Women’s News: ‘I Make Less Than My Wife’: How 3 Real Men Feel About It

Women’s News: ‘I Make Less Than My Wife’: How 3 Real Men Feel About It

Women’s News: Hot or not? How we really rate our looks

Women’s News: Hot or not? How we really rate our looks

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator


Women’s News: Hot or not? How we really rate our looks

Woman looking in mirror

Amy Fleming

The Guardian

Some advertising would have us believe that we’re more beautiful than we think. In fact, the reverse is true

One of skincare brand Dove’s latest facets to its international Real Women marketing campaign is a film called Real Beauty Sketches. It begins with a woman telling a hidden FBI forensic artist what she looks like, while he draws. Then she is described by a stranger, informing a kinder, second picture. This process is repeated with another woman and when the subjects finally view their pairs of portraits, they emote over the discrepancies between them. Cue the feel-good tagline: you are more beautiful than you think.

There are many aspects of this that one could take issue with. None of the drawings actually do the women justice, largely due to the creepy, photo-fit style. There was the revelation, too, that previous Real Women images were retouched. And, as if all that isn’t enough, an article in Scientific American has pointed out that empirical research says that, actually, you think you’re more beautiful than you are.

We have a deep-seated need to feel good about ourselves and we naturally employ a number of self-enhancing (to use the psychological terminology) strategies to achieve this. Social psychologists have amassed oceans of research into what they call the “above average effect”, or “illusory superiority”, and shown that, for example, 70% of us rate ourselves as above average in leadership, 93% in driving (across the ages and genders) and 85% at getting on well with others – all obviously statistical impossibilities.

We rose-tint our memories and put ourselves into self-affirming situations. We become defensive when criticised, and apply negative stereotypes to others to boost our own esteem. We strut around thinking we’re hot stuff.

Psychologist and behavioural scientist Nicholas Epley oversaw a key study into self-enhancement and attractiveness. Rather than have people simply rate their beauty compared with others, he asked them to identify an original photograph of themselves from a lineup including versions that had been morphed to appear more and less attractive. Visual recognition, reads the study, is “an automatic psychological process, occurring rapidly and intuitively with little or no apparent conscious deliberation”. If the subjects quickly chose a falsely flattering image – which most did – they genuinely believed it was really how they looked.

Epley found no significant gender difference in responses. Nor was there any evidence that those who self-enhanced the most (that is, the participants who thought the most positively doctored pictures were real) were doing so to make up for profound insecurities. In fact, those who thought that the images higher up the attractiveness scale were real directly corresponded with those who showed other markers for having higher self-esteem. “I don’t think the findings that we have are any evidence of personal delusion,” says Epley. “It’s a reflection simply of people generally thinking well of themselves.” If you are depressed, you won’t be self-enhancing.

Knowing the results of Epley’s study, it makes sense that many people hate photographs of themselves so viscerally – on one level, they don’t even recognise the person in the picture as themselves. Facebook, therefore, is a self-enhancer’s paradise, where people can share only the flukiest of flattering photos, the cream of their wit, style, beauty, intellect and lifestyles. It’s not that people’s profiles are dishonest, says Catalina Toma of Wisconsin-Madison University, “but they portray an idealised version of themselves”. (People are much more likely to out-and-out lie on dating websites, to an audience of strangers.)

A study Toma conducted this year found that admiring one’s own Facebook profile has palpable self-affirming effects, and that people naturally gravitate to Facebook for a boost when their ego has been knocked. Her unwitting participants were asked to carry out a public speaking task, only to receive crushingly negative feedback. Half of the subjects were allowed to peruse their own Facebook profiles before receiving the feedback, and this group turned out to be way less defensive than the others. Instead of accusing their evaluator, for example, of incompetence, they said: “Yeah, there’s some truth to this feedback. Maybe there are things I can do to improve my performance.”

Toma asked yet more participants to give the same speech, only this time she gave them either neutral or terrible reviews. They were then presented with a choice of five (fake) further studies to take part in – one involving logging on to Facebook, and four decoys. “We were excited to find,” she says, “that when participants’ egos were threatened, they chose Facebook at twice the rate than the others” – evidence of what she calls “an unconscious mechanism to decide to repair feelings of self worth. This is why people spend more time on Facebook after a hard day or something bad happening – because it reassures you that you’re connected, that you have interesting activities and hobbies, photographs, etc.” However, despite this positive emotional benefit, research has also shown that we can easily overlook the extent to which others embellish their profiles, and feel sad because our real lives aren’t as good as others’ appear.

Whether self-enhancement is healthy is oft-debated, says Epley. “Taking it to an extreme, you get delusional kinds of self-enhancement, but in moderation, of the kind we often find, it’s probably not a terrible thing for you. That said, I’m a huge fan of accuracy – generally, you’re better off knowing what you are really like.”

Read More:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jun/23/hot-or-not-rate-our-looks?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Women’s News: ‘I Make Less Than My Wife’: How 3 Real Men Feel About It



Empowering people to live their richest lives

It’s a fact: Women breadwinners are on the rise.

At a time when the gender wage gap is still alive and well — full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar that men earn — a recent Pew Research Center studyfound a striking statistic: 40% of American families’ primary breadwinners are the wives. That’s a steep climb from 11% in 1960.

But all is not well on the women-earning-more front: The same Pew study found that having a female breadwinner was reportedly stirring up trouble in marriages. Why? Well, 50% of respondents felt it was harder on a marriage, and 74% said it was harder to raise children.

Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan psychotherapist, executive coach and author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” sees many patients who face this situation.

“For a lot of guys, it affects their ego and they start to feel emasculated,” says Alpert, who traces the feelings all the way back to the 1950s. “Society believed men were the breadwinners and women stayed home or did not pursue a career,” he says.

