What Sarah Palin, Demi Moore and Melinda Gates Have in Common

Powerful women set an example for strong wives

Dear Monica, What are your thoughts on role reversal in our society? More and more women are in the limelight and making the money for the family. Is this a good trend for healthy marriages? — J. N.,  Bryn Mawr

It’s 2011 and gender barriers are crumbling all around us. We’re in a new economy where it doesn’t matter whether the man or the woman is the main breadwinner. It’s inconsequential who brings home the paycheck versus who drives the car pools as long as it all goes around for your family. Gone are the days of one-income households or even the assumption that the man is going to get the better paying job.  Statistics show more and more women taking on the role of primary provider and many men working around the kids’ schedules.

Men should count their blessings if their wives have high-paying jobs and understand that success is not measured only by monetary gains. Spouses who work as a team are the couples that survive. Often it is the networking that goes on behind the scenes for your spouse that is equally important to success.

Here are some prime examples of men happily married to powerful spouses:

  • Mark Consulelos and Kelly Ripa met on the set of All My Children. He is the handsome ordained minister who married Howard Stern and wife Beth. Kelly is the one in the limelight waking up at 4 a.m. every day to host Regis and Kelly. She definitely floats the boat.
  • Todd and Sarah Palin are another powerful couple. We all know what Sarah does. For better or worse, she is the one bringing home the bacon. Todd is more than happy to ride his snowmobile while she runs for office and writes books. Yes, she’s in the driver’s seat.
  • Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore have made major headlines because of their age difference. She has been in blockbuster movies and let’s face it—she must have done very well in her split from Bruce Willis. He has been in a series of mediocre movies and those really annoying camera commercials. The 15 year age difference goes in Demi’s favor.
  • Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are a beautiful couple. He is from a famous family, but his movies of late have been lame retreads. (Wall Street 2 anyone?) She is the one we all want to look at, whether  she’s in a movie, at an awards show or in People magazine. He married up. Not only is she 25 years younger than her husband, she was just given the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. That’s what I call a catch!
  • Bill and Melinda Gates are a true partnership. He was so confident in their marriage lasting that there was no pre-nup. Together, they run their enormous family foundation and travel the world helping those in need. Bill is smart enough to put Melinda in the spotlight when it comes to speaking engagements and social events. I think she is his biggest asset.
  • Bill and Hillary Clinton are both highly successful politicians in the limelight. Both are intelligent, educated, and accomplished. Yes Bill was our president but he could not have survived without Hillary. She stuck by him, held her head high, raised a beautiful daughter and ran for president herself. She is definitely Bill’s better half. My vote goes to Hillary.

It used to be that behind every successful man was a woman. But times have changed and now behind every successful woman, there is often a man. No matter which way it goes, or how many times you switch places, as long as you know your spouse has your back, you’ve got what it takes to have a healthy marriage. It is all about supporting one another and being each other’s best friend and true partner.

On the one-year anniversary of Ask Monica, I want to thank all my readers for their comments, questions, and for loyally following my blog.

Monica Mandell, Ph.D. is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles. Please send your questions to: monica@selectivesearch.com