When women are the family breadwinner, it turns out neither spouse wants to shout it from the rooftops.
New research from the U.S. Census Bureau finds that one in four heterosexual couples have a non-traditional marriage where the wife makes more than her husband. That's up from just 7 percent of households in 1970.
Yet despite the rising trend, neither men nor women feel comfortable when the wife earns more, and they'll go so far to report otherwise to conform to societal norms.
“We’re hardwired to have certain expectations in marriage — traditional roles are still the expected norm,” says personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi, author of "When She Makes More."
The report examined couples’ responses from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement survey and compared those answers with tax filings. Husbands, on average, inflate their earnings by about 2.9 percent when their wives are the breadwinners. Meanwhile, women reduce their earnings by about 1.5 percent, on average, when they earn more, according to the study.
“Our intelligent mind tells us that there should be no difference whether a man or a woman makes more, but when it actually plays out, a lot of deep-rooted, emotional issues surface,” Torabi says.
If the script does flip in the relationship and the woman is making more, there are some healthy approaches couples can take.