Breadwinning women, shifting dynamics - FOX 35 News Orlando

Breadwinning women, shifting dynamics

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) - A study shows that in almost a quarter of all marriages in the United States, wives earn more than their husbands.

It’s a big shift from a half-century ago. While family dynamics are changing, views on the role of women may not be.

The majority of Americans still believe having mom at home and dad at work is the best arrangement for families.

Could a breadwinning woman, a breadwinning mom, be a recipe for disaster?

Life coach Jenn Lee said she’s surprised people are still talking about this.

“Who cares if the woman is making more money than the man? Who cares? I mean, I think we run into problems when someone is using money as power within a family in a relationship,” Lee said.

Comments like, “I bring home the money, you have to run things past me,” are not a good thing for any marriage.

Fox 35 anchor John Brown chimed in. “[My wife and I] have gone back and forth in our careers where she made more – I loved it, I had no problem at all – and at times the woman can say, ‘Wait a second, I’m the breadwinner, I’m going to do whatever I want now,’ so it cuts both ways,” Brown said.  

“It’s all about power. Somehow, we put money and power as equal. If we realize it’s not about power, who cares? It’s about raising a family together. It’s a team effort,” Lee said.  

The study says where the problems come in is when the woman is taking on the breadwinning duties and also has to take care of the house. That’s where resentment can build and pretty soon you have a very cranky, overwhelmed woman on your hands, which makes the whole family suffer.

Cultural and sociologically, it’s emasculating in some cultures for the mom to make more money. You’ve got Dad telling his son, “Your wife makes more money than you, you’re not a man.”

Lee suggests that what we say in the home can have a big impact. For this generation and the next generation, it’s important to normalize attitudes that men and women can both work in and out of the home seamlessly.

Changing attitudes toward housework and work outside the home starts at home.

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