Dual-Career Marriage: A System in Transition

By Lisa R. Silberstein | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
Two Careers in Development

How do I think Sally has viewed and influenced my career? I think encouraging is one word to describe it, accepting is another possibility. I think there may also be a little bit of competition between us. We spend a lot of time trying to keep up with each other's progress. I think there have also been times when she, or her career, has been an impediment, and that also works in reverse. When there are two people with careers, mobility is extremely difficult.

--A business executive in his upper-30s

If one career were more successful than the other, and the less successful person felt less important, that would raise conflict in the marriage. If his career were more successful than mine, that would be more acceptable than the other way around. I guess it's a male-female thing. It feels like the disruption of the family would be less than the other way. It just wouldn't bother me--and he'd probably like it!

--A lawyer in her mid-30s

I think Sara and I see eye-to-eye on what will be best for my career, and it's not here in this city. What's unfortunate is that the career dimensions don't match up with the personal dimensions. If I take the best job for me, I could commute back here on weekends. But that has implications for our relationship, and my relationship with the kids, and our having a daily family life. Where Sara and I differ is the weight we give to those dimensions. I give more weight to career factors, and she gives more weight to personal factors, which for her will affect her work as well. It's very tough.

--A scientist in his early 40s

-49-

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