Portland Marriage Counselor: Manly Men and Female Breadwinners

May 16, 2013 by

As a Portland marriage counselor, I can’t say this one surprises me. Last year, Science Daily reported on research showing that “macho” man were less satisfied in their relationship when their wives or girlfriends earned as much or more than they did.

The study looked at 47 relationships where this was occurring and found that those men whose views were more traditional reported less satisfaction with their significant other than the men who were more progressive in their beliefs. Why do I bring this up? Because I think this is a problem that many people think we’ve gotten past – at least for the most part. Unfortunately, that’s not what I see in many of my sessions.

Instead, I see that many men don’t want to admit that they have these feelings because it’s embarrassing on two levels – they don’t want to be perceived as old-fashioned or against the needs and desires of their partners, and they don’t want to have to say that their partner earns more than them. Unfortunately, keeping it bottled up just causes resentment and ongoing relationship problems.

“Macho” Men Fighting a Losing Battle, Says Portland Marriage Counselor

Men with these kinds of traditional views are in trouble, though. Not only are two-income households the norm, many women are actually earning more than their spouses. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. If anything, men are having more trouble finding work than women in many industries, and several of those with the highest projected job growth are traditionally “female” industries like healthcare.

In short, we could be moving toward a society where men and women are on far more equal economic footing or possibly the “breadwinner” role may even be reversed. Men who have trouble with this future are going to struggle and experience far more relationship problems than their progressive counterparts, and may even end up being less successful at attracting the opposite sex.

Portland Marriage Counselor: Save Your Relationship by Evolving

No one is saying it’s easy, but men with traditional views have to adapt if they want to survive in this brave new world. That means letting go of or finding other outlets for those “masculine” needs and pursuits that help you to define yourself. If you feel like you need help adapting to this kind of relationship, don’t wait until it becomes a bigger problem – talk to a Portland marriage counselor today.