Oh, those poor macho men.
A new study suggests that 'macho' men struggle with their romantic relationships, partly because women in their lives make more money than they do, according to a new study by Patrick Coughlin and Jay Wade from Fordham University in New York. However, men who don't follow traditional masculine gender roles don't see much importance in looking at income, according to the report.
For the most part, this shouldn't be a surprise. More women than ever are enrolled in universities and colleges in North America and are now taking less time out of their careers to raise children.
Earlier this week, another survey found the majority of women in the U.S. are now breadwinners in their households, according to Prudential Financial. Out of the 1,400 women surveyed, 40 per cent of whom were single or divorced, 53 percent of them were the breadwinners in their households.
"Our results demonstrate the importance of masculinity ideology in understanding how and why men with higher-earning partners will have low or high quality romantic relationships," Coughlin and Wade said in the press release.
But what makes these men cringe? Psychologist like Marie Hartwell-Walker believe that both men and women still have core beliefs as to who they are and what they should be doing as grown-ups -- but in reality these roles don't work any more. "A woman who puts in a 13-hour day at the office simply can’t come home and do the laundry too," she wrote in an article for PsychCentral.com.
And as much as we don't want to blame money as the root cause of all evil in our relationships, some experts say you should. Money is often the first reason most marriages end in divorce and struggling with financial budgets often cause arguments between couples.
Does it matter who makes more dough? Let us know in the comments below.
ALSO: Here are seven steps experts recommend to steer clear of potential marital money troubles:
Disclose Financial Records
Before corporations merge they go through a period when both sides get a close look at each other's financial records. Take the same approach before you get hitched. Swap statements for your bank accounts, credit cards, student loans, retirement accounts and so on. Also share credit reports and FICO scores. "Not only can you start to put together a balance sheet of what the two of you own and what your debts are, you can start to discuss 'do we want to combine our checking account?'" says Salvini.
Discuss Financial Goals
A huge part of getting in sync with your spouse begins with discussing major life goals and the necessary financial commitments. Discuss short-term goals, such as paying off credit card debt, and then craft a budget that sets you clearly on a path toward your goals.
Budget Your Spending
Failing to create and stick to a mutually agreed upon budget can lead to marital strife. It doesn't have to be complicated, though. Start off by listing monthly income. Be sure to add in interest earned on money-market accounts and dividends from any investments. Then add up expenses, everything from car payments, rent, to groceries, gym membership and utilities. If you're making more than you spend each month, you can begin planning how to set aside money for long-term financial goals. If not, time to consider ways to cut spending.
Treat Your Money As 'Our Money'
Many newlyweds continue to see the money they earn individually as their own, much like if they might merely be roommates. They keep separate bank accounts and pitch in, perhaps equally, or not, to paying bills. But that can lead to problems, especially if one spouse earns a lot more than the other, says Anthony Chambers, a clinical psychologist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University. If both spouses work, he suggests they arrange for their paychecks to be deposited directly into a joint account that's used to pay all shared expenses. If they feel they need to have some of their own play money in a separate account, that's fine. But Chambers says the funds should come from the joint account so both spouses know where the money is going.
Keep Credit Cards Separate
It's not necessary to make your spouse a joint accountholder on your credit cards, especially if he or she has a poor credit history, which can drag down your own credit rating. Instead, make your spouse an authorized user of your credit cards. This will avoid any potential impact to your credit rating. As a safeguard, authorized users are also able to check account balances and track spending on the card.
Don't Split Costs 50-50
In marriage as in most other scenarios, money is power. Although splitting household costs down the middle may work early on in a relationship, it can breed resentment in a marriage when one spouse makes a lot more money than the other. It also can foster a sense that the person who pays more should have more say in financial matters. "Very few things in marriage are exactly 50-50," says Chambers. "And that can really start to bring up all of these other issues of fairness." Still, even if costs aren't split down the middle, it's important that each spouse hold equal say in making money decisions.
Talk About Spending
Even after you've reviewed all the financial paperwork, sometimes it's even more important to find out how your spending habits match up. Often those habits are developed early and are entrenched. One person might have grown up in a family that counted every penny. Another might part far more easily with money because shopping became a hobby. Beyond how much someone likes to spend there are potential conflicts over what we see as a must-have. Even small differences can become wedge issues later on. "The central task of marriage is the management of differences," says Chambers. "So you want to be able to know early on what those differences are."