Hi, I just discovered your blog via internet searches. I noticed many of your posts about single earner households and I tend to agree with your views. I just met a woman I really like. She is an attorney and loves her profession. She is strong willed and out earns me by far. She also wants to find someone to settle down with again after a long and disappointing first marriage. I am also in the same boat in that I'm ready to settle down. We both would like to have children but she doesn't want to stay home. We have discussed are parental preferences already. I am very open to staying home as a full time father and househusband. I think our personalities and career options lend themselves to this arrangement. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to get into MBA schools. I can't perform well enough on the GMAT entrance examination and I receive low test scores. I am just not intellectually qualified for graduate schools such as business and law school. Whereas, she is definitely a lot smarter than me! :-) Her and I both know that if we were to marry, she would wear the pants and then would place me on diaper duty! Lol. As a law professor, do you think this would be the best thing for her law career? You touched on this with women wall street bankers and their f/t househusbands. I realize that women are the majority of law students now and there is a large pool of very bright, young women attorneys, which is wonderful. However, there is a grave shortage of women partners in law firms. At least that is what I've heard and read. In order to go as far as she wants to go in law, do you think a woman attorney should get a stay at home husband / full time father to help her reach her career goals?I sure do! She needs to want it and to view you as a worthy equal and you've got to see yourself that way too. If you get married, you're a team, and you should think soundly and creatively about what works and what makes the most love and happiness — including what makes the most love and happiness for the new human beings who come into the world through your love.
I have a special problem with your sentence "Her and I both know that if we were to marry, she would wear the pants and then would place me on diaper duty!"
First, "Her and I" is grammatically wrong and perhaps indicative of why you're not performing well enough on the standardized test. If she really is much smarter than you and you're not wily enough to appear to belong with her, you might not make a good team.
Second, you've equated her working with being masculine — wearing the pants — and maybe she is a masculine kind of woman and both of you like that, but chances are she doesn't want to feel masculinized in the relationship, and you'll have to avoid slipping into feeling feminized by the role you take on. Do you see yourself as wearing the dress?
Third, caring for children is not "diaper duty." Diapers are the easiest part, and to focus on that — especially in correspondence to the idea that working outside the home equals "wearing the pants." You're too pants-focused! It's not sexy toward your wife, and it's not convincingly child-loving. A baby is not a poop machine. If you don't have real respect for what you are doing as the home-based spouse, she will feel short-changed — not because you're failing to bring in money but because you've never understood how to be her equal.
It's a challenging role, being a house-husband. People will disrespect you and you yourself may be one of those people who disrespect you. Even if you were willing to humiliate yourself, she's likely to reject you in the end, perhaps after she fulfills her own need to produce children. Maybe it's a reasonably good life for you, collecting child support from your law-firm-partner ex-wife and bringing up the kids you two produced. It's not a terrible downside risk. But I wouldn't recommend starting that enterprise unless you understand and commit to high performance in what is an unconventional masculine role.
ADDED: Lots of commenters believe the letter writer is a troll, but the young man has written back to say:
Thank you very much for your response post to my question. I am not a troll. Also, I was using figures of speech and some levity in my question. Of course child rearing is more than just "diaper duty." "Wear the pants" is an expression about who is in charge. Sorry if my lack of formality didn't fit in with the theme of your blog. Going back to your advice, yes it did help because you have been there before, I assume, and you know what it means to be committed to a partner and to children. My letter was more or less about the roles my future wife and I would play and you answered that question without ambiguity. I will be an equal but I probably won't have as much decision making power on where we are going to live, etc. On the grammar point, I'm confused. How should I correct "Her and I....?" There were, in fact, grammar questions on the GMAT! Also, math, logic, reading comprehension. At 2.5 to 3 hr. point, my brain wore out, lol! I'm very lucky to have this woman in my life. Her intellect is very attractive to me. Thanks again for your help.