When marriage precedes career

Michael and I started dating (long distance) in January 2007, while I was studying English at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  He had just started a PhD program at Arizona State University.  We both knew our path would lead down the aisle after his first visit to California.  (The merits and challenges of getting married young are another topic for another day.)

Mike's first visit to CA, January 2007
Mike’s first visit to CA, January 2007 (Babies!)

I loved learning and enjoyed school, but a clear career choice had not emerged.  I chose my college major based on my strengths and interests, reading and writing, but had no idea what I would use my degree for in the real world.

In high school, I participated in Model Legislature & Court, where I argued actual past cases in an actual courtroom and loved it.  Though the legal field interested me, I decided against it because I didn’t see how the demands of a legal career would fit in the family picture I envisioned.

Many English majors become teachers, and I spent some time considering that possibility.  When I completed my required classroom observation for an elective class, I sadly realized that teaching didn’t interest me at all.  I didn’t want to pursue something so demanding for so little pay unless I felt passionate about it.

I always knew I wanted to be a wife and eventually a mother, but wasn’t sure what else I wanted to be.  Once I knew Michael was the right person, I didn’t have any reservations about marriage.  We would figure out the rest together.

And that’s what we’ve been doing for the past four years.  Here are a few things I’ve learned:

  • Career options are less limited than I imagined.
  • I was right to follow my desire to be a wife.  I love it and God designed me for it.
  • The other work God designed me to do is also deeply important to me, and to Him.

Don’t ask me yet exactly what that work is, because it’s still unfolding.  It’s not what I do for a living, necessarily.  (I am a salesperson for an awesome daily deal company, in case you were wondering.)  I’ve finally accepted the fact that it might take me some time to figure out, so I might as well enjoy the process.

Question: How has marriage affected your career choices?

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