I have come to the conclusion that anytime a husband or wife comes to the crossroad of having something competing with the marriage, the marriage will always lose. Let me explain.
Your husband decides to take on golfing or a club because it will improve his networks to the advantage of his career or business. He thinks the success of this will monetarily benefit his family because the business will grow or his career will progress and with that comes the money. And so his absence from his wife and the children is a good enough sacrifice and a worthy cause. Right?
The practical aspect of this decision is that he will be away on Saturday and Sunday morning, because that is the time that golfers go to golf. Bear in mind also those golf courses are scattered across the country, so it may also mean being away on weekend golf trips some 500km away at a golf championship. He may feel guilty at his absence, but convinces himself that the end justifies the means. Really? Does a constant absence from your wife and alienation from the children justify having the money to buy them gifts or a bigger car and house? Is your wife more concerned about snuggling up in bed with you on a Saturday morning or waking up alone because you are out for an early game so that you can buy her a bigger bed?
What about career women? As hard a pill as this is to swallow, the fact is that when a woman puts career before marriage and family, something always gives and that something, in most cases, is the marriage and family. The media is one such place. Think about the wife in a busy media house. She has deadlines to meet and will find herself on more occasion than one during the week leaving the office late in the night. By the time she gets home dead tired, she finds the children asleep and, if she is lucky, the husband putting up a gallant fight to stay awake as he waits for her. All she wants is to get into bed as soon as possible and will have little time for catching up with her husband and other intimate details. I wonder if achieving the goal of climbing the corporate ladder, in whatever field, is worth the detriment to the relationship? Marriage is always up against many and varied competing interests — in-laws, friends, hobbies, selfish spouses, children, education (or should I say Masters programmes) each unique to a husband and wife.
Can the marriage ever win? I dare say that the marriage will only win when each spouse’s primary and only goal, is to keep his or her spouse as top priority. This means if it will take you four years to complete that Masters course so that you have fewer subjects and more time for her, then so be it. If it means forfeiting that golf club, which means your business will take doubly long to progress to where you want it to be, then it’s worth it.
Any other choice and you don’t have a marriage!