Pew Research Study: Women Are Bread Winners in 40% of Households

Lynchburg, VA- A new Pew Research study finds women are now the bread winners in 40% of American households. It's a trend that's been rising for years.

But how does the battle for the bread affect families? Pew found that about half of Americans say it's better for a family if the mother stays home with the kids and does not have a job. But at the same time people understand it's a lot easier to pay the bills with two incomes.

Either way, money in marriage is a touchy subject.

"Money causes a huge issue for folks," said Chuck Rodgers, Professional Counselor at Wyndhurst Counseling Center.

Rodgers says money is the root of many married couples' problems.

"One of the biggest things they do have conflict is over money," he said.

Issues include who's spending, who's saving and who's keeping track. Now, it's who's making the money, and lately, it's been the ladies.

"There are men out there who have an extremely difficult time with their wife making as much or more money than them, but I don't find that that's the issue. I find that most people are grateful they have more money coming in," said Rodgers.

The latest Pew Research study found that Americans believe working mothers are making it easier to live comfortably, but more difficult to raise children and keep a healthy marriage.

"It just contributes more time and energy and effort that is put into making the household work. And sometimes that takes away from the time and energy and effort you have to be able to dedicate to the marriage," said Rodgers.

Money is one of the top reasons for divorce. And even in divorce settlements, financial planner Christian De Paul has seen a change in who controls the purse strings.

"I've had couples come in and it's the wife saying 'he won't get a job, I made this money, this is my 401K,'" said De Paul.

And as more women join the workforce, mothers will not only be cooking the bacon, but bringing it home too.

"If it ends up being that women are the bread winners, then women are going to be the bread winners," said De Paul.

The study also reflects changing family dynamics. Out of the 40% of women bread winners, nearly two thirds are single mothers. But, married mothers are still bringing in more dough, 24% are now the bread winner compared to only 6% in 1960.