When women become more successful than men

While you may be at the peak of your career, your personal life may be going for a toss. The trick lies in 'not bringing office home' and spending quality time with your man in spite of a busy schedule.

Women are becoming more independent and professionally successful than they were a generation or two ago. That's brilliant but it can come with baggage. A recent study revealed that in 39 of the 50 top urban markets, women are making more than their male peers. But as women work their way up that career ladder and begin to out-earn their husbands or partners, cheating is on the rise.

While it feels great to constantly climb the career ladder and earning good money, the reality is that at some point you may encounter a guy who's intimidated by your success. According to new research, when a man is completely financially dependent on his female partner, he is five times more likely to cheat than men who contribute an equal amount to the partnership.

Traditionally, men used to bring home a majority of, if not the entire household income while many women had the option of being housewifes and raising kids. "Men typically played the role of providers and women that of nurturers. We do not see this in our culture today as the traditional gender roles have become blur in relationships and women have become a lot more independent," says relationship expert Dr Rajan Bhonsle.

As female breadwinners take on their role as protector and nurturer, men feel that their gender identity is being threatened. Seeing their partners slogging hard, they may stray. This shift to equalitarian partnerships hits their ego and may further lead to infidelity.

Before you face a relationship failure, here are a few tips that will help you prioritise and strike a balance between the two meaningful aspects of your life - career and love.

Know what you want:

The key to a successful relationship is to be clear about what you want. As a career-oriented woman, it's probably even more important to be clear about the type of guy you would want to spend your life with. Make a list of the top five qualities you're looking for in a potential partner. While doing this activity, ask yourself the following questions: Does equal or greater earning power of the partner power matter to me? Would I be willing to date someone who makes less than me but is beautiful at heart?

Creating unrealistic expectations is a crime:

While you may be capable of buying your car, go on a holiday with your girlfriends and shop from your favourite branded stores, it is silly having unrealistic expectations. Thinking that a guy who owns a smaller house than you won't keep you happy, will leave you being single for long. What's important is who he is as an individual. "If he treats you with love and care and shares similar ambitions in life as you do, he may possibly prove to be a loyal and a lifelong partner," says Bhonsle.

Let him woo you:

Dating a woman who enjoys greater career success is likely to threaten a man's sense of self worth. But it's not as if it's the end. They can quickly find other ways to feel worthy but that is only if you give them a chance to feel the same. For example, until you know his level of emotional maturity, don't take him to expensive restaurants or buy him expensive gifts. Let him plan outings and pay for movie tickets. Appreciate his efforts through minor gestures regardless of how big or small they are.

Make him feel important:

The core lies in the words appreciate and reward. Make sure he maintains a higher self-esteem. "Compliment him when he undertakes non-traditional gender roles and performs them well," advices Hingorrany. Moreover, if he's not the primary breadwinner, entrust him responsibilities like managing finances. Also, indulge in actions that remind him he's all man in bed.