The Upside of Marrying "Down"
I saw this article in the WSJ (via Instapundit) written by Sonya Rhodes, author of a new book The Alpha Woman Meets Her Match: How Today's Strong Women Can Find Love and Happiness Without Settling. From the article:
Today, a successful single woman who falls for a man making less money than she does or not sharing her career ambition may face not-so-subtle disapproval from friends and family. One patient of mine reported being told, "I'm surprised you haven't found someone who is more your equal." Another felt insulted when a trusted friend asked, "Are you sure you wouldn't be happier with a man who is making more money than you?"
These women were in love with solid, supportive guys who shared their values—men who weren't driven by money. They dreaded the concerned whispers from friends or family who persisted in believing that they were "marrying down."....
For most strong, successful women, the alpha male of old isn't the best match. I have seen in my practice what happens when two dominant personalities engage in power struggles: The alpha male will assume that his priorities should dominate, while the alpha woman will assert hers. These are the most difficult duos to treat.
Over the past 30 years, says Stephanie Coontz, director of public education at the Council on Contemporary Families at the University of Chicago, "egalitarian values have become increasingly important to relationship success." Confident, dominant women need collaborative partners more than they need traditional breadwinners. They need men who aren't threatened by their strength and will support their goals.
So, they say that dominant women need "collaborative" men, those men who think that the wife's priorities should dominate. Would they say the same about a traditional man? What if he wants his priorities to dominate? He is most likely called a jerk, domineering or abusive whereas a dominant woman has "strength and confidence." Hmmm.