Can a Woman Really be the Provider in a Relationship?

Traditionally, the man is looked upon as the financial provider in a relationship. Their female partners can work and contribute but many see the main responsibility for a male partner is to bring home more bacon than the ol’ lady at home. This ideology  is still rooted in many individuals today, especially the older generations. Unfortunately for them, the family dynamic has been changing for quite some time now. While some women still choose to stay at home, more and more women are becoming increasingly powerful and financially dependent in the workforce with the help of high paying positions and prestige. Some men encourage their wives to go out and get their own, but some tend to be intimidated by a financially dominate female because their instincts as men are to provide and protect. If they can’t fully provide for their families, they feel as though they are somehow inadequate.

I see cases of rocky relationships that center around finances often in my profession. Here is an example of the type of cases I deal with from day to day.

Is financial equality supposed to be this important in a relationship? I am a 36-year-old woman practicing corporate law in Los Angeles, California.  My husband and I have been married for 13 years now, which we married soon after I graduated from college. For years we were both going in the same direction where I attended Law school and he attended Business school. After about a year he dropped out of school and for the past six years he has been working with a construction company here in California. Though he does make enough money to support himself, I do not feel as if I, the woman, should be responsible for paying all of the bills that we have managed to accumulate together.

Growing up and observing my parents, I was taught that the man should be the provider for a family. I do not necessarily see it as a major issue in our relationship, but for the past few years I have noticed that my husband has begun to resent any conversation where financial aspects are discussed. My husband also alludes that I have an unnecessary spending habit when acquaintances compliment any personal belongings that I possess. I have tried my best to ignore the discrepancies in our incomes, but his consistent criticism on the allocations of my finances is becoming an issue. I have observed that when a woman is the provider for a family it tends to make the husband feel inferior. I am looking for a way to explain to my husband, without offending him, that the inequalities of our finances does not affect my view of our relationship as long as he does not comment on the way I spend my earnings.

What do you think of this woman’s story? Do you believe your husband would be or is okay with you making more money than him? Think back to the most recent arguments you’ve had. Did they center around bills and money? Give us your opinion, Can a woman really be the provider in a relationship?

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