Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

15MISINFORMED-blog427-v2

image via Jen Hsieh for The New York Times

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“Welcome to Your OKCupid Refresher Course” [via NYTimes]

“When Men Want Kids — and Women Aren’t So Sure” [via NYMag]

“‘Chilling out’ at an egg freezing party” [via BBC News]

Continuing the theme: “We Live in an Age of Irrational Parenting” [via NYMag]

“When Career Ambitions Break Up a Marriage” [via Slate]

‘I bedded 12 strangers in a year — with my husband’s permission’” … and she wrote a book about it, too. [via NYPost]

“Parental Leave: New Dads In Togo Are Guaranteed Something That U.S. Dads Aren’t” [via NPR]

This is beautiful and pretty depressing, too: “2 People, 25 Years of Marriage, and the DNA That Could Tear Us Apart” [via Yahoo Style]

“Weird Sex Statistics: Test Your Sex Knowledge” [via PopSugar Love]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

16 comments… add one
  • avatar

    scattol March 20, 2015, 12:17 pm

    Is there an article for: ‘I bedded 12 strangers in a year — with my husband’s permission’ I don’t see a link

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    K March 20, 2015, 12:43 pm

    “When Men Want Kids — and Women Aren’t So Sure” really spoke to me since that’s how I feel. Most of the men I’ve dated have wanted kids, while I’m not sure. The DNA article was really beautifully written.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover March 20, 2015, 1:22 pm

      It’s crazy that the assumption is that women are the ones who want kids, whereas the reality is that men want them more. To be fair, it probably used to be the case that women wanted them more, back when having a child was a sign that you “succeeded” as a woman. Plus since your whole job was taking care of the house and kids, not having kids took away a big part of potential fulfillment in your life. But now, when women have other things in their lives, it makes sense that they’d want kids less. They’re the ones that take the bigger hit for having them.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        mertlej March 20, 2015, 1:33 pm

        At least in my case, my husband definitely wants them more, but i wanted them sooner. I’m thinking “how is this going to impact my job, my body, our age when the kids are out of the house”, etc, and he’s just thinking “YAY KIDS but hey there’s no rush”.

        Link
      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover March 20, 2015, 2:09 pm

        Yeah, it seems like the men who want kids, don’t really think it through the way women do. The men who don’t want kids seem to be the ones who thought it through and decided it wasn’t for them.

        Link
      • Portia

        Portia March 20, 2015, 2:23 pm

        That pretty accurately describes us, that Bassanio hasn’t thought the whole thing through as much as I have. Or in some cases was just unaware of the hits to my career I would likely encounter. Although I’ve gotten him on more discussions lately about the reality of having children.

        Link
  • avatar

    snow.angel March 20, 2015, 2:10 pm

    I found the Slate article about career ambitions breaking up a marriage to be really interesting. On the one hand, I can definitely see the wife’s point about not realizing in the beginning that she would need a second advanced degree in order to move up farther in her career. But I think the husband has a point too, his career is very specialized, and I don’t think he was out of line for hoping his wife would come back to be closer to him after she lost her job. Even if she had ended up staying in Washington for law school due to the scholarship she received, I think it would have meant a lot if she had at least explored possibilities for moving back to be with her husband after she lost her job. I kind of get the feeling that she doesn’t consider his career to be as “valid” as her own.
    .
    Me and my boyfriend seem to view career stuff similarly to the husband, in that we both have agreed that whoever has the most established career and/or the opportunity with the most potential for advancement will take precedence. My boyfriend got an amazing job in a great area over the summer, and after finishing grad school in December I ended up getting a good job in the same area which has made planning for our future together so much easier. While we got super lucky and things are working well for now, we have discussed alternatives for if our job situations should change in the future, which they most likely will since we are both only in our mid-twenties. Life has a way of changing our plans so quickly (having children, someone becoming sick or disabled, losing your job, etc.), so I’m glad we kind of established a baseline for how we are going to handle it when our career/education/family goals don’t line up perfectly.

    Reply Link
    • coconot

      coconot March 20, 2015, 2:23 pm

      I do feel like optimizing for the higher earner can be problematic in some cases, if future earnings will be wildly different depending on choices made now. Of course you don’t always know how much you will be making in the future. This especially comes in to play when spouses have a big age difference or when someone took a lot longer to finish school: if you always pick to live with the higher earner, it will disadvantage the younger (or longer educated) of the two, and perhaps significantly decrease the couple’s joint earnings in the long-run. I have a feeling this choice tends to harm women more than men, because women are typically younger than their husbands, and I wonder to what degree this lack of forward thinking/risk taking affects the wage gap.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        snow.angel March 20, 2015, 2:40 pm

        That’s an interesting point. Just to be clear, I didn’t mean most established/best opportunity to solely mean highest income though. While salary is a factor, there are plenty of other markers of career stability/success than just money. Because of our respective fields, my boyfriend and I know that we will have to take things like tenure, pension benefits, schedule flexibility, and opportunities for advancement into consideration when weighing the pros/cons of making career moves in the future.

