About – Don’t Marry Career Women


Guys: A word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don’t marry a woman with a career.

Why? Because if many social scientists are to be believed, you run a higher risk of having a rocky marriage. While everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it. A recent study in Social Forces, a research journal, found that women–even those with a “feminist” outlook–are happier when their husband is the primary breadwinner.

Not a happy conclusion, especially given that many men, particularly successful men, are attracted to women with similar goals and aspirations. And why not? After all, your typical career girl is well-educated, ambitious, informed and engaged. All seemingly good things, right? Sure…at least until you get married. Then, to put it bluntly, the more successful she is the more likely she is to grow dissatisfied with you. Sound familiar?

Many factors contribute to a stable marriage, including the marital status of your spouse’s parents (folks with divorced parents are significantly more likely to get divorced themselves), age at first marriage, race, religious beliefs and socio-economic status. And, of course, many working women are indeed happily and fruitfully married–it’s just that they are less likely to be so than non-working women. And that, statistically speaking, is the rub.

To be clear, we’re not talking about a high-school dropout minding a cash register. For our purposes, a “career girl” has a university-level (or higher) education, works more than 35 hours a week outside the home and makes more than $30,000 a year.

If a host of studies are to be believed, marrying these women is asking for trouble. If they quit their jobs and stay home with the kids, they will be unhappy ( Journal of Marriage and Family, 2003). They will be unhappy if they make more money than you do ( Social Forces, 2006). You will be unhappy if they make more money than you do ( Journal of Marriage and Family, 2001). You will be more likely to fall ill ( American Journal of Sociology). Even your house will be dirtier ( Institute for Social Research).

Why? Well, despite the fact that the link between work, women and divorce rates is complex and controversial, much of the reasoning is based on a lot of economic theory and a bit of common sense. In classic economics, a marriage is, at least in part, an exercise in labor specialization. Traditionally men have tended to do “market” or paid work outside the home and women have tended to do “non-market” or household work, including raising children. All of the work must get done by somebody, and this pairing, regardless of who is in the home and who is outside the home, accomplishes that goal. Nobel laureate Gary S. Becker argued that when the labor specialization in a marriage decreases–if, for example, both spouses have careers–the overall value of the marriage is lower for both partners because less of the total needed work is getting done, making life harder for both partners and divorce more likely. And, indeed, empirical studies have concluded just that.

In 2004, John H. Johnson examined data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and concluded that gender has a significant influence on the relationship between work hours and increases in the probability of divorce. Women’s work hours consistently increase divorce, whereas increases in men’s work hours often have no statistical effect. “I also find that the incidence in divorce is far higher in couples where both spouses are working than in couples where only one spouse is employed,” Johnson says. A few other studies, which have focused on employment (as opposed to working hours) have concluded that working outside the home actually increases marital stability, at least when the marriage is a happy one. But even in these studies, wives’ employment does correlate positively to divorce rates, when the marriage is of “low marital quality.”

The other reason a career can hurt a marriage will be obvious to anyone who has seen their mate run off with a co-worker: When your spouse works outside the home, chances increase they’ll meet someone they like more than you. “The work environment provides a host of potential partners,” researcher Adrian J. Blow reported in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, “and individuals frequently find themselves spending a great deal of time with these individuals.”

There’s more: According to a wide-ranging review of the published literature, highly educated people are more likely to have had extra-marital sex (those with graduate degrees are 1.75 more likely to have cheated than those with high school diplomas.) Additionally, individuals who earn more than $30,000 a year are more likely to cheat.

And if the cheating leads to divorce, you’re really in trouble. Divorce has been positively correlated with higher rates of alcoholism, clinical depression and suicide. Other studies have associated divorce with increased rates of cancer, stroke, and sexually-transmitted disease. Plus divorce is financially devastating. According to one recent study on “Marriage and Divorce’s Impact on Wealth,” published in The Journal of Sociology, divorced people see their overall net worth drop an average of 77%.

