Yahoo is running a series of articles about the relationships that men and women have with money, aptly titled Money, Happiness, and the Opposite Sex. One article in particular, Why Are Men Afraid of Money? (via Forbes.com) – caught my eye.
I’m talking about the study last year, which found that men would rather marry, as The New York Times put it, “their secretaries than their bosses”…the reason this is all the more perplexing is because men are supposed to be all about problem solving and efficiency: If you love women and money, then a rich woman is a two-fer, like one of those phone/MP3 players.
Fortunately for us, our incomes were exactly the same when we started our jobs. No one made more than the other. Nice financial harmony. In the year and a half or so since, our incomes have diverged slightly as we’ve received pay raises, but are within 10% of each other, with me making more than her. I can’t say that I feel particularly powerful, egotistic, or even remotely affected by my superior earning power. In our situation, any extra income to pay off our massive debt is a godsend.
Now for the issue of being with a woman who makes more than me; personally, I believe that at first, I would feel intimidated by the differences in income. The reason? I like to think of myself as a good provider. Maybe it is society, the media, my peers, or genetics, but I am ingrained with the message that men should be strong providers for their women. I wouldn’t feel inadequate that I’d have a crappy car while she had a BMW, but I’d feel like I wouldn’t be the one who is “taking care of her.” If it were a short-term relationship, I don’t think I’d ever get over it. In a longer-term relationship, I’m sure that there would be a steady stream of jars she couldn’t open or spiders to be squashed, thus relieving me from eternal emasculation.
What about you, our loyal viewing audience? In what way does money affect the relationship that you have with your partner?