They say, ‘behind every successful man is a woman,’ and I don’t know if I believe them. Just like I’d not know if the opposite about ‘a man being behind every successful woman’ would ring true!
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I guess neither is true ALL the time, but a quote from Sandberg’s manifesto for career-oriented women, Lean In, “The most important career choice you’ll make is who you marry” rings in my head like an un-snoozed alarm, on and on, without break. Every day, every night as my husband wraps his arms around me and tells me just how proud he is of everything I am. I am lucky, that way, I guess because I have bagged, I believe, the king of supportive husbands- but then again, I know most of my modern ambitionista girlfriends believe the very same about their own supportive husbands.
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They are a rare breed, agreed, but they are also a lesson for all men to understand just why it so important for a husband to show up for their women and support them in a way that doesn’t displace, compromise or eliminate their career-focused needs, wants and desires but strengthens and nurtures them. To grow and bear fruit.
Human connections are the biggest markers of happiness in life and when a connection you build for a lifetime grows into an enabler for something you’ve worked a lifetime for, it does make you happy! I can attest. And you know what they say about a happy wife and a happy life, right?
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In all earnestness, supportive husbands make for a fascinating case study in a group of men who are dancing the wild dance on the balance beam of gender bias. I say so because these supportive spouses are holding their wives’ hands as they waltz right to the center and bring alive the ‘two to tango’ tenet while keeping the scales from tipping in any one direction! They are truly embracing the shifting nature of gender roles as we (the women) continue to shatter glass ceilings at the work place and they break out of the ‘resentful, insecure, envious’ husband mold to become partners who do not feel threatened by their wives successes but feel extremely proud of them!
To one such supportive husband, I owe a lifetime of gratitude. He has stood by me no matter what- helping me take the risks, accept the challenges, own my failures, learn from them and move toward success! And I know thousands of such fortunate ladies out there feel the same for their supportive husbands. So, on behalf of the women who can make it because their husbands care naught for a society that still treats women’s contributions to the workplace secondary to her familial duties, I want to say THANK YOU!
Thank you for believing in us, even when we fail to do it. Turns out some things are just right even when all else is going wrong.
Thank you for being the ones we can turn to when in doubt, because with you, we can fall apart and still be loved perfectly for all our imperfections.
Thank you for finding our ambitions worthy. Most of all, thank you for believing we are capable of pursuing them.
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Thank you for cooking and doing the dishes when we barely have the energy. And thank you for appreciating us when we get to doing the chores.
Thank you for standing up for us, when the world does not approve of our choices.
Thank you for questioning stereotypes and doing away with assumptions because our relationship, as you say, cannot be ‘the way it’s usually done.’
Thank you for taking charge of ‘romance’ when we are caught up. Sometimes, wonky work schedules make just ‘showing up’ a task. And you make it so easy.
On the flip side, thank you for indulging our date ideas too- crazy as they may be!
Thank you for putting up with our tardiness and sloppiness and loving us all the same.
Thank you for seeing our careers as a joint venture. As an opportunity for us to grow and build our work, as we respect each other’s, even though we may not fully understand it.
Most of all, thank you for pushing us to strive harder even when the stakes are high. Thank you for encouraging us to swim even when the tide’s not in our favor. Thank you for helping us to dream big and take on those risks bravely- because, we wouldn’t get where we are going alone.
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Thank you for standing up to a society that is intent on making the journey harder. On all such occasions, thank you for turning on our favorite songs on the car stereo!
Thank you for being there, no matter what.
It takes a special partner to be unwaveringly there for his woman, despite her failings and even a more special one to be the cheerleader who can tell her, through a mere look, the secret to keep going!
Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License