One of the greatest disadvantages many of us face is we didn’t have an example of successful marriages made up of the lifestyles many of us live. I know in my case, the only successful marriages on either side of my family were my grandparents. My grandmothers were loving and took care of home & children but they did not work professionally outside the home. They did not experience the demands of managing a thriving career and professional goals. They were awesome examples of being a wife but not so much an example of a professional wife.
On the other hand, the generation of women in my family that preceded me were excellent examples of aspiring Boss Ladies. They were professionally driven and achievement focused, paving the way for me to be results driven and successful in the workplace. Despite their workplace success, all them divorced. Successful relationships seem to allude them. They were awesome examples of being a professional woman but not so much an example of a professional wife. So for me, being a professional wife is something I am figuring out as I go and of course there are stumbles.
One of the biggest lessons for me has been realizing that what it takes for me to succeed professionally is NOT the same thing it takes for me to succeed as a wife. And even more, I’ve found that if you try to manage your marriage like you do your workplace responsibilities & role, you will quickly have a rude awakening because this is NOT that. This why we can see a wife soaring professionally yet failing in marriage.
I struggled with that for a bit. I felt so conflicted. I was garnering so much success, getting all the “at-a-girls” at work but was struggling at home in my marriage. In the professional arena my boldness, confidence, demeanor, poise and results were praised but at home all of that somehow worked against me. Yeah part of it was immaturity on both of our parts but I learned it went beyond our immaturity. I learned that being the “Boss Lady” was something I need to tone down when I got home. Instead, I had to focus on being a true team player and even more I sometimes had to fall back and follow.
This was hard for me because I am a natural leader. No doubt, you send me in, I’m coming back leading the pack. It just comes easy for me. And because it is easy for me to flow in my gift, I had to learn to control my gift to ensure I didn’t devalue, discredit or even disgrace my husband. I realized that above all, I had to intentionally prioritize and protect the unity of our marriage - not by discounting myself but rather by evolving myself. (And trust me, the evolution is still going on). I had to recognize that everything isn’t mine to decide, or mine to lead or even mine to express my opinion about. This was not my domain to rule or manage, but rather it was ours to unite and oversee together. Talk about pressure - nothing like pressing yourself to reserve your attitude or your words or your opinions when you are rewarded for leading with it in a different arena. I had to tell myself - this is NOT that. This is instead a call to hold back and discipline yourself to CHOOSE to do so for the benefit of your relationship.
It was also hard for me because I can often see further than Chuck can. You know, I can see exactly where this is going to go. I am quite analytical and I don’t miss much. So while you’re talking, it’s likely that I am a few steps ahead, connecting the dots and drawing conclusions. Again, just how I’m gifted. Great attribute for the workplace. But at home, we are journeying together and we both have a vested interest. I’ve had to learn to experience our journey together and not be dismissive from a perspective of “I know where this is going.” In the workplace, it’s my responsibility to lead and guide my team and work, eliminating waste and error. But again, this is NOT that. In our marriage relationship, this is how cleaving gets its glue. It’s relying on one another. It’s partnership with one another. And it’s respecting the need to go at it together. Learning to trust one another’s insight and perspectives is key because this is not a solo gig. I giggle because Chuck says I’ll finally trust him fully after we hit 50 years of marriage. Lol . Like I said I’m a work in progress.
While your professional characteristics may be different than mine, I am sure you can sense a bit of an oxymoron between what makes you successful at work vs. at home. Taking time to think through it may help you shift gears more appropriately so that you can intentionally prioritize and protect the unity of your relationship. Yes, you are a successful Boss Lady in your own right and it’s exactly what is important for your professional success. But to your Husband, you are his Wife first so be sure honor and fulfill that role fully and with enough humility to evolve as the best WIFE, too.
Here at First Wives Club, we are for you & your marriage. Our goal is to support you as a wife. We recognize being a wife is likely one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but we believe you can win. You’re in the right position to do so. #firstwivesclub #FWClive
Like, Share & Invite other wives.
Author: Denise Taylor
I’m on a mission to help professional women thrive. Hear me loud & clear... Don’t Settle. You can have it all. I live a blessed life & you can too.