Sunday, September 03, 2006

Point Counterpoint

A girlfriend forwarded me this article in Forbes on careers and marriage asking me "Whadya think ?" Very provocating question given that I fit into the exact demographic that Michael Noer is advocating men should avoid.

I am professional and do have a career that pays more than $30,000 a year. I have been married, have a child and am now divorced. Some of his characterizations of my sample set in the population are not wholly accurate. He says for instance :

...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.

That I think is a very broad brush depiction of women with careers. There are many career women who take long sabbaticals to raise their babies, work on less challenging assignments upon their return to the workforce so they could remain available to their children. When someone allows their career to define their identity and existence, the family and marriage suffers - and this applies equally to men and women.

His suggestion that men may be better off with hausfraus than women with a meaningful job because she is less likely to run away with a co-workers is highly chauvinistic. A man is just as likely to run away with a female co-worker.

..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 she will meet someone more likable than you. "The work environment provides a host of potential partners,"

The logical next step would be to ask that woman retreat behind a purdah and wear a chastity belt for good measure. Should both man and woman perhaps retreat to an uninhabited island, forage for food and be saved from the temptations that may be the undoing of their marriage ?

Elizabeth Corcoran I am afraid does not present a very compelling counterpoint. While she is right in saying that a lazy husband renders marriage unsupportable, her argument is too full of references to "I" to be credible and authoritative. Where is the big picture ?

If the last new skill your guy learned was how to tie his shoes in the second grade, dump him. If he can pick up new ideas faster than your puppy, you've got a winner.

In this edition unfortunately, game set and match - Michael Noer.


SFGary said...

Not that I am very knowledgeable but I am not sure I agree with either one of them. Using one example he implies the marriage becomes a race where the husband has to keep up with her expectations and in Ms. Corcoran's case the Husband better learn something new all the time. The whole thing seems very formulaic.

Heartcrossings said...

SFG - After a while marriage does become formulaic. Both spouses have to do their bit to keep the pH of the relationship healthy and balanced. Getting the formula wrong is not good for anyone.Unfortunately the formula is a not an over the counter product so no single book of rules works for everyone. A couple that makes it tick works out exactly works for them. It is a labor of love and patience.