In a conventional relationship, a man is supposed to be the provider and a protector. The woman is expected to be submissive to her husband.
But what happens in a relationship in which the woman earns more than the man?
Different views stemmed from random women interviewed. One of them notes that it only becomes a problem when the man starts feeling inferior.
She says that men who are hit by inferiority complex might get abusive while others start getting into extra-marital relationships with women they can provide for.
“One of the reasons for divorces is inferiority complex and failure to express oneself. One may fear to reprimand a husband for fear of being misjudged.
“Like it or not, men want women to depend on them no matter how educated or how good their jobs or businesses are. They just like to be in control,” she says.
There are no given rules regarding the way people can manage this change, when it comes.
Sociologist Charles Chilimampunga notes that such marriages have trouble working in patriarchal societies where men are expected to be breadwinners and decision-makers.
“Often pressure is placed on both the husband and the wife. The wife may be called names and ridiculed for assuming the allegedly role of a man and the husband for playing second fiddle to the woman. About him, his friends and relatives may say things like Munakwatiwa ndi akazi anu (you are married to your wife). All this puts pressure on both of them and tends to strain the relationship,” says Chilimampunga.
However, he says the relationship can survive the ridicule if the wife and the husband love and understand each other, and do not place money as the driver of their relationship.
“There is nothing inherently wrong with the wife earning way more than the husband, or even a husband not earning any income. What matters is love and understanding and ignoring other people’s negative attitudes and comments,” he says.
Marriage Counsellor, Inkosi Chimalizeni says the man is the foundation in every family and the wife must submit, respect her husband and let him lead, even if she takes home more in the family.
“Men tend to get inferior and look down on themselves if they get less than their wives in earnings. For such marriage relationships to work, it depends on how the woman conducts herself in the family. If she respects her husband, in line with what the word of God says, things will work just fine,” says Chimalizeni.
He notes that problems arise if women try to take over the position of the man in the family and look down on the man for earning less. If they do that, the marriage will surely not work. n