How to Deal with No Longer Being the Breadwinner


A former bread-winning wife worries about her new role.


The good news is that you both know how to make a household work—you did it well for six years. Now you need to reorient yourselves to do the same under new circumstances. Some ideas to kick-start your discussion:


1. Think about ways to reduce the status associated with income in your household, and to increase the value placed on time. Then figure out how to make more time to spend together and on cherished endeavors.With more income, can you send out the laundry, hire a cleaning service, or have groceries delivered?

2. Prioritize your work commitments so you both can schedule wisely and attend the events that mean the most to the other person.

3. Consider the long term. For the first part of your marriage, you probably made the biggest contribution to your joint financial goals for the future. Now is a good time to revisit and clarify long-term plans for things like retirement saving, education, raising children, and travel. If they’ve changed because of your new situation, reassess and identify how best to realize them together.

Remember that this is only one of many changes you will go through over the years. Establishing and maintaining an open dialogue and a commitment to solving problems together is crucial.

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