How important should a woman's career aspirations be when choosing a partner?


Should she have a career of her own? How ambitious should she be? I know it’s different for each person, but I just wanted to hear some opinions. Thanks in advance!


I think all women should get an education if possible. It’s just always good to have. Then you can have your career before you meet your spouse, before you get married, and if you decide to stay at home as a mom, you certainly can. But maybe you won’t even meet your spouse for a few years; you could have a few great career years. I think it’s so great to have that life experience before getting married and starting a family. And there is certainly nothing wrong with high aspirations!


Ok I just saw your screenname and realised I’m talking to a guy! :o But it all still applies, haha!


What follows is my opinion. Please take it as that (OP and everyone else).

Our relationship with God is always first in our lives, right? So whatever our vocation is, that flows from that relationship with God. If we are called to marriage, marriage comes first for both husband and wife above all else (kids, extended families, career). Once a woman is married, that vocation of wife and mother (if God wills) comes above all else. Her number one priority should be her family. That does not rule out college and career, but it puts them on a back burner. And if they have children, it is not only unwise but also irresponsible for her to have a career while she is raising them, unless, of course, circumstances dictate that she must work for the income or if she works alongside her husband, such as in a home business.

So, if we’re talking about a college-age woman who is getting married soon, then no, I don’t think she should aspire to career until her motherhood days are over or unless they cannot have children. There is plenty of time in her lifespan and also now there will be time in her schedule left after the children are grown to pursue her further education and career. With average life expentancies, she would have at least 30 years at her disposal.

For a woman with no marriage prospect, I absolutely believe that she should attend college immediately and pursue a career afterwards if she is not yet married. I fall into this category even though I am married, because my husband and I do not have children and we are not sure if we ever will be able to. I am in college and intend to work in some capacity afterwards, although most likely only part-time, as my duties at home come first. Peace and carefree timelessness with my husband and family are more important to me than any career ever could be, and I will never give that up. Is it important to make a difference in the world and to have intellectual stimulation that is not “hearth and home” related? Absolutely. But I am making just as much of a difference in the world by giving my best to my loved ones as I could anywhere else. And in turn, they can then give their best selves to others. And that will last for eternity, too.

To more pointedly answer your question, I believe that a woman should have dreams and aspirations, and that a man should look for a woman who does. However, I believe that she must also realize that if she is called to be a wife, that will be her most important career of all and she must be willing to sacrifice everything else for it.


I don’t think education or career have anything to do with potential for marriage.


I don’t think there’s a simple answer to this question because, as you’ve stated, it’s different for everyone.

Some women may think in terms of working until they’re married and/or have children, with the idea that then they will focus on their children.

I think the reality is that many women will work during their marriages for many reasons:

.financially supporting their families because one income is insufficient
.financially supporting their families because their husband is unemployed or unable to work
.financially supporting their families because they are widowed or divorced
.no need to focus on children because of infertility
.the satisfaction they receive from the work they do

And, of course, there are women who never marry.

I think women should be prepared to support themselves financially no matter what they may hope for or plan for in the future.

You ask if a woman should have a career of her own and I would say yes. A career – that is, something she is invested in and plans for – is likely to be more satisfying and fulfilling than just taking any job she can find. And that applies to both men and women.


For both partners in a marriage, marriage and family come before career, though there is a certain give and take. They need to discuss how they will accomplish this before they marry and have kids.

All people need to be well educated - even parents at home with kids. Kids learn a lot from the people they spend their time with. Every single person needs to support him or her self, and so needs a career or job. It can be a good idea for a stay-at-home mom to have some training that will allow her to earn an income if necessary. A woman who strongly wants family life might specifically choose training in a field that will allow her to reenter the workforce easily.

A person who feels a particular calling to a career, male or female, needs to think about whether it will be compatible with family life. A man that is away on a ship for a year at a time might decide that a family would not be a good idea. A women who wants a busy career as a military officer might find the same thing. But both might be able to make it work with the support of a spouse.


There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question, as God made each one of us a unique individual. However, it is important that both the husband and wife be in agreement on each of their roles.


I don’t think it’s the same for everyone but I certainly would encourage women to have a career of their own and not to rely completely and totally on her husband for support. She should be as ambitious as she likes! Say she wants to be a police woman, if she’s happy to stay as a Bobby on the Beat then so be it, if she wants to be Chief Super-Intendant then good luck and best wishes to her, I hope she does well! I do not think that your career aspirations have a huge amount to do with choosing a partner, unless of course, her aspirations would take her abroad etc and her partner is unwilling/unable to travel, then it is up to the woman to find an appropriate partner who shares the same life goals as herself.


I think that each partner of a marriage has to look at how their individual career aspirations will work for the family unit. Highly driven men who want a wife who stays home, manages the house, and raises the kids may benefit from a different personality than a man who is more relaxed and likes spending lots of time with family. A woman who likes to engage in many solo activities probably wants a different sort of husband than one who needs a great deal of couple time.

No one knows what the future will hold. Young couples can usually expect to have children and it biologically makes the most sense for the woman to take care of those children, at least while they are very young. But it is also true that both men and women need to be prepared to be sole bread winners and childcare providers in the event of the death or long term illness of their partner. So each partner to a marriage should have some currents skills in each area.

From personal experience, I think it is beneficial for both men and women to have an up-to-date plan to be able to work from home in either their usual career field or in some other field. This is useful to both those who are stay-at-home parents and to those who lose a job. Updating/maintaining job skills should be built into the family time and monetary budgets for stay-at-home parents.


