Monday, May 23, 2011

The Career Driven Marriage or Relationship

Note: I'm not someone who studies relationships for a living. I'm just sharing what I have seen during my lifetime of what relationships lasted and those that didn't.

I will state what is to me an obvious truism but likely not obvious to everyone:

Unless a relationship or marriage is driven by the desire of two people to be together, to love each other and to be kind and helpful to each other and to effectively raise their children, the likelihood of the ongoing success of that relationship isn't very high.

So, that is why I decided to write about a "Career driven marriage or relationship" because even this statement appears in many ways to be a non-sequitor or an outright paradox of a statement.

People often think that they can have everything and this is very idealistic but possibly not actually realistic in the end. Everyone wants a big fantastic career AND a wonderful fantastic relationship. But that doesn't really work unless one of the partners attitude is towards the other  like the song, "I will follow you wherever you may go, there isn't a mountain so high or an ocean so deep that would keep, keep me away, away from my love."

However, then you have the now very standard two career family. How do you reconcile this two career relationship if one gets a job in Los Angeles and the other gets a career job in New York. Often what happens is that for a while they commute to see each other somewhere in the middle but eventually what often happens is that they meet someone else (or more than one someone else in their work location) and the long distance relationship ends. And this even becomes even more difficult and impossible if children become involved (as in having children or adopting children) in this relationship.

Or there is the proverbial truism of "I worked and paid for my husbands law degree and then he left me for someone else". This is really common too. Maybe he met another lawyer and set up shop with her.

So, even though one may want to have a two career family, be married and have children, in the end what often happens is that the more variables to add to a relationship in this way the more likely the relationship will end sooner or later.

However, as a caveat to all this I have seen people do it all and not worry about whatever other people thought about it and apparently they have succeeded against all the odds.

However, the generally successful relationship and marriage is not career driven at all. It is driven only by two people's love for each other and for whatever kids they have together. And their careers are only secondary to that relationship and that family. This tends to be the basic survival unit that can actually withstand almost anything whether married or not.

So, what do I have to say after a lifetime of watching all kinds of relationships?

Answer: The career driven relationship is the least likely to work right alongside of the relationship that doesn't have enough money to actually continue existing. Though the two relationships tend to be at financial extremes of each other, they are the most likely to fail sooner or later.

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