Traditionally, the role of breadwinner in a family is a male one. The man goes to work everyday and earns a living while the woman stays at home, maintains the house, and cares for the children. This is not necessarily the case anymore. Most women work outside the home now and many earn more than their husbands, giving them the "breadwinner" designation. This can be a great arrangement for some families but for others it can cause a great deal of stress and resentment in the relationship.
Definition of a breadwinner? Read here
If the woman's job causes her to earn more than her husband then this can lead to resentment in the marriage. The resentment might be from the husband, he might resent having his role of breadwinner "stolen" by his wife and might resent feeling as though he is being taken care of. Or the resentment might be from the woman who resents being the one who has to financially care for her husband and family. This resentment generally stems from deeply held beliefs regarding gender roles ad can often be combated by a frank discussion.
A common problem that arises in families where the woman is the breadwinner is the question of chores. If the woman comes home from a long day of working is she then expected to cook dinner, wash the dishes, and clean the house? This comes up frequently in families with a female breadwinner, often the male expects the woman to maintain this traditional female role even though she is working full-time, while the woman expects the male to take on the household chores and responsibilities.
Another issue that arises when there is a female breadwinner is children. Earning more money often results in working longer hours. If the woman is working more hours she is likely spending less time with the children. This can cause strain because the woman will likely feel as though she is not being a good mother and the man may feel ill equipped to take on the main child rearing role in the family. This is another area that can cause resentment in the relationship as the woman may resent the amount of time the man is spending with the children while the man may resent having to spend that time.
In order to avoid conflict in a relationship where there is a female higher income earner it is important that the man and the woman are clear on expectations. It is also important that everyone is honest with themselves about what they expect from their partner and why they have those expectations. This can be difficult but is necessary to the success of the marriage.