In an increasing number of American households with children — up to 23% in 2011 — married mothers are the primary breadwinners.
But while these women are building their careers and providing financially for their families, they’re also upping their chances of divorce as they navigate nontraditional gender roles, says Farnoosh Torabi, a financial expert and the author of “When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women.”
Torabi, who is a breadwinner herself, told Business Insider during a FB Live interview that her No. 1 tip for women who outearn their husbands is to “enlist help and support and accountability from your partner.”
“I find that in marriages where breadwinning women are really thriving with their partners … they actually team up with their husbands,” Torabi said. “I find that we forget we are in a partnership and this person sitting next to you wants nothing more than to support you.”
Women are sometimes tempted to do it all alone, but Torabi says that’s a “fast route to disaster.” She instead suggests women ask their partners to claim responsibility for important household tasks, from acting as caretaker to the children to managing the bills.
“That takes a huge load off breadwinning women’s plates and allows them to continue to thrive at work, and thrive financially … and be present in all the other hats that they wear as girlfriend, sister, mum, wife,” she said, acknowledging that couples with female breadwinners are going to face challenges outside the home, too, as they’re defying societal expectations.
“We want relationships to last and we want to send the message out there in the world that women can earn as much as they want,” she said.
Still, these arrangements can only be successful if you open up the lines of communication with your partner and determine personal responsibilities and goals.
Sometimes the right balance also involves investing money in outside help for housework and childcare.
“Because time is money … time is just as valuable as money,” Torabi said. “The more money you can shore up for yourself as a busy, breadwinning woman, mum, and wife, the happier you will ultimately be.”
Watch more from Business Insider’s Facebook LIVE with Farnoosh Torabi: