It’s not that these husbands aren’t progressive, supportive spouses. They certainly see themselves that way — as do many of the CEOs and leaders of companies I work with. But they are often caught out by trade-offs they were not expecting. They are happy to have successful, high-earning wives. They applaud and support them — until it starts to interfere with their own careers. A study by Pamela Stone and Meg Lovejoy found that husbands were a key factor in two-thirds of women’s decisions to quit the workforce, often because the wives had to fill a so-called parenting vacuum. “While the women almost unanimously described their husbands as supportive,” writes Joan Williams of the study, “they also told how those husbands refused to alter their own work schedule or increase their participation in caregiving.” As one woman put it, “He has always said to me, ‘You can do whatever you want to do.’ But he’s not there to pick up any load.”
Several men admitted to me that they just thought their wives’ frustrations were due to menopause and all they had to do was wait it out. It’s this kind of minimizing and discounting that drives women to distraction — before it drives them out the door. Much to the surprise, and subsequent grief, of their husbands.
Any thoughts on this article? It's written in a way that blames men for the marriage problems, but do we think there might have been lack of respect on the wife's side? Too demanding? Not enough appreciation? Wanting it all?
For more liberal RPW: Do you think a husband should be more flexible with his career to help out at home and allow the woman to invest in her career as well?