The relationship expert offers three reasons why some men aren't okay with a woman whose success surpasses his own
Credit: Tommy Garcia/Bravo

Love and relationship expert Patti Stanger is a best-selling author and the star of Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker. She’ll be blogging regularly for about celebrity relationships. Get Patti’s advice on all things love, sex, relationships, astrology, fashion, beauty, recipes and more on

Amy Poehler and Will Arnett have decided to end their marriage after nine years. I know. I’m sighing, too. They were funny, so affectionate and both of them are just downright cute. I think all of America had a raging couple crush on these two and we’re all hurting with them. Ben and Jerry’s, order for 300 million, please!

Honestly, I do not know why this hilarious duo broke up. They’re keeping it classy and being relatively private about this split, which is definitely how it should be handled. But, their breakup did get me thinking about how being a woman with a successful career affects relationships.

I know how being in the spotlight has impacted my dating life. Will is clearly successful – and I’m a huge fan of Up All Night – but Amy is undeniably the more well known and successful of the two. I can’t help but wonder if that contributed to their divorce. Being more successful than your man can weigh heavy on a relationship. Here’s why:

Men like to provide
This goes back to the cavemen days. Men like to provide for women and their families. It’s in their DNA. I’m obviously no scientist, but I bet if you could hear a Y-chromosome talk, it would say, “I want to provide and hunt.” When the woman is the primary breadwinner, it’s going against nature. I’m not saying that it’s bad or wrong, I’m just saying that it can feel off.

Outside pressure

Even if your man is the most progressive male on the planet and is completely comfortable with his woman bringing home the bacon, the rest of the world isn’t that open-minded. There will undeniably be comments and questions about your relationship dynamic.

At first, these may seem like not much more than a silly annoyance, but these comments burn and eventually, they’ll wear away at your man’s confidence. He’ll start to notice the difficulties of your untraditional financial situation and even if the financial dynamic doesn’t bother him, the attention to it might.

Feeling left out
If you’re a successful woman, chances are that you spend a ton of time working. You’re probably on your email a lot, taking phone calls and going on regular business trips that don’t involve your man. He can start to feel left out of a very important and very time-consuming part of your life.

It’s the same when it’s swapped. When the husband spends too much time typing work emails and not writing enough love notes, things can get rocky.

Am I saying that Amy’s amazing career was the downfall of this couple? I don’t know. What I do know is that traditional gender roles are very real and flipping the norm is difficult for even the strongest, funniest, smartest men.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know if you think I’m onto something or if I sound like I’m from the 1950s. Best of luck to Amy and Will!