Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Hump Day!

So...a new report came out from the Pew Research Center that says that marriage is increasingly more beneficial for men than it is for women. The report, titled "The Rise of Wives," says, "According to the new research, more and more men are married to women with higher levels of education and earning power than they have."

I have always felt that men benefited more from marriage than women and single men, simply because they’re taken care of. Women tend to be nurturers by nature, and they sometimes take care of everyone else before themselves. Not ALL women, but that is the belief. I never associated it with money, or who earned more.

But most men feel validated by what they do and how much they earn. Not all, but A LOT. According to the study, because most men won’t settle down until they feel financially secure enough to be a provider or the breadwinner, this shift is changing when or if a man marries. And possibly even WHO.

Most women I know don’t care if they make more money than her mate, and according to the report, that’s true – 87% of women true. They want a man who can express himself, who will do the dishes every once in a while, and can show his romantic side. Or so the report says anyway. Hell, if he cooks dinner every night, I’ll gladly bring home the bacon.

(oh wait, I’m watching what I eat…so no bacon…but you know what I mean)

I digress…

Anyway, some say that this “trend” is creating a role reversal situation, and that women are now becoming the new heads of the household. So my question to you all is this:

Women – Do you care if your man makes less money than you do? Does it depend on what his job is, the disparity, his ambition? If you made $200k, and your man made $60k, do you feel he still has a say in whether or not you can purchase that new $600 Coach bag? Would you still consider your man the head of the household in a traditional sense?

Men – Would it bother you if your woman made considerably more money than you do? Would the fact that your girlfriend makes a lot more money than you do determine whether or not you marry her? (and no Keefe, I wasn’t talking about you marrying Oprah). Would you still consider yourself the head of the household, even if you weren’t the breadwinner in the relationship?

All - What is your definition of the “head of the household?” Is it tied to money, earning potential, the “spiritual” head – or something else entirely? Or are there NO heads of the household – are you both equal, no matter who earns more?

This should be good :-)

Let’s go!

-b

27 comments:

Tony said...

First BITCHES!

Latinegro said...

It would not bother me if my woman made more money than me. I don't think it really matters.

Head of household to me is the one who does all the bills. To me it is just a term, but lets be real here, the woman is usually the one running things.

Tony said...

I've been MIA. How is everyone? I believe that marriage is a partnership in life and that each partner supports the other in their weak areas. I would have no problem whatsoever with my wife making ten times as much as I do because I would support our partnership in whatever ways she couldn't. A person earning 200 grand a year will be far too busy to take care of children, maintain a house or any of the other requirements of a family.

Annamaria said...

***Tasing Tony***

ANYWHO: I'm not working right now sooooooooo yes I think it may be a slight problem if I made more than my partner right now....LOL BUT normally I wouldn't care if I made more than him...Like Tony said it's going to benefit our household sooo it doesn't matter... If he was doing something he was passionate about I wouldn't care how much he was making as long as we could pay our bills & we were both happy.
And I honestly think that the head of household is the man (even if the woman makes more) you should never take man's masculinity away from him... BUT REGARDLESS of who does what....You should never tell me I can't buy my bag!!!!! LMAO...

Stef said...

I think you can make a man feel like a man without him being the head of the household. To me, there are two people who partner to take care of each other and your household. That's it. I don't think a man's masculinity is tied to being the head of the household, just like I don't think a woman's femininity (sp?) is tied to being the maternal, nurturing figure of the house. I'd have no problem making more than my man, and I'd share the household responsibilities equally. I wouldn't think that I'm "the boss" simply because I made more, and I think he still has a say in whether or not I spend $600 on a bag when there are bills to pay down or something needs to be fixed. It's a partnership, and our money would be shared. To me, there is no head of the household all the time. Sometimes I'll need to take the lead when he can't, and other times he'll need to do it when I can't. There are no roles, we just have to complement each other.

The Fury said...

Nope wouldn't bother me at all if the woman made more than me. I would hope that if the man had a logical reason for her not buying the bag then she would listen. Just like he should listen if she had a logical reason for him not buying a 103 inch television.


the head of household term is an old one and probably out of date. No one person can nor should they try to be the head of a household. There are way too many things going on.