        Link
      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover March 20, 2015, 2:47 pm

        Personally I think passion and happiness should be high on that list as well. I agree with coconot that women tend to get disadvantaged in these kinds of decisions, in large part because they are expected to be the ones with more flexibility or to actually take time off. Also they seem to be more likely to get into careers with not a ton of advancement (ie teaching, nursing). But just because your job doesn’t give you that, doesn’t mean you should always be the one sacrificing. You know what I mean?
        .
        The considerations that you laid out are important, but personal fulfillment has to come fairly high on the list as well. Because if one partner is constantly sacrificing due to the other having a “better” job by all of those other criteria, then that partner is probably not going to be very happy if they care about their job at all.

        Link
      • Portia

        Portia March 20, 2015, 3:45 pm

        I agree. It’s harder to consider that alongside the more tangible benefits, like salary and flexibility and advancement opportunities, but definitely should be a top priority in those decisions.

        Link
      • avatar

        snow.angel March 20, 2015, 3:49 pm

        Right, and I’m not saying one partner always has to be the one sacrificing or anybody needs to be completely miserable in their career just to support their husband/wife. But for me, when you share your life with someone, there are going to be your goals, their goals, and the goals you have for your family as a unit, and you need to communicate about priorities and what needs to happen for all the goals to be addressed in a way that makes everyone as happy as possible. It’s likely not going to be 100% perfect, but there’s a lot of wiggle room between one person getting to do anything and everything they’ve always wanted while the other person sits by and gives up all their passions and dreams.
        .
        My boyfriend and I are young in the grand scheme of things, and while we have a great situation at the current moment where we both have jobs we are happy with in the same area, things can change for any number of reasons, and I think it’s good to kind of establish a starting point for how we will handle various situations that come up. Just to give an idea of some of the types of things we have talked about….I’m in a field where a tenured position is kind of the holy grail. If I were to get an opportunity to obtain tenure somewhere, my boyfriend has expressed that he’d have no problem with asking for a transfer to a different office if the distance between us was too far. We’ve talked about trying to live somewhere in the middle so nobody has a terrible commute if either of us ends up changing jobs (not an issue at the moment, but it’s naive to think we will be lucky enough to work within five miles of each other for the rest of our respective careers). Some positions in my boyfriend’s field involve shift work, so we’ve discussed the possibility of staggering our schedules so that one of us is always home with future kids if it ends up that having one of us stay home while they are babies isn’t feasible since that’s something that is important to both of us. One way my boyfriend could advance in his career would be to work at one of the bigger headquarters out of state for a few years. It’s not my ideal situation, but we’ve talked about him doing it sooner rather than later if he decides it’s a step he really wants to take since neither of us like the idea of being too far away from our extended family as we get married and start our family or uprooting school-aged children if he waits too long to take that step. I don’t think any of the examples I gave involve anyone being miserable or giving up on their dreams. I’m just trying to show some of the communication that couples need to have so that everyone can be as happy as possible with their career while still supporting the long-term goals you have as a family.

        Link
      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover March 20, 2015, 3:53 pm

        Oh, I agree with you. I was just adding in another consideration that some people, especially women, don’t always think about. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a woman say “well this was the best decision for the family”, when she’s the only one who’s ever giving anything up, careerwise. And often those women aren’t happy about it. It’s a tough topic, for sure, but it seems like the person who makes the most money often gets their career their way, and I don’t think that’s necessarily the right solution. Not talking about your case, just in general.

        Link
      • Portia

        Portia March 20, 2015, 4:03 pm

        I agree with you too. You just described my mom and my aunt (both successful attorneys at one point a long time ago). They’ve never been 100% forthright with me about their feelings around quitting their jobs, but both tried very hard to get back into their former career later on, unsuccessfully.

        Link
  • mylaray

    mylaray March 20, 2015, 4:27 pm

    The open marriage article was interesting, not what I was expecting. Her original idea of sleeping with other people for a year seemed too much like just wanting to write a book about it. And the whole thing sounded like a bad idea from the beginning. So I don’t know, it didn’t exactly come off as empowering. I guess good for her that she found what she wanted in the end.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      d2 March 22, 2015, 11:06 pm

      Yeah, all that seemed too convenient. My guess is that strategy was not only to get a book (and likely movie) deal, but also to exit her marriage. Key was convincing her reluctant ex-husband to engage in the “open year” plan. Without that, she wouldn’t have been a remotely compelling character for either a book or divorce proceedings.

      Reply Link

Leave a Comment