We wondered: Just how do real men in 2013 feel about bringing home less than half of their household’s income?

So, we sat down with three men, successful in their own right, to see how an income differential plays out in their relationships, and how Alpert says each couple is faring.

RELATED: Long-Married Couples Confess: How We Talk About Money

“She Wore the Pants”: The Self-Esteem Factor

Alan, 40, is a successful accountant at a small firm he helped start in Bethesda, Md. Yet his wife, a doctor, still earns more than him. At first, Alan was embarrassed by his wife’s breadwinner status. “It was a male ego thing,” he says. “There was just something about it that made me feel inadequate. I knew it was illogical.”

Three years ago, after nearly six years of marriage, his resentment bubbled over when his uncle asked why they never had children. “I made a rude comment about how my wife was too busy wearing the pants in our relationship to be a mom,” says Alan. “And then instantly regretted it.”

That evening, Alan and his wife discussed their salary differences and the toll it was taking on his self-esteem for the first time since she graduated from medical school. “She helped me gain perspective. There are so many more important things to worry about in life than who makes more money,” he says.

RELATED: Money Mic: How Money Is Ruining My Marriage

Talking it out also helped Alan to see his wife’s point of view. “The whole time, I thought I was doing a pretty good job of hiding my feelings, but it turns out she knew and was internalizing my resentment into guilt,” says Alan. “That about broke my heart.”

“Now, I’m able to see that being grateful to have a job, a roof over my head, and a talented and successful wife who loves me no matter how much I make, is more than enough,” he says. “Plus, it’s really not too shabby having a sugar mama!”

If You’re in This Situation: If you’re also feeling embarrassed, you’re not alone. “It’s all too common, and rooted in old-school thinking,” says Alpert, who says the real source of Alan’s issues is his own insecurity. “The conversation that followed provided reassurance to Alan that his wife was fine with things and didn’t think any less of him.”

RELATED: My Husband and I Are Financial Opposites–and It Works

“I Always Thought I Would Make More Money”

A year and a half ago, when Adam, 28, decided to go back to school for his MBA, he was earning more than his wife.

As an account executive for an advertising firm in New York City, his wife makes good money, but Adam’s salary as a financial analyst combined with his bonus was still higher.

RELATED: 3 Reasons Married Couples Argue Over Money

Luckily, the pair was able to save up enough to cover Adam’s tuition while his wife supported the two of them. “I always thought that I would make more money than my wife,” says Adam. “I know it might sound archaic, but I believe that men are naturally supposed to be providers and that’s what I want to be able to do for my family.”

“I’m alright with her driving the Lexus while I get the minivan. If that makes me ‘unmanly,’ so what?”

He isn’t bothered by his wife’s breadwinner status — for now, that is.

“Honestly, I’m okay with her making more money than me right now, because I see this situation as temporary,” says Adam. “She may be the only one working right now, but I know that the bulk of the savings we’re living off of come from my old salary. And I expect to return to making even more once I graduate.”

If You’re in This Situation: While Alpert finds Adam’s view healthy, he still sees room for improvement. “He might benefit from being more open to having a wife who also earns a good salary, or even more,” he says. “Re-evaluating expectations and moving away from that old school or ‘archaic’ thinking might benefit him.”

RELATED: 10 Money Tips for Couples to Keep Things Strong

A Change of Heart

“My wife often makes more in a day than I make in a month,” says Michael 45, a freelance photographer and father of two, whose wife is a vice president at a financial firm.

These days his income can be sporadic, but it wasn’t always that way. Years ago, Michael was a photo director at a magazine, earning a six-figure salary and flying cross-country weekly for photo shoots.

“I was also a jerk,” he admits. Even though his wife was also working full time,”I expected her to do everything — cook the dinner, do the laundry, raise our two kids — since I was never home,” he says. Then, when the recession hit, Michael was laid off.

RELATED: 6 Money Questions You Need to Ask Your Spouse

“I didn’t know what to do with myself at first,” he says. “Then I realized that my daughter played soccer really well, and my son was terrible at the oboe. These were all things that a normal dad should have known, but I was so busy with my job that I didn’t.”

Michael saw his job loss as an opportunity to take back some responsibilities around the house, easing his wife’s stress and growing closer to his kids as a result. “I realized I was missing out on a lot by only focusing on my career,” he says.

Since then, he’s taken freelance assignments as his wife climbed the corporate ladder.

“I like things this way. I like that my wife is being rewarded financially for being intelligent. And I’m alright with her driving the Lexus while I get the minivan,” he says. “If that makes me unmanly, so what? I still get to pursue my passion, only now I get to do it on my own time. And as long as she never acts the way I did when I was the breadwinner, I don’t think I’ll ever mind.”

If You’re In This Situation: Getting too caught up in a career isn’t a function of gender, it happens to men and women alike, says Alpert, who applauds Michael for realizing the importance of a balanced life. “So often peoples’ identities become fused with that of their careers. I saw this a lot after the economy crashed in 2008 and still see it today.”

The problem, he says, is that “once the career isn’t there, the person is left aimless and depressed. I remind clients that they’re much more than a highly accomplished professional. They’re also a mother, father, brother, son, daughter and spouse.”

Considering that few couples make exactly the same salary, odds are at some point in your relationship, you’ll need to navigate the difference between your incomes — and all the feelings that come with it.

“Open communication is the key,” says Alpert. He suggests couples list out their expenses and respective earnings to help devise a plan for saving and paying bills. “If salaries are comparable, then splitting it down the middle works,” he says. “In the case of a disparity of salaries, I suggest that each person pay a percentage of their respective salaries. This way people will feel they are contributing in a fair way.”

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/learnvest/i-make-less-than-my-wife-_b_3491112.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

%d bloggers like this: