Is it safe for a wife to be smarter than her husband?
Of course! Men who cannot afford social ornaments sometimes want inferior wives. Why? Often because they harbor a great sense of inferiority. Therefore at all economic levels there are some men who want apparently weak and docile women whom they can dominate completely, who will not put up any arguments, and who will do as they are told without any "ifs," "ands," or "buts." Likewise there are women who either want to be dominated, or who are so eager to marry that they will do so under such circumstances.
What about "ordinary man" who has no serious feelings of inadequacy, and who cannot afford, and does not desire a social ornament? Does he demand that his wife not have too many brains?
Certainly he wants her to be intelligent enough to do her job well. He does not want to feel ashamed of her because of her stupidity. Actually, too, marriage will turn out more successfully if wife is smart enough to be interesting, and to help develop satisfying personal relationships.
Still, man usually does not want to feel inferior to his wife. But feeling inferior is not same as being inferior. Some men have a quiet pride in a wife who is smarter, provided that she is smart enough not to make him appear and feel inferior, especially in front of his friends.
Some men, like some women, want others to run things for them. This desire may result from an unwillingness to assume responsibilities. It may come from a deep-seated desire to be dominated. Whatever its basis, there are men who want to be dominated by their wives. In such cases, both of them should know it in advance.
The problem is not limited to what men in general, or this man in particular, may want. There is also social demand. The boy and girl who plan marriage should have a clear understanding of what entire situation actually is, including its contradictions which they must somehow resolve.
Our culture expects husband to be intellectually superior to his wife. Yet actually, he is not and in many cases cannot be. By law of chances, there will be almost as many wives who are superior to their husbands, as husbands who are superior to their wives. So what to do?
In real life situation does not work out too badly. Vocationally, wife usually becomes side-tracked while she is bearing and rearing children. With a twenty-year advantage, even a relatively inferior husband can usually manage to keep ahead. And as a result of differences in what society expects, wife usually runs with throttle only partly open.