Botswana’s millennial women are gradually becoming the emerging face of the breadwinner – the female breadwinner – but it is not all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, the woman breadwinner is becoming a marital minefield that couples must thread carefully through if they wish to save their marriage.
Gaborone based clinical psychologist, Bame Mophuting says, “both people in the relationship might struggle with resentment from time to time. From the woman’s perspective, it can be hard to see friends/co-workers/family members who “get to” stay a home, work a less stressful job, or launch their own business funded by their husband’s income. From the man’s perspective, some may feel as if they have failed in the role they are “supposed to have” as the primary breadwinner and income earner, they may be resentful of the success of their wives and partners.”
The breadwinner gender representation gap might be narrowing, but as one gap starts to close, another one is emerging. As Muphuting explains it, quietly lurking in the corner is a simmering resentment frequently experienced when women out-earn their male partners. Unfortunately, for some men income ranking and wealth status in relationships still matter. Women’s advanced income status gets a bad rap, even though most households cannot rely on a single income to sustain current expenses or plan for the future, the traditional roles are still deeply embedded in our society. While women can work part-time or stay out of the workforce altogether without impacting their marriage, for a man, anything less than full-time employment increases the risk of divorce.
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