They say behind every successful man is a woman, but is it also true the other way around? Why do we never hear anyone saying “behind every successful woman is a man”? Could it be that women are ungrateful to that extent? Do they get the support but tend to neglect ever mentioning it to anyone? Or are there simply no successful women in or out of sight?
Well, I’m sure some women can be ungrateful, but it’s hard to believe that all women all over the world and all through the ages were all ungrateful. And maybe too many women are unemployed housewives, caught up in the household, running after the kids, cooking, and doing all things that we believe happen automatically with a finger snap, or that magic wand she hides so well. But are women unsuccessful because that’s how God created them? Or could it possibly be because they are putting their dreams aside to help you and support you?
I’m not hinting that men never support their partners; I’d never say such a thing! In fact I’m sure it went down in history somewhere that once upon a time a man was so kind and thoughtful enough to let his partner follow her dreams without stopping her, without being jealous of other men, without being jealous she might be more successful than he is, without being bothered that pursuing her dream and talent is taking her away from him and their home; I’m sure it has happened before sometime, somewhere!
You do realize I’m kidding, right? Most of the time I side with you, but when it comes to men supporting women to follow their talents, it’s simply just too rare to an extreme. And being the sidekick of a partner is not as fun as you might think. Those endless chores and the lack of social stimulus, and waiting for you to come home to have any adult or human contact is just poisonous. Or even simply having to have permission before we pursue our passions, just because what the writer writes makes you jealous, who the artist meets makes you jealous, where the photographer goes makes you worried for her safety, or how many hours the doctor works makes you lonely. Care for us, love us, fear for our safety, and miss us, but realize that we need to have our own thing too. We need inspiration, we need stimuli, we need to use this energy that is locked up deep inside us, we need to unleash the talent buried deep under all the dust of sacrifices and social limitations.
And as my grandpa once told my grandma, “you love to peel fruits”, and to his shock he was faced with a fact he did not know after decades of marriage “I don’t LOVE to peel fruits, I do it because you like it”. We do NOT love to wash, clean, change diapers, cook every single meal of every day, we don’t… really! We do all those things, tiny and huge gestures, things you might never even realize that we do, because we love you, care for you, want to support you, and make you happy. We don’t enjoy flipping burgers as you lazily watch TV with the rest of the family, we do that because we know you love burgers and you would enjoy that meal. We spend hours and hours trying to make you more comfortable, happier, and well supported. Imagine after all that, when we find something we are passionate about, something we are really talented in, something we know we want to do and know that we’ll be great at, we don’t find you backing us up and helping us to reach our full potential; its heart wrecking.
It’s for our own sanity as well as yours; following our passion, being able to do something that we really do love would make us less of a nag, because we would be less dependent on you, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We will have to balance our work with our relationship with you, just like you need to do. You need us, we need you, and that will never change.
You might be thinking I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. I know you think women already did a whole movement and now the sky is the limit with their jobs and whatnot, but that’s far from true. Surveys show that 73% of male CEOs believe that women are no longer held back because of their gender, while 71% of aspiring women believe it’s a huge obstacle they are trying to break through.
Now after all this gibberish I’m saying. Take a moment to think if you are really supporting your partner, or do you only think you are?