The best marriages are probably based on teamwork. But it seems individual contributions do matter – specifically, who earns how much of the household income.
My research shows that in heterosexual couples, men are happier when both partners contribute financially – but much prefer to be the main breadwinners.
With stress levels high when they are sole breadwinners, men appear to be more relaxed when their wives or partners earn anything up to 40% of the household income.
But their distress levels increase sharply as their spouse’s wages rise beyond that point. And they find it most stressful when they are entirely economically dependent on their partners.