The More (Money), the Merrier

There’s an old expression in English, “The more, the merrier.” Merry is an old-fashioned word that means to be happy, as in “Merry Christmas.”  “The more, the merrier” means the more people you have, say, at a party, the happier everyone is.  We usually say this when somebody asks to join our group or some activity, and we want to make them feel welcome.  But today I want to talk about not more people, but more money, and not “merry” as in happy, but marry, as in becoming husband and wife.

A new study of marriage in the United States has found that, in 2007, 19% of wives had husbands who were better educated (had more education) than they were, and 20% were married to men with less education.  (Presumably (probably, most likely), the rest of the married couples had equal amounts of education, although the newspaper story I read doesn’t mention this.)  But in 1970, 28% of wives had husbands who were better educated, and 20% were married to men with less education.  In other words, it used to be that nearly 30% of women married men who were better educated than they were, but now that figure (number) has dropped to 19%.  In 1970, only 4% of husbands had wives who made more money than they did; in 2007, 22% of husbands had wives who made more money than they did.

What can explain this change?  First, this is the first generation of Americans in which more women have graduated from college than men, a change from previous generations when the majority of college graduates were men.  With more education typically comes more income, although the relationship between education and income (the amount of money you make) is strong but not perfect.  Second, many men clearly do not mind (are not bothered by) the fact that their wives have more education and make more money.  It is still true, however, that women with college degrees are more likely to marry today than less educated women, although the overall percentage of the U.S. population that is married has been declining (going down, becoming less).

Is this a good thing, a bad thing, or neither good nor bad?


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30 Responses to The More (Money), the Merrier

  1. Ilya says:

    In order to have a good education you should find money to pay for it first. Well, as George Orwell wrote in “The Animal Farm”, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal then others”. The same way some people are more equal then others. So this study just represent the gap between relatively well off and poor citizens and has nothing to do with gender. Love has no limits and barriers, thou. One can fall in love with stupid ignorant scoundrel and live happily (or merrily) ever after.

  2. gregorex says:

    I would rather have a wife that makes more money than me, this way I could spend more time in front of the computer or in the kitchen 😉

  3. Peter says:

    Hi guys ,

    I am bored to death ,so I thought I could drop a line here on this blog .it cheers me up!

    I heard the expression about people attending a party or something .

    Jeff : Lucy , Lots of people attending the Eslpod convention
    Lucy: The more, the merrier.
    I haven’t read the post above yet ,but it must be pretty much the same idea , but with funnier tone.

    oh,what a day!

    Catch you later Guys

  4. Marcio says:

    In my opinion it’s a good thing because when the couple has about the same education, I think it’s easier to them understand each other in many situations that they probably will pass by.

  5. Nicolas Chauvin says:

    What? Women being better educated than men and earning more money? How can this be a good thing? How can you say that, Jeff! This is a social paradox. Women should not working at all and should just receive the least education needed to be a good housewife!

  6. Peter says:

    I believe suffrage is the beginning of what we call today, the equality between men and women. Jeff,you open a very controversial ,inflamable forum discussion don’t dare to go any further ,in part because today’s female-dominated world will find it very distastefull. We let them have their way with us .Now ,it is our turn to rein them in:) It is all our fault we want them to be equal ,now they are the dominant sex. We simply follow their lead.

    There is nobody to blame but us ;you reap what you sow my friend. It is not very far that male population take to streets worldwide and start a movement, I like to call “neo-suffrage!”

    sounds funny ,but it is so da.n true!

    In a nutshell,
    it is a known fact that there is no equality between men and women ,in this female-dominated world , and this inequality like charity begins at home.

  7. Peter says:

    Guys ,

    I don’t have any girlfriend to begin with!

    So ,girls of anykind would be accepted

    Less money, more money, even femenist(LOL)

  8. emiliano says:

    My point?

    I have always thought that Cuca, my wife, would be in the Bank when we got married and me would be at home instead.

    Yes, she would had a better job in the Bank as time goes on and to me it should be more easy to remain at home doing my chores inside without any boss who was telling me what to do every moment, and me having not any ambitions inside the company.
    Doing so we would had much more money to spend along all these labour years.

    Is she more intelligent and smart than me? Of course, she is. I know it quite well, and for this reason Cuca would get a better job and much more money than me going outside to work. But that was the custom over those years…..very old ones.
    At the end of her labour life she could be a high boss inside the Company as she likes to be there doing her work
    always better and having too much interest than me, as I always did it a little bored and uninterested.

    Good, it´s very good that women at last can be best remunerated than some men. It depends of how much capacity have they doing their work outside.
    And for some men, like me, it should be good to remain at home instead. Looking after the children, cooking good plates and doing just what
    they wanted without any stupid person saying what to do every moment.

  9. Daniele says:

    Hi! to you all.
    The result of the study would be the same here in Italy.

    I would say that both education and money are not so important in order to having a good working marriage.
    I mean, there are married couple that have good education but get divorced, and there are couple that got low education that work.
    There is not a recipe for a good working marriage. Who knows?
    In my case, my Wife has higher education but makes less money than I do.
    We have been married since 1997 and is still working.