Grownblknfocused said...

Definitely would not matter to me. Like the previous poster stated, it is a partnership and as long as it works, that's what matters at the end of the day.

Serena W. said...

Good morning everyone! Brooke I was able to read a blog and comment! YEAH!

I agree with everyone who stated the word, "partnership." And yes the term Head of Household to me is out of date.

I don't care if my man makes less than me. Just be responsible, be the spiritual leader of the house, a great father to your children and a wonderful husband.

Supporting each other's dreams AND goals make a tremendous difference. It doesn't matter how much loot he's making. If he's a dream thief, can't lead the household in anyway (spiritually, fatherly or being a wonderful husband) then he can be making 20K or 200K and I wouldn't be happy.

I would like to see the report that I heard on the Michael Baisden show a while ago that stated that less women are getting married and having kids, etc on their own. Maybe Pew has that one on file. Just curious to know...

Brooke said...

That's a good question Serena, glad you got a chance to read and comment today - we missed you!

The Pew Report said that in 1970, single men were better off financially because they didn't have a wife and kids to take care of at home. They only had to take care of themselves - so they kept their money to themselves.

Now that married men are benefitting from the dual income, or because their wives make more money, I wonder if single women are now considered better off for the same reason. Maybe they're not getting married and having kids because they'd be considered the breadwinners now and only want to take care of themselves. I wonder if this shift would suggest the same thing for single women now as it did for single men back in 1970?

Geeque4u said...

It would not bother me at all. Like Tony said, it's a partnership. As long as the bill's get paid that's all that matters.
As for my woman buying a $600 dollar bag, I have no problem with it. As long as our bills are taken cared of prior to that purchase. I like my woman to look good from head to toe, so that includes nice clothing and accessories!! :-)

Midnight said...

Hmmmmm where do I start? For starters no I would have no problem with my wife making more money than me, if any person does it simply shows where their values lie. As for the term "head of household" I agree with Stef in that we take turns on leading things. There are certain things she is strong in and certain things I will be strong in. It is a partnership but someone has to take the lead, even if we take turns. We place so much weight on the money issue in terms of relationships but we dont realize that its not the money, its the person. Its not what people do with money that bothers us, its WHY they do it. For instance if you find out they had a seprate secret account or buying things and not telling you, what does it say about they person they are. Now in my opinion, $600 is too much damn money for a bag unless it cleans itself, babysits or can do Suduku. Im sorry ladies I just dont see any reason to spend that much and dont give me that quality excuse either. Maybe if you can get one if you up on stage with the other two-thirds of Destiny's Child.........

Stephanie said...

Hello to all. well I currently make more money than my boyfriend. In my mind He is still the head of our house. I never want him to feel less of a man because I make more money. We make all the financial decsions together and he does MORE THAN his part. When I get home late from work I come home a hot meal and a clean house. When he gets home late I do the same for him. Latinegro is right head of house is just a term. We don't tell each other what to do with our money. As long as the bills are paid on time we are both happy.I would never buy a $600 bag. That's half my rent. I would use that money to go on a vacation instead.I never understood why women need such status items.

Jaz said...

I personally don't have a problem with making more than my man, and the guy I'm seeing doesn't care either. And if I can afford to take care of us, AND buy a bag, then I don't think anyone should care what I spend my money on. No one would think twice if Oprah spent $600 (hell, $6k!) on a bag, because she can afford it and works hard for it. That's not to say that my man doesn't have a say if we're married and the money affects the house...I would take his feelings into consideration and come up with a compromise. Men don't need huge tv's, just like women don't need bags. But if it's what you want and you both can afford it, then take care of your household responsibilities, invest in yourself first, then play with the money you both have left over.

Geeque4u said...

@Jaz- Well said..
If you work hard and can afford it, then why not...
You should be able to treat yourself from time to time, whether its a nice bag or a trip,etc.
Anything that makes you happy...

Jay said...

