When a wife is more successful than her husband: how to maintain harmony?

When a wife is more successful than her husband: how to maintain harmony?
When a wife is more successful than her husband: how to maintain harmony?

There aren't too few women in higher positions than their husbands (and earning more). But the public consciousness is arranged in such a way that such situations often turn out to be traumatic for both partners. How to maintain family harmony?

When a wife is more successful than her husband: how to maintain harmony?
When a wife is more successful than her husband: how to maintain harmony?

Story one: perfect

For example, Vera and Andrey. Vera has her own company, and Andrey is a dance teacher, very handsome and charming. So much so that Vera has never had such impressive men. And in principle, the men in her life had nowhere to come from: Vera left for work early, came late, dined on the run, and even a cat, which she had long dreamed of, could not get, so as not to torment the poor animal (after all, most of the time the cat yearned one).

And Andrey from the first days took up the arrangement of Vera's house - he fixed everything that was broken (she did not even have time to even think about such a thing) and brought a kitten from the street, which grew up into a luxurious "almost Persian". He began to cook homemade dinners and pick up Vera early from work: in order to spend more time with her beloved, the woman had to redistribute responsibilities in her company and, finally, stop controlling everything and everyone. It only benefited the team.

Together, the couple began to go to dances and to the gym, and gradually our heroine pulled herself up and got prettier, fell in love with heels and dresses. And everything in their life is good and natural - everyone was doing what they love and know how to do most of all: Vera earns money, and Andrey takes care of everything else, and he takes care of it smartly and zealously.

When the time came for Vera to give birth, the couple had everything ready and thought out: the necessary amount for the decree was set aside, an excellent manager was found in the company, and Andrey got a job teaching at another studio.

However, the plan did not succeed completely: after three months, the young mother, distraught from home life, ran back to the office, and her husband, relieved, left all part-time jobs in order to spend more time with the baby.

Now Vera works full time, and in the evenings she does various interesting things with her son - she reads books, assembles construction sets and fools around with pleasure. Andrei spends most of his time with the child, plus both grandmothers come to help. Everyone is happy!


Both partners in this pair were initially completely satisfied with such a "role reversal". The gentle and economic husband did not have any career ambitions and sincerely admired his wife's business acumen. And Vera always dreamed of a “father figure” - a man who would spend any amount of time with her, without restrictions, take care of and deal with all domestic issues at once. Plus - both have enough sense of humor, internal self-righteousness, as well as a lot of experience of unsuccessful relationships, to appreciate what is available and not succumb to provocative jokes or whispers of others.

Two story: complicated

Olga and Igor met as students. While studying, getting married, giving birth - everything was fine. Igor earned very well, was a promising specialist, loved to give gifts to his young wife and arrange romantic surprises.

After the decree, Olga went to work - in the same field as Igor, he himself helped her find a suitable vacancy - and her career suddenly soared at an incredible speed. In a year, she achieved what Igor could not even dream of in all the years of his efforts. This career take-off was a combination of rare luck and Olga's amazing hard work. Literally a month after she went to work, the head of the department was lured away by a neighboring company, two colleagues went on maternity leave, the third was known for her inconstancy - in general, the new employee was urgently promoted to the head - temporarily. But Olga completed several projects so successfully that this “temporary” turned into a permanent one, and then into a new position and a new salary.

On the one hand, these successes allowed the family to move from an old odnushka to a beautiful three-ruble house - with a mortgage, of course, but still nice. Send your sons to a good private garden, and then to an expensive English school. Olga liked to organize small trips abroad for the weekend: Istanbul, Paris, Rome - only non-tourist places, walking a lot, holding hands, and kissing … At first, Igor liked it all very much, he was touched, praised, helped, supported and was very proud of his wife.

Until it became clear that the gap between their positions (and, accordingly, salaries) has become obscenely large. By the age of thirty-five, Olga became the director of a direction in a huge international company, and Igor became the head of a department in one Moscow company. Her salary was exactly five times that. On average, Igor received very good money, he had an interesting job, a good team, but everything was not right - his wife's disproportionate success poisoned the joy of any of his own achievements.

