Shidduch Crisis: Women who earn too much

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  • #1661265

    Joseph
    Participant

    We haven’t had a shidduch crisis discussion in a long time. Is that because the crisis was resolved?

    Anyways, I recently read that among the goyim there’s a particular marriage crisis, or rather lack thereof, among high earning women. What apparently is happening is that women themselves like to marry men who earn more than themselves. Even in today’s feminist society 75% of households have men as the breadwinner. And surveys indicate this preference of women seeking a man who earns more than herself is equally the case among high earning women as it is among the non high earning women.

    The problem for those high earning women is that men, on the other hand, have no preference about the socio-economic status of the woman he marries. They are equally happy to marry a rich woman as they are to marry a poor woman. They prioritize looking for someone with good looks. The net result of this dynamic is that high earning women are competing with low earning women for high earning men. Whereas lower earning women also have the acceptable option of marring non high earning men, something the high earning women excluded themselves from. And as a result marriage rates have declined among the goyim now that there are many more higher earning women.

    Which brings us to Yidden. Even if we accept that the shidduch crisis is in large part attributable to the disparity in numbers between eligible men and eligible women (the age gap and all that) nevertheless there’s still the question of which women will be left behind without a marriage partner. And from personal observation (others here are welcome to share their own) I’ve noticed that among unmarried older girls, there’s a much larger representation among them of girls who pursued a higher education and/or are in high earning fields than among the women who got married (younger). The already married women, who are often younger than the unmarried older girls, are proportionally more likely to be simpler women, happy with what they have, and not in a high income career or having pursued a fancy higher education.

    Thoughts?

    #1661532

    Mistykins
    Participant

    It depends on the community. Many girls are encouraged to get higher education degrees to support a husband in kollel and eventually a family. But when they put a marriage on hold to further their education, the bochurim settle for a nice young girl. And really, if a woman has that much more earning power, who is going to raise several children, clean the house, and bake the challah? So, they stay unmarried while the poorer kallah starts a family much younger.

    #1661548

    CS
    Participant

    Interesting op Joseph. I think there is some truth to this – that women can’t stand outperforming their husbands. Hard for them to respect a man who achieves less than them. The thing is women who value kollel etc. will admire their husband for his learning and not see their higher income as being better than their husbands learning.

    #1661549

    CS
    Participant

    “And really, if a woman has that much more earning power, who is going to raise several children, clean the house, and bake the challah?”

    I don’t think this is such an issue. The children should be priority yes, but again we have washing machines, dishwashers, freezers and more access to household help than our ancestors had. So that frees up allot of time. Also children go to school for most of the day. Clean the house – if you work you can afford help for the time you would have spent cleaning. Challa can still be made or store bought.

    #1661575

    Joseph
    Participant

    CS: Where does that leave frum women who aren’t looking to marry a Kollel guy (or there aren’t any Kollel guys available for them)?

    #1661579

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    “And from personal observation (others here are welcome to share their own) I’ve noticed that among unmarried older girls, there’s a much larger representation among them of girls who pursued a higher education and/or are in high earning fields than among the women who got married (younger). ”
    Cause and effect?
    The older singles are single because they are in high earning fields/have advanced degrees or they are in high earning fields/have advanced degrees because they are single?
    Perhaps the unmarried older girls, rather than just sitting at home waiting to get married, being depressed about not being able to fill their tafkid in life, bored with not much to do, instead tried to do something productive with the time that they did not expect or plan to have and pursued higher education and entered high earning fields, while the girls who B”H did get married young were busy with their families and by default could not do those things.

    #1661604

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Is that because the crisis was resolved?

    Yes. Therefore, the rest is a moot point.

    #1661624

    Joseph
    Participant

    Winnie: Even if we fully grant your theory as being correct, your attribution for the cause still indicates that women pursuing a higher education/high paying field, and the time of their life invested in that pursuit at the expense of seeking marriage, often leaves them left at the altar unmarried.

    Often by time they choose to focus on getting married rather than focus on their future earnings potential, their best (if not all) opportunities to get married has already passed.

    Note that often these older girls started pursuing their higher education shortly after high school, when many other girls were instead focusing on marriage rather than career.

    #1661626

    CS
    Participant

    “CS: Where does that leave frum women who aren’t looking to marry a Kollel guy (or there aren’t any Kollel guys available for them)?”

    Depends on their values, but I would agree with you that (at least many) women dislike generally outdoing their husbands. Hard to respect and lack of respect for a husband does not a good marriage make. So it depends if a) they actually do earn a lot, and if they do b) can they find a man who makes as much or more or c) does something that they value more than high income.

    Some men also don’t like their wives making more btw. They don’t feel like the provider and protector of the family in that case. Others could care less.

    #1661634

    akuperma
    Participant

    Historically, women were supposed to earn too much so they could support their families while did something more useful, such as learning. In our tradition, unlike the goyim, maniliness (being “macho”) was based on Torah and Mitsvos, not being a good earner.

    #1661635

    1
    Participant

    We created a system in BY where women get professional degrees to support husband in learning for a few years. But, what happens is women come back from sem and the magic dust wears off.

    #1661644

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Given that there are more frum women entering certain higher paying professions that historically were male dominated including law, investment banking and certain technology fields, its not surprising that earnings disparity becomes an issue. Also, many women are deferring starting a family to complete grad school which compounds the issue (aka they are older and higher earning than the bochurim that may be seeking a kallah in that demograhic). Ultimately, I think most women will focus more on the intellect and midos of the young men they consider for a shidduch rather than their W-2.

