Comments 9 comments Marriage or Career? The trouble with choice is that if you give it to people, they hardly ever choose what you think they should. The overbearing paternalists who strive to keep women chained to the kitchen sink have been soundly beaten off and opportunities for women to choose their life path, go to university, and rise to the top of their chosen profession have never been better. Sure, they like the fact they have choices, but given the choice, most of them would actually prefer marriage to a career.
As I walked into the house, I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. There were fresh flowers on the table, a bottle of champagne on ice and a delicious smell wafting from the kitchen.
And there was James, my husband, a smile across his face.
With a pained look on his face, he went silently back into the kitchen, turned off the cooker and then walked out of the house. Suddenly, that night six months ago, it was all too much. What was happening to my marriage? Later, after the meeting, I sat in the house alone, feeling utterly wretched.
James was a paramedic who worked long hours for a frankly meagre wage because he enjoyed working in a caring profession. There was no doubt about it in my mind, my career was killing our relationship.
My long hours and his shift patterns meant that for weeks at a time we barely spoke properly or made love. I would be going to work as James arrived home, and we hardly had time to say hello. When we did speak, we had started to snap at each other.
Yet I knew that Career and marriage loved James and needed him. And I knew that he was more important than my work. My work gave me independence - financially and socially - and meant that James and I always had lots to talk about.
But now I began to realise that there was no point in having things to say if we hardly saw each other. Yes, we had a beautiful house with all the trimmings - a bespoke maple kitchen and a genuine cast iron Victorian bath - but what did they add to our life if I was hardly home to enjoy them?
Even when I was at home, I spent hours closeted in my study, working for a Masters in Business Administration - another qualification to better myself professionally and increase my prospects for promotion.
James never once complained directly - he knew how much I loved my job and would never have asked me to give it up - but he had become increasingly irritable as the growing demands of my work put pressure on our relationship. We hardly spent time together as a couple any more.
At weekends, one of us was working or there would be decorating to do. I just kept telling myself that things would get better once the house was finished and I got my business degree. But then, ten months ago, my best friend Caroline became terribly ill with lupus, a disease which affects the immune system.
It made me realise that by putting things off you are dicing with fate. Caroline had always been a keep-fit fanatic and was every bit as ambitious as me. She and her husband Neil had enjoyed a life as hectic as ours, but now she could barely walk. As she lay in hospital, looking so sick, she gripped my hand and said: There are more important things in life than money and a career.
Yet I felt so trapped. Surely I had a lifestyle any woman would envy? I had grown up in the late Eighties, when women like me were told we could have it all - a wonderful career, beautiful home, loving husband and children if we wanted them. And a future without him was unthinkable.
I thought back to when we met, five years ago, at the party of a mutual friend. I was besotted from the outset. James was good-looking, with a gorgeous smile; but most of all, I was smitten by the way he really listened to me.
He seemed so interested in my career and, as we started dating, so supportive. James was totally unlike my two previous boyfriends, who had belittled my work and expected me to put them first. But, for all their criticism, it never occurred to me to give up my career.
My parents had always encouraged me to have a good job and were so proud when I got into the University of Wales.I never thought of this choice until my mids when people started overwhelming me with questions about marriage and kids.
I just live my own life, date a nice guy and I love my job. Nowadays many women have to choose between career and marriage. Jun 25, · The good news here is that a large body of research shows that you will gain more happiness by being married than by having a good job.
Yes, you . Using your career skills in your marriage You can apply many of the same planning, time management, goal-setting and communication skills that make you successful in your career to your marriage.
Aug 23, · The other reason a career can hurt a marriage will be obvious to anyone who has seen his or her mate run off with a co-worker: When your spouse works outside the home, chances increase that he or.
Carolyn Sharples, 34, describes how she gave up her highly-paid executive job, designer clothes and exotic holidays to save her marriage. In a paper, “Marriage, Divorce and the Work and Earnings Careers of Spouses”, published in April, , they found that for white women, higher earnings, more hours of employment and higher wages while single all reduce the chances of marriage.