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Men Are Providers: Should a Man Be the Main Provider for His Family?

being a provider for your family

Earlier this week, I wrote a post called Do Women Still Want to Marry for Money? Many women weighed in on the topic. Some suggested that men prefer to be the primary provider for their families.

Men Are Providers

Men are providers, but do they want to be? While it’s true that many men make more money than their wives, I wonder how many of them prefer it that way. For a few years, just before my husband and I were married, I made more than he did. 

It wasn’t a significant difference. Overall I brought in about 20% more per paycheck. During this time, my husband jokingly called me his sugar-momma. Honestly, I think he was proud that I could contribute financially to our future goals. My larger paycheck never caused an issue for either of us.

Being a Provider for Your Family

When we first talked about having children (we don’t have any yet), my husband said he’d like to spend some time at home with our kids. He said many of his male friends and coworkers would accept the position if they had the opportunity.

I’m fascinated by this topic because, as a woman in an exceedingly male-dominated industry (software development). I meet many miserable husbands and fathers who would rather be anywhere than working 9-to-5 in a cubicle.

When I talk to them about money, they often say they wish their wives worked and made more. Many men I know are shocked when their children go off to school, and their wives want to continue to stay at home. The men I know are bothered by the outcome of their lives.

Main Provider For Your Family

71% of adults still believe a man won’t make a good partner unless he supports his family financially. Only 32% feel it is essential for a wife to fulfill the same role. 

I’d love to hear men weigh in on this topic. Do you want to be the primary financial provider for your family, or were you pressured into the role? Do you enjoy being the main provider of your family or feel burdened by that task?

If you feel forced into this position, do you think society or your upbringing pressured you? Do you believe a man should be the main provider for his family? Do you feel burdened by this idea?

Should the Man be the Provider?

In other words, do you think you make more money because you believe that men should make a lot of money and provide for their families? Of course, there is no right or wrong answer. But I wonder, regardless of your situation, are you happy in the role that you play in it?

I received an email the other day from a man who asked, “If the man is the provider, what is the woman?” We could also ask the question in reverse, “If the woman is the provider, what is the man?”

Both questions are ridiculous. Men and women provide value beyond their ability to earn money, but unfortunately, society doesn’t always recognize that. Also, men are providers, but it’s clear from the men I’ve spoken to that they don’t always like that.


Sunday 14th of October 2018

I've never liked these views and I find it terrible for a human being to stick into one role he or she cannot choose. And it's even more terrible when someone has actually an option "to work or not to work" and someone hasn't just because of gender. As well as seeing you valuable just because you exist fir one gender and only if you're useful for another. So in my 27 I'd never really stick into that kind of relationships - I don't want being used as a mean to support someone' s other lifestyle


Sunday 18th of December 2016

I am a guy. My former feminist fiancée dumped me because she was an associate professor, while my tenure prospects were low. That's the long and short of it.


Sunday 14th of October 2018

That's fascinating how people stick to their views only while it's convenient for them. Not your fault at all. But it's time to meet someone whom you'd like who doesn't behave that way.


Thursday 16th of June 2016

"my husband remarked that he’d like to spend some time at home with our kids. He said it’s not fair for women to assume they should be the ones to stay at home and raise the children."

statement like this is complete BS, and garbage like this being taught in our society is why women are confused, and most man are completely pussy, I know plenty of man that makes way more than enough to be a sole provider, yet, they still force their wife to join the slavery work force with them.

why did i say your husbands statement is complete BS? first of all, the child is in your stomach for 9 month, how is a man going to compete with that? also, does your husbands man boob produce any breast milk?

people like you are just fucking stupid, and got brain wahsed by mass media to believe in this man and women are EXACTLY the same bullshit.


Tuesday 7th of October 2014

The comment "a wife that pulls her own weight makes me feel very bad. I have worked before I was married. Another female by the way. And odd jobs since the children were born but I don't know the pressures of being the sole provider. I grew up with traditional gender roles and have been quite resentful that I wasn't allowed to work actually. Recently I understand that I have the freedom to do what I choose being an adult. It makes me sad to feel my years of staying home has somehow been a waste and that I am a burden on my husband. It is very humbling to have to depend on him and not get the respect that working moms get. However I will start by giving myself some respect! I am a domestic worker and get paid to take care of my disabled child. My husband has said that he will take over her care when he retires. This is hard for me but perhaps it is my chance to work. I feel like I am not being a good mom if I leave my daughter. Mommy guilt / caregiver guilt! But I see my husband has resented being our sole provider which is sad we didn't discuss this honestly before!


Thursday 16th of June 2016

if your husband make you feel like a burden any shape way or form, do not blame yourself, blame your husband for being a pussy.

One Frugal Girl

Friday 10th of October 2014

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your honesty. I think open communication is the key to a marriage and to decisions like this one. My husband and I routinely revisit our household roles and our decision to stay home with my son. I think it is important to discuss resentment and/or any other ill feelings as much as possible along the way. I think the hard part comes when so many years have passed without talking about it with one another. By talking about it you also open up the possibilities for change. After all, a decision I make now may not be the one that makes sense five years from now and along the way I may have as much of a change of heart as my husband.

Benjamin Bankruptcy

Tuesday 6th of July 2010

I'm a guy recently settled down. I'd love to be a stay at home Dad. Frankly I'm not sure why I would want to have a child I never saw? I don't want a day care centre to raise my kids. Personally I'd rather be at home with my child than living in cubical world. I earn more money but my partner LOVES her job I'm just doing it for the dollars. For me it makes more sense for her to work and me to stay at home and do some consultancy work.

The only issue is I can't breast feed :(

I would say though that there is a lot of pressure on men to provide and earn more than their partner. Even in todays world.

At the moment there's a lot of discussion on this point in Australia because we just got our first Female Prime Minister (our "president" for USA readers) she's unmarried, has no kids and her partner is a male hairdresser. Talk about burning gender sterotypes:)