Why Women Feel Guilty About Earning More Money

Posted by Evan, 31 Jul 14

We’ve discussed men who resent women who make more money. We’ve debated why women need men to make more money than their partners. We’ve explored whether women look down on men who make less.

Today, we’re going to explore another variation – the pull between women being proud of their career success and feeling guilty about out-earning their male partners.

From an article on CNBC, “The feedback (women) receive from the culture is clear: Men should be earning more so that they can provide for their families, and if they don’t, it’s symptomatic of a problem. These messages produce an “almost unavoidable emotional and psychological consequence.” Women feel guilty. Men feel emasculated.

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It’s a conundrum, that’s for sure.

The more money you make, the less you should care about a partner’s financial situation.

38% of wives earn more than their husbands. This sounds like something to be celebrated, but the second women outearn their partners, they begin to resent them. Even earning $5,000/yr more correlates to a greater risk of divorce.

In short, as the piece, says, “Women would prefer to share the responsibility. As it happens, so would men.”

It’s hard to unpack the personal, societal, and familial expectations around income. As a coach for women, I’ll retreat to the same refrain:

The value of making your own money is that it frees you from seeking money in another partner. The more money you make, the less you should care about a partner’s financial situation. Presuming it’s not dire – presuming he’s solvent, responsible, and hard working – women would be better off dating like men. Pursue kindness, commitment, attraction, and emotional intelligence. If he brings any money to the table, that’s just a bonus. Same as the way most “breadwinner” husbands look at their wives.

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

Evan Marc Katz is a dating coach who specializes in helping smart, strong, successful women understand and connect with men since 2003. Thousands of his clients have fallen in love, gotten married, started families, and found happiness – after only a few months of coaching. His latest dating book, “Why You’re Still Single – Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised Not to Get Mad”, was a critical success. He also operates a popular blog, EvanMarcKatz.com, which serves as a one-stop shop for anyone trying to understand relationship dynamics. Combining the insight of Dr. Drew and the wit of Adam Carolla, Katz has answered hundreds of challenging and controversial questions with a unique combination of logic, experience, and empathy. Take Evan's dating quiz.

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