Igor entered into an unspoken competition with Olga: he never praised her or supported her again, but he made fun of any of her mistakes - real or far-fetched, sighed non-stop, telling how children suffer from her ambitions - after all, mother always business trips! He even got to jokes about her appearance, which had previously not only suited him, but delighted him. He threw tantrums, was capricious, demanded a daily hot meal at home: no, he did not want to go to a restaurant, he wanted her to get up early herself and cook soup for him for lunch. And to do the cleaning herself and wash the toilet, he doesn’t want au pairs, doesn’t he have a wife?!

…And Olga did get up early and cook. And washed the toilets before work. And at the same time she felt guilty. And got angry. And in the heat of the quarrels that became frequent, she screamed that she would quit her job if he really wanted to: “Then I will paint my nails all day, but how will you pay for the mortgage, school and all this life that you are used to?” And at that moment, Igor felt that his worst fears were coming true - both his wife and those around him really consider him a gigolo, even if they don’t talk about it out loud!

Quarrels became more and more fierce, and the mutual sarcasm of the previously very loving spouses became more and more acute. Everything gradually became so bad that it seemed that nothing could help.

Olga had just collected her thoughts, made a decision and was ready to file for divorce, when, at a routine examination, the doctor discovered a suspicious tumor in her, and as a result of further research, a diagnosis was made: cancer. It was so scary and unexpected that she told her husband about it, with whom by that time she had not spoken for a month.

And everything suddenly changed when Igor suddenly said in his very old tone, for which she once fell in love with him: “Please don't be afraid, we'll think of something. We will destroy everything, we are a team!” Here Olga began to cry for the first time in many, many years. And she cried, and hung on Igor with a limp bag for the next six months, while he dragged her for tests, looked for specialists, some quotas, wrote off foreign clinics …

She continued to cry and cling to the day when it finally became clear that she had no cancer, but a rarer, more unpleasant, but still completely curable thing. After recovering, Olga returned to work, but now she flies on business trips much less often, and the children have stopped complaining that their mother is not at home all the time. And Igor, due to the fact that he spent all possible time examining his wife, did not receive the long-awaited promotion, but now he is not upset, but he is even proud of it: he sacrificed his career in order to save his wife. In the family, he has the absolute status of a hero. To consolidate his success, Igor goes to the gym with his sons and prepares for his first amateur powerlifting competition. And finally, to Olga's great happiness, a permanent au pair appeared in the family.


Existing together is much more difficult for those couples in which both partners strive to compete for the same "social" place, where both evaluate each other's success on the same scale, and at the same time, as a rule, one of participants constantly loses (especially if it is a man). It is much easier to be a strong family when everyone has their own separate “hero” scale: I am great at making money, but you save lives (advance science, help people, do anything significant and respectful).

It is also fundamentally important to speak out all your fears and expectations. Igor, for example, would be interested to know that Olga least of all dreamed of his high earnings. But most of all she wanted to come after a busy day, take off the mask of a big boss and climb into her husband’s arms so that he would rock her on his knees, stroke her head and tell her that she was his favorite little girl and that everything would be fine.

Story Three: Typical

Sergey and Nastya met when the girl was in her second year at the Pedagogical Institute, and the young man had already graduated from the university and worked as a legal assistant. Of course, Sergei seemed to Nastya inaccessible to adults and successful - a permanent job, a good salary. The guys met for several years, then got married, Nastya happily went to work in her speci alty - a teacher of mathematics, because she chose pedagogy quite consciously.

became permanent winners of first regional, and then city and even twice international Olympiads. She quickly became the head teacher of the school, and several strong lyceums in the city tried to lure her into the position of director, but Anastasia Igorevna did not go anywhere: she liked working with children much more than managing money and the team.

At the same time, her husband began to terribly annoy her. At the same time, objectively, the husband was not bad - responsible, reliable, loving, faithful. Even too loyal: as 15 years ago he came to a small company as a legal assistant, he worked there, only now just a lawyer.

