A struggling economy isn't only making it tough for many to pay their bills.
It's costing some people their families because the marriage roles seem to be reversing for some couples. An increasing number of women are becoming the provider for the family. Could that work for you? "I don't know if I would be ok with him just staying home. Staying home and maybe going to school and taking care of the kids," says Ashlee Pugett. "I'm looking for somebody who can contribute evenly, just like I can," adds Ashley Dispany.
More men are taking on the role of stay at home dad. Would you have a problem with that? "Yes, I would because men should be working and making money," says Calvin Pugett. "No, I would not ‘cause he's a great dad and he can take care of the kids just as well as I can, if not better," explains Dawn Mayo.
"I wouldn't mind staying home. I've actually talked with her about it. I told her you should go to work and I should take care of the kid," says Elder Limon. His wife Rocio Limon says she would be fine with that.
Pyschotherapist Mary Jo Rapini says a poor economy and more women graduating college are leading to an increase in wives earning more than their husband. "This whole recession is being termed a 'Mancession' because a lot of the jobs that are going away are the construction jobs and the jobs where typically you saw more men. During moments of transition it's a little bit more stressful anyway. So it's very important that the couple have a plan and are talking about what's expected," explains Rapini.
Most of the couples we spoke with believe they can survive the transition period when the husband is looking for a job. They also feel their marriage would not last if the man decided not to work. "A lot of guys draw their affirmation, their confidence, from what they do," adds Rapini.
"I think it's just the pride that you have as a man to take care of your wife, your kids, your family. I think that's just something that every guy has inside him," says Carlos Cartagena.
"My father was the breadwinner. I'm more traditional. I think I would be resentful, irritated," says Wilhelmenia Williams. Richard and Wilhelmenia Williams have been married 36 years. She says when he was out of work their marriage made it through because he took a job at a convenience store until something better came along even though he has a college degree.
Mary Jo Rapini says at a time like this it's important for couples to remember "We're a team and we're in this together. That's the most important thing for all couples," she says.
Rapini says if you and your husband choose for him to stay home with the kids one way to help make it work is to find friends with the same lifestyle. She also reminds us that setting and enjoying a regular "date night" is extremely important for making every marriage last.