Wives as Breadwinners Resent Husbands

Survey finds that women who make more money than their husbands find "gap" in their marriages.

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Here's some bad news for wives with high-paying gigs: A survey conducted by women's website BettyConfidential.com found that "most women in this role are simultaneously proud of themselves and resentful of their husbands."

The site's editor, Nicole Christie, notes that women who rake in more money than their husbands find it a blessing and a curse—causing "a gap between husband and wife that's difficult to bridge."

One woman, a 43-year-old investment banker, had this to say in the release:

"I have financial independence that my mother never had," she says. "But I do resent my husband because there are so many household chores, community events, and school events that the 'woman of the house' is expected to do." She finds it helpful that her husband works full-time as opposed to staying home, yet says workmen at the house won't discuss repairs with her and that financial consultants defer to her husband, assuming he is the breadwinner and household decision-maker.

The issue of female breadwinners and stay-at-home dads has recently gotten heated airtime at Penelope Trunk's blog. Rebel Dad, a site for stay-at-home dads, was featured on NBC's "Today Show" last month.

One problem with this brouhaha is that it masks how very common female primary breadwinners are. A few years ago, researchers at St. Louis University looked at Census Bureau data between 1996 and 2000 and found that as many as 20 percent of women earned more than their husbands. A BLS report showed the figure reached about 25 percent in families where both partners were working in 2003.

Last year, a professor at Queens College in New York found that full-time working women in their 20s in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Minneapolis earned more than men of the same age range.