However, the increase did not really affect the money: his wife's salary, with all the allowances for seniority, extra hours, class guidance and scientific work, was exactly three times higher than his own.

Quarrels started over money. Formally - because of the money. In fact, the woman imagined Sergei as some kind of huge motionless body, like a walrus, which cannot be moved. She thought quickly, made decisions quickly, she was interested in everything and everywhere. And he was so slow! So heavy to lift!

In general, it became absolutely impossible to endure it. Quarrels then resumed, then faded: after all, Nastya and Sergey were always very interesting, he understood her, listened, agreed that it was impossible to live like that … And again he did nothing.

The situation was changed, oddly enough, by a business coach. Nastya invited him to the school for students to help the guys with career guidance. And at the same time she got into a conversation with him and complained about her problem, then she told her husband, put pressure on him - and in general Sergey went for a consultation.

The terrible thing turned out there: firstly, the man has a prolonged depression, because of which he has neither the strength nor the energy for any changes. So, Sergei needs a doctor and most likely antidepressants. Secondly, his depression is due to the hated work that he has been pulling for many years, because he is afraid of losing a stable income and letting his family down. And Sergey dreams, it turns out, about horses.

Nastya didn’t know whether to cry or laugh: she hoped that after working with the coach (which, by the way, she paid for), her husband would become at least the head of the department, and he decided to quit and get a job as a laborer in a riding school ride!

But it soon became clear that not everything was as bad as it seemed: Sergey quickly mastered dressage, and then he began to train children and adults himself. Then, together with a colleague, they bought a horse for a couple - both just for themselves and in order to participate with him in filming, weddings and various birthdays. And even if this work is not very stable, and Sergey sometimes has a little more money, sometimes a little less money than Nastya. But they go out into the forest every Saturday: Nastya sits astride Bulat, and Sergey carefully leads him by the bridle. And it is not known which of the three of them is happier at this moment.


After 15 years and with the help of a trainer and antidepressants, Sergey managed to figure it out himself and tell his wife about his true desires, as well as fears and doubts. And Nastya, though with difficulty, was able to understand and accept her husband's choice, his strange, incomprehensible and unstable job, which, however, brings him much more money and happiness than the last one - understandable and stable.

This is not for you! Danger signs

  • If a man unknowingly or consciously, partially or completely devalues your progress. You earn so much not because you work hard, talented and smart, but because you just got lucky, or your parents arranged for you, or even because your boss wants to take you to bed.
  • If a man appreciates only one, this side of your personality. He is proud only of your career (or growing salary), and the fact that you are gentle, sing wonderfully, have a light character and beautiful legs - completely passes him by.
  • If he firmly insists that the household and children are entirely women's responsibility. And he's not genetically suited to changing diapers, no no.
  • If he doesn't care about your income gap at all, he enjoys it! And he sees your success as an excuse to work less and buy more.
  • If he deliberately puts you in awkward situations in front of your colleagues. Jokes about stupid women or makes jealous scenes.
  • If he demands to quit his job and choose between a career and a relationship with him.
  • If he doesn't give you gifts, doesn't make surprises and doesn't try to please you, arguing that you already have everything.

Psychologist's opinion

Mikhail LABKOVSKY,family psychologist

The problem is not in the relationship between husband and wife, but in the uncertainty, neuroses and complexes of the husband. What to remember?

  • In a he althy, harmonious relationship, spouses rejoice in each other's successes, and do not perceive them as a reason for jealousy or rivalry. If the relationship in the family is strong, friendly, respectful, the spouses will be able to agree.
  • Try to separate the home and work areas of life, unless, of course, you work together and the wife has not crossed the path of her husband, overtaking him through the ranks.
  • It is important for a man to learn to accept himself as he is: with this job, with this salary, with these goals and priorities.
  • Please note that often such situations of inequality coincide with periods of crisis in the country. If a man loses his job in a crisis, he is likely to become depressed and irritable. And a woman most often finds a new profession, studies if necessary - because she is more adaptive by nature, has a more flexible psyche

Popular topic