So why not just stay single? Because, academically speaking, a solid marriage has a host of benefits beyond just individual “happiness.” There are broader social and health implications as well. According to a 2004 paper entitled “What Do Social Scientists Know About the Benefits of Marriage?” marriage is positively associated with “better outcomes for children under most circumstances,” higher earnings for adult men, and “being married and being in a satisfying marriage are positively associated with health and negatively associated with mortality.” In other words, a good marriage is associated with a higher income, a longer, healthier life and better-adjusted kids.

A word of caution, though: As with any social scientific study, it’s important not to confuse correlation with causation. In other words, just because married folks are healthier than single people, it doesn’t mean that marriage is causing the health gains. It could just be that healthier people are more likely to be married.

1. You are less likely to get married to her.

So say Lee A. Lillard and Linda J. Waite of the University of Michigan’s Michigan Retirement Research Center. In a paper, “Marriage, Divorce and the Work and Earnings Careers of Spouses”, published in April, 2000, they found that for white women, higher earnings, more hours of employment and higher wages while single all reduce the chances of marriage. “This suggests that (1) success in the labor market makes it harder for women to make a marital match, (2) women with relatively high wages and earnings search less intensively for a match, or (3) successful women have higher standards for an acceptable match than women who work less and earn less.” Some research suggests the opposite is true for black women.

Source: “Marriage, Divorce and the Work and Earnings Careers of Spouses,” Lee A. Lillard, Linda J. Waite, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center, Working Papers, April, 2000.

2. If you do marry, you are more likely to get divorced.

In 2004, John H. Johnson examined data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and concluded that gender has a significant influence on the relationship between work hours and increases in the probability of divorce. Women’s work hours consistently increase divorce, whereas increases in men’s work hours often have no statistical effect. “I also find that the incidence in divorce is far higher in couples where both spouses are working than in couples where only one spouse is employed,” Johnson said. A few other studies, which have focused on employment (as opposed to working hours) have concluded that working outside the home actually increases marital stability, at least when the marriage is a happy one. But even in these studies, wives’ employment does correlate positively to divorce rates, when the marriage is of “low marital quality.”

Sources: “A Treatise On The Family,” Gary S. Becker, Harvard University Press, 1981; “Do Long Work Hours Contribute To Divorce?” John H. Johnson, Topics in Economic Analysis and Policy, 2004; “Wives’ Employment and Spouses’ Marital Happiness,” Robert Schoen, Stacy J. Rogers, Paul R. Amato, Journal of Family Issues, April 2006.

3. She is more likely to cheat on you.

According to a wide-ranging review of the published literature, highly educated people are more likely to have had extra-marital sex (those with graduate degrees are 1.75 more likely to have cheated than those with high school diplomas.) One April, 2005 study, by Adrian J. Blow for the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy summed it up: “If a woman has more education than her partner, she is more likely to have a sexual relationship outside of her primary relationship; if her husband has more education, she is less likely to engage in infidelity.” Additionally individuals who earn more than $30,000 a year are more likely to cheat. “In a more general sense, it appears that employment has significantly influenced infidelity over the years,” Blow said. “The work environment provides a host of potential partners, and individuals frequently find themselves spending a great deal of time with these individuals.”

Source: “Infidelity in Committed Relationships II: A Substantive Review,” Adrian J. Blow, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, April 2005.

4. You are much less likely to have kids.

According to the National Marriage Project, the incidence of childlessness is growing across the socioeconomic scale. In 2004, 20% of women over 40 remained childless. Thirty years ago that figure was 10%. But the problem–and it is a problem because the vast majority of women desire children–is much more extreme for career women. According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist and the author of Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children, only 51% of ultra-achieving women (those earning more than $100,000 a year) have had children by age 40. Among comparable men, the figure was 81%. A third of less successful working women (earning either $55,000 or $65,000) were also childless at age 40.

Sources: The State of Our Unions 2006: Life Without Children, The National Marriage Project, July 2006. Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Miramax Books, 2002.

5. If you do have kids, your wife is more likely to be unhappy.

A 2003 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family concluded that wealthier couples with children suffer a drop in marital satisfaction three times as great as their less affluent peers. One of the study’s co-authors publicly speculated that the reason is that wealthier women are used to “a professional life, a fun, active, entertaining life.”

