Let us put aside any discussion of Mexican or any other ethnic culture. It serves no useful purpose in a discussion like this. If you want to understand the Mexican culture, fine.
We live in the US of A in the year 2012. So the only culture that matters is this one. Unfortunately today in our culture it is just not rationally possible for a women to be solely and completely a housewife. In most families, it is an absolutely necessity that both partners work. Not because they want two homes, a car for everyone and every occasion etc. But it is a necessity for survival. So if both partners are not able to bring home the bacon, the family is in trouble.
Even if, a family is well off enough that both don't have to work, the roles demanded of the stay at home partner are such that they darn well had better develop diverse interests.
But even that aside, in my own life I looked at the practical side of things. If something happened to me; death, serious illness, disability, etc. even divorce; I loved my wife enough to want to be sure that she could make her way without me. That required that she have a marketable skill; a functioning brain that would allow her to do the things necessary to live.
Still looking at it solely from the practical side. Like most families, over our 51 years, we had a lot of ups and downs. Really rough days economically as well as easy days. I relied on her advise and ideas. Two of the best investments I ever made were her suggestions. Its just too bad she died just as we were in the position of kicking back and enjoying the fruits of what we both brought to the marriage.
The only interest she picked up that drove me crazy was her obsession with politics during the last 10 years of her life. The obsession was eating her up with worry over the world our children were going to have to live in. A lot of those worries are turning out to be well founded. But then, I long ago learned that she did have a very good head on her shoulder and was someone that should be listened to, even if you did not agree with her. She intuitively arrived at conclusions that I could only arrive at after a lot of reasoning.
She was a teacher who taught gifted kids, the brightest and the best, and she was darn good at it. She learned from them as much as they did from her.
I'm not so sure we can put aside ethnic cultures entirely, though, even in this country. It's a melting pot, and we're going to see more and more of it.
That being said, there's something more important here. What a glowing tribute to your late wife!!! You spoke so eloquently about her. Plus that, you made it to your 50th anniversary -- something that those of us who have been around for awhile will never see. You had a good partner -- both of you made great choices. Plus that, you obviously know the meaning and value of commitment. It helped to keep you together during the rough times. You respected her as a person and for her abilities; both of you handled your share of the load.
Blessings upon both of you.