So this has been a subject of discussion many a times when the matter of dating and marriage comes up with our dear Nigerian social group; She makes way more money than her boyfriend or husband.
Now when I’m saying she makes more money, I’m talking significantly more. Like $150k over $50k. A significant gap in financial power.
In many discussion one of the major issues that come up for both men & women is the issue of respect. A sizable number of men, more especially Nigerian men expressed concern that if their wife made more money than them, she will not respect him, and will not “do wifey duties”, and on the flipside some women have also said they might not respect a man who makes significantly less than them for whatever reason (unless he was in school). I guess for most of us, traditional things are still in the back of our minds that even with more modern views it’s a bit hard to shake off those traditional roles. It’s very interesting measuring up the “respect” factor with insecurities that might exist in that type of scenario.
Another issue that comes up is lifestyle and ambition. Is he making less money simply because of his career average pay or is he just not putting in the effort. Is the man just chilling with an easy life job making the little he can while the woman puts in 70 hrs in at the hospital? Is he doing domestic work to compensate? In a scenario like that, it’s likely that after a while, one party will begin to feel like they’re carrying the financial weight while the other is just chilling and “chopping the money”. But then again what if the situation is reversed? Is it as bad for a man to slave while the woman chills with a easy lifestyle job that pays little while she does domestic work? A more traditional role if you will.
Probably the biggest issue when this topic came up is future goals, and how the money is handled. As a woman being the breadwinner of family setting future financial goals for herself and the family fall primarily on her shoulders. This is a position where a lot of men as “head” of households find very difficult to handle. In many marriages, both Nigerian & non-Nigerian, where the woman is the breadwinner, the issue of how the money is allocated and future plans becomes an issue of a huge conflict as egos, and rights jam heads constantly. One person is the “head” of the household, but another brings in most of the money, so naturally wahala go dey. You don’t need to look too far to see these issues pop up in Nigerian households in the US.
All in all it almost seemed from conversations that most women, and more especially men will not have this as an ideal scenario and in some cases it’s almost a deal breaker.
But it’s 2012, and the likelihood of this happening is pretty high as we have more and more ambitious women. More than a generation ago. So now I ask: Men, would you have a problem with your wife making significantly more money than you? Women, would you care if he makes less?
Let’s hear it.