Of Course Unemployed Men Are Disastrous for Marriage

This past week Tucker Carlson announced in a monologue that everyone’s goal should be “strong American families.” Sounds innocuous, right? Yet it isn’t, for precisely the reason Carlson gives: America’s elite refuse to address the greatest impediment to reaching this goal:

The dearth of employed men and the subsequent disintegration of marriage.

For pointing out the link between unemployed men and the decline in marriage, Carlson has been vilified. Our politically correct culture doesn’t allow problems that cause people discomfort to be discussed, let alone solved. So the problems just sit there and wait to be noticed. And grow bigger and bigger by the day.

What is America’s new controversial subject? That hypergamy, or the tendency of women to marry men who make more money than they do, is still very much alive. .

“Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don’t want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don’t. Over big populations this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow,” said Carlson.

Upending conventional gender roles, or having a marriage in which the wife and not the husband is the primary breadwinner, is problematic—and there’s ample research to support this.

I remember when Michael Noer of Forbes wrote an article in 2006 entitled “Don’t Marry Career Women.” It caused quite an uproar. In it, Noer highlighted research that shows marriages in which wives work more than 35 hours per week are less stable than marriages in which the wife works less or not at all.

“A word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don’t marry a woman with a career. Why? Because if many social scientists are to be believed, you run a higher risk of having a rocky marriage. While everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it.”

Again, that was 2006. Imagine if Noer wrote that article today! And yet he might as well, for the precarious nature of such marriages hasn’t changed.

In 2013, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business published a paper that looked at 4,000 married couples in America and found, as Mona Chalabi noted on NPR, that

“once a woman started to earn more than her husband, divorce rates increased. Surprisingly, though, this data showed that whether the wife earns a little bit more or a lot more doesn’t actually make much of a difference. So the researchers concluded from that that what really matters is the mere fact of a woman earning more.”

In 2014Lori Gottleib wrote in The New York Times about a study called “Egalitarianism, Housework and Sexual Frequency in Marriage” which found that couples in egalitarian marriages, or marriages that make no allowance for sex differences, have less sex.

“If men did all of what the researchers characterized as feminine chores like folding laundry, cooking or vacuuming, couples had sex 1.5 fewer times per month than those with husbands who did what were considered masculine chores, like taking out the trash or fixing the car. It wasn’t just the frequency that was affected, either — at least for the wives. The more traditional the division of labor, meaning the greater the husband’s share of masculine chores compared with feminine ones, the greater his wife’s reported sexual satisfaction.”

In other words, there’s plenty of data to bolster Carlson’s claim that we “consider some of the effects” of women out-earning men. The fact is, he’s right. It’s not a boon for society. It’s a loss for both men and women.

For men, because an unemployed man who lacks purpose in his life is downright dangerous. And for women, because they can’t find educated and employed men to marry. And for children, because the result for them is that they grow up without a dad.

It’s a G-damn mess, and it’s going to get messier.

Suzanne Venker

Suzanne Venker is an author, columnist and radio host known as The Feminist Fixer. She helps free women from feminism so they can find lasting love with men. Suzanne's newest book, WOMEN WHO WIN at Love: How to Build a Relationship That Lasts, will be published October 2019.

Reader Interactions


  1. Stacy says

    My marriage got SO much better when I quit my job ten years ago after eight years of marriage. We don’t have kids, so I was raked across the coals by both liberal AND conservative women for being lazy, not contributing to the household, mooching off my husband, etc. ONE friend of mine congratulated me on making a great decision. It was frustrating at first, and I doubted my decision, but now I just don’t care because the proof is in the pudding. My husband isn’t going to leave me, and we have plenty of life insurance in case – God forbid – something should happen to him.

    It’s unfortunate I didn’t realize how damaging society’s and my mom’s teachings until I was 37…but better late than never, right?

    • tim maguire says

      If we didn’t have kids, we’d be able to live on my salary and I think I’d be happier if we divided the labor–my wife maintains the house while I pay the bills. But as things stand, no. It’s not possible without unacceptable compromises to our lifestyle.

      I currently make a little more than my wife, but there have been times where she made more than me. During those times, she would, during financial discussions (even if the amount was fairly nominal), describe herself as the primary breadwinner. I always had to bite my tongue and grit my teeth.

