Who should compromise on career ambitions in a couple?


My husband knew someone (a man) who had a great job with a nice income and great career potential. This job, however,  happened to be a little too demanding. His wife also has a demanding job that she loves, but with less income.  They were both working crazy hours until the day they had their little angel, and balancing work and family became a challenge!

They had to reduce their working hours and adjust their schedules in order to offer their child the love needed. However, it was not easy: between diapers, nursing, working, traffic and all other commitments, their relationship started to suffer. It was a lot of pressure! The wife  didn’t like all this pressure and felt that this crazy momentum was preventing them from being a close couple, and that it was not allowing her to focus on her own career.

It got so intense at home that the husband was only left with two choices: either break his family apart or change job. He chose the later. This decision saved his relationship but destroyed his dream! It is not easy being a new parent, and there are lots of adjustments to make!

Do you think that regrets will catch up to this couple one day?

A couple is made of two people, but everyone should have something of their own. We’re all human, we want to succeed professionally, in love and have a great family, but we tend to ignore how to balance it up.

Is it possible to have two career-oriented persons in a couple? I still believe that it is. However, both need to be open minded enough to let the other work hard when needed and to accept that they’re still in love but just with a little less time to consume it.

15 thoughts on “Who should compromise on career ambitions in a couple?”

  1. I think both parents can have careers but I do think that with having kids comes sacrifices in one form or another. This might mean that one or both of the parents can’t have what they once dreamed their life to be. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we all make sacrifices because we can’t have our cake and eat it too but I think priorities change as you grow older and add kids to a relationship, you kind of grow and change with all of it. Sometimes certain jobs no longer make sense in a family unit due to the sacrifices on the family that come along with it; I went from fulltime shift work to staying at home, sometimes the costs of daycare vs the amount of income make that an easy choice. When you decide to have a family, you can no longer only think of whats best for yourself, you have to think of whats best for the family. If you can “have it all”, that’s pretty exceptional. Sometimes you find that the “sacrifices” you think you are making are actually what makes you happiest in the end.

  2. I think it’s important that when both parents work–and enjoy working and want to continue having a career–that they both be willing to make compromises and sacrifices in their careers for their family. My husband and I both are career-minded, but we arrived at the conclusion a long time ago that if we wanted to have children–and a happy, connected marriage–BOTH of us needed to have jobs that were family-friendly, flexible, and that ensured we could both be home for dinner most nights. Occasionally one of us has made sacrifices at work so that we could better support the other, but this hasn’t been a one-sided activity. I think because we both value and respect the work that the other does, and aren’t competitive about who has the more “important” job or career, it means that we’re both willing to make the necessary adjustments in our own career when the benefit to the other person’s career will be worth it.

    I don’t think it’s good for any relationship when one person is expected to make all the sacrifice, indefinitely. I don’t think it’s good for any relationship when the work one person does–whether that’s outside or inside the home–isn’t valued, celebrated and supported by the other. It’s all about support and balance, which isn’t easy and which is constantly being renegotiated. But it’s not impossible when both people are looking at the big picture and not just themselves.

    1. I don’t think it is good for a relationship when a person makes all the sacrifice. One day or another, this person will have regrets!! You are right: it is important when the partners think like a team and not individual!

  3. This would be a tough decision. I’ve been very lucky to be a stay at home mom. My husband has a great job. He just got it and we had to move to GA. Fortunately, there was no problem with that, since I get to stay home. (Not that I don’t work there) LOL

  4. My husband and I have discussed this quite a bit because I had a very demanding job when our son was first born and he was working a meat counter at a grocery store. He would complain about how he had a physically demanding job, but my job was “just sitting at a desk” (I was a supervisor of a Foster Care Unit at Child Protective Services). I had to tell him about the mental strain and exhaustion I endured at work and the long hours that would leave me deflated at night. We finally began to understand each other after LOTS of talking. Now I have a low stress “desk” job and he is a Market Manager/Butcher so we have balanced out again. I have to remind myself to get back with the program at home because I was so used to him doing the at-home work, but now I have the less strenuous job. It really is ALL ABOUT COMMUNICATION!!

  5. Oooph…that’s a tricky one. I think my husband and I both like to be engaged in our work, BUT we are not career oriented to a point where we would break up the family. I have always been the one to stay home when the kids have been born, but I won’t lie, I need some sort of creative outlet so to keep my brain engaged. So my husband supports my blog and meeting with people and whatever else I need to be happy.
    I think if these really need to be sorted before having kids. Because even with the best intentions, the adjustment to not working, etc…can be difficult.

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