The men married to women of impact know that these women are a gem. They pursue their life’s purpose with a clarity that only their creator can understand. Like the late, legendary Professor Wangari Maathai, these women are bold and non-apologetic. They see far when the rest of us only see beyond the bridge of our noses. The only problem is that they are only celebrated decades later when science finally proves that they were years ahead of the rest of the world. Like the Biblical Joseph, people who follow and fight through their divine calling are usually not even aware of the impact of their calling until decades later when they solely save a generation, or humanity, from annihilation.
Unfortunately, many women find a foe not out there in the world, but from right inside their bedrooms; in their husband. Some men feel insecure when their wife gains a following or takes up a stand in something that throws them into the limelight. The said husband had imagined that a ‘helper’ was a less human, one who did not speak too loudly, but hang by, like a fading wall flower. Now, here is this wife whose inner fuel gives her wings. They get so insecure that they forget their own calling