When She Makes More | Farnoosh Torabi

Summary of: When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women
By: Farnoosh Torabi


In ‘When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women,’ Farnoosh Torabi explores the complex relationship dynamics and challenges faced by women who earn more than their partners. Delving into the effects of traditional gender roles on marriage, happiness, and infidelity, the book lays out 10 rules that can help couples navigate these challenges and bolster their relationships. The summary provides powerful insights and real-life examples of how high-earning women and their partners can create a better balance in their relationships, handle family finances, divide household responsibilities, and communicate effectively about their unique situation.

Balancing Relationship Dynamics

The traditional gender roles continue to negatively affect the dynamics of relationships, especially those where women earn more than men. The book provides 10 rules that such couples can follow to maintain a happy and healthy relationship. Studies show that couples in which women earn more are less likely to marry, less happy, and more prone to infidelity. Following these guidelines can provide solutions to common problems faced by such partners.

Breadwinning Women and Marriage

The book highlights the challenges that women who outearn their male partners face in their marriages, including pressure to work less, infidelity, and divorce. The issue is becoming pervasive as women continue to earn higher incomes than men. The book presents two case studies – Carmen and Michelle – to illustrate how income disparities affect marriages. The author emphasizes the role of ambition, motivation, and integrity and warns against the danger of unconscious thinking that can undermine relationships. The book sheds light on the psychology of being a single-income household and the importance of both partners working outside the home to strengthen their relationships.

Rethinking Gender Roles

The book advocates for a shift in the traditional gender roles of breadwinners and childcare. The story of Hannah and Ted who have successfully blended their roles in a non-traditional way is a testament that it can work. They have found that the key to success is being open-minded and supportive of each other’s choices. The author encourages both men and women to find the right balance between work and family, and to not let societal norms dictate their choices, which may lead to guilt and shame when both sexes earn sizable paychecks.

The Power of Female Breadwinners

When women earn more than their partners, they are more likely to take charge of their family’s finances. They pay the bills and make important investment and retirement decisions. However, it’s essential to establish mutual financial goals, decide who pays for what, and keep accounts accessible to both partners. It’s also important to make financial decisions together and acknowledge each other’s contributions. To avoid possessiveness and maintain equality, couples should decide on what is “yours, mine, and ours.” A high-earning wife can reserve 20% of her income, while her partner can set aside 10-15% for personal expenses. Joint accounts should be used for family purchases and retirement planning. By recognizing and respecting each other’s financial roles, couples can create a stable and harmonious financial future.

Making Smart Choices In Marriage And Divorce

The book advises high-earning women to consider prenuptial agreements due to the rise in mothers paying child support and women paying alimony. It also encourages women to learn how to compartmentalize their lives like men do. Women are more likely to initiate divorces due to state laws favoring them in child custody and men’s behavioral issues such as drinking and infidelity.

Balancing Breadwinner Roles

Female breadwinners need to recognize their partners’ non-financial contributions and avoid micro-managing their finances. A successful marriage involves valuing male partners as providers, regardless of the income disparity. Relationship coach Alison Armstrong, advocates for women to seek their partners’ input on matters concerning financial decisions. Male partners should not feel emasculated by not being primary breadwinners and should not be subservient in financial matters. Instead, women should find a balance that suits both partners, including switching breadwinner roles when necessary. It is essential to develop sensitivity towards male partners. As Ryan, a school bus driver, affirms, all jobs bring value, and the dollar value does not equal reward value. Thus, individuals should appreciate job contributions towards successful relationships. Additionally, with demanding careers, make life easier by sharing responsibilities that may cause undue stress and enjoy teamwork.

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