Why Do Relationships Fail When the Woman Has the Bigger Career?

Wake me when this stops being a thing.

You read it right – #MasculinitySoFragile that, even in 2016 (2017, almost!), most men still can’t handle being in a relationship with a woman who earns a bigger salary and has a more successful career. Yay for the wage gap, amirite? If it weren’t for our getting 77 cents to every R1 a man earns, there would be no procreation and our species would go extinct or something. Ugh ugh ugh.

A new Harvard University study has revealed that when a husband isn’t working full-time, a couple is 32% more likely to split up than when a man is employed. Why? Because the traditional power roles are switched. The study analysed 6 300 American couples and found that – whether the wife has a career or not – if the husband doesn’t have one, the marriage is more likely to end in divorce.

An earlier study looked at what happens if both partners are working full-time but the man is bringing home a smaller salary. The findings? He’s more likely to cheat, do less housework … and is more likely to need a prescription to treat erectile dysfunction. Yes. Literally that is what the study found, guys. You can’t make this stuff up.

Studies are also revealing that millennial women are really, really over the idea of traditional gender roles. A recent survey showed that sexism is the ultimate dating deal-breaker for young women. We’re not happy with the whole Woman = Homemaker/Man = Breadwinner thing. So, you know, it’s kind of awkward, then, that many men prefer a household dynamic that wouldn’t be out of place in Pride And Prejudice.

In a way, though, you can’t place all the blame on men. Gender expectations run deep, and even the wokest men could very well be shocked to find themselves feeling inferior to their super-successful partners. We still live in a society that looks down on men who opt for any role other than the breadwinner. We’re a long, long, long way away from anything that can be called ‘equality’. But our progressive millennial mind-sets could soon cause a welcome shift.

Read more about careers

More From


Hustle 16 Oct 2019 SHARE
The best side hustles to help you secure the bag in 2020
Hustle 10 Oct 2019 SHARE
Noni Gasa is offering one fashion designer a R470 000 bursary to help them fulfil their dreams
Hustle 07 Oct 2019 SHARE
How To Stay Calm Before An Exam, According To A Counsellor