The latest status symbol for a high-powered career woman isn’t a fancy car, a condo or a pair of Prada pumps. According to the Today Show, it’s a trophy husband, someone who’ll pick up dry cleaning, change diapers, and do the dishes. One woman mentioned says her trophy husband even whips up homemade gourmet lunches for her to take to work.
Since the recession hit, there’s a huge supply of trophy husbands. That’s because three men have lost their jobs for every one woman who was laid off. So, with 40% women now their household's primary breadwinner, more and more men are transitioning into the trophy husband role. The trend is so big that retailers are starting to target them, like Pampers, which hired New Orleans quarterback, and proud dad, Drew Brees to pitch diapers. Experts say it’s like bragging for a woman to say she has a trophy husband because she has the “best of both worlds” – not only is she the breadwinner, but her husband is “man” enough not to be threatened by untraditional gender roles. The kids love it too. One 11-year-old girl, whose dad is a trophy husband, says she wants to be a lawyer when she grows up, and have her own future husband take care of the kids and clean the house. Like all status symbols, trophy husbands come at a price.
- First, the men often question their self-worth – because traditionally, a man’s identity is tied to his job.
- They often feel emasculated. One trophy husband says he doesn’t feel like a man when he’s buying presents for his wife with her money.
- Trophy husbands often feel alienated in the mother-dominated playground world.
It’s also challenging for the wives. Dr. Karen Gail Lewis, a marriage therapist, says a wife may initially be attracted to a man because he’s nurturing and willing to give up his career to stay at home, but after a while, she may feel like her husband isn’t pulling his weight. The fix: Dr. Lewis says it’s key for couples to periodically check in with each other to make sure the arrangement is still working for both of them.