      • SkylerKat says

        When babies come along don’t forget to calculate daycare costs against what she makes. Many women are making almost nothing or even losing money to maintain a job outside the home.

        Even now, work clothes, transportation, lunches, and meals out because there’s not as much time to cook cut into her earnings.

        • Gtwreck says

          Which is why my wife took the house and I brought home the bacon. She went back to work when the youngest started college. Before you throw patriarchy or similar garbage at me, let me assure you that the decision was financial. Engineers make more money than medical secretaries.

  2. Robyn says

    We’ve been married for 31 years and I’ve been “called” lots of negative things (all the way from lazy to leech and everything in between) for framing my life around my husband and children; sadly, mostly by family. On the other side it. I can honestly tell you there WERE rough patches and if I would have had a career, I know I would’ve chosen to eject from the vow I promised and tossed both husband and family to the curb. Thankfully, I didn’t exercise that option … we made it through … and I’m SO glad that I did not choose the option to leave. To be completely honest, it wasn’t just lack of a career on my part. The main reason I didn’t leave was because of God.

  3. Clare says

    I do agree with most of what you are saying here. I know I feel more attracted to, and protected by my partner when we par-take in our natural gender roles. It’s genetics. However, I also know a number families where the roles are reversed and the man is a stay at home father, while the wife goes to work, and they seem like perfectly happy couples, with balanced relationships.

    Who knows what the future holds for many couples, but I think communication is essential. A part of me says “as long as both parents (and any children) are happy, is there really any problem?” Another part responds with “who are we then telling our children to grow up to be; will this role-reversal create confusion of the roles their future selves will be playing?” Perhaps you’re right and this will create a generation of singles who are unable to find a suitable partner, or are worse lost in trying to define what they’re even looking for. There are more and more questions, but I think the point of this is that we ARE starting to ask these questions. So thank you, Suzanne Venker.

    • Ucavman says

      It comes down to you and your “LIFE COMMITED” partner, where you both that very much truly believe in their sacred marriage vows, talking profusely through loving and honest and selfless as to what kind of family role arrangements will keep you in Such happy and loving and committed and very respectively and caring relationship for all your whole immediate family. Patience and caring and selflessness are NOT fads to briefly follow, they are the absolute keys to having happy and very satisfied and fulfilled and greatly appreciative lives. Yes … it can be very hard at times… but nothing so beautiful to achieve is EVER going to be easy! Patience … patience… patience! And undivided understanding and attention by all !

    • Scott Plavnick says

      Yes, the biggest problems are often not seen till they show in the children. I’ve observed it, and many others have proven it with statistics. Children are now inundated with role confusion from all sides, and it is devastating children.

      Thank you, Suzanne, for continuing to articulate these problems and solutions.
      (Wonderfully, happily married for 33 years. After my wife worked to help put me through school, she traded $ for raising our 3 children and being a partner with me in ministry.)

  4. Anna Keppa says

    Anyone who thinks women are precious little flowers who cringe in dark corners hoping evil men won’t notice and rape them, should go to Bing Images.

    Enter “Nude female Selfies”.

    See TENS OF THOUSANDS of babes showing themselves off, maybe originally to their boyfriends but now to the world. Boob, twats, and all the rest in shocking full-frontal focus.

    Add “blow job” to the title, and “gif”.

    Would any SJW wanna explain that?

    Oh, they will tell you such women aren’t woke.

    But you ask yourself: which of the two groups are getting laid?

  5. Reformed Trombonist says

    My wife and I are in our sixties now, have been married for almost 36 years. We were in our late twenties then, when we were both musicians in an Air Force band. Sadly, we never had kids.

    I was a ne’er-do-well before the Air Force. I had earned a bachelor’s in music (trombone) and intended to go on for a master’s and maybe a Ph.D., with an academic career as my goal. But that’s when I discovered I was not a good fit in academia, for many reasons. The disqualifying reason is simply that I got way too bored studying tomes of ancient music. I had met a grad student in another discipline and had fallen head over heels for her, but my life was a mess. I just had nothing to offer her. She was from a family with money and was well-organized and extremely competent; I was going from music gig to music gig and hanging out with musicians, drinking beer until 4 AM playing Nintendo with my trombone buddies.

