Ep. 91: Conversation with a Client: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at What Happens When Wives Earn More

It’s one of the most taboo topics on the planet: what happens when wives earn more. The following podcast is an in-depth look at what happened when one wife’s side hustle exploded and created a rift in her marriage, causing resentment and frustration that led to an eventual separation.

When Lauren Taylor, who’s from South Africa, first reached out to me, she and her husband Jarryd had separated and were close to divorce when she heard me on The Mikhaila Peterson Podcast. After purchasing and reading a copy of The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage, Lauren signed up for marriage coaching.

On her intake form, Lauren wrote that she wanted “to be softer and kinder and more tolerant of her husband’s shortcomings, to find a way to effectively balance their roles and responsibilities, to find a solution to their finances, to stop feeling resentful, and to feel safe, secure, and adored.”

Several years prior to their separation, Lauren had started an online weight-loss business called Happy Shrinkers—which was fueled by her own struggle to lose weight—with the intent of having it be a side gig. Instead, it exploded and before she knew it she was out-earning her husband tenfold.

Lauren represents the thousands of women today who are out-earning the men they love, and it’s causing problems no wants to talk about. If you read about breadwinning wives in the news, the message is always the same: Men need to “man up” and get over it.

That is a very simplistic and entirely unhelpful narrative. Both men and women suffer, albeit in different ways, when wives earn more—and divorce is much more likely to occur. Even if couples don’t get divorced, their marriages are often mired in conflict.

That is why I’m enormously grateful to Lauren for having the courage to come on The Suzanne Venker Show and discuss this very timely, and very personal, subject. It is my hope that her story resonates and helps other couples in the same boat understand what they’re dealing with and gain useful insights about how keep their relationship afloat.

Lauren and Jarryd Taylor

IN THIS EPISODE:

4:00  Lauren tells the story of her relationship with her husband and how eventually her career took off, and it began to strain her marriage

10:00  Why Lauren felt her husband needed to “keep up” with her and how they kept their money separate

11:00  “I thought we weren’t normal until we found you.”

12:00  Lauren and Jarryd had tried everything in their marriage and didn’t know what to do

14:00  Lauren was surprised that she was a “feminist without knowing it”

15:00  Hearing Suzanne’s message, Lauren realized she was more “normal” than she thought

17:10  Lauren talks about her experience coaching w Suzanne and how she began to look inward for solutions in marriage

20:00  Lauren learned to get out of her husband’s way to make decisions and mistakes without voicing an opinion

21:15  Lauren delves into her and her husband’s backgrounds/childhoods, etc. and how that informed her beliefs about marriage and what to look for in a spouse

24:45  There is no value placed on the significance of marriage

26:00  Lauren talks about finding faith

27:00  Money & the Budget: how changing their mindset about money changed their marriage and eliminated all money fights

39:00  Lauren talks about her gratitude journal and how that has put things into perspective

42:45  Men do not carry resentment the way women do

43:40  How MANTRAS work to improve rational thinking

46:10  Marriage is the best self-development project

47:15  Don’t jump onto every feeling that you have, let things pass

48:00 How Lauren’s philosophy on marriage changed

48:30 – There is no perfect person for you

Suzanne Venker

Suzanne is an author, a coach, and a podcast host committed to helping women let go of cultural beliefs that undermine their happiness in life and in love.