Does Your Partner Stress More over Money if You’re the Female Breadwinner?

According to the Wall Street Journal “New research from an a private wealth management company, SEI, suggests female breadwinners experience more stress with their partners over big financial decisions.

While an overwhelming majority of those polled said their spouse/partner is comfortable with how financial decisions are made, 1 in 5 said that they feel their spouse/partner is stressed by their lead or participation in the process, with several notable differences between male and female respondents.

Women who identified themselves as the primary financial contributors were more likely to experience tension with their partners than their male counterparts. In fact, almost a third of female financial leads polled (29 percent) said they believe their partner feels stressed by their role in financial decision making, while only a fraction of the males polled (14 percent) said they feel tension from their partner. What’s less clear are the underlying issues related to these questions. For example, are women simply more likely to recognize tension in their relationship? Or do both parties truly feel less stress if the man is both the breadwinner and primary financial decision maker?”

Based on my research for Female Breadwinners: How They Make Relationships Work and Why They are the Future of the Modern Workplace, I do think women are more sensitive to tension in a relationship and real or imagined slights or lack of balance. The women I met were very careful not to emasculate the the men in their lives and would be wary of any negativity or stress their male partners felt around money. As one woman I interviewed who admitted that money was a sore spot for her and her husband said: “Money is the one thing we never talk about”.

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