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Making More Money than Your Man Could Emasculate Him

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Bruce Sallan: A recent Pew Center study has revealed that income has become much more equal between the genders. Now more than ever, women are earning higher incomes than their male counterparts. While I totally believe in equal pay for equal work, I do question the impact on relationships when the woman makes more than the man. 

With each generation becoming more accustomed to gender equality, I feel it will eventually settle into a comfortable reality that men and women will accept. But for now (and maybe longer), the inherent gender differences remain -- and may be a problem for couples wherein the woman makes more than the man.

What do women want from their men, and men from their women? I assert that women look for security first and foremost, while men look for a loving, supportive partner -- as well as a good-looking one. Crucify me, but this is the truth. Women also tend to like guys with a sense of humor as much as good looks, while men will date a model with no personality and still brag to their guy friends.

So I like the fact that in every relationship I've had -- including my two marriages -- I've felt more like a man because I've been the bigger earner. Call it an ego thing, an immature trait, but it's the truth of how I feel. And it's yet another dirty little secret that most men and women feel, too.

All of this said, I support women earning as much as they can -- and if a woman is the higher earner in the partnership, I hope it won't damage her relationship with her man. But it's harder. You can say (as I suspect many of you will), "What does he know? He's just a guy."


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