While some may be intimidated when she earns more than him, or get spooked and cower from attempting some romantic overtures, some prominent Nigerian men have said it’s totally cool for her to be the breadwinner as long as there is respect, love and mutual understanding.
They advised men not be intimidated or feel degraded or debased, because in today’s world where women are having more and more representation in the workplace, it’s now something that is more likely to happen than not to have women who are in higher-paying jobs than their husbands.
Where the wife is earning more, then it’s not such a big deal if they have an understanding. But where the wife is the sole breadwinner, there are questions around if the husband is being lazy, or if he’s just being unlucky, or the reason behind it. In spite of that, having understanding with one another is the only way this sort of situation can be managed properly, Kayode Odebiyi, business analyst said.
According to him, “What’s important is the understanding between the couple; what the husband understands, what the wife understands, how they relate with one another and what their agreement around money is. I think the places where there is a lot more is when the husband is earning nothing, and the wife is the sole breadwinner of the family”.
Oscar Oyinsan, media entrepreneur and broadcaster, said it depends on the type of man, and the context in which this man grew up.
“Men respond differently to different situations. I might have a higher tolerance than the man next to me who grew up in a home where the rule is law and the man is the head of the home. Anything that empowers your partner is a welcome development. It’s about understanding, it’s about communication, it’s about being with each other, and most importantly, it’s about compromise. Both of you need to agree on what you are willing to step down on, and what the other person is willing to pick up on. You need to know that anything that comes into the family is for the benefit of the family, how it comes is relative,” he told me.
Responding to why most men feel awkward and uncomfortable around women who are breadwinners, he said it’s a reflection of something lacking in the man.
“As a man, I think you need to have a lot of self-confidence financially and otherwise, so that you can stand on your own. As a man, what you should be thinking of doing is how to make your woman better, once a woman is happy, you have a happy home.
“But every home is different and you need to find out what works for your home. There are homes that the woman earns more and you won’t know. I think when you pay attention to a lot of lip service to external influences, and you don’t address what is happening in your own home, I think that’s where the issue is,” he submitted.
Further speaking on the matter, award-winning gospel singer, Peter Linus, aka PITA, said, “If it’s a situation where I’m indisposed and then she’s earning more than me, or she’s earning and I can’t do anything at that time, that’s fine. But it becomes a problem if there is a reaction from the woman, putting the man down, that’s where we now have an issue. But if there is mutual respect, love and understanding, there is no problem. I don’t see any problem in it.”
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But I just don’t understand how a man would sit down and a woman becomes the breadwinner. I think it’s a man’s responsibility to take care of a woman,” Bolanle Ninalowo, Nollywood actor, posited.
Ninalowo, also called Nino, said if a man allows his wife to become the breadwinner, whatever comes to him as a man is what he has to accept. “If she changes her attitude towards you just because of that, then that’s what you bargained for,” he said.