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April 30, 2021

What happens when wives make more than their husbands?

Over the last 25 years, there has been an astounding surge in the proportion of wives who make more than their husbands.

Statistics show that something like 40% of working wives in the U.S. and an estimated 30% in Canada already earn more than their male partners, a shift that's projected to continue through the next decade, claims Liza Mundy in her book The Richer Sex: How the new majority of female breadwinners is transforming sex, love and family.

The next generation of women, Mundy calls them 'breadwomen', will easily do better than their husbands since they already hold more university degrees and managerial jobs and also work in more knowledge-based settings.  

That's assuming they can or want to find a partner, of course. Mundy feels women regularly lie about their salary and profession on online dating sites, lest they intimidate potential mates.

She tells lots of stories of couples who are still adjusting: men who retaliate against more successful wives, or leave marriages because they fear they have nothing to bring to it; and women who think less of their partners when they pull ahead.

The good news, Mundy maintains,is that that a new definition of masculinity is starting to evolve as men play a bigger role on the domestic front and adjust to a different balance from the families in which they grew up.

Are you the breadwoman in your house? Has that required some adjustments to the 'who does what' discussions?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...