A book on poor single moms, discussing why moms break up with guys:
Conflicts over money do not usually erupt simply because the man cannot find a job or because he doesn’t earn as much as someone with better skills or education. Money usually becomes an issue because he seems unwilling to keep at a job for any length of time, usually because of issues related to respect. Some of the jobs he can get don’t pay enough to give him the self-respect he feels he needs, and others require him to get along with unpleasant customers and coworkers, and to maintain a submissive attitude toward the boss. (more; HT Bryan)
I suspect much of what makes some cultures more successful than others is how they help folks to avoid seeing unpleasant interactions as direct challenges to their status.