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How important is a career in a relationship?
November 14, 2004
12:03 am
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on my way
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To what degree is a career important in a relatonship? Someone once said that if you have a career you have more to bring to the relationship. Any thoughts about this?

November 14, 2004
1:19 am
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GuinevereBlue
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I think it depends on the relationship and the people involved. A career can be THE focus of someone's life, and can negatively affect a relationship. On the other hand, I think most people are interested in others with a career, because having an actual career and work related goals is an indication that a person is interested in a long term goal. Also, a career is something that is stable, and many people find that to be an important quality in a relationship.

November 14, 2004
9:49 am
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readyforachange
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I think my career is really important to my relationship. It is something really stable that anchors me, as I've worked in the same job for 19 years. I gain a lot of self-respect from my career, because a lot of people respect me and value what I do. I also feel independent because of my career, because I know that I can support myself and my kids. Lastly, because I work with children, I can be silly and have fun and laugh...something I don't always allow myself to do at home. I'm working on that.

Unfortunately, I think my husband is jealous of my career. He belittles me for what I do, saying that I've never had a "real" job. He has changed jobs 9 times in the 17 years we've been married, and is never happy at any job he has. So my career is a source of anxiety for him and kind of comes between us. It is a small part of why we are splitting up.

Anyway, my thoughts are....a career is important to a person's self-worth and independence as long as they balance it with other things in their life; but it can also damage a relationship if one party is not supportive of the other's independence and self-worth. Make sense?

November 14, 2004
10:17 am
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eternaloptimist
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I feel that having a career in a relationship is healthy. If you don't have something meaningful in your life (like a career) before entering a relationship, you might be looking for something to simply fill the time. Let's face it, can there be a strong relationship when one or both people are not pursuing that?

This is simply my opinion. My career has helped shape who I am and how I feel about myself (confident). I feel that confidence shines through. It's a balance that has to be negotiated when a person comes into your life that has as much or more importance than your career.

Eternaloptimist

November 14, 2004
11:40 am
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TiredofThis
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From reading what everyone has wrote and from my personal experience, it's not really the actual career that is important, it's the self confidence and pride that you gain from doing something that you are good at and being able to support yourself. I know lots of people who do not have things like that in their life and it is a major issue of their self worth.

November 14, 2004
12:05 pm
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Zinnie
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Hum, good question.

When I was married to my first husband, I didn't work at all. But it seemed like we always had a lot to talk about. We had the children, I did some volunteer work, we had his job to discuss.

After he passed away, although I really didn't have to go to work as I was well provided for - I did because frankly, I was bored out of my head - I was still in my 20's.

I have had a very high pressure job during my marriage now (15 years), and have also spent streches of time as a housewife. I think when I'm working we do have more to discuss, and I do admit I have a high respect for my husband business-wise as he does me, so very often we will run ideas past each other.

I guess it just depends on the individuals and the marriage.

Z.

November 14, 2004
12:22 pm
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gingerleigh
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I think that everyone needs a "career" whether you are paid for it with money or not. Otherwise you end up in the throes of codependency. We all need something to live for. Could be family. Could be an artistic or physical passion. Could be a job. Could be community service. We all need something I think.

November 14, 2004
2:53 pm
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Thnaks you for the different perspectives, and I think that in many different ways, everyone communicated the same bottom line answer, it could effect self worth, and that in itself is an important element in a successful relationship. Once again an issue cleared and brought to focus on these threads...awesome!

November 14, 2004
3:33 pm
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cityflyer
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It is important. Apart from the financial aspect, it also shows goals, determination, self value.

Unfortunately, my ex planned to study for 2 more years for a state job without providing to the home. That got to me as I had been paying for everything (practically) the last 3 years while she was doing her degree. Just scraping through to month end, and I had to sacrifice not having a car, not doing some fun stuff I love so much......being the only contributor.

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