Sources: “Parenthood and Martial Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review,” Jean M. Twenge, W. Keith Campbell, and Craig A. Foster, Journal of Marriage and Family, 2003; “Money doesn’t mean happy parenting,” USA Today, July 21, 2003.

6. Your house will be dirtier.

In 2005, two University of Michigan scientists concluded that if your wife has a job earning more than $15 an hour (roughly $30,000 a year), she will do 1.9 hours less housework a week. Of course, this can be solved if the husband picks up a broom.

Source: “Data Quality of Housework Hours in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics: Who Really Does The Dishes?”, Alexandra C. Achen and Frank P. Stafford, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, September 2005.

7. You’ll be unhappy if she makes more than you.

You aren’t going to like it if she makes more than you do: “Married men’s well-being is significantly lower when married women’s proportional contributions to the total family income are increased.”

Source: “Changes in Wives’ Income: Effects on Marital Happiness, Psychological Well-Being, and the Risk of Divorce,” Stacy J. Rogers, Danelle D. DeBoer, Journal of Marriage and Family, May 2001

8. She will be unhappy if she makes more than you.

According to the authors of a controversial 2006 study: “American wives, even wives who hold more feminist views about working women and the division of household tasks, are typically happier when their husband earns 68% or more of the household income.” Reason? “Husbands who are successful breadwinners probably give their wives the opportunity to make more choices about work and family–e.g., working part-time, staying home, or pursuing a meaningful but not particularly remunerative job.”

Sources: What’s Love Got To Do With It? W. Bradford Wilcox, Steven L. Nock, Social Forces, March, 2006; http://www.happiestwives.org.

9. You are more likely to fall ill.

A 2001 study found that having a wife who works less than 40 hours a week has no impact on your health, but having a wife who works more than 40 hours a week has “substantial, statistically significant, negative effects on changes in her husband’s health over that time span.” The author of another study summarizes that “wives working longer hours not do not have adequate time to monitor their husband’s health and healthy behavior, to manage their husband’s emotional well-being or buffer his workplace stress.”

Sources: “It’s About Time and Gender: Spousal Employment and Health,” Ross M. Stolzenberg, American Journal of Sociology, July, 2001; “Marriage, Divorce and the Work and Earnings Careers of Spouses,” Lee A. Lillard, Linda J. Waite, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center, Working Papers, April, 2000.

1,450 comments so far

  1. LS on

    Wow. Well I found too many discrepancies to count, and I am a 28 year old female social researcher, and proud career woman married to a career man. I came across this site whilst looking at a very common problem in relationships in how to balance commitments outside of the home when you have a child. My husband would not tolerate a stay at home wife. In both of our opinions, and the opinions of my friends (as all but one are career driven mothers) there is simply no reason for a woman not to go out to work, even just for a few hours part time. I take after my mother, and grandmother. I am a great part time parent, terrible full time one. I also think it is essential for a child to be interacting with thier peers as soon as possible so nursery is encouraged. I love my child but find spending 5 days a week, all day at home extremely boring, and I found that I was so desperate for adult, more stimulating conversation I would pounce on my husband as soon as he was in the door and talk his ears off. This he found incredibly fustrating since he had spent all day speaking with people and wanted peace and quite when he got home. It led to arguments, dissatisfaction on both parts, and we decided to was best for me to go back to work. Now I am back all is running smoothly except for some commitments I have in the evenings that always seems to be sacrificed for my husbands work commitments. Now there may be a solution, there may not but either way it is not wise to expect to be happy with your relationship 100% of the time. This is because people by nature are fickle so what we want changes faster than the objects of our desire can sometimes materialise and you are owed nothing in life at all so your lucky to have what you have. If any men are reading this please do not dismiss career women. We make excellent mothers and housekeepers (I cannot tolerate mess) as we are industrious in nature. Yes you may be unhappy with some aspects, but I know plenty of men, including close family, who are incredibly fed up with thier lazy housewives who expect to do no work for the material things in life but reap all the benefits.(not all but I have seen this attitude many times in stay at home mums that I personally know)

    • Patriot on

      Proud career woman married to a career man gimme a break! Ain’t no love in this paper contract. Please don’t talk about parenting as your children aren’t going to be anybody worth noting in society. Leave social research and start to genuinely work on yourself, and yes, TLDR.

