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A working couple, at the time of marriage had the husband earning higher than the wife. But over a few years, the wife started earning more than her husband. Gradually husband started to feel insecure and inferior. During day to day life he pokes her and makes comments that she has become headstrong because she is earning more than him. Under such circumstances, how should the wife react and balance her relationship with the husband?

Generally, tension exists in a relationship when women start earning more than men. A few men do not bother, a few are happy, but most of the men do experience insecurity.

A FEW POINTS TO BE REMEMBERED BY ALL WORKING WOMEN

1. Acknowledge and thank your husband after the salary rise and also periodically

Most of the women do not understand that men feel good when they are given the credit. For example, telling him “I am really happy today that I have got an increment. This would not have been possible without your daily support and encouragement.”

2. Try to understand and find other reasons which are making him unhappy, instead of misunderstanding him based on his comments

Sometimes tough work life at his end, other family issues, health issues, less time being spent with you or colleagues’ comments could lead him to such behavior. Identify them, talk to him and try to resolve.

3. Do not cry over his comments and make a scene. This would intensify the issue further.

4. Do not argue over the truth of his statements or do not overtly apologise.

Some women apologise even if it is not their mistake or some leave their job to avoid problems at home. Both of those are not the solutions of the problem.

5. RememberMoney management is a role that men still take pride in.

The more the woman earns, the more she becomes involved in investments, retirement plans etc. This can make him feel belittled and can lead him to pass comments. Keeping this in mind, it becomes essential that if you have a spouse who does feel insecure it becomes important to sit with him and discuss with him, ask his opinion and go further. If the woman goes about managing finances without involving the husband, it might irritate him even further. For example – wife could say “ I came across this thought that what if we could invest in this, kindly have a look and let me know your opinion.”

6. Do not make sudden shifts in responsibilities in household chores.

Like in grocery shopping, cooking, taking the garbage out, making coffee etc. after the salary rise. This might make the husband feel that he is being looked down upon by the wife. For example – wife could say “ These days am not feeling quite well, can you please pay the bills so that I can go to the grocery store and set things up”

7. Try to concentrate more on physical closeness as well however busy you become in work life.

For example – wife could say “ Let us go for a quiet dinner out today. I am taking a half day out for you.”

8. Always try to tell, show and display that he is more important to you than your work.

Some husbands might feel that they are being neglected when the wife spends more time at work, attends office phone calls at home, does office work at home etc. For example – wife could say “ Dear, I have a few phone calls to attend which are important. I will quickly finish with them because I want to be with you. Is that ok?”

9. Build strong friendships outside your relationship.

It will help you to maintain your balance whenever there is a turbulent phase in the relationship. There is nothing wrong in venting out your feelings with a friend and asking for suggestions when your thought process is not working properly.

10. Have a healthy sex life. if you are tired, discuss with your partner instead of ignoring.

Sometimes men bear a lot of dissatisfaction as their sexual needs are not met as both are working and he expects women to fulfill all roles even if she is working. This could be the source of unhappiness and also cause for the comments. For example – wife could say “I understand that we are both tired today. Let us take a break in between so that we give time to each other.”

Final word would be that men and women both are NOT equal. They both have their own weaknesses and strengths and have to complement each other for healthy family life.

If things go beyond control even after talking and trying to resolve, there is nothing wrong in talking to a professional to resolve your issues.


Handling Relationships where Wives draw higher salaries

Dr Jyothirmayi is a Psychiatrist

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