Do you distinguish between career and job? For me, a career is a lifelong pursuit of a goal that I work each day towards. For example, I have a career as a Doctor to help sick people. A job is a place that I go to each day that gives me a paycheck.

I’m 29 and had to have a job/career. If I didn’t have a career/job after college my parents would have been sorely disappointed in the lazy, unemployed, still living at home daughter that I was. In addition, I didn’t meet my boyfriend until a month before I turned 28. Should I have simply stayed at home all those years in the hopes that someday a man might come into my life to make me the wife/mother I’ve always wanted to be? No, of course not! I educated myself and achieved for excellence knowing that someday the skills I’ve learned through college, my job, and having goals would come in handy when/if I wanted to get married and stay home with the kids.


Another point I wanted to bring up…
Marriage is a union - the two become ONE. If either spouse’s personal aspiration are at odds with the union then that’s when things go awry. Simply because one spouse has a belief or desire on the subject doesn’t mean they should dictate what will happen. Again - the choices must be UNITED, as one. The husband shouldn’t dictate that the wife stays home (or works), and the wife shouldn’t dictate either.

There are no statements from the Church that women MUST stay home or that men MUST be the sole breadwinner. Each family can decide uniquely what works best for them.


I don’t think you can talk about personality traits in a normative manner. I can tell you what I like and what I don’t like and obviously there are the general boundaries that career cannot be more important than family (to the point of neglecting one’s family to climb up the ladder - I’m not talking about service requirements exacting a toll), that it’s not very Christian to have an overgrown ambition etc, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to express personality traits in normative terms and I think that’s where we’re heading.

There’s truth in that, but I wouldn’t like to live in a city in which the women went to work in construction and law enforcement, while men went out with prams for a fashion conversation in the park.



Not to derail but, Chev I hope this is not what you really think stay at home mom’s do? I mean LOL the idea is silly:p But i think I know what you’re getting at…I think:o

I guess I don’t quite understand what the Op’s question is or what he’s getting at. It seems it’s turning into more of a what women should do as wives thread.

What about us wives who marry young and don’t have careers but go to school while having babies so we can have a career later, or if we end up needing it? I don’t know if you’re assuming a woman perusing a degree isn’t going to be willing to stay home with children or something? Or if a young lady is a college student and sees marriage in the imminent future should she not finish her degree? That would seem a bit…rash, to me.

I guess I just don’t really understand the jist of the question:confused::blush:

I will say this, I think it’s fine to have some non negotiables as far as who you’re looking to marry. I know if I were to get married again it would NOT be to a career obsess workaholic or someone who’s career was very demanding of his time or took him away for long periods for traveling etc. BTDT and won’t go there again. i wold prefer someone with more time on their hands that made less money, that’s just me. So, if a man decides it’s of the utmost importance to him that his wife be home to have and take care of children in lieu of persuing a career, then that’s ok too.


No, it’s not. But the thing is, while it wouldn’t be oh-so-great if they did, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, either. Same as doods spilling beer on their rounded bellies clad in sweaty undershirts. You don’t love it but you can live with it. Now imagine a guy doing what I described before or a woman doing what I’ve just described now. Changes things a bit, doesn’t it?


Amen to that lol.


Choosing a partner? I hope it’s a bit more romantic than that! It’s not like you should line em up then throw darts! :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s important to me for a woman to be her own person. If she wants to work, great. If not, great. As long as she can think for herself.


I wholeheartedly agree with this post. :thumbsup:

I find it interesting that this thread is titled “How important should a woman’s career aspirations be in choosing a spouse?”. I think it’s just as important to talk about a man’s career aspirations when discerning marriage.

Marriage entails a lot of sacrifice and “give and take,” in my experience, when it comes to pursuing careers. My DH and I married before our final semester of college and really needed to pray and talk a lot about what opportunities either one of us was going to pursue after graduation. What is best for our family? always has to be the first question. And as others have said, the Church has no problem with a married couple discerning that a wife pursuing her own career is the best path for them.

And from a practical perspective, I would guess that most married women will need to work for a number of years during their marriage. That might be only at the beginning of the marriage before children, throughout the marriage and child-rearing, or only after the kids have left the nest. Just because babies might be on the horizon, they aren’t a sure thing, and it sure would be unfortunate if married women in general–and all of their wisdom and experience–were not on more serious career paths because they were pigeonholed into menial jobs.


LOL yes indeed. That’s quite the image. :eek: I get your point and agree.:wink:

And from a practical perspective, I would guess that most married women will need to work for a number of years during their marriage. That might be only at the beginning of the marriage before children, throughout the marriage and child-rearing, or only after the kids have left the nest. Just because babies might be on the horizon, they aren’t a sure thing, and it sure would be unfortunate if married women in general–and all of their wisdom and experience–were not on more serious career paths because they were pigeonholed into menial jobs.

This is so true. When I was going to school I truly was thinking of getting a degree as an insurance policy and something to supplement my husbands income, when the kids were older etc. Turns out my husband passed away and boy was I blessed to have that degree and to be able to work! Sure that isn’t a likely scenario for all couples, but it happens. I’m VERY blessed to be able to support, though certainly not with frills, my 3 children. I consider my education a great gift and am very grateful for it not because I love to work or have career aspirations, but because of what it enables me to do for my family. Just my:twocents:


One of the traits I look for in a potential wife is whether or not she can survive if something should ever happen to me, so yes, I believe that women should be educated and I am not offended if she can have a career.

Another problem, though, is that sometimes women can be so caught up in careers that they don’t have time to date.

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