How Men Act Out When Their Female Partners Earn More

June 12, 2018  |  
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I’ve often heard people debate whether or not a woman can have a career and a marriage. And, frankly, the mere existence of the debate angered me. Of course a woman can have both! I’d think (or exclaim/yell/plea). And, yes, of course we can. But perhaps when people talk about this question, they aren’t stating that women may not be deserving of both, but rather, they’re exploring how one affects the other. The sad truth is that, women who earn more than their husbands are at a heightened risk for divorce. It isn’t opinion. Various studies have found it to be true. The issue first became popular knowledge when the public noticed how many Oscar Winning actresses would file for divorce shortly after their win. But this problem doesn’t only exist among celebrities. It’s common across all demographics. Some theories have it that, the split happens because men feel insecure and act out destructively as a result. I know I’ve seen it happen among my friends. Here is how men can act out when their female partners make more money.

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Being overly critical

In a subconscious attempt to take you down a peg, your lower-earning partner might become overly critical of everything you do. It’s his way of ensuring you don’t enjoy your status too much, or his way of keeping you from feeling too good for him.

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Saying, “You talk about work too much”

Any time you want to talk about work (a very normal thing for anyone in any career and at any level to want to do) your partner accuses you of being obsessed with work or a workaholic. He creates an environment in which your work feels unwelcome in the home.

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Rejecting new, work-related friends

As a way of making you question your industry (because you’re killing it), your partner might reject new, work-related friends. He might be overly critical of them, and not make any attempt to get to know them or attend your work-related social events. In this way, he makes you feel like you have to choose between your work affiliates, and him.

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Being outwardly rude to work-related friends

Your partner might even be outwardly rude to your new work-related friends. He could indirectly blame them for, what he perceives as, taking you away from him.

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Barely celebrating the victories

If your career makes your partner feel insecure, then he isn’t going to egg you on aka he isn’t going to act excited when you continue to succeed. Your lower-earning partner may give you very little or no reaction when you have victories.

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Spending recklessly

In a strange, twisted attempt to spite you, your partner might spend some of your shared money (if you share a bank account) recklessly. It’s his odd attempt at disrespecting your success.

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Having affairs

It’s alarmingly common for men, when their partners out-earn them, to cheat. They’ll typically cheat with a woman who makes less than them and who they perceive as not a threat—someone whose apparent lower status boosts their ego.

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Doing some emotional cheating

Even if a partner doesn’t cheat in response to his wife or girlfriend’s high status, he might participate in some emotional cheating. It’s his emotions and ego that need tending to, after all.

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Becoming dare devils

Ultimately, men often need to feel powerful. If they can’t feel that way through money, they’ll find other ways to do it, like getting into sky diving or driving a motor cycle or doing other things that put their lives at risk.

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Withholding sex

A lower-earning male might withhold sex for two reasons: 1) He simply doesn’t feel attractive if he isn’t making as much as his partner or 2: ) He wants to make his partner feel less attractive.

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Befriend reckless individuals

Another way men might go the dare devil path is by befriending reckless individuals—maybe people who can’t hold down jobs, don’t uphold their responsibilities, and live a life that your partner perceives to be the total opposite to yours.

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Gambling

It is very complex but, because having a high income is so precious to a man, when his partner makes more than him, sometimes he feels the need to prove to himself that money actually isn’t valuable. And he might do this by gambling.

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Investing in unstable stocks (aka gambling)

This is another unfortunate thing some men do to feel powerful. If they can’t make tons of money in the traditional, hard-earned fashion, they might try get-rich quick paths like day trading.

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Accusing you of being superficial

Rather than being happy that you can enjoy a couple days at the spa each month now or a nicer car, your partner might call you superficial for taking advantage of your higher income.

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Accusing you of having an affair

A lot of men can believe that their higher-earning partner must want to be with someone who makes as much as her. They can become paranoid, and accuse a woman of cheating.

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