Yup, it is another Dear Davina day. I am taking a cue from Ross, T and dealing with a subject that I come across once in a while in my letters. Today, I am actually dealing with a letter that was sent to Ross. He deals with married people and I deal with singles and since this was a matter from a single, he handed it to me.

The matter at hand concerns finances and the elephant in the room. Why do guys get uncomfortable when a lady is making more than them? This is the question that a reader is basically asking in the mail she has sent.

Let’s look at her mail, we will look at my thoughts on the matter and I expect to get a healthy debate on this issue from you my readers.

Good Day Ross T,
Trust you had a wonderful weekend.
I have been following your page for awhile now and I must say you are doing a great job.
Let me tell you my story

I’m a 24 year-old muslim lady, a qualified accountant with a budding career and currently running a Master’s program, I can say I’m doing well for myself all thanks to God, I’m also more of an introvert rarely go out, or party(the parties I go for are weddings which can be like 3 or less in a year..lol), I’m more homely.

I used to think men would like to associate with you when you seem to know what you want as a lady (Oh Lord how wrong of me!!).

I have a boyfriend who is 9 years older than I am, and is not as financially stable.
He is such a wonderful man, he supports me and believes in my dreams, he has’nt shown any sign of not liking the fact that I’m a career woman, he only suggested I learn to balance both work and family so one doesn’t suffer because of the other , he wants to marry me soon too when he is more financially stable.

I really love my boyfriend a lot but inasmuch as he is a very good person, he has bad habits of drinking and smoking cigarette which are against my religion and I also don’t like them, I have told him severally about the harmful things this things do to his body, he stopped for a while at a time but after 6months he went back to them, I think his going back to it was because of the kind of friends he keeps (they also have his kind of habit).

I have tried looking for religious and decent guys but most of the religious and decent guys I meet have a problem with me doing well for myself, Ross T, a guy once told me I will never have a happy family because of my dreams of pursuing my career and schooled me on how as a woman my only priority should be how to cook and take care of my family, another one told me I dream ” too big”.

I really dont know what to do because my parents have started mounting pressure on me to get married. All this is making me sad and unhappy.

Please what will you advice I do.

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My two cents..

Hi Aisha,

thanks for your mail which echoes the thoughts of a number of professional women who have written me on this matter. I would advise you read this divorce story here especially Ross’s advise on the matter as it is quite illuminating.

My Divorce Story 45, Ochuko: I Married Above My Level

I have a couple of thoughts on the matter looking at it from several sides.

As regards your current guy and the habits you are not comfortable with. I have a couple of perspectives on this. First of all is the matter of peer pressure which is that he is drinking and smoking because of the crowd he hangs out with. This is an indication of hidden character weakness. If he stopped on your persuasions and not on his own convictions and then started again on the persuasions of his friends, then it shows an individual that can easily be influenced and manipulated.

Peer pressure is good when used rightly. For example, an individual could use peer pressure to aim for a better job, better educational, better health habits,  but the dark side of peer pressure is when it enhances negative habits and behaviors leading to dire consequences. For example things that are injurious to the health, unhealthy competition, or unbecoming behavior.

I want to believe that your guy shares the same faith as you and I expect that he should have the same concerns as you have regarding these issues. I can see your faith is quite important to you and while things like this might seem as minor irritants now, they have the ability to blow up later.

I don’t know how much your guy earns. Is it enough to start a family or he feels pressured to get to the point where his earnings match yours? It could be that while on the outward he looks supportive, he might internally be threatened.

Why are guys threatened by a woman who earns more?

Now let’s look at finances especially when a woman earns more than her man and it’s effects on the relationship.

There are two things I consider “relationship bombs” first is a woman more educated than her man and secondly a woman earning more than her man.

First of all, we need to consider the male ego, societal expectations and the societal perception in male driven societies. You must understand that the guy is brought up to be the “man of the house”, which means that he is the head of the home and the woman is subservient. She isn’t expected to challenge the man who is the one who makes the rules and the woman follows. These societies have strict male and female rules, values and expectations.