  2. The Truth Is on

    It is real fact is that a woman with an average job would really make a much better wife anyway.

  3. theunzippedwanderer on

    As a career woman in the 6 figures I can tell you this. You are right about a lot of things. HOWEVER, you say don’t marry us when in actuality we shouldn’t date weak men PERIOD let alone marry them. Who actually needs to be married in the first place? There is no difference in happiness levels between single and married women. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/20/single-married-happier_n_972397.html

    But it’s not just that. IF a man has a problem with his woman being a bread winner then he has an inferiority complex, to begin with. Meaning the strong woman he is with will resent him for being what he is.Weak. Blame the “career” all you want but a strong woman is a strong woman. You also forget a working woman? Can pay for a cleaner so a dirty house is just being lazy or cheap. Its not that shes making more that causes her to leave. It’s the guy she chose. Its just that when we can support ourselves we are less likely to stay with someone we aren’t compatible with. THAT SIMPLE. IF I was dependent on a man for survival how could I leave if I no longer wanted him? It would be pretty hard.

    Now cheating at work? Really? Like men don’t do it? If I had a dime for every time I have seen a man cheat on his spouse with someone in the workplace I could of retired years ago. So please don’t put that out there like its women who do this. It’s anyone dissatisfied with their marriage.

    Now the issue with kids makes sense. Kids are career killers for women not men. Must be nice. Not to mention it destroys our body and other things but hey we should ALL want that right? You know how many women have kids and regret it? A lot more than you realize. Now I understand so many people want them got it. But being a career woman isnt the reason a woman doesn’t want kids. Its because she just doesn’t want them. Simple as that.

    So yes if you are weak and unworthy you are right. You shouldn’t date a career woman. Stick to the basic do nothing women you have. She will be miserable with you but less likely to leave. Congrats

    • Patriot on

      The six figures have choked your mouth full of crock so you always talk out your ass. Your ‘strong woman’ bs is best stuffed in your ass, it has no faux value here. The way you raise the points proves that you must suck big time in all these areas in your life. Because I’m assuming you practice what you preach.

      Dumbass. Six figures start at 100k and thinks she’s a Royal Highness or something. The author is bang-on especially with snakes like you. Women like you repel people more efficiently than opposite-poled magnets.

      • Anonymous on

        You managed to sound so stupid and biased it actually fortifies the first poster’s point.

        • Patriot on

          why is your anonymous ass mad? Right in the second sentence she acknowledges that the author is right with a lot of his points, but then proceeds with 100% unadulterated bullshit. That is the definition of stupid. You realize it but you simply can’t make changes in you or your life that way.

      • theunzippedwanderer on

        Spoken like a man with a bruised ego. Two Thumbs up for that reply

    • Anonymous on

      Lady, no one here cares about your 6 figures here. Only thing I care about is your pussy, since you offer nothing else to the table.

    • Maui Miles on

      Masculine women are not sexy.

  4. Tanya on

    Dr A Rafay of Mississauga was my son’s doctor until she touched him inapproriately and massaged him.I find this kind of behaviour from a GP to be unacceptable.Doi not go to this miserable quack if you need medical help. She is a useless doctor.Pass it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Patriot on

      That’s a taste of career women for you. She must fall within the income bracket mentioned I guess. Easier to find unicorns than a career woman with integrity, strong morals which correspond to her actions and who is humble. A billionaire or president can be that but not a career woman.

  5. This Is Why Many Of Us Good Men Are Still Single Today on

    Well career women are very greedy and so damn selfish since they have no personality and no respect for us men since they really think that they’re the greatest thing on this planet because of their high salary that they’re making these days which makes them so worthless and clueless as well. They have such a very bad attitude problem as well when many of us men will try to start a conversation with them which they will mouth off to us when we will just say good morning or hello to them which has happened to me and a couple of friends that i know already and we never did anything wrong at all for this to happen to us in the first place. Many of these women are complete psychopaths the way that i look at it which years ago most of the women back then were real ladies compared to these pathetic losers nowadays since the women back then really did put these women today to real shame altogether as well. I never at all expected to have a woman curse at me which really had shocked the heck out of me at that time which i believe that many of these women today had to be very abused by the men that they were with at one time for them to act this way which most of them are real feminists to begin with. It is just too very bad that the women of years ago are all gone now since most of them were the very best of all compared to now and certainly would’ve made a much better wife as well.

