I find this question one that is difficult for me to answer.
One papal encyclical says that husband and wife are to submit to each other. A previous encyclical specifically states that the husband is the head and the wife is the heart. My understanding is that the mutual submission and different roles must co-exist in a marriage.
So the mutual submission is not the same submission. A Catholic husband and wife are not like the cartoon chipmunks, perpetually bickering over who gets the first bite of cake, or whatever. “You go ahead.” “No you can have the honors” “No, no, please. Really, you go ahead”…
I’ve posed this perplexity to several people, and even got an explanation that as “head” the husband is the provider and protector. Which I found to be baloney. True the husband is the provider and protector, but the role of headship implies authority - no way of getting around that. Worker bees are providers and protectors, but they are NOT the head of the hive.
The best I can figure is that the husband must submit his interests to the wife’s best interests (because the wife is the heart). And the wife is to submit to the husbands authority (because the husband is the head).
This was modeled in the American Revolution when Baron Von Stueben trained the soldiers at Valley Forge. He told the officers that they should put the needs of the men AHEAD of their own personal needs. This was absolutely confounding at the time. And he also had the men take orders directly from the officers, instead of sergeants doing all the work. Another completely baffling idea. And the results are history…
So the woman is the heart of the marriage. That means her needs are what matters. Her job is paramount. When choosing a city to live in, the husband must have his wife’s needs at the top of the priorities - not his own career satisfaction.
I guess this means that such decisions are ultimately the husbands. Though his wife’s councel obviously should be sought.
Of course, as men are imperfect, there will be husbands who do not consider their wives needs when making career choices. This leaves a bitter taste, and tempts the woman to bypass the authority of husband to meet her own needs.
And, as women are imperfect, there will be wives who do not recognize a husbands authority in the family. This leaves husbands feeling useless and disinterested. Just as boys who sit on the sidelines of a ball game will eventually move on to something more interesting, men who are sidelined in families will pursue something more interesting.
This is just MY OWN understanding of Catholic teaching - this should not be taken to BE the official teaching. It is based on Church teaching in the encyclicals: Mulieris Dignitatum, and Casti Canubi. But there may be more that I’m missing.