    Daniele, Italy.

  10. Peter says:

    Seriously,are you sure you are not from a far away intelectual palnet ,or I dont know, from something extraterrestrial?

    Yopur scientific minds have always amazed me as opposed to my stupid mind! I am not self-efacing or anything ;it is so true:)

    You guys are the true meanning of “walking dictionary.” (LOL)

    You guys have beautiful minds

  11. emiliano says:

    Daniele, more or less I think the same like you.
    It hasn´t any relevance if the woman or the man gets more or less money to have a good marriage or a way of living together.
    In my opinion it is a question of tolerance, similar tastes about free time, to be in agreement with the real important things, and of course
    “too much love always”…..the best form of being comprensive with the other part mistakes.
    Living together with the same woman for so long time has given me some knowledge about the matter.

  12. dongsung says:

    Even women get more education than their husdands or they earn more money than them, I wish that would not influence on their marriage life. My wife have earned more money before she quit the job and we live on my income now. but we are happier than before.

  13. Gullit says:

    It’s certainly a good thing, more people are getting educated.
    Men and women – should – have equals rights.

  14. Daniele says:

    I would also add that since women got higher education and make more money , as a result ther has been an inceased in devorced.
    Where I live the number of divorced has reached the same number of marriage. So I do not know if higher education goes along with a good marriage.
    I wonder if in some situations would be better being ignorant at all????

  15. Tania says:

    Hi ! Wife admires very much her husband when he has success in business , earns enough for all family and there is harmony in their family .
    She is very proud thinking she is a lucky woman . Friends envy her .
    I am wondering if husband admires sincerely his wife when she is a success woman earning more than him being on the phone all the time … I don’t think so . The divorce is imminent .
    When husband is able to enjoy heartily for his wife’s success then she knows he is the best friend , he is the shoulder which she can cry without hurts her , he is the warm of her soul .
    And this is the dream of any woman . Unattainable ?
    But life is short . Can you wait for the dream “prince” ? No ! Life as a prey .
    And if you make more money ?
    Good for you .


  16. Peter says:

    Speaking of wife and husband, please don’t get mixed up husbandary with the way treat your husband.

    Interestingly enough, husbandary means : raising cartels and farm animals: feed them , tame them and so on.

    Meanwhile,what is with you women . when it comes to guys,All you think about is their power,money ,or their position

    I mean,come on ,give us a break , we are all sentimental supressed sex for God sex

  17. Tania says:

    Hi ! Women better educated earning more money than men … As women give birth to children for perpetuation , a better education , a better knowledge of the good manners are normal .
    See what I mean ? Women should stick to their ways .
    But who assure their living ? Do men make this ?
    When problems appear they become irritable , dissatisfied … and they leave . Be content if he is not a violent man .


  18. nico says:

    i always keep in mind that woman should go outside to work and that will let you keep up with the modern world.of course,the more money will give you the better substance life,and if you don;t need to worry about the problem of survival, you would be happier.but it’s hard to tell the relevance between money and marriage,because there’re many different kinds of situations and it relates to what we thought.if you have family,children,both wife and husband have to be responsible for them.and if you two are in agreement with what you should do,either husband or wife could stay at home while the other have to go out and make money.and there’re stil lots of chore need doing when you’re as a all depends on what you think and decide.i admit that if my future husband makes more money than i do,i will delight,unless he spends most of his time at work and has no time to be with the family,that’s the last thing i want.
    for me,a good marriage is a question about tolerance and similar tastes ,to see eye to eye with each other on important things and the most important thing”have deeply love”,being comprehensive,i couldn’t agree more with you ,emiliano,well said!
    sometimes pretending to be ignorant will be good for the marital guys really open up my eyes!

  19. emiliano says:

    Feelings are similar among normal persons, and the feeling of love is universal everywhere. It doesn´t matter the country, race, or social position.
    Ways of life are really different from a place to another and when generations are going on it seems that all is changing.
    But I think that´s an ilusion as the feeling of real love doesn´t change at all along hundred or thousand of years.

    Not every person has the chance or the luck of finding it, but if this so special person appears what I think is to get this special feeling firmly and do whichever kind of effort to be all your life with him or her.
    And it´s necessary to be kind, comprehensive, sometimes blind, crazy or silly, but support him/her always which ever thing our love do.
    Is she more intelligent? or him?….nice, we are proud about it. Gets more money?…..good.
    When deep love does exist, these so little things doesn´t matter at all.

    The ideal love is real sometimes, it depends of us, and if we are so lucky of finding IT we have to care it along all our entire lifes.
    Shelfiness is the worst feeling that kill always a real and not so real love. Because The Ideal Prince or Princess does exist only in our feelings, thoughts or hearts, as every men or women are not perfect, but to me my wife or for you your husband may be perfect inside our hearts.
    If we really love them we will see always their virtudes not their deffects.
    And what is more important we´ll see our own deffects in the way of doing the best to love him/her every moment.
    I think that´s the real deep love, the one we care day by day, without own shelfishness and being always loyal with him or her.

