Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Wife Earns More And She’s Pouting

I was listening to the radio the other day and they have a show on solving dilemmas. A man called up and said he had lost his job six months ago and since then, he’s been sitting in the house taking care of their son. His wife on the other hand enjoyed a promotion recently. It should come across as a relief when one partner is out of job and the extra cash would act as a relief. Unfortunately, such turn of events does not augur well in the marriage. The man claimed his wife has started to treat him differently by giving him silent treatment and sometimes, sulked at him without any reason.

Obviously, the man is depressed.

Of course, the DJ tried to give some advice and said the best thing to do at this point is to have a heart-to-heart talk with the wife to find out the underlying change of attitude.

I suspect this is what he is going to get. “Get a job. You have to try harder!” “Don’t let me be the only one slogging hard for the money!”

But what if the husband did try his very best to hunt for a job but has not been so lucky, would that justify her attitude?

Probably not. Not in today’s terms.

Welcome to the modern world when women are earning as much if not more than their "stronger" counterpart. And employers will not be looking at your gender when deciding who to fire or lay-off. But that’s the problem. Women would want to fight for equal pay and benefits in the workplace but when come to family, there is still that traditional thinking that husbands are supposed to provide for the family, to give the women a sense of security.

Time to adjust our expectations.

Many marriages broke down because they don’t see this coming. I have a girlfriend that feels like she’s the ATM in the family because she pays everything. For a while, she felt bitter about the huge responsibility on her shoulders. Did she give her husband silent treatment? It's not silent treatment in her case. Words from a bitter woman are usually unkind and hurting, to say the least. What’s the outcome? I shudder even to think about it.

Times had changed and we have to evolve according to times. But I think some things need to be established. For example, we have to say more money doesn’t equal to more power. It doesn't mean you get to make all the decisions in the family just because you are earning more. And secondly, to approach issues as a team rather than fighting for who's the alpha in the family. We can be equal but our roles are different and sometimes, switch roles too if need be. Say husbands should really help out in the house chores when the wives are working, whether less income or not. You have to adjust. Otherwise, you really can’t blame the wife from pouting.