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When the wife is the breadwinner

When the wife is the breadwinner

Women who bring home the bacon are on the rise. Here’s how 3 men feel about not being their family’s chief moneymaker

  • 3BEBCB4A5E3367F827C46CB3975E7BIt’s a fact: Women breadwinners are on the rise.

At a time when the gender wage gap is still alive and well — full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar that men earn — a recent Pew Research Center study found a striking statistic: 40 percent of American families’ primary breadwinners are mothers, and 37 percent of those breadwinners — an estimated 5.1 million — are wives who make more than their husbands.

But all is not well on the women-earning-more front: The same Pew study found that having a female breadwinner was reportedly stirring up trouble in marriages. Why? Well, 50 percent of respondents felt it was harder on a marriage, and 74 percent said it was harder to raise children.

 

 

Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan psychotherapist, executive coach, and author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” sees many patients who face this situation.

“For a lot of guys, it affects their ego and they start to feel emasculated,” says Alpert, who traces the feelings all the way back to the 1950s. “Society believed men were the breadwinners and women stayed home or did not pursue a career,” he says.

We wondered: Just how do real men in 2013 feel about bringing home less than half of the paycheck?

So we sat down with three men, successful in their own right, to see how an income differential plays out in their relationships, and how Alpert says each couple is faring. Read More

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