Michael Noer has written a controversial article, “Don’t Marry Career Women” over at Forbes.com, and people (especially women) are mad! Let me start off with the fact that I am a woman that has dreams and aspirations. I believe in education and its value. I am looking at this article as a societal commentary not a litmus test for marriage. I also admit that when I first read the hype about the article I automatically became defensive (habit;). That said….
Noer was really talking about some of the points that account for the increased divorce rates among “career women” but that, by no means, is said to be one specific woman. Maybe by looking at these issues we, as women, can look at what the problems are and address a solution for ourselves. Noer really summarized 9 points that were part of the original posting, the article seems to have all of the social studies and the data to support these points. I have found them posted here.
1) You are less likely to get married to her. That is true because, traditionally, women with a career aren’t really interested in marriage on the same time frame and other women. That is statistically proven on the whole. (The other side is in college I was married by 20) Women with “careers” or higher education are often advised to become established before looking for a spouse.
2) If you do marry, you are more likely to get divorced. (The whole article is supposed to prove that;) Women are more of the emotional component to a marriage and that can contribute to it being successful. We tend to make sure the connection and time is put in. We get to busy and it is all over looked.
3) She is more likely to cheat on you. I think part of this issue is that we are starting to even out with men. According to the electronic article “Adultery: Statistics on Cheating Spouses,” published by Eagle’s Nest Publications, “60-70 percent of adultery victims are women” while “30-40 percent of adultery victims are men.” (Infidelity, by Lori Medeiros). Part of it has to do with an availability of “worthy” candidates. I am a stay at home mom who likes white collar men (like my husband;). The UPS guy doesn’t really stand a chance. Much less the risk assessment. I could go from living off my husbands to the UPS guy’s. If I am making the same amount I don’t fear my husband taking my money in the event I get caught either.
4) You are much less likely to have kids. Even if a career girl wants the kids and all that, waiting to get married has consequences. When you are older it is harder to get pregnant. Then consider you are 40, how much energy do you have to chase kids? That could effect you number of children greatly. The fact that you could be well into your 60’s when you children are entering college so you may not be able to retire as early. All these things can contribute to the decision to have kids.
5) If you do have kids, your wife is more likely to be unhappy. So then the career girl has kids. Her focus is either split or she has to give up something she cares for greatly. A complaint I have heard from working moms is that they feel they don’t do either job well. They miss key moments in their kids life (like first steps) and the business meeting when someone is sick. But if they decide to stay home resentment tends to grow. Often mom will stay home to keep the kids out of day care and to not allow strangers to raise the kids. So women feel unchallenged, deprived and the income is cut in half (usually a needed half). Now, don’t misunderstand me. NO ONE LIKES CLEANING THE TOILET AND CHANGING POOPY DIAPERS! (Did I say that strongly enough?) But, because of the love of being a mom I can endure.
6) Your house will be dirtier. It is a time thing. Even with a husband that helps, that can’t balance the time you are gone with both the kids and house. I stay home and can’t keep it clean. I would hate to see what would happen if I worked full time.
7) You’ll be unhappy if she makes more than you. A man is different than a woman. He needs to be needed and respected. If I do everything that he does and better and have the kids, what is he needed for? This is also leading to a rash of lazy men (and that can lead to numbers 2 and 3).
8) She will be unhappy if she makes more than you. Refer to number 7;). Mom can feel trapped into not being able to stay home or resentful that she contributes more time and money to the marriage.
9) You are more likely to fall ill. Traditionally, we keep an eye on our husband’s health and behavior. We get them to go to the doctor and remind them to take their medicine. When I have worked I just was so tired and vacant that I wasn’t paying enough attention.
I am not saying that men shouldn’t marry career women but these are problems plaguing those marriages and by extension society. By looking at the issues before marriage I am sure that people can balance for them. Now there is a counterpoint article posted with the article by Noer but I don’t think it addresses his points. I think we need to no get defensive but actually think about the points he was making.