How Women Breadwinners Can Save Their Relationships

When She Makes More received a very thoughtful and balanced review on, written by staff writer Susan Adams. While Adams did not agree with every point in the book (naturally), I  sense that she appreciated my researched suggestions to help breadwinning women – and the men who love them – thrive in their relationships. In her words, “The phenomenon of the breadwinning woman will only keep growing. We’ll see a lot more books like Torabi’s, which will be a good thing.”

Below is the beginning of Adams’ review. For the rest, please visit

Farnoosh Torabi’s new book, When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women,takes on a trend that’s posing an ever-greater challenge to married couples and that I’ve experienced in my own home. Millions of women earn more than their spouses. According to Torabi, who speaks, writes and does TV spots about personal finance, in a quarter of American households with children under age 18, the mother is the primary source of income. That’s more than five million women, a number that has quadrupled since 1960.  If only that were a universally good thing for families. Instead Torabi ticks off a host of problems she’s dug out of academic studies and from Pew Research Center reports.

A few highlights: A 2010 Cornell study found that among 18- 28-year-old married and cohabiting couples who had been together for more than a year, men who were totally dependent on women’s salaries were five times more likely to cheat than men who earned the same as their partners. Other studies show that when women earn more, they wind up taking on more, not less of the housework and childcare. A 2013 study by a professor at Washington University’s Olin Business School in St. Louis who collaborated with some Danish colleagues revealed that in relationships where women made slightly more than their spouses, men were 10% more likely to need prescription medication for erectile dysfunction, insomnia and anxiety, and the greater the income gap, the more problems men had with ED. Torabi conducted her own survey of 1,033 professional women and found that the women who made more than their partners reported less relationship satisfaction and more embarrassment about how much they made compared to their spouse than the women who earned less.

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