    Well that´s my personal opinion but please have in mind that I have not experience at all, the only one I loved it´s the same person that I have and love now.
    Yes, null experience, I know it, but the theme is really passionate, good for you Jeff.

  20. Peter says:


    you stuck me as a sentimenalist. I hate to break it to you, but we don’t live in a lala land.

    Yes,idealy everybody digs a perfect family.The question is how many people get lucky. Statistc says: close to nobody

    you should count your blessing that you are not married yet , that from the looks of it marriage is not a good colour on anybody

  21. Peter says:

    Keep in mind , women of substance are mostly femenist

  22. Daven says:

    Traditionally, the main work force and money generator should be man.
    But as the times changing, this idea have inevitablely reversed.
    It explain that both place of feminin have been enhanced, also the progress of socity.

  23. nico says:

    thanks for your advice,Peter.i didn’t mean to offend anybody.honestly,i do know this is not an ideal world,and i’m not a perfect person.cuz i’m young and i keep learning.make commitment is a big thing.

  24. Johnny Ueda says:

    hi everyone,

    here in Japan, we are more conservative than the U.S. people. we Japanese think, except me, that men should make money and women should take care of kids. under 40’s, the mind has changed but most part of older Japanese consider it. i don’t think so. my wife has her job and make good money, even less than me. i don’t mean to be as same as the studies about my case lol.

    take care,

  25. Sergey says:

    Our generation needs to get education to be successfull in the life. The more money people earn the better they will live and so they could make live of their own children more happier. The more number of women became graduated because they want better life for themself. And they don’t want to be at home all the time, raising children up. And if something bad will happen, wife could earn money for their family instead of husband.

  26. emiliano says:

    Nico, I don´t know where are you from, but don´t be afraid of being an idealist or sentimental person, despite this world seems to be wild. Some times it wasn´t and you may find another one as mad as you. I am a living proof of that.
    To fail or to change there is a lot of time ahead if you are young but if you don´t try it would be impossible to find just what you want…..and who knows?. We don´t know anything about what is waiting for us in future.

    Best regards.

  27. Peter says:

    I just read it through one more time. Perfectly done Jeff.

    All the sentence structures are impprccable

    Every single time you naile it down; how you do it like everytime is beyond me.

  28. nico says:

    yeah,you’re right,emiliano.sometimes i’m a sentimental person too,but to be honest,i don’t quite like that feelings.the truth is,i want to be stronger.women were better educated want better life for themselves and the family,indeed.but what’s wrong with that?that’s why i keep learning.i think i didn’t make myself clear about the former comments,i guess my point is,the more money is great,but it can’t buy ture love,real happiness.
    i like new things .i know what i want right now and i will try everything i’m interested in or even something that i don’t like it at the moment.thanks for your encouragement,emiliano.
    best wishes!

  29. laurha says:

    Hi, I think money don’t buy happiness of course, and it doesn’t matter if there’s more or less education, or income, in a couple, but I really think that couples need some… balance?
    I mean, when I was younger, I didn’t look for a “rich” or “graduate” boy, it was the same for me, I was looking at other qualities… But now experience has change my mind: I don’t care if my boyfiend makes more or less money, or has a better or worse education than me, but I’ve realized that, it’s actually a big problem for them. I suppose (and hope) that not all men in the world have this problem, but I think that many of them have, and I’m not going to fake and try to seem silly all my life, or don’t rise in my company in order to make him feel better!
    I think it’s not an exclusive man-problem although, some equilibrium is needed in both sides, because the one who has less education or income perhaps could feel lower, and maybe then, could try to feel the other person lower… and that just kills love of course. I think it could happen for both directions, for men and women, but I think that men use to have a great great need of feeling higher than her female-partner in some ways, and if not, they need to crush her, to make himself feel better…. not all men, but many. It’s easy to say – “I don’t care, it’s better for me if my wife maintain me”… but in many cases it’s just not truth. Maybe there’s no problem for a small difference, but yes there is when there’s a big one.
    So, I should stop studying, otherwise it’s going to be really hard to find a good guy for me! (I’m kidding… a little)

  30. emiliano says:

    Hi Laurha, nice to see you here.

    Well, being a man I have to say that to me is quite right what you said. Yes, lots of men have this problem just the necesity of feeling better than their partners about their intelligencie or work, they need to have better jobs, earn more money, be more clever and so on.
    If not so, they have to humillate his couple and remarks aloud her mistakes. I have seen this even very frequently and felt myself badly if I have to live or see this situation.

    May be it´s one of the questions why there are so many couples that don´t be together for a long time, just because women use to be more smart, use to read quite a lot, much more in fact than men. Also they go frecuently to see museums, painter´s expositions, theatre or movies, instead of going to see football or other sports that men like to see every week as an habit. Majority of women don´t like to be two or three hours watching a play of that kind and they prefer to read, or just doing another more cultural thing.

    Yes, I think some customs are changing and for women the time of looking silly or less clever than her partners is over.

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