully …because I know for a fact that it is important for a man to be able to provide. However, let’s all cut the cow dung and face the fact that with the combination of the state of the economy as it is today and the GOOD thing that women are able to enter and excel in the work place, it is not always possible (and you know what, THANKFULLY SO) for a man to always be making more than his wife.
3. You lied to yourself: Yes. You told yourself a big fat lie. “I want a proverbs 31 woman”. Liar Liar pants on fire. No you don’t. You want half of a P31 woman. Because if you really want a proverbs 31 woman, you must have the (figurative) hair on your chest to handle a woman that is so successful that her husband is known at the gates when he sits with the elders (Proverbs 31:23) meaning that he gets recognized and gets to sit with the elders because of HER success. That woman has her picture in the dictionary right next to the word “Success” and you can’t deal with that. So no…you lied…you don’t want a P31 woman.
4. You are Selfish: Many men freak out about the possibility of their wives earning more because they don’t want another person to have that power over them. Why? Because they know deep down that they wouldn’t do a good job sharing /managing that power themselves…so they don’t expect others will. Yup. I said it. You know deep down that if you made more money, you wouldn’t carry her along, you wouldn’t be accountable to her, and you wouldn’t consider her as much so you are freaked that she has that power.
5. You are not working in purpose…you are not pursuing a personal vision:You see, if you are pursuing a personal vision…if you are living in purpose, it won’t matter as much that she is making more money. In fact, she will respect you for being able to pursue a higher cause. People who are driven by purpose have that purpose as a bearing of their highest selves. They face less social pressure and they don’t measure success how everybody else does. Get one. It helps.
How SHOULD you THINK and ACT about it?
I have been there before and I know how it is. Here are a few important perspectives and actions that are important for you as a man when your wife is making more money.
A) The size of your wallet does not determine your right to lead: Leadership in the home isn’t about money. Jesus was not the richest among those he led and NEVER EVER lead based on resources he had above everyone else. In fact, you’ll see that many times, Jesus used what was readily available in the hands of people, to partner with them for their miracle: Water to wine, 5 loaves and 2 fish, Mud for healing the blind etc. As a leader in your home, you must know how to partner with your wife financially to bring about the vision you both create.
Money is simply a resource …a tool that the marriage is blessed with, to create the life you both want.
The best leaders are not the smartest on the team; they are just excellent coordinators of other smart people. Don’t define yourself ONLY as the source of income/resources but go to the higher realm of measuring yourself by how good of a steward/manager you are of all the blessings/resources/sources of income coming into the home regardless of where they are coming from.
There are many men who are great providers of money for the home but who are terrible leaders, and there are many men who are not quite able to provide the majority share financially but who are honoring God by being great leaders of the home.
P.S-Just as women want to feel like you want to be with them for more than their looks, its ok for you want a woman who (you know for sure) wants you for more than how much more than her you are bringing financially to the table
B) Embrace it. It is actually a complement to you that you have a wife that is thriving! Why should she not? Did you not marry a smart woman? Did you not marry a woman with great potential? You spent all this money on the wedding, called all these people to witness your marriage, you walked with swag down the isle showing off your new bride…the greatest woman in the whole wide world. The only woman you want to build your whole life around…and now you’re upset that she is actually thriving so much and bringing in resources into the home?
Are you kidding? C’mon bro. Grow up. Think about it. In fact it’s a HUGE complement that as a leader, you are able to create an environment where your wife can excel at her career. Many women don’t have that….If your wife is successful to the point to even making more money than you, she is lucky to be married to you. This is a great thing.Think of it that way and stroke your ego that way as opposed to stroking it by holding her down.
C) Hold her accountable in ALL areas of her life and it won’t look so glaring when you hold her accountable about money. Hold her accountable for her time, her body, her hobbies, her prayer life, her goals (not as a tyrant but as someone who is helping to grow, nurture and bring out the best in these areas) and you would have earned the right to hold her accountable about money too. Many men don’t show any deep interest in all these other areas but suddenly want a spreadsheet of all the money she is bringing in. It doesn’t work that way.
D) BE accountable in all areas of YOUR life. Forget the fact that times have changed. That’s not even a good enough reason. Remember however, that (i) It is NOT a sign of weakness to be accountable to your wife and (ii) The best leaders lead by example. When you are accountable to your wife, you set the example for her to do the same. I have called my wife to ask if I can get something as little as a sandwich before. Is that because I need her permission to get a sandwich? No sir. (In fact she doesn’t really like it when I do that #BestWifeEver!!) It’s just that I am communicating to her firstly that her opinion matters all the way in our finances but I am also laying the example for her to say that it is critical to keep the lines of communication and accountability open in our marriage.
Understand this and understand it well. A woman will have less problem submitting to you if she knows that you don’t take her for granted
E) When she makes more money, spend it as a loving, caring, responsible ma would and it won’t matter that she makes more: If you made more money, you would get the bills paid right? Do that. You would buy her gifts when you can right? Do that too. You would organize a nice time out once in a while? Do that too. You would keep an eye out for the shopping websites she visits so you can surprise her with stuff from there right, well keep doing that and she will gladly bring her paycheck to you knowing that you will handle it well.
F) Share your challenges with her: You didn’t marry a piece of furniture did you? Someone who is just going to sit in the corner of your life as an accessory without making much contribution? NO. You married a smart, intelligent woman (at least that’s what you told her) so put that to use!!
Don’t let your ego get in the way. If you are having difficulty finding work/growing your business/ministry or whatever, utilize her!! Sit her down and share the details of the challenges you are facing, the obstacles you are running into, the difficulties you are having and so on.
Your first instinct may be that she will think less of you because of those challenges but if that’s really true, you have bigger problems than this article can fix buddy.
However, I think that your wife will probably not react that way. If you have a good marriage, she will be more than happy to help brainstorm and execute a plan together. The important thing is not to share those challenges looking for her pity but as if you are looking for her partnership to tackle the situation.
Look…at the end of the day, its not as big a deal as people make it. Don’t create a problem for your marriage that doesn’t exist. Lift your head up and lead this woman.