RadioMD: HER Radio

Women as Breadwinners

February 23, 201728 min
You are the CEO of your own life. Your choices can help you find balance, while still bringing home the bacon.Only 11 percent of households in the 1960s had women as breadwinners. Today, that figure has risen to 40 percent of households reporting women as primary breadwinners. Fifty-one percent of management positions are held by women. The times are changing. Forty-six percent of women are now in the workforce. Many women were thrust into the role of breadwinner during the economic downturn of 2006-2007 when many men lost their jobs.  Women who are the primary breadwinners still do at least two-thirds of the housework. But, men are taking more responsibility in the home than in previous generations. Women typically have the role of nurturer and have the generational stress of caring for the household. Career and financial responsibility both contribute to incredible stress. It is no surprise that more women are turning to alcohol for a "release." Generational Differences Women who are 55 to 60 more than likely grew up in a household where a man was the major breadwinner. In many cases, the mother stayed home or had a job that had less financial impact on the family than the father. This is what they knew. Women who are 25 to 35 probably grew up in a home where the mother worked outside the home. She may not have been the primary breadwinner, but she contributed significantly to the economy of the household. This generation shares household and financial responsibilities with their partners. Infidelity ImbalanceAccording to a study by the American Psychological Association, five percent of women who are fully dependent on their husband's income cheat. Fifteen percent of men who are financially dependent on their partners cheat.  Women who make over 70 percent of the household’s income cheat less than men. Women are focused on all of the responsibilities of the home and workplace, likely lacking the energy for infidelity. Working women tend to neglect self care because their hands are full. Divorce RatesOver a five-year study, 12 percent of couples where both were working divorced. Divorce rates were 50 percent higher in relationships where women earned more money. How can you address your own relationship if you’re the breadwinner? Communication is key. Discuss the finances so no one is in the dark about the bills. Have a conversation to make financial decisions. Hire help around the house if your partner can’t handle the chores, which can help reduce your own stress from cleaning so you can focus on quality time with your family. Listen as Sharon Lechter, CPA joins Dr. Pam Peeke to share how you can find balance as a breadwinner.
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