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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why Marriage Is Good For Business

There’s good news to celebrate about marriage.  And the research backs me up!

No, I didn’t just emerge from underneath a rock.  I know the divorce rate is still hovering around 50%.  I know that marriage is about hard work, prayer, and personal inconvenience.  In fact, I know lots of couples who have “split-up” this year – they’ve decided marriage is just too hard, too disappointing, and too confining.

But I’m here to tell you the good news – and I’d like to throw some positive data your way.  Regardless of whether you (like me) believe that marriage is a spiritual and sacred union, marriage is good for business! 

I first thought about marriage in these terms when I read a thoughtful series about lessons learned from elite leaders by Christine Schellar at The High Calling.  As it turns out, marriage is actually a huge asset to most business leaders.  To my surprise, some 82% of elite leaders are married.  And their marriages are a marked component to their professional success.

Of course, this makes perfect sense.  According to award-winning studies (and a recent book) by Dr. Michael Lindsay, marriage provides the structure and support that many of us need in our professional lives – a partner, a confidant, and someone who will “pick up the slack!”

And it’s not just professional men who benefit from marriage.  A couple of decades ago, career women were less likely to marry.  In the 1970’s, birthrates in the US declined, and Baby Boomers (and working women) generally had fewer children.

But the tide is turning. 

Today, a college educated, 30-year-old woman is just as likely to get married as her less-educated counterpart.  And women in top income brackets are just as likely to marry as other women who work full time.  Women in Generation X (my generation!) generally place a higher value on family and less on work than our Boomer counterparts.  And we’re having more children than our Boomer predecessors!  (If you don’t believe me, check out the research in The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050 by Joel Kotkin.)

So what does this mean for you?

I can only tell you what it means for me.  Doug and I were privileged to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary this week.  And, as a mother, lawyer, writer, and all-around over achiever with a crazy challenging schedule, I can honestly say I’d never even attempt to be “Superwoman” without my husband.
Most days, he’s the God-given glue that holds me together.


Are you surprised (or encouraged) by the emerging, positive research about marriage? 


mrsgleffter said...

As someone who is also seeing marriages fall apart around her (two friends and two couples from my church) it is encouraging. After 11 years - it still is hard work being married and I have to remind myself to choose to love Jeff, but he is what keeps me moving and even though sometimes I feel I do it all alone - I know I really couldn't!!!

Heidiopia said...

Happy Anniversary! Love this post, Susan... I'm a firm believer in the benefits of marriage, even after one failed one. I'm wiser, more dedicated, and happier this time, but it's still work. Just awesome payoff.
Hope you're well ~ I've missed ya!

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

I'm a believer! And yes, I've been blessed with some of that God-given glue, too.

It is hard work and we've hit bumps, but I can't imagine what I'd have missed if I hadn't married.

Happy Anniversary, Susan. Ours is coming...but I have a few years on you...

David Rupert said...

A married business person is one that has good balance. The single business person is totally hooked on work -- and maybe their dog.

Le'Anne said...

Great post. Totally encouraging. Thanks.

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