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Depending on a Spouse for Financial Support: Myth vs. Reality

August 3, 2020

Financial dependence on partner
Should you ask women if they would like to rely on a guy to encourage them most will say no more. However, their life options tell another story.

Women have come to a ways from helplessly sitting towers, waiting to be rescued. Young women now have jobs, paychecks and intriguing objectives. However, their life options tell another story. While interviewing recent school graduates for my second novel, I was struck by just how much like the girls’ choices were. They got their diplomas after which discovered jobs in areas that seemed inventive and interesting, if not especially well-paid.

And a troubling pattern immediately emerged.

A year after graduating from Tulane, 1 girl was working on public associations – as were many of her school girlfriends, most of whom got about $30,000 annually. However, their boyfriends – that graduated the equal year in precisely the equal school – went to fund and were making over $150,000 annually. The girls didn’t seem distressed by that pay gap, but they had no real explanation for why they weren’t worried. After the truth appeared during comprehensive interviews, then they had difficulty admitting it even to themselves.

Women Must Rely on Themselves

The simple truth was inevitable: Whether consciously or subconsciously, those young girls simply supposed they wouldn’t be fully responsible for their future standard of living. Surely a high-earning spouse would eventually make up the gap in the middle the lifestyle they envisioned, and their own lesser salary at a fun job.

The most obvious problem with this assumption is the fact that women can’t rely on a husband to support them. Marriage prices in this state have hit a record low and therefore are expected to keep falling; for the very before all else time in American history, nearly all adults aren’t married. As a consequence, girls are on their own – a tendency exacerbated by the incidence of divorce, even lengthening lifespans, along with increased longevity in women than women. Sooner or later in their own lives, 80 to 90 percent of now’s girls will cause their own financing. And yet many don’t expect that fact – that is 1 argumentation why twice as many girls fall underneath the poverty line in their subsequent years, in comparison to men. Women consistently get less and have more gaps in their history, therefore it’s simple to foresee the financial challenges that they ‘re very likely to confront as they obtain old.

A decade ago, my before all else experience with their resistance amazes me using its ferocity, in addition to its unexpectedness. In 2017 I published a publication named “The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much? ,” that was motivated with the so-called opting-out motion. As an increasing percentage of girls dropped from the workforce to develop into stay-at-home mothers, the press mimicked their conclusions as joyful lifestyle options that solved the strain of juggling work and loved ones. Sad to say, the media coverage of the tendency failed to record how damaging its own consequences were more going to be. My book recorded the long term dangers of financial dependence, which I viewed as a useful corrective to the expectations of comfy safety jeopardized from the romanticization of motherhood.

But to my amazement, “The Feminine Mistake” was exceptionally contentious, sparking a firestorm of criticism before it was published. There was no denying that the truth, which demonstrates that stopping the workforce is a critical threat that takes an enduring toll on girls’ financial well-being. Despite this fact, many stay-at-home mothers were daunted with the apparently clear statement it’s harmful to rely on a person for assistance. I was amazed by the strength of the anger, and that manifested itself in all from an internet campaign against the publication, to personal attacks in my union, and my puppy.

The Dangers of a Single Breadwinner

But it didn’t take long for a national catastrophe to underscore the truth of my warnings. “The Feminine Mistake” was published a year before the financial crisis plunged the country into a recession. Millions of people lost their jobs, and affluent suburbs were soon riddled with For Sale signs as formerly wealthy families tried to sell their homes. In the tough times that followed, many wives learned the hard way that it’s not safe for a family to rely on a single breadwinner. As time passed, I read all too many articles and blog posts with headlines like “Becoming a SAHM Was the Worst Mistake I Ever Made. “Because the financial crisis was so severe, I assumed it gave American women a persuasive lesson in the value of economic autonomy. But apparently, I was defamed.

More recently, I was astonished to read that another book with a similar theme had touched off a comparable controversy. “The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction” was written by Samantha Ettus, who quickly discovered that many women are still enraged by the suggestion that they’ll have better lives if they keep working.

That kind of backlash is a predictable result of the way females are socialized in this culture.

“It’s that the concept that all you need to do is develop and bring a guy who’ll sweep you off your feet and treat you personally,” Ettus told The New York Post. “When we hear in cases where somebody’s husband fell dead or abandoned them we believe these are unicorns. But these are the standard. ”

In coping with such challenges, we’re better served by facing reality than sticking our heads in the sand. And yet all too many women still avoid any facts that frighten them.

I once met the wife of a successful television producer at a party. She shuddered when she heard my name.

“I purchased ‘The Feminine Mistake’ and began to see it, but it frightened me so many I couldn’t finish it,” she said, glaring at me like girls’ economic vulnerabilities were my fault.

She spent the remainder of the evening prevented me.

This girl hasn’t worked for pay in a couple of decades, and she has no career other than motherhood. But her children are now 17 and 20, so when the youngest leaves for college next year, her self-appointed role as a full-time mother will be finished forever.

Beware of the Empty Nest

That phase is a dangerous one for stay-at-home moms because the empty nest has a devastating effect on long-term marriages. Among couples over 50, the divorce rate has doubled in the last 20 years. When the kids grow up, many couples realize that their children were the only thing holding them together. In the past, most couples resigned themselves to the status quo, but these days many decide it’s time for a fresh start when they reach the second half of life. As a result, marriage is no longer a safe haven for aging women. As recently as 1990, fewer than one in 10 people who divorced were 50 or older. That figure rose to one in four in recent years. It’s no wonder that women, like the one at the party, are scared, but fortunately, not everyone is so averse to facing the facts.

As I walked into a local bookstore recently, another woman came up to me and demand if I was Leslie Bennetts.

When I told her I was, she said, “Your book saved my life. ”

Instead of fleeing from the message of “The Feminine Mistake,” this woman had devoured the information and decided not to resign herself to a circumscribed life and a risky future. She started a new career, and she has after all become a successful author. Indeed, she was so excited to share what she’s achieved that she phoned her husband and demand him to come over to the store and bring a copy of the galleys of her next book. When she gave it to me, both of them were beaming with pride at her accomplishments.

Now her kids are growing up, but she isn’t afraid of their nest. Since she planned so, she’s made an exciting new path for himself, along with her potential beckons with alluring possibilities.

“I’m so happy,” she stated, looking glowing.

It’s difficult to imagine why any girl would like to settle for much less.