My friend Anna, a talented journalist at The Bend Bulletin, emailed me a link to a couple opinion columns at Forbes.com about "Careers and Marriage." She knows I have enough time on my hands to address this topic.
In his opinion, Michael Noer says, "Guys: a word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career... Recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat and less likely to have children. And if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it."
Noer and counterpoint author Elizabeth Corcoran address how Americans, both men and women, are trying to comprehend of the effects of women working outside the home. Most families can't live off single incomes these days, so women are off to work.
Two realities exist that neither author recognizes. First, because dual-incomes are required for most families, career women are necessarily becoming the norm. While we can discuss how women's careers affect their family lives, women cannot suddenly stop working, so, with a diminshing option to marry non-career women, this discussion is basically pointless. Debate is fruitless without alternative solutions!
Secondly, both authors address the discussion as if women have never worked. Women are working no harder in their careers than they have in past decades at home. One can even argue that women work more at home taking care of 24-7 domestic responsibilities, and there's no time card or overtime pay at home.
So does this suggestion that career women are bad wives warrant any truth? Not really. If a woman doesn't want to have children because she want to focus on her career or other motives, then that is something to figure out while dating. Know who you're marrying, guys. And women who do not want to be stay-at-home moms do not necessarily make bad wives. Some men do not want children either and that doesn't make them bad husbands.
So far as maintaining a happy marriage, even Doer acknowledges, "Many factors contribute to a stable marriage, including the marital status of your spouse's parents (folks with divorced parents are significantly more likely to get divorced themselves), age at first marriage, race, religious beliefs and socio-economic status."
More and more women are getting educated and entering the workforce, and divorce rates are increasing, but these two trends act independently. Women are entering the workforce because (a) they can, (b) they want to/ need to make money, and (c) for personal fulfillment. I believe the digustingly high divorce rate is a product of a substantially shallow, materialistic and self-centered culture that rarely recognizes the value of commitment. Women don't have to be in careers to encounter temptations. If anything, a career can fill a personal void that women could have staying at home, which would cause them to become unhappy. If a marriage is to fail, it will inevitably happen whether or not the wife is a "career woman." Hopefully, the commitment to marriage can transcend a professional career anyway.