    She left and went overseas and has stayed there. Meanwhile, my wake-up call was having student debt, no prospects of a job in my chosen field, and had to become a grill cook at an all-night diner.

    But good fortune beckoned. An Air Force band was swinging through town on tour. I auditioned for a trombone opening and was accepted, and several weeks later I was at my duty station. My old girlfriend visited me and lowered the boom, officially. The next two years were actually quite hazy. I remember everything, but through a gauze of grief. Finally, to quote the corny line from “Shawshank Redemption,” I decided, time to get busy living or get busy dying, and began the arduous task of shaking off the bad feelings. When I did, I looked up, and there was this pretty girl playing flute in our band. We were married a year and a half later.

    It was the same deal, though. She had her act together; I didn’t. That’s when I made another decision, to learn a trade. I considered earning a math degree and teaching in public schools, but, oddly, it proved a lot easier just to learn a little bit about programming and get a job in software. Two more years in the Air Force, and I had a job lined up with a major defense contractor.

    I’ve been programming for 35 years; my title for the past twenty years has been “database administrator”, which stated more precisely, means data wrangler. I still don’t have my act together. But I’ve always brought in the lion’s share of our income. My wife has worked, mostly part-time, off and on throughout our marriage, but she’s the one who always handles the books and the household while I slay the dragons.

    Coming up on retirement, but I’ll keep working as long as they’ll let me. I find programming to be very relaxing. Every program has the same plot: define the outputs, identify the inputs, design the process that turns the inputs into the outputs. This is true whether you’re writing a boring banking app or designing a video game. Being married has let me be me and has given my wife options.

    During the gauzy days, I had a lot of time to think about offering a woman something and I instinctively settled on money. Of course, there’s more. We are both Christians and I offer her my love and protection, while she gives back respect and turns my chaos into order. Making good money is what a man brings to the table, not that it stops there, but allows it to start. Without it, women instinctively feel that the man has nothing invested in the relationship and there’s nothing to stop him from walking out and leaving her without resources.

    I feel sorry for today’s young men, stuck in a no-man’s land where the girl you’d like to marry is also your competitor. But that’s where feminism has brought us. The cure is worse than the disease, unfortunately. Houses of cards have to come down to build anything substantial. There will be no feminism when we don’t produce enough young men to protect us from the barbarians. There will be burqas and beatings.

  6. John Sullivan says

    Very near the beginning, you wrote “The most controversial subject of the last 25 years has unquestionably been the absence of mothers from the home ”
    Did you not mean fathers rather than mothers?

  7. Michael says

    Repeal no-fault divorce and restore illegitimacy laws. These are necessary elements to rebuild America’s family structure.

    • JoeMGTOW says

      You are right. This would be a good start. And these would be positive small steps to be taken in the right direction. But sadly, this will never happen in our lifetimes. – JoeMGTOW

  8. Chris L says

    For a short while, when we were first married, I made more money than my husband and for a few months, I was the sole provider. Thirty years later, I’ve been a stay at home mom homeschooling six children. We have truly loved our traditional roles. But my husband has been ill for several years and while I understand the challenges he faces effectively running his at home business, I’ve discovered that the children and I have developed an unfortunate lack of respect for him. His illness has made his masculinity less masculine and it’s affected everything from how he parents to how he performs as a husband. It’s been definite proof that a strong man is what our family thrives off of and while we will never switch roles, I am uncertain how to help my husband regain the respect he so desires and deserves.

  9. Liu says

    The media are not cowards. They know exactly what they are doing. Destroying the country. Fortunately, their audience shrinks every year.

    Roles are like an empty glass. They are filled in different ways- just like a Tai Chi form. A Tai Chi form is beautiful. Someone can mess it up, and do it very badly, of course. And that’s what’s happening.

  10. Jay says

    Women are trained from birth in America to scorn, ridicule, mock and to have contempt for all things masculine. Traditional marriage where the man was the head of the house has been outlawed. Women run everything everywhere including the courts. Most men have lost touch with their masculinity to the degree that they don’t even realize how insulting today’s women are. The few men that are able to see it won’t even consider marriage. If you think you can undo the damage that has been done then you are truly delusional.


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