(CBS) –  A new study finds that, while husbands appreciate their wives contributing to the household income, there is a limit before it begins to stress them out.

Men have historically been the primary breadwinners, but more and more women are assuming that role.  In 2017, about one third of married women earned more than their husbands.

In this study, researchers looked at over 6,000 heterosexual couples over 15 years and found that husbands are anxious when they are the sole breadwinner. Their stress levels declined as their wives’ income approached 40 percent of the total household income.

However, as women’s earnings exceed 40 percent, husbands’ stress levels gradually rise, suggesting gender identity norms persist and can put men’s health at risk.

Of note, husbands in the study did not experience psychological distress if their wives made more money than they did before the couple married.


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