The Advantages & Disadvantages of a Dual-Career Marriage

by Kristen Moutria

    A dual-career marriage, or one in which both partners have careers outside of the home, is becoming more of the norm in today's society. In order to be classified as a dual-career couple, both individuals must have careers that require high commitment and in which advancement is desired over time. According to psychologist Dr. Kathy Marshack, the number of these dual-career couples is growing at an incredible rate. A dual career marriage had advantages that set it apart from other marriages, but also features unique challenges that can be a struggle to get past.

    Pro: Enhanced Marriage

    Dr. Marshack reports that couples in a dual-career marriage state that their careers enhance their personal relationship. It is enjoyable for both partners to be in a relationship with someone interesting and smart. Furthermore, two people who are driven by success have some very fundamental traits in common and can relate to their partner's desire to feel accomplished and powerful. They can have rewarding conversations with each other, and be there for each other along life's challenging path.

    Con: Life-Work Balance

    The struggle to balance all the demands of life is amplified in a dual-career marriage. The American Psychological Association reports that the decision of when to have children, what country to live in and how to balance family time and work can all cause conflict. Furthermore, it may be difficult for a dual-career couple to connect at the end of the day because of overlapping schedules, exhaustion and generally busy days. There also may be an uneven distribution of household tasks that leads to fighting, according to Dr. Marshack.

    Pro: High Economic Stability

    Because a dual-career marriage consists of two very driven individuals, economic stability in the household is much more likely. Two people who are working hard to get an education and enter into high-paying jobs are completely focused on their careers, which raises the chances that they will be well compensated for their skill set.

    Con: Making Sacrifices

    A dual-career couple faces many challenges when it comes to potentially having to sacrifice for their partners. The American Psychological Association states that the "trailing spouse" syndrome can be a big problem in marriage, which is when one spouse has much less career success than his partner and ends up going wherever she goes, potentially sacrificing his own rewarding career.

    About the Author

    Kristen Moutria has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Evangel University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska.

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