Traditionally and biblically, the man is the head of the home, the warrior and defender and the woman is the home maker. These roles have worked where they have been understood by all. Some guys have misconstrued that role. Head of the house doesn’t mean the woman is a dumb slave you bought with your money. She is to work alongside you to help you fulfill the dreams she saw and keyed into when you proposed to her. She is more of a partner in progress but, this has been largely misunderstood and abused.

The evolution of society has created a misunderstanding of these roles and led to the problem under discuss from both the angle of the man and from the woman.

Majorly, it boils down to insecurity and fear. An insecure man would always feel threatened by a stronger woman while a self confident and assured man wouldn’t have such problems.

Let me explain. The dynamics of relationships would always mean that there would be conflicts such as quarrels and misunderstandings. The fuel of conflicts are the motives behind that conflict. Why is she behaving this way? Why is she challenging my authority? For the insecure guy, it would always boil down to “it is because she feels she earns more than me” or “it is because she feels she is more educated than I am“. Haven’t you been involved in those arguments where the person on the loosing side tries to point out a superiority such as “I am older than you” “I am more traveled than you“? As if that should be enough credentials to boost his / her side of the argument? This is the reverse because it forms the backend of the mind set.

So the guy feels threatened that if his wife earns more than him, she would be uncontrollable. This is one key reason why some guys don’t want their wife’s to pursue a career. It all boils down to fear and a need to control. A strong and self assured man doesn’t have that issue.

So the weak guy runs away from potential sources of conflict where he feels he is disadvantaged. Earnings are relative. A man could earn enough to take care of his family including meet all the needs of his wife and kids and have a wife who earns far more. But where the weak guy is concerned, that isn’t enough. He must be absolutely “Lord” in all areas.

Interestingly, this weakness isn’t only just at home. Guys like this make weak leaders. They feel constantly challenged and threatened by subordinates who show signs of excellence. They don’t like having their ideas being challenged and have an unhealthy view of competition. So it isn’t all about the earnings of the woman. It is about themselves.

On the extreme side of the divide though are the guys who are so comfortable in the higher earning abilities of their wives that they just stay home, drink beer and refuse to work, Yet want to enjoy the privileges and rights of lordship / head of the house. They don’t mind the woman earning more as long as the earnings are surrendered to them and they have full control over it’s use.

There are also some women who never allow their husbands rest. They rub it in, nag and make it look like the man isn’t measuring up. Those however are far and few compared to the most.

My advice

I believe that there is something wrong with your current circle of friends. You seem to be involved mostly with small minded individuals. People who would rather drink and hang out with beer buddies, people who want to belittle you and your career.

I would advise you to concentrate on your career and be the best you can be at it. As you continue, your circle of friends would increase. You would find yourself increasingly amongst people with like minds, self confident men who wouldn’t consider you a threat. Trust me, there are enough of them to go round.

These men would have no problems with you and your career objectives. They would be willing to encourage you to be the best you can be. They wouldn’t be afraid of you and would see you more as an asset than as competition or a threat.

Women are increasingly proving that a woman can make a good mother whilst still pursuing her career. Thankfully, this fact is also being recognized and accepted by many men the world over.

I hope this helps

________________________________________________________________________________
TO ALL DD READERS….
You can send your Dear Davina letters to me directly @ davina.r@davinadiaries.com. I assure you whatever you send to this mailbox is for my eyes only and I promise complete anonymity when I decide to publish your letter.
I look forward to hearing from you
xoxoxoxoxo
Davina

3 COMMENTS

  1. So @ Davina, you think she is not responsible in her approach to the men that sees her financial status as a threat?, relationship is an interdependent stage of every adult,and its best of the three stages of life, which are ,”Dependent,”Independent,”and interdependent.you have to be emotionally physically and mentally independent b4 you can interdepend with anybody,there nothing like dependent or independent attitude in an interdependent relationships, humility and patience is vital in any relationship,and always make sure you strike a balance,there is what is called circle of concern and circle of influence, circle of concerns,all that she mentioned about her boyfriend’s attitude,is in her circle of concern, your circle of influence,is to work on your self,focus on your approach to his weekness, search yourself, identity your own weekness,work on them and change approach since the one you have been using is not producing results,use a more value driven approach and you will be marveled at the speed you will use to influence him.

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