Fuck the modern “feminist” theories and notion perpetuated by media like modern career woman is mostly an emasculating bitch with skewering stilettos or an unmarried do-gooder.
My grandmother shared her professional aspirations before getting married with to-be-husband and his family in the early 1960s. Everyone and everything aligned in agreement and it seemed to work out perfectly fine. However, it didn’t turn out how she was promised. There were tantrums thrown at her just after the marriage when she brought up the discussion about completing her doctorate degree and moving ahead in her career. Since then everything was planned and pursued to make things difficult for her. She wasn’t “allowed” to continue her studies. She only cooked, cleaned and dreamt to nurture her career. Thankfully, no one could ever find fault with her cooking and cleaning skills, because that was the whole purpose of marriage, get a full-time maid for free. It goes without saying that any marriage comprises duties and responsibilities, which include housework and the provision of financial security. However, especially in India, we let our genders decide who does what and that absolutely defeats the definition of marriage. Achieving work-life balance is tough for everyone. But when it comes to making career sacrifices to achieve that balance, Women are the chosen one.
Women are more likely to be shamed and pressurized to make sacrifices and are more often expected to do so even today. I can’t imagine what my grandmother must have gone through in olden times. Women have a different path to success than that followed by men.
And, when my lovely grandmother stood up for her rights to her alcoholic husband and shitty in laws, she was condemned as an aggressive woman with a knife edged tongue. There wasn’t even a trace of feminism strut or women empowerment in the place she housed. She wasn’t mindful of such fancy words and labels.
Long story short, she anyway went on to conquer the world and raise 5 children, and 4 grandchildren single handedly even after teething troubles and the death of her husband prematurely.
Her decision to choose her career over the life she didn’t sign up for only did her good in years to come. She could raise so many children on her own owing to her education, skills, career and financial stability even after losing her husband and the family. Financial stability finally did come to her rescue. She is one amazing, strong, virtuous and the most ethical woman I know.
Now, women are obviously not men in skirts. While I don’t wish to daub all women (or men) with the same brush, I can positively say with 100% surety that women as a whole are considerably different from men in a very wide array of cultural, psychological, gender and neurobiological dimensions, including behaviours, mindsets, communication style, preferences, and worldviews. I also think it is beautiful and admirable when women choose to stay at home and look after the family willingly. They can now become YouTubers and work from home too. It’s all about picking on your own.
The challenge of juggling careers and family life still continues to be a front-burner issue for women. She already has to adjust her entire life after getting married to new traditions, rituals, people and what not. Now choose between career and the man with a fickle ego too!! Wow!!
So, everyone doesn’t end up with a perfect mate and even if they do, “the one” turns out to be a totally different person after a few years; it could be a woman or a man. Still, women are always expected to compromise their careers for the relationships, marriage, and kids. We are not living a dream life where the man goes out to work and bring home a 7 figure salary. We need both the partners to work their asses off to lead a life they aspire and desire to in this inflation and economy. Also, why to waste skills, education, and experience?
Nonetheless, it becomes even more challenging to maintain the household, while working on growing their own Empires or advancing in careers after having a child.
I think it all boils down to one thing. Having the right partner, two strong people together can even sail a storm. Life comes with a lot of responsibility, inside and outside of the business. There are a lot of spoken and unspoken expectations that everyone in your life expects you to uphold. You must be with someone who backs you and your career choices. They do not have to fall head over heels in love with your career choice but they must respect and support you enough to understand the necessary sacrifices you will be making throughout your journey. If there is any doubt in their mind about why you want to do this could cause tension and resentment in the relationship. This is a huge issue because resentment breeds tension that will only cause arguments. Bitterness is a slow killer of relationships and if you ever regret giving up your career, this can turn into hatred.
Women are mostly the ones who adjust their schedules and make compromises when the needs of children and other family members collide with work. Mothers are much more likely than fathers to report experiencing major career interruptions in order to attend to their families’ needs. Many marriages fail for work-related reasons (even the celebs). Unspoken and unrealistic expectations often lead to disappointment and miscommunication in a relationship.
Also, don’t people marry each other for who they are? The woman was working and glorious even when the man proposed and what’s wrong if she continues to do so. Loving someone cannot be a hindrance to career and if it is, then you are with the wrong person. No person should ever ask you to give something up that you love. You shouldn’t have to cherry-pick between a career and a relationship because whoever you pursue a relationship with should be on your team no matter what and would never hold you back from becoming a successful person! For some reason, people don’t realize the truth is that you can have it all. You can absolutely have an amazing career complemented by an equally amazing partner. Your career is an aspect of your life that will help you gain autonomy, self-sufficiency and the lifestyle you have always envisioned. Your relationship will provide you with emotional, warm and loving support. The person you are with should be there to encourage you and help you to be the best person you can. Why would you even want to be with someone who does not want to push and motivate you? I have always believed that in order to be happy in a relationship you need to be happy with yourself first. How can you ever be truly happy knowing you gave up your career for a guy or girl?
Would your partner do the same for you? Sacrifice is bilateral: While you are deciding whether or not to move across the states to let your spouse take his promotion, your spouse must decide whether or not to sacrifice his promotion in order to let you keep your job. Makes sense??
If you are sacrificing something you truly love regardless if it’s your partner or your dream job, you are giving up a part of yourself. You need to ask yourself why are you choosing and who is making you choose. Why don’t we command better relationships and more options? If we don’t, we’ll only continue to get back down into a corner we don’t want to be trapped in. There’s no reason for us to be pressed up against the glass ceiling, shoved in the corner, or left in the dark.
While we’re young, it’s best to figure out who we are and what we want to achieve clarity of thought. Relationships require sacrifice, but we shouldn’t give up or give in without thinking it through. It is essential to consider the pros and cons, have clear communication with your partner, ask the tough questions, and make sure you are sacrificing for the right reasons. The right kind of sacrifice can bring people together, but sacrificing for the wrong reasons may be worse than no sacrifice at all.
Does a successful career ruin a woman’s marriage? No, it doesn’t. The obvious answer? Choosing the wrong partner certainly will.
A communications major, academic researcher, author, sunset photographer, and hardcore marketing professional with experience of over 6+ years in the industry, Lovey is always looking up witty ways to address taboo subjects in a simple yet hard-hitting manner.