Love marriage problem – At some point, a career woman may also find the need to balance the demands of work and the family as traditionally the wife is responsible for most of the household and childcare responsibilities.
Higher academic qualifications, excellent performance on the job and career advancement opportunities given by the company are some reasons that may have propelled the wife’s career and income ahead of the husband’s. Some men may view the wife’s success as a reflection of their inadequacy to provide for the family and this becomes the beginning of love marriage problem.
Career and Two-Income Marriage Defined
In most industrialized countries, the traditional gender role attitudes and cultural norms which dictate that the husband is the breadwinner while the wife is the homemaker, are fast becoming a thing of the past.
With more job opportunities opened to women, a two-income marriage is more common nowadays. A two-income marriage is defined as one in which both husband and wife pursue the same or separate careers while maintaining their marriage commitment with or without children.
According to D.Knox and C. Schacht in their book Choices in Relationships: An Introduction to Marriage and the Family,” a career is different from a job in that the former usually involves extended education or training, full-time commitment, working nights and weekends ‘off the clock,’ and a willingness to relocate”.
Many credible authors have written books and articles about the love marriage problem of two-incomes. These may include the following:
For the women, there is greater financial independence and for the men, there is some relief of the full responsibility for supporting the family and this be considered as having a respectful relationships.
Husband and wife can relate better with each other over recognition and rewards, work stress and concerns in the work place
Increase in disposable income in relation to personal and family expenses
Increase in family income enhances the lifestyle of the kids as well
Not enough time for oneself, with one’s spouse and one’s relationships e.g. ties with friends and parents
Work-life balance issues e.g. having to work long hours to earn and maintain the standard of living
Less quality time spent with the children as both parents are working full-time
Dad and mom have less time to supervise the children, where a good role model may enhance the children’s growth and development during their formative years. This results with danger in respectful relationships.
Clearly, husband and wife may need to evaluate and decide on what would be a good balance between the demands of work and demands of the family in relation to fulfilling their personal goals and needs. This gives rise to love marriage problem in relationship.
What makes a two-income marriage work in particular when the wife is earning more is surprisingly simple. There must be mutual respect between husband and wife for respectful relationships.
Christy Casamassima in her 2005 updated article “Battle of the Bucks” written for Psychology Today, noted that placing a value on individual worth rather than the financial contribution is necessary to make the wife’s higher income a non issue.
She further mentioned that “both should see the marriage as common ground on which both partners have equal standing” or equal contribution and that both should “openly discuss marital roles” and problems as they arise.
As long as the man is gainfully employed or diligently looking for a job, and has a focus in life, it would still make him stand tall beside his more successful wife. At the end of the day, husband and wife would have to decide what is best for themselves to have respectful relationships and the family as illustrated in the article “Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: Balancing Work and Family in a Dual-Career Marriage”. Life is about making choices along the way.
Women And Financial Success
It is the end of term for most university students. For those graduating, it is the beginning of something new, the next phase of their lives, another step towards independence and adulthood. Many of these graduating students haven’t got any idea of what they will do next.
For many women, figuring out what to do next is problematic. Women get mixed signals about their status as independent adults. Yes, you are expected to be financially self-sustaining. But women still only make 72% to every guy’s dollar, and women still get messages that a career is not as important as motherhood – or is something to juggle motherhood around. So, many young women fail to make career plans that maximize financial gain in favour of convenience in raising their hypothetical children. While this may leave them, years later, questioning their earlier priorities, the very fact that young, childless women consider childcare demands as relevant to career choices, speaks to the challenges faced by many women today. Could it be that women’s double work day, both in the paid labour force and in the domestic sphere, is so widely experienced, that it has become just something to plan around?
Lets look at two of the messages that women receive about their roles in Western society, messages that ‘normalize’ their double work day. First, Western feminism and its liberal ideals of equality have impacted on women’s identities to suggest that a ‘liberated’ woman is one who is financially self-sufficient. That in itself feels like a great start. However, according to Lois P. Frankel PhD (2005) women receive conflicting messages about financial independence that suggest their independence makes them less feminine, and therefore less desirable as potential life partners to men who may be caught up in their own role as the breadwinner. This ambivalence typically channels women into three possible scenarios. They are left striving for independence and financial security in low paying, service-oriented jobs that do not maximize their financial worth. They spend their financial resources on others to alleviate guilt about being paid well, especially if their career is regarded as ‘natural’ for women. Or, they minimize their capabilities in careers that are popularly regarded as the natural domain of men in an effort to maintain their femininity.
So, women are pushed towards financial independence but not necessarily provided with the skills and emotional foundations to achieve it. Many remain frustrated by their desire for more balanced work and home life, held back by the view that motherhood is their real work, and settle for work that just pays the bills for now. And without the financial means to provide care to their children when they are too tired, drop the laundry at the cleaners when the piles are too high, or pick up a take away dinner when the groceries haven’t been bought, women will remain chained to the double work day.
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