I’m not sure men can hack being with an accomplished woman. This, if they are not very accomplished themselves. There has been much said of celebrity couples whose relationships end when the woman is more commercially successful than the man. We’ve all heard of the curse of the Oscar. The Seal/Klum relationship is the latest, and there have been many others.
At its core, it’s probably a good thing men are so affected when they are not the primary providers. I believe men are conditioned, whether innately or socially, to provide for those entrusted to them. Even if both parties make similar incomes, men know the responsibility ultimately falls to them, even if just in theory. I’m sure there’s a lot of research on this, and I haven’t read it, but it probably has something to do with the fact that women traditionally take on more responsibility within the home, particularly with kids, and therefore men have to take something on, too. Say what you want about equality, but relationships and families are rarely squarely equal, so I believe this broadbrush picture has merit.
It’s good when men feel the burden of taking care of their partner and family. They should feel that burden. And although women want to have their own successes, to some degree we all want to be taken care of. Or, to know that the option exists if we need it. It’s a huge emotional support.
However, feeling this burden should not result in the man throwing in the towel, purposely sabotaging his relationship, and making like the partnership isn’t working when really what’s not working is his own ego.
Sure, it may be uncomfortable for some men to be financially inferior to their wives. 99% of the time they’d probably wish the situation were reversed. But a confident man would just take pride in his wife and enjoy the benefits.
I wonder how many men would truly be fine with that, particularly in cases where the difference is so great?