  6. Anonymous on

    Career women are the worst. They make horrible wives, horrible lovers, & don’t know how to treat a man. I personally prefer the more family-oriented types of women—-they’re more loyal, respective, & not overcome by greed.

    It just cracks me up how during their 20s they are so “career-driven” that they’ll sacrifice their relationships for their careers. But watch these career women turn into their 30s & suddenly can’t find a man then become miserable….”The Wall” serves as poetic justice to these prunes

  7. Anonymous on

    i have marriage experience for more than 30 years and married two times in that very period , i came to conclusion that the women is a taker , man is a giver this by nature , if the women feels that she gives more than what she takes she will withdraw immediately in the first place she will feel that she is fooled why does this man (her partner ) takes from me so much ? there are ques of men why should i waste my time with this man? what is so special about him ?, women pride and selfish are good reasons to let her brake her marriage no matter what are the consequences , just look at them women’s how they are trying very hard to get the benefit of the job with out giving much to the job , i think a man should be very careful in marrying a women who is financially independent or let us say have vantage over him (her husband )she will not give him respect and she will try to rid him such a man will suffer too much from such a women superiority , a man has to be wise enough, love alone will not work it will decay overtime such as anything else , and for women s they have to know that the game is over and men foolishness is coming to its end times, if a man is not foolish then how can a women tempts him and attracts him and more or less she is the the same being as him with different sex organism? is that not the same game that eve had played on Adam and she made him the first sinner?( oh Adam we are suffering because of you ) ?, i will better stop here or otherwise i will be attacked by women s right societies , when are we going to have men right societies by the way?t

  8. Anonymous on

    I am a female nurse making close to six figures working in the hospital setting. Tell me, do you think I should stay at home instead of go to work, so that the hospital can be filled with male nurses only? The next time you are hospitalized, let me know how that bed bath goes…

  9. Vox Day on

    Men will continue to marry career women. They don’t need to heed this “advice”.

  10. @LucyTurland on

    My husband and I believe in equality, we have two careers and we balance the stress of life, with the love we have for one another. We SUPPORT each other. It is much more likely that all these things are not actually the mean of the women’s career but of an unsupportive and narrow minded husband. Mine on the other hand champions my ambition and loves me for it. A marriage is a partnership not a PURCHASE. My advice for all; pick someone who makes you happy… heart talking to heart… and forget the rest, if you love enough you can overcome any challenges, two careers, kids, family, homes and all the other stresses. Women should be proud of being women, as men should be proud of being men the two should not stifle each other’s choices and journeys.

  11. Grey on

    Boycotting such kind of nefarious creatures is the only choice men have , I wonder why they don’t seem to be thankful that men have invented almost everything from a needle to a bad-arse aeroplane for human comfort ,they have even invented vibrators for some creatures, just to keep them happy if they hate men ;D, however these creatures are too mean to realise that , may be they would realise it after they miss all the water till the well runs dry or may be they wouldnt ! , It’s true that 1950’s ladies much better , only because they would simply support their men to invent other things ( may be some other toy as well ;)) .I think men probably would have invented the time machine ( to make them even more happy ;))if things were like 1950s and if they were not distracted and seduced by those wise ladies. All I can say is men must concentrate their own carrier and don’t give a shit about anything , education is the best weapon , believe me Bros 😉

  12. Simon Udoka Ibegbulem on

    Marrying a woman of this generation is like diving from 40,000 feet height and landing on the mountain. You can begin to imagine the impact. The women of this generation are a disgrace to humanity and I don’t see large percentage of them making heaven that is if they even believe there is any thing like that! They are used to breaking God’s commandments. So feministic ideologies is not new to me. Madness in the highest order!

    • The Truth Of All on

      You got that right since most if not all of them are very brainless and clueless as well.


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