I'd have no problem if my wife made more money than me, and if my girlfriend made more, that wouldn't impact my decision to marry her. If I can take care of myself first, have established my career to the level that I feel is comfortable for me and I know I can contribute to our lives together, then I'd propose - no matter who made more.

I do think that people should have the same respect and thought process when it comes to money though. If one of you is frivolous, while the other one is frugal, you're going to have a problem no matter WHO makes more. If our bills are paid, our children are taken care of, we've contributed to our investment/college funds, then sure - we can take that trip, you may even buy that bag. But it can't be a habit. You shouldn't want or NEED 10 Coach bags...but one won't kill us. I want my wife to have nice things, but not just because she's keeping up with the Joneses. If she treated herself every once in awhile before she met me, I won't expect her to stop once we got married. But she would have to know that we're a team now and that we are supposed to take care of the team first, and then we can play.

As for the term head of household, I think that term is outdated too, probably back in the 60's when only one person (the man) worked. But like Latinegro said, most women REALLY run the house. The man just gave her the means (money) to do so. Nowadays, it's a partnership. Like Fury said, there's too much going on, especially when you add children to the mix - where one person simply can't handle it all. To me, the heads of the household are the PARENTS...and the kids fall in line with the parents as a unit.

My 75 cents.

Brooke said...

Here's a question for you all:

Let's say you both make the same amount of money, or there is no huge disparity. And then your spouse suddenly came into a huge inheritance, or hit the lotter - do you think your ideals would change drastically?

For example - if you can't understand why a woman would want a $600 bag, or a man would want a 103 inch screen tv - would that suddenly go out the window if you had millions to play with?

Also, if your spouse came into a huge inheritance, would you expect to have a say in how he/she should spend it?

Geeque4u said...

@Jay - You hit on the nail..

Jay said...

Good questions Brooke!

As for hitting the lotto, I don't think my ideals would change TOO much. I'd probably take more vacations, and take care of my family first and make sure all the necessary investments were in place before I splurged on ANYTHING. I've heard too many stories of people winning huge lotto payouts, only to be broke a year later cuz they acted a fool. I'm too old and wise for that nonsense now. If anything, I'd probably be MORE careful with the money, but that's just me - and who knows how I'd really be if I won...but I'd like to think I'd be smart about it.

As for the inheritace - I don't think I'd have a TOTAL say in what she does with it, but I'd hope to marry someone who would use that money for the better for our family. Depending on how large this inheritance was, if she wanted to splurge on something, she is entitled to that. But I'd hope she'd discuss it with me or our financial advisor first. I would make sure she was smart with it, but I wouldn't want to CONTROL it.

Rameer "The Circumstance" said...

Wouldn't bother me. I've been with women that make more than me, and women who have made less. I tend to deal with people less concerned with economics and materialism and more concerned with ME and US.

But the reality is - most of us on this blog are atypical of Americans. Many women are extremely concerned with how much money a man makes, and many men are insecure about a woman making more money than them. I've never gotten why so many people feel that way on both sides, but it's the truth.

As far as if one of us came into a lot of money - I know for a FACT my ideals wouldn't change. Without going to deep into my own business, I've been around/had access to money before, and my thought process didn't change in the least. I grew up humble, so I view things from the vantage point of need and with a less materialistic outlook...typically. I like nice things and have bought things that are expensive before - but most would say that's extremely atypical of me, and even when I have plenty of $$$ in my pocket, I tend to not spend needlessly or get what's "in" and exorbitantly expensive.

Philosophically, I find people only buy the huge name, expensive stuff just to show off to others *anyway*. It's like buying 25-inch rims - you're not even going to SEE the damned things! You're IN THE CAR. Why get he platinum, non-practical 25-inch rims?

To get people to *look at you*. And anyone who knows me knows...I don't T-Pain like that. Just not my style.

Ms. Penn said...

It's funny this is your topic today Brooke, because I was having this discussion the other day with a friend of mine who is going through something with her man because he hates that she buys herself expensive things. She's an attorney, and makes a great salary. He works for a non-profit, and while I don't know what he makes, she makes it seem like it's nothing compared to what she makes.

His salary doesn't bother her in the least. Granted, they aren't married, but they live together and share rent, utilities, etc. The bills are paid, they split them evenly, so it's not like she's paying the majority of the bills. But with the money she has left to play with, she treats herself to a spa day once every other month, has 3 expensive handbags and goes on vacation with her girls once a year.

He thinks she's "showing off" - and doesn't need to spend her money on those things. Meanwhile, her thought process is "I work hard, I deserve to treat myself to nice things." She has ALWAYS been this way. She's not flashy and she has a VERY healthy stock portfolio and investments. He on the other hand, lives paycheck to paycheck. She feels that because he can't do those things for himself (or her), he's feeling inadequate in some way and is lashing out at her.

So like Rameer said, I think we all on this blog will say it doesn't bother us - but we can't control how the other person feels. We all have varying attitudes towards money, some of which can breed resentment and a competitive spirit - even envy.

If someone handles their money a certain way before they met you and you see that you don't agree with it, that's a major discussion to have BEFORE you get married. Meeting with a financial advisor before you tie the knot is a great idea in my opinion. It'll give you more insight into how you both view money. That way, it doesn't matter who makes more, it just ensures that you're on the same page.

Brooke said...

Great answer Ms. Penn! I agree!

Just because someone makes alot of money doesn't mean they know what to do with it...or if they have alot of debt or huge expenses. And just because you make a modest salary doesn't mean you don't have solid investments and a bad credit score. It's all relative. A healthy attitude towards money is what we all should have, regardless of how much we make - and hopefully the mate we choose shares the same thoughts on money that we have.

Geeque4u said...

@Ms.Penn - I knew a couple who went through excatly what you describe with your friend and her man. He basically was hating because she made more money and had more to play with after the bills were paid. What I dont understand is why he was so angry when she didnt mind that he made less or didnt have a problem splurging on him with her extra money. Just goes to show you some people are just miserable!!!

Stef said...

I feel like this - if I bought myself that expensive bag, or shoes, or spent it on hair, then it's fine as long as my bills are paid. I'm a person who will wear thrift store jeans with a nice bag or watch to accentuate my outfit. I don't have a millions bags or a closet full of shoes, but when I buy something, I want it to be (the dreaded word) quality and last a long time. I buy myself a nice watch because I will only buy ONE. How many watches am I going to wear in a week? ONE! So the ONE I buy will be a quality time piece that will last me YEARS. Not months like cheap ones do. Sometimes buying something that is expensive means you'll only have to buy it ONCE.

As for a man telling me how to spend any extra money, I think that's wack. If our bills are paid, and I put money into our savings and investments, and we have food to eat - then if I want to treat myself every once in a while (not EVERYDAY), then I should be able to do that. We all work hard, and if all we did was work and not take time to enjoy the fruits of our labor, then we'd be miserable. Or at least I would. What kind of existence is that?

You can treat yourself (and your mate) if it doesn't break your bank and your priorities are in order, and it sound to me Ms. Penn like your friend's man is jealous that she makes more, or that he wishes he made more so he could "play" with her.

JP said...

Coming from a guy who is engaged to a woman somewhat older than me, and who generates substantially more money than me, I would say that it has never been something that bothers me (and neither her). Moreover, I was raised from a very traditional family though I've lived in many different parts of the world during my young life (which exposed me to different experiences & culture). That being said, I do feel relationships, and especially marriage, should be a partner-focused relationship. However, let's face it folks, there will always be someone who wears the pants, and who wears the pants has nothing to do with who makes the most money. It's a partnership in the sense that both should contribute 110%, but let's not confuse that with being equals.

Stef said...

what does "wear the pants" mean?

Justin said...

Hi Stef - my apologies for any confusion caused. "who wears the pants" is just an expression for who is in charge. Or to tie this in with earlier posted comments, who is the head of the household. However, like my previous comments on income disparity, I feel this has no direct correlation with masculinity. Each relationship will form different bonds and have different chemistry.

Stef said...

yes, I agree with the different bonds and chemistry, but not with "who's in charge." I don't think there has to be any ONE person in charge. I think two people CAN be equals.

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