Breaking the Breadwinner Barrier: Navigating Finances and Marriage as a High-Achieving Woman | EU 2136 min read

March 18, 2024

Are you the bigger breadwinner? Has this impacted the dynamic in your marriage?

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I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, marriage coach, course creator, retreat host, mother of 3, married for 23 years and host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 


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Are you the bigger breadwinner? Has this impacted the dynamic in your marriage? How can you and your partner uncover both of your potential resentments and insecurities to build a stronger, closer, and more compassionate marriage?

In this episode, I discuss the challenges faced by high-achieving women who make more money than their husbands. I explore common struggles such as guilt, emasculation fears, and societal expectations. I also share some of my personal experiences and the shift in gender roles within my relationship. I address the impact on parenting and childhood experiences. The conversation delves into the negative effects of contempt and financial disagreements. I emphasize on the importance of self-reflection, establishing mutual financial goals, and seeking support.

Listen out as I introduce Empower X, a membership community for high-achieving women seeking personal and professional growth. Click the above link for more information.


  • Address the elephant in the room
  • Uncovering insecurities and working through them
  • Actionable steps you can take

Address the elephant in the room

Being the bigger breadwinner in the household can come with its own set of challenges, as well as adding new dynamics to your marriage.

It’s important to be proactive and to have an honest and upfront conversation with your partner about how you are both going to navigate this dynamic.

Having a conversation about finances can be daunting, especially when you’re making more money than your husband. However, it is essential for building trust and understanding in your relationship. (Veronica Cisneros)

Some of the common struggles married women face as the main breadwinner include:

  • Feeling guilty for outearning their partner
  • Fearing that their success may be emasculating
  • Navigating traditional expectations of traditional gender roles

Join EMPOWER X – Click here to apply

Uncovering insecurities and working through them

Shifting power dynamics – that can be impacted by changes in earning capacity – can bring up insecurities, worries, or concerns. In a way, it’s a great revealer of the areas in your relationship that need to be addressed and given attention.

Invite your partner to an honest and compassionate discussion, either alone or with a counselor, so that any lingering or new insecurities can be explored and addressed together.

What I came to find is that I wasn’t resentful towards him, I was upset because of all the expectations that I felt like I had on my plate. All the weight that I had on my shoulders. What I didn’t realize is that it was me placing that weight, it was me placing those expectations, it wasn’t him … And what I wasn’t communicating with him was that I need help, that I can’t do this by myself. (Veronica Cisneros)

Remember; you and your partner are a team! And communicating these expectations and needs is so important for the strength of your partnership as well as the relationship.

Men also face struggles with traditional gender expectations. They are also impacted by societal ideas, just as women are.

Therefore, to create a strong and flexible relationship that is defined by both of you, you need to have these conversations with one another – as well as be accountable about what you are each bringing to the table in terms of emotions.

Actionable steps you can take

1 – Be honest with yourself: what resentments do you have? Where do they come from? Which expectations – for yourself and for your partner – are you operating on?

Your ‘more’ might be different than his ‘more’, and he wants that for you too, and he wants that for the family too, so how is he a part of supporting you? And supporting the family? How has he been a part of it this entire time? So maybe it’s not him, maybe it’s the way I view things, maybe it’s my perspective. And I want you guys to think about that. (Veronica Cisneros)

2 – Establish mutual financial goals and create a plan to achieve them together: this can foster a sense of partnership and shared responsibility. Where do you both want to be next year, in five years from now?

3 – Seek support: this could be in the form of a friendship, a therapist, a mastermind group, or even your relationship with yourself and/ or your partner. Sit with these thoughts and share them with people that you like, love, and trust.

Explore your mind and your heart in a space that you feel supported in. If you are looking for something like this, consider joining our community!

Join EMPOWER X – Click here to apply

Books mentioned:

Matthew Perry – Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir

Useful links:

Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic Podcast

Hello, my name is Veronica Cisneros, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Marriage Coach, Course Creator, Retreat Host, Mother of 3, married for 23 years, host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast, and owner of a group private practice called Outside The Norm Counseling.

A lot of couples struggle with setting aside intentional time to connect and communicate. They yearn for meaningful conversations that don’t lead to arguments.

1 month away from divorce, I realized I had to do something different. For years I had compromised myself to meet the needs of my husband and my child, I lost myself and was about to lose my marriage. After years of personal growth and self-reflection, I not only reclaimed my identity, and celebrated 23 years of marriage but also helped hundreds of couples transform their marriage from feeling like roommates to experiencing a deeper love.

I am on a mission to help couples reignite the fire by providing them with the skills to have the relationship they deserve.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook community, or do the Workshop,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Empowered and Unapologetic Podcast on Apple Podcast {previously iTunes) and subscribe!

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I’m Veronica, your new Boss MOM Mentor with no filter and no BS. 

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, women’s coach, course creator, and retreat host. Married for OVER 20 years, raising three girls, and the host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 

Enough about me… 

My jam? Helping high-achieving women thrive both at home and in the hustle of work.

I've been there.

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Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Marriage Coach, Course Creator, Retreat Host, Mother of 3, Married for over 20 years.

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© veronica cisneros 2022




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