Can a Woman Be Successful at Being a Mother, Wife and Career Professional?

BY: - 6 Mar '18 | Marriage

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I am currently in a marriage that has gotten worse over the past 15 years. I met my husband in college and we were both ambitious. I studied to become a lawyer and he studied to become a sports journalist. We both accomplished our goals. Before we jumped into the workforce we discussed the possibility that I could make more money than him at some point. Well, that is exactly what happened.

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He is a sports journalist for a small company and I am a partner in a law firm. I make almost $50,000 more than he does. The money does not matter to me because he knew that my heart was set on making a difference in the legal system. However, whenever I put in some extra time at the office he criticizes me and tells me that I am slacking on my motherly and wifely duties. He also tells me that no woman should put her career before her family. At times, he makes me feel like I have to choose. I am tired of him complaining and feel like I should quit my job.  Can a Woman Be Successful at Being a Mother, Wife and Career Professional?

Thanks,

Wife with Many Roles

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Wife with Many Roles,

I am going to jump right in and answer your question. Yes, I do believe that a woman can be successful at being a mother, wife, and career professional. I believe that the key to balancing all three roles is developing a teamwork approach. However, it is unfortunate that your husband sees your passion for your career as being a burden on family and married life.

There are some men who believe that women should sacrifice their happiness in order to accommodate others. Unfortunately, this 19th-century thinking is the source of many unhealthy relationships and marriages. The best thing that you can do is to assertively let your husband know that your happiness is not sustained or maintained by being a one-dimensional woman. I used the word “assertively” which means that one behaves in a confident manner while expressing his or her needs.

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You do not have to choose between your marriage and your career, but you do have to respect your husband’s thoughts. I did not say agree with his thoughts but respect them. Respect means that you listen and hear him out. This is important because you have to give respect in order to get it. If you want him to respect your thoughts and needs, you have to do the same. Once you listen to his thoughts and assertively express yours, ask if he is willing to come up with a solution or solutions. Seek compromise, not a battle for power. The key to resolving this issue is to work as a team. Let him know that your heart can be shared between what you love and whom you love.

If you find that your husband is not open to dialogue and solution finding, seek professional counseling for yourself. Seek guidance before you make any decisions. Your happiness should not be sacrificed, but your marriage should not be destroyed either. A professional like myself can help you develop a schedule to accommodate everyone’s needs including yours. Also, you might need help with understanding what appears to be insecurity and jealousy. The money issue might be more of a concern to your husband than he is letting on. Get some professional help in order to sort through things.

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As you work through your dilemma, do not lose faith because there are thousands of women who are successful at being mothers, wives, and career professionals. Also, consider joining my community titled, “You Deserve More” at www.ydmcommunity.com. I created a community of resilient women who meet online and in-person to support one another and help each other work through challenges that threaten their happiness, love, and prosperity. Please know that you are not alone and there are solutions other than walking away from your job or divorce. I pray that your husband is capable of opening up his mind and heart to your needs because you deserve more.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions, and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 220 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.

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How Can I Determine If My New Husband Has Abusive Tendencies?

BY: - 13 Mar '18 | Marriage

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I recently got married and I am learning a lot about my new husband. My sister said that she does not like him and expressed that she feels he is abusive toward me. She said that she witnessed him talking to me in a demeaning way. He does talk to me in a “loud” tone and treats me in a controlling manner. My sister was married to an abusive man and told me that she knows what abuse looks like. I have started to pay more attention to his behavior and I am kind of concerned. How Can I Determine If My Husband Has Abusive Tendencies?

Thanks,

Confused and Potentially Abused Wife

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Confused and Potentially Abused Wife,

You can determine if your new husband has abusive tendencies by understanding what abuse looks like for yourself. Some women are in abusive relationships and do not know it. Love does hurt occasionally, but it should not be intentional. Recognizing signs of abuse is critical because perpetrators typically become more aggressive over time. Unfortunately, a lot of people only pay attention to physical abuse because it is easier to observe and understand. However, emotional or psychological abuse can be just as bad as physical abuse. It is not my intent to compare physical and emotional abuse, but I want to emphasize that physical abuse is easier to recognize. Also, I want to emphasize that there are three common forms of abuse.

  • Physical Abuse (inflicting physical discomfort, pain, or injury)
  • Sexual Abuse (forced sexual contact, rape, or incest)
  • Psychological/emotional abuse (diminishing your identity and self-worth)

Abuse occurs when an individual misuses his or her power and attempts to control others. In order to help you gain more insight about abusive tendencies, I have listed some information below.

Physical Abuse Tendencies

  • Pushes or shoves you
  • Holds you to keep you from leaving
  • Slaps or bites you
  • Kicks, chokes, hits or restrains you for control
  • Locks you out of the house
  • Rapes you
  • Threatens or hurts you with a weapon

Sexual Abuse Tendencies

  • Makes demeaning remarks about you
  • Insists that you dress in a more sexual manner than you desire
  • Calls you derogatory sexual names like “whore” or “freak”
  • Forces you to have unwanted sex with him or others or forces you to watch porn
  • Forces sex after beatings
  • Forces sex for the purpose of hurting you with objects or weapons
  • Commits sadistic sexual acts

Psychological or Emotional Abuse Tendencies

  • Puts you down
  • Makes you feel bad about yourself
  • Calls you inappropriate names
  • Makes you think that you are crazy
  • Plays mind games with you
  • Humiliates you in front of others
  • Makes you feel guilty telling him no
  • Intimidation (smashes things, displays weapons, uses aggressive gestures or looks)
  • Ignoring you
  • Isolating (limits your involvement in things, controls who you see and talk to, etc.)

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It is not uncommon for men with abuse tendencies to treat women like servants, make all the big decisions, act like the “master of the castle” and believe that they should define roles. Also, a man with abuse tendencies often displays one or more of the following behaviors: has low self-esteem, believes all the myths about battering relationships, is a traditionalist, blames others for his actions, is pathologically jealous, presents a dual personality, has severe stress reactions, uses sex as an act of aggression and does not believe violent behavior should have negative consequences.

Please be mindful that the above-mentioned tendencies are not intended to serve as a means to label your husband, but as information to help you make an informed decision about the importance of getting professional help. I realize that your sister is knowledgeable about abuse based on her experience. However, I highly recommend that you speak with your husband about your concerns before you define who is or is not. Also, I highly recommend that you get professional help if warranted. Professionals who are trained can help you better identify behaviors that you need to be aware of.

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As you move forward, please do not minimize how you feel or ignore your concerns. Denial is a major player in abusive relationships. The more that a person denies abuse, the more it will happen. Also, keep in mind my personal quote, “Love me or leave me because abuse is not an option.”

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions, and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 220 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.

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