Husband Says He’s Insecure & Feels ‘Like A Leech’ Because His Wife Makes 3 Times His Salary

Traditional gender norms contribute to such insecurities, impacting men's mental health and marital satisfaction.

serious man Paolo Bendandi / Unsplash

An insecure husband sought advice regarding his financial income, discouraged at the amount he makes compared to that of his wife. The man claimed that the situation has left him feeling like a “leech,” as he believes that he is inferior to his wife rather than an equal partner. 

The husband feels insecure because his wife makes three times his salary. 

The man called into “The Dr. John Delony Show” podcast to discuss his feelings with John Delony, a mental health expert who offers advice to viewers struggling with their mental health, relationships and careers. 


During one episode, Delony received a call from a man who was feeling insecure about his salary compared to his wife’s. 

According to the man, his wife earns three times the amount of money that he does and has a “clear career vision” while he is struggling with his. He asked Delony how he can deal with his feelings toward his wife’s income. 



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Appearing perplexed, Delony asked the man what exactly he is feeling insecure about

“I just feel like a leech,” the man admitted. 

It is here that Delony reminds the man that instead of seeing his wife as competition and feeling inferior to her, remember that they are teammates who should feel relieved and thrilled when one is making a significant contribution of money. 

“I would love it if my wife made three times what I make,” Delony said. 

Many people believed that the man should support his wife instead of feeling insecure about her accomplishments. 

“Celebrate her and figure out who you are other than making money,” one TikTok user commented. 


“We can support each other’s goals and aspirations, especially in a marriage,” another user pointed out. 

Others were concerned that the man was jealous of his wife, and wanted to dim her light for him to shine.

As more women are becoming the primary breadwinners in their families, with one in four wives earning more than their husbands in heterosexual marriages according to research from the U.S. Census Bureau, more men are reportedly struggling with feelings of insecurity and their masculinity. 

A study from the University of Bath found that a husband’s mental health is impacted when his wife earns more than him, and they often become less satisfied in their marriages because of it. 


The primary reason for this is rooted in traditional gender norms which suggest that men must receive higher paychecks from their jobs. Many men experience a range of unpleasant emotions when this happens, and have difficulties expressing them to their partners. 

“It’s deeply unsettling for some couples, especially if they’ve been raised and conditioned to believe men ‘should’ dutifully make more than their wives,” Farnoosh Torabi, a financial expert and author of “When She Makes More,” told CNBC Make It. 

She added that when men feel as if they are not fulfilling the societal expectations of earning more than their wives, they may suffer a decline in their self-worth and self-esteem. 

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Since it is challenging for men to openly discuss the issue, other people praised the man’s honesty and vulnerability that he expressed to Delony. 

“At least he acknowledges it. I hope he works this out. I made more money than all of my exes and they were never okay with it,” one TikTok user commented. 

“That’s a really vulnerable thing to admit and want to work through. Very understandable and valid, I hope he figures it out!” another user wrote. 

Other people pointed out that there are various ways to contribute to a household and family that do not include finances. Taking responsibility such as doing the laundry, washing the dishes, coordinating the children’s schedules, and looking after any pets can be a significant help. 

It is also important to note that marriage is a partnership. Amid career differences and aspirations, we often forget that our spouse is our teammate and we are working together, not against one another. 


Husband Says He’s Insecure & Feels ‘Like A Leech’ Because His Wife Makes 3 Times His SalaryPhoto: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock 

Communication and trust allow partners to work through these emotions healthily. 

Despite your gender, if you are feeling insecure or inferior compared to your partner due to your differing salaries, remember that as long as you working to the best of your ability to maintain a stable relationship and household, you are already doing your part. Contributions to a household extend beyond financial aspects, and a combination of these efforts creates a well-rounded and supportive living environment for everyone involved. 


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.