You may be one of the lucky ones who belongs to any species aside from humanity, so you’re too evolved to get married, or you could just have a unique ability to adjust your earnings so your spouse will be able to love you perfectly until the end of time. If you’re not, don’t we live in some seriously garbage times?
A study published in the American Sociological Review found that couples should make the same amount of money because if one of you earns more, the lower earner is more likely to cheat.
“To do the study, Christin Munsch, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, examined data for about 2,800 heterosexual married people under the age of 32 who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a big federal research project, between 2001 and 2011,” noted Max Ehrenfreund on Washington Post’s Wonk blog.
“She found that the less that men and women earned in income compared to their spouses, the more likely they were to cheat. This was especially true of husbands. Men were also more likely to cheat if they made significantly more than their spouses, while women who made a lot more than their husbands were less likely to be unfaithful.”
Participants weren’t asked if they cheat directly, because people lie, but instead their infidelity was calculated based on marital status versus the number of sexual partners indicated within the previous year.
“The fact that women and men who make less than their partners are more likely to cheat is counterintuitive. Infidelity frequently results in divorce, so this group is putting their access to their spouses’ earnings at risk by straying. But people don’t always behave in a way that just seeks to raise their income, and a difference in earnings might lead to resentment,” theorized Munsch.
“The small number of men who make less than their wives might feel a need to demonstrate their independence. Previous research has suggested that when the wife is the breadwinner in the household, the husband may feel that he is failing to fulfill his traditional responsibilities.”
Boo-hoo, but it sounds like these people need to take a step outside of other peoples’ idea of what it means to be a provider. We’ve heard it all before, the person with the least invested in the relationship has the most power. A.k.a. whoever cares the most is basically screwed and not in the good way.
If HBO’s Game of Thrones has taught us anything, it’s that power is a real thing and leverage is everything. This is why that hot person you’re dating may be less inclined to settle down and the combination of high power and low dependency can make it easier for them to walk away. Simply because they need you less.
Historically, it’s been the man who earns more, but with women working more and the way our economy is, two incomes are a necessity to have a decent life. This means the picture has shifted. See? Money changes everything.
There is a certain type of woman who wants their spouse to earn more, the same way there is a certain type of man who needs to earn more. You need to make sure your true wants and needs match up, this is why communication is important and proof that we’re all a little fucked over by gender.
The bottom line is that if you’re both invested in maintain the current status you have both worked so hard to create, it’s going to make it harder for either of you to throw it all away for a little sidepiece.