    #1661687

    Lucy
    Participant

    I agree with Winnie.
    Finding a productive way to keep onesself busy during their sonsingle years (fyi having extra money saved up doesnt usually harm ones shidduch prospects), doesnt mean that they are investing all their energy into their carreer as opposed to shidduchim. Girls can multitask.

    #1661682

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Women who are financially independent only want to marry someone they really like. Women who are not financially independent are more likely to settle because they need something to live on.

    #1661683

    1
    Participant

    GH not the reality

    #1661697

    Joseph
    Participant

    RY23, the net result of what you describe often results in the independent ones remaining involuntarily unmarried.

    #1661723

    Joseph- I’m not sure it’s all about a woman marrying someone who earns more than she does, but rather whether the person she’s marrying is someone she can respect.

    Example, I know a woman who is a professional (grad degree from Columbia)-she makes a lot, and he learns. He’s not some stam learner in Yeshiva —-he’s absolutely brilliant!!! And he teaches too!

    Men will marry a dummy, or someone who’s barely literate…(I know 32 year old attorney who married someone who was 20 years old, with no education whatsoever). Men have the option to do this , unfortunately a woman needs a man she can respect and look up to. However,
    it doesn’t necessarily mean a man who earns more than she does.

    #1661718

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    That’s because it’s not socially acceptable for women to be voluntarily unmarried.

    #1661711

    shana gilda glick
    Participant

    i personally am not a woman but i know one. this is a bizoyan gemurah chadasha.

    #1661703

    DrYidd
    Participant

    if the husband is pursuing a less lucrative career like an academic, rabbinical or public service lifestyle, it is rarely a problem. if both are working in commercial settings, a vastly outperforming wife can create issues.

    #1661702

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    To “1”. Whats not the “reality”?? There are multiple data sources showing more young Jewish women getting advanced degrees. So you must disagree with the notion that ultimately, most educated frum women will choose a choson based on their intelligence, midos etc. rather than their income?? Perhaps you subscribe to the notion that $$$ are the most important metric for a baas yisroel seeking a shiduch.

    #1661777

    Uncle Ben
    Participant

    Joseph; “often leaves them left at the altar unmarried”
    Seriously!? left at the altar?
    Since when do Yidden get married at the altar??!!

    #1661864

    We learn that feminism is a sham. They don’t want equality. They want privileges on every side. They don’t like the man’s role so much when they learn it involves supporting another person economically. Even with feminists the man has to earn more.

    With that said, advice to frum youth, be as frum as you can, be as close to Hashem as you can, turn away from gentile society, and marry a person who has Torah values, one who wants children and wants them soon and isn’t going to mess around being picky or unreasonable because being a parent the greatest gift. Forget romance, forget even looks. It’s all garbage. Getting busy getting married. You just need one decent person.

    #1661826

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    Joseph, I strongly disagree, and I’ve been there done that. Please don’t judge others until you walk in their shoes and don’t generalize that having a career means not being interested in having a family.
    Young women come home from sem, and pursue various career options – many so they can support their husbands in learning, others because it is hard to make it these days with 1 income. Those who get married young and have a family have a lot to juggle, and often do not advance in their education or careers as a result. Those who remain single have more time to continue on, but it does not mean that they are not making getting married a priority, or are totally focused on careers to the detriment of shidduchim. You make it sound like in order to get married, dating must be treated like a full time occupation, without time to do anything else on the side! One can work at a high paying job or a low paying job or go to a trade school or a graduate school and but still have time to date evenings or Sundays. For the older single, the goal is not to increase their earning potential as you suggest, but to be busy and fulfilled during a very difficult time in their lives when Hashem has decided that their fulfillment cannot come from having a family and building their own home. Some find fulfillment teaching or working with kids as a therapist, others as secretaries, and some find fulfillment as a lawyer or accountant or college professor.

    On a personal note, I planned on getting married young and taking care of my kids. Hashem had other plans for me however. Without ever really planning it out, or having a specific goal in mind (afterall, for sure I would be married soon and not have the time..) I continued my education to a higher degree, and worked many years in my field until B”H I did find my BShert. Now that higher degree and work experience gives me the opportunity to work flexible hours, from home, so I can be there for my kids, and still earn enough so that my husband has been able to spend a good portion of his time learning all these years.

    #1661801

    Joseph
    Participant

    It’s just an idiom, Feter Binyomin.

    #1661911

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    To leave someone at the altar implies getting engaged and abandoning the person one was going to marry on the day of the wedding.

    #1661915

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    It’s just an idiom, Feter Binyomin.

    Totally borrowed from avodah zarah.

    #1662027

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Winnie: Well said. The vast majority of young frum women who pursue advanced degrees and a profession do so for their own personal reasons and aspirations. As you note, that doesn’t mean they don’t also intend to pursue a family. While such a woman is unlikely to be interested in a shiduch with a guy who has limited secular education and life experience, there are plenty of guys who have been able to pursue a balance of limud torah and secular studies. A much bigger threat to a successful shiduch is a vast disparity in intellect and education, not earnings level.

    #1662715

    MRS PLONY
    Participant

    Eh. If there were enough good boys for all of the good girls out there, then there would be no shidduch crisis.

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