Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Your marriage or your career?

West Indian Girl singer Mariqueen Maandig is giving up her gig to marry Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor, her bandmates declared in August. WWE announcer Lilian Garcia announced her retirement Monday after 10 years with the WWE Divas, trading the wrestling ring for a wedding ring. And over at the, a reader tells columnist Carolyn Hax to put marriage before career because "it really wasn't worth all the sacrifices."

Which made me wonder: If you couldn't have both -- and if finances weren't an issue -- which one would you choose?

I asked this question to my readers at The 36-Hour Day at Work It, Mom!, and the comments are really interesting. Personally, I'm always surprised by the way marriage is touted as the end-all-and-be-all for women, and by the way some people feel that the only proper path to personal fulfillment begins at the altar. "We agreed on one simple rule: For every time I said "no" to my husband because of work, I'd say "no" to my boss because of my husband," the reader explains. "I credit my husband for his patience and the support I needed to recognize that career advancement came at the cost of individual integrity."

One has to wonder: Did her husband follow a similar rule? Is his "individual integrity" tied to marriage -- or threatened by his career?

On the other side of the world, still-single Bollywood actress Rani Mukherji says that false rumors about marriage are ruining her career. "Lot of filmmakers who approach me for roles start by asking whether I am getting married. They have apprehensions whether I can commit myself to their project," Mukherji explained in an interview.

And therein lies the crux of the problem: No matter how far we've advanced, or how well we can juggle, there's still this assumption that a woman who is committed to her husband and family can't be equally committed to her job. And vice versa.

Are more women agreeing with the assumption? Or are we just becoming more aware, thanks to entertainers who go the either/or route? "Clearly, there are women who believe that this is the best route for them and have made arrangements with their partner to pursue a full-time dedication to the household and family," Jessica Ashley writes at Yahoo!'s Shine. "But other than the requisite Housewives of Pretty Much Every Metropolitan City, we don't see these women in the spotlight very often."

Would you leave your career for your marriage? What if one or the other was on the line?

1 comment:

fibrowitch said...

I let me career go first. I thought I was doing the right thing. Making loads of money, putting off gratification. I thought I would have an amazing early retirement with my husband.

However, I think I must have been married to the wrong man, because when my health failed he left me for another woman. A healthy woman.

Looking back, I am glad I concentrated on my career. And would do it again if I was healthy enough.