There is a widespread opinion out there that successful women are finding it extremely difficult to find partners, start a relationship, and build a family.
A lot of people wonder why some men are afraid to marry female lawyers. The question is, are men scared to enter into relationships with successful women?
Some people believe that men are socialized to be the head and provider in the family. Growing up with this mindset makes uncomfortable each time they see anything that threatens their position.
According to this view, whenever a man meets a woman whose profile, status, and social standing seems to dwarf his own, he feels inadequate and scared of losing his position.
Other people do not believe that men are afraid of successful women but on the woman’s values.
The Problem of Socialization.
The way men and women are socialized is at the root of this problem. There is no doubt that society has mapped out strict traditional roles for men and women.
Society grooms the man to be the provider, and teach women to see the man as the provider.
To fit society’s norms, women search for partners who can play that role of a provider. The men on the other hand look for women who can depend on them.
Any deviation from these societal roles causes friction and problems in relationships.
A Big Misconception.
At the root of this problem is a misconception of what marriage should be. Marriage is not a competition but collaboration.
Couples should learn to support each other for everyone’s benefit.
Lucretia Mott made one of the best definitions of marriage and, indeed, any relationship. According to her:
“Marriage is that union where the independence of the husband and wife is equal, their dependence mutual, and their obligations reciprocal.”
Men with a warped view of marriage want their women to be dependent on them. This makes them feel powerful and in control.
On the other hand, men with a healthy view of marriage and relationships, look for women who can partner with them in the walk of life.
There is no doubt that successful women value their careers and achievements. But once in a marriage or relationship, those career values should not interfere with other traits necessary to build the union.
Some women, however, go the extreme of abandoning their careers and dreams in other to make a man feel better in a relationship. This is wrong. Women who do this end up resenting the man.
Some men accuse successful women of lacking some traits like empathy, affection, and warmth, which they see as necessary for building a healthy relationship.
But there is no evidence to support this line of thought. There is, however, evidence that successful women are more likely to leave an abusive relationship.
Men and women enter into relationships with some expectations. A man who expects to be the provider and the alpha male will start to question his place in the union if he meets a woman who earns more than he does.
Also, a woman who enters a relationship with an expectation that the man is supposed to provide all her needs, (even though she earns more than the man, and can cater for herself), will lose her respect for the man if he cannot provide.
Finding the Balance.
Women should, therefore, go for men who will help them achieve their ambition. They should avoid those who will ask them to sacrifice the dream for the success of the relationship.
A woman’s career ambition and the success of her relationship should not be mutually exclusive. Her career success should instead be a tool that will add value to the relationship.
Couples will not have a problem where they complement one another. There is no way one partner’s success will not rub off on the other partner.
Relationships that are thriving today are those that have diminished and watered down the traditional roles of men and women.
There are many families today where the wife has a better job and earns much more than the man. Instead of making it an issue, wise men, who understand the purpose of marriage and relationships, help in housework.
Both men and women have certain expectations when entering a relationship. Both parties should be careful to scrutinize each other’s expectations for possible future conflicts.
For example, a woman should be wary of continuing a relationship where a man wants to start having children immediately, which will disrupt her career path. There are thousands of women who delayed their careers to build a relationship but who never went back to accomplish the same.
No woman should play down her career ambition in order to avoid social stigma. If she wants to defer her career ambition, let it be her decision and not to please her man or society.