Having recently decided that I was ready to start pursuing a relationship again, I have a question about matters of mutual interest. How helpful is it, in your experience, to have an occupation that is of genuine interest to your wife? Assuming that I will have a job that makes full use of my education (as of yet incomplete), would it be worthwhile to focus my attention on ladies in similar education tracks? Or is work-life and home-life typically far enough removed that it doesn't make a big difference (assuming that there are other shared interests)?

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What I hear you asking is if you should pursue the same career as the woman you're currently interested in.  The reason, to me, doesn't really matter, because my answer is the same - NO!  Find a career that you truly enjoy and can see yourself happily-involved in for the rest of your working life, and then bust your ass to get there.  My wife and I have very different career interests, and it creates no conflict whatsoever.  We respect the interests of the other person and learn from each other as we go.  What does cause problems in relationships is when one person is married more to their career than to the other person.  But in my experience and that of every married adult I have ever known, having similar career interests isn't really a benefit, and having different interests doesn't, in itself, cause friction.

Depends.

Doesn't matter at all.  I'm an attorney, my wife's not interested except insofar as she asks how my day was.  My wife's a teacher ... which I don't care about except to the extent that it affects her.  Been happily married for going on 12-years.  For what its worth, I'd never have married a lawyer.

My father is a Ph.D. organic chemist ... my mother literally has no idea what he does, and couldn't be less interested in the subject.  They're going on 40-years happily married.

Don't worry about occupations.  Doesn't matter a lick.

JB

I can't imagine being married to another lawyer, and yet I work with 2 married couples.  They seem happy.

It's helpful that my husband works in a similar industry and can understand some of both the professional language I use and the special office politics issues unique to the law.  My parents and in-laws are in similar situations - not the same professions, but with experience in each's industry.

Of course, a lot of people feel that there's no reason for a wife to have or pursue any profession, let alone one like her husband's.  And I just read this week about marital tensions when wives are more educated and/or out-earn their husbands.

I hear that. My wife is a lawyer. I'm not. But I was with her throughout lawschool and I've worked at an international law firm so I'm familiar enough with the industry that I can have an intelligent enough conversation about it. It's not a must but it certainly helps. That being said, we're both fairly argumentative (mostly in a playful way) so I can only imagine that, if I were a lawyer too, it might change the dynamics of our arguing. ;)

I think it's best to have someone on a close-enough intellectual level you can understand each other (although some don't need this; one couple I know is half engineer and half had-a-tough-time-in-HS).  But there's a drawback for similar career paths:  my b-in-law and his wife are both in technical theater.  That is, they're so specialized that it's likely there'll only be one job opening in a med-sized city, so if one gets it, the other will be unemployed or underemployed.

I'd say date who you like.  If she's different enough you can't relate, you'll know it. 

"I think it's best to have someone on a close-enough intellectual level you can understand each other"

I agree with this. IMO it's best if you have a partner who's in your intellectual ballpark. Not necessary absolute equals but equal enough that you can have stimulating conversations with one another. It's a question of compatibility and mutual respect.

 

I once had to painfully sit through my buddy explaining to his (then) wife what radiation was. Not a very technical explanation either; it was as if she had literally never heard of radiation. We were talking about how there was a leak at a reactor in our province and how locals from the area were worried about radiation poisoning. She stopped the conversation in its tracks cause she didn't get it. She was in her 30s. It was very painful to watch.

I totally agree with this as well.  Having had dated someone for over two years who was easy on the eyes but a complete space cadet I will agree that being able to meet at a similar intellectual level is necessary for a good relationship.  I remember trying to explain why trees change colours in the fall to her... she was convinced that the trees all released spores that landed on other trees leaves changing the colour from green to orange/yellow/brown/red and would not accept any other explanation. 

I also recall going for a walk one morning and she had a complete breakdown because the moon and the sun were visible in the sky at the same time, she assumed it meant the end of the world was here and it took me 15mins to convince her that it is quite common to see both the moon and the sun in the sky.  I swear she walked around with the smurfs theme song playing in her head at all times.  La La La La La La La La LA.  I was young and she was hot so I overlooked a lot of stuff but trust me you do not want a lifetime of that.

I'm sorry, Mister Whaler, but I laughed so hard I nearly fell out of my chair when I read that...It made my day...

 

Yeah, I don't think it matters your career path is interesting to her so as long as your intellect matches hers and you can hold a nice, deep conversation.  I dated a (student) teacher while I was a laid-off millworker swinging a hammer for cash...I also dated a Vet Tech while I was working at a flooring shop...Didn't matter because their intellects and mine matched, and we also shared a lot of the same causes.

 

Do you what you wanna do for a living. It's you who'll be punching in at that job for the next 40, 50, 60 years, not your wife or potential mate.

better to be in two different professions - allow time and space for each other to grow and develop into what they can and want to be. Come together to encourage one another, support one another and love on each other.

It certainly helps if your wife respects what you do but it's certainly not a must to find someone who works in the same field.

Generally no, it doesn't matter what you and your wife/girlfriend does.  What matters is the respect you have for each other's career.

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