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Career woman, loving wife 1

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A working wife must walk the extra mile to achieve a healthy balance between work and family, writes Father Henry Siew.

A WOMAN LIVING in a city today is usually unwilling to be just a homemaker. Her ideal is to have both a successful career and a happy family. But she may not be prepared for how her work could affect her spousal relationship.

Life will be tough and unhappy if a working wife - even if she is successful in her career - does not have the support of her husband and children. It will be worse if she has a problem with her in-laws.

Walk the extra mile

The demands of career and family require that a working woman have the right attitude and skills and be ready to walk the extra mile to keep a healthy balance.

More is required of a wife and mother than of a husband and father. The issue of fairness does not arise. It is simply because women are more gifted in giving love and tenderness while performing multiple tasks. It is a love that they are more capable of offering than men.

Foremost, a woman should not mix up her office and home roles. No matter how successful she is at work or how illustrious her title, back home she is always the wife to her husband, the mother to her children and the daughter-in-law to her husband's parents.

She is expected to behave differently at home. For instance, to be effective at work, she may have to be tough to her subordinates and speak firmly to them. However, she should not speak in the same way to her husband and other members of her family. Nobody likes to be told what to do, especially a husband.

A wife should be even more sensitive when she is perceived to be doing better career-wise than her husband. Sometimes, even an innocent comment that unwittingly implies he is inferior could seriously injure his ego. This potential over-reaction is a weakness of many men and it is something a good wife should learn to understand.

The higher a wife climbs in the corporate world, the more understanding of her husband she needs to be. Once home, a wise woman would stop being the no-nonsense iron lady and become a gentle loving wife. This will reassure the husband and prevent him from feeling threatened.

When a husband is emotionally secure and feels loved and respected, he is more able to accept and even gladly support his wife's successful career. On the other hand, a husband who truly loves his wife should not be envious that she is doing well at work. In fact, he can learn to treat his wife's achievement as his own and always be there to encourage and support her.

When both parties can mutually support each other, they can have a happy spousal relationship.

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