The Holy book says it is the man’s job to provide and protect and the woman’s to protect and nurture.
Since the inception of the first family, it has always been this way, the man has always been the one who provides and the woman the one who takes care and runs the household.
But what happens when the roles are reversed?
Yes, the man is expected to be the financial head and the bread winner but what happens if for some reason, the man cannot provide and his wife can? Or if the wife makes much more than the man?
What happens when the woman now suddenly becomes the financial head and begins to bring home the money to pay the bills?
I do not know how it happens outside Africa because the most I have learnt about the western culture is through movies, the internet, books and magazines. What I know however, is that in Africa, Nigeria to be precise, when the roles are reversed in the home and a woman becomes the breadwinner, friction happens and in most cases, the home threatens to break.
Over the years, while I grew up, one thing I realised is the role of the African woman in the home and how she is not expected to be “the man” I.e become the financial head/decision maker.
Now when she begins to bring the most cash home, what happens? Does she because of the African culture sit back and watch her man spend her hard earned money? Does she lord her own decisions over her man because she’s now the “boss” or does she still consult with her husband?
In the man’s case, does he now watch his wife become the husband? Does he become so shame faced he now doesn’t speak to her or does he pick fights at every oportunity he gets simply because he is angry at his inability to do his duties?
Here are a few suggestions that just might help;
1. Communication- in a relationship, the role of communication cannot be overstated. If your wife/girlfriend earns more than you and you have moments when you feel incapable, speak to her about it. It might sound ludicrous but the truth is it would hurt her to know that you feel so bad about the situation and won’t talk to her about it. So discuss it, let her know how terrible you sometimes feel for not being able to take care of her like you should. As a woman, always leave room for communication. Encourage your man to speak up if he has any issues. Remember, he is the man and he would sometimes feel bad, if you love him, you would help him feel better about himself.
2. Be a man- to be honest, being a man has nothing to do with your bank account. A man is someone who is mature, who knows how to take care of his woman and who is focused. You can be rich and be childish and on the other hand, you can be broke and be a better man.
So remember that as a man, your manhood has nothing to do with your salary and everything to do with your mind and behaviour.
Be proud of your woman. Show her off to the world. Let her know you appreciate her role in the relationship/family and with the little you earn, buy her gifts. Tell her you love her in every way that you can and don’t constantly feel bad about the fact that she earns more.
Women love when their men are real anyway and no woman truly wants a man she can walk over.
So be a man and you will be fine.
3. Work hard and help- whether your woman earns more than you isn’t a big deal if you yourself throw yourself in your work and dedicate your time to making more money.
Do not brood about how the roles have changed. If you aren’t out of job and you just happen to earn less, then work harder and waste no time on thinking of how you earn less. Ditch the sulking, you aren’t a six year old.
Help around the house when you can. And if you are too proud to help, then you need to understand that you love this woman and helping her ease the stress of carrying the financial burden and house chores is the best for her. It’ll make her happy, love and respect you more. It doesn’t make you less of a man, rather it makes you more of a man.