I am Family Finance Friday
And when she earns higher than him….
We will be looking at a situation that a lot of women find themselves these days.
It is no longer news that a lot of wives earn higher than their husbands. Is this ideal? Should the woman be glad and put up with it or should she fight it?
I remember some 8/9 years ago. I was in this situation. We took a life changing and that led me earning higher than my husband.
I can tell you for free that I didn’t find this phase of our married life palatable, more so when our money combined couldn’t meet up with basic needs. There were a lot of things we couldn’t do because we couldn’t afford them. I usually wake up at night praying and beseeching God to elevate my husband. At times, some of those prayers were borne out of frustration. Over time, I will be honest enough to say that some of those frustrations were transferred to my husband. At times, I felt he wasn’t trying hard enough. I wanted him to be the man in all areas, including our finances.
Having done some research lately, I discovered that my feelings that period were not restricted to me alone. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre in Washington, over 40% of American women earn higher than their spouses. They are called the Alpha Women. In the same survey, it revealed that majority of the women in that situation are dissatisfied with the situation.
Taking a look at the origin of man in the Bible, Genesis gives us the understanding that the man was put originally to tend the garden and be in charge of everything there. That was before the woman came along. In that same Genesis, the Job description of the woman was also unveiled….. to help the man. It is not difficult therefore to understand the frustrations of the woman when circumstances force her to take over the traditional role of the man.
To be fair on the men too, most men are usually not happy to be in that position. Because it is an area that touches on their core as a man, their ego and their esteem, they don’t usually handle it too well psychologically. That is why it seems majority of the men earning less than their wives are either describes as overly sensitive, too touchy or withdrawn. The truth is, a lot of the reactions we would get from our men are usually dependent on how we, the women handle the phase.
If you notice, I keep using the word “phase” to describe that experience. Why? Because no condition is permanent. From my experience and those of others I have read or counselled, the situation usually changes. God usually reinstates and restores the man. The sad part however is that some marriages/relationships do not remain the same even after the phase is over, especially if the man felt that he was not treated well by his wife. Remember Job? Remember his wife? Where was she when things became better for Job? Gratefully, I can testify that things turned around in my family and we are better off today than when we started.
So, how do we as Smart Stewards handle that phase, if we ever find ourselves in that situation? I will share from my experience and those of others.
i. Give thanks. Be grateful that you are productive enough to stand in the gap financially for your husband. That means your family is not totally stranded. Some women aren’t that blessed.
ii. Love and respect your husband the more: this is the time to express love and respect more than ever before. Don’t take critical decisions without his input.
iii. Don’t take over the responsibilities 100%. Still collect feeding allowance, no matter how small. Let him still pay for certain things, even if just to keep his esteem in place. And appreciate what he is able to provide per time.
iv. Submit yourself and your finances. Don’t let the fact that you earn more presently get into your head to cause you to act foolishly! Be a wise woman that builds her home. Get his input into the family budget. Put cash in a place where he can gain access to it. Remember, we are help that is appropriate.
v. Don’t vent your frustration on him (lol. Easier said than done, but doable). Talk to God instead. Let him know that you are feeling the heat. That doesn’t mean you cannot discuss the situation with your man, but do so with respect and sensitivity. Don’t rub it in!
vi. Protect your man’s pride. The world doesn’t have to know what’s going in your home. I know of an elderly lady some years back that used to earn more than her husband. Every family member (especially the man’s family) knew that the electrical gadgets in the house were bought by her and that she is bringing more to the table.
vii. Pray for your man and sow seeds on his behalf. This used to be my specialty. I used to sow “seed for elevation” (as I called them) on his behalf. Then I would pray and pray! I still pray ooo. Lollll.
viii. Be his no.1 Cheer Leader: Cheer him on. Encourage him. Give him gifts.
ix. Don’t deny him of sex. Very important!
x. Be prudent! Don’t compare him to other men! Don’t compare yourself to other women too! Don’t feel too bad that you can’t afford certain things for now. Nothing last forever. Life is in stages, men are in sizes.
xi. One thing we must not forget is that what God has joined together, nothing, including adverse financial situation should separate. We are one and this mind-set must permeate every area of our marital life.
I hope this has helped us in one way or the other. God bless us all! We will be wise steards indeed! Thanks sis. Sola for the opportunity. It is truly a privilege.
NB: Don't feel bad if your husband cannot afford to give you his ATM card to do Black Friday shopping. You too shouldn't fee bad if you cant buy something. Ask yourself.... did you budget for it? lolll. Wisdom is profitable....
On a daily basis, we feature words of financial wisdom from different Smart Stewards members and sometimes from Guest Contributors. You'd be glad reading them. Enjoy!
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