As I was growing up, one of the phrases I had heard was a man marries with the hope of nothing changing, while a woman will marry with what she could change him to. Another way to say this is that a woman marries with the idea of her spouses potential, while a man marries with the hope to not have anything change. Obviously this is not always the case in today's society because of the expanded roles of women in society, but I think it still happens often. Even in the older societies this was not always the case and sometimes resulted in disappointment. There is an article about this here, and it is a long read, but the marrying for potential is actually the number 1 item to avoid. I am glad that I did find a woman that is good with who I am, but at the same time she does gently push me to extend my limits.
This goes along with a recent study about the marriage trends in society. Traditional marriage trend is that the woman will marry across and up, while the man will usually marry across and down. Researchers have noted that as more women get to the top, they are also doing like the men and marrying across and down. Along with that is the increase in the number of men that are looking for women that already have an established income.
I'm from a more traditional family, and one of the items we were taught from my dad was that it was the man's job to support the family. This is why there was a heavy emphases on getting a good job with benefits and working the way up in the job ladder. In current times, I concede that this is a discussion for spouses, because it is possible now that the wife may be making more than the husband and may have better benefits. Either way it is something for consideration, especially if there are plans for having a child in the relationship.
I emphasize the child because one of the worst things I think could be done is to let the child be raised by the day cares and the schools. If the husband and wife do this then they are putting some of the child's most formative years of education into the hands of total strangers. After a while the parent's may be wondering where did they get these ideas, but they gave up their upbringing of the child by handing them off to others. I do think there is value to a housewife, or husband, because of the ability to actually raise and educate the children.
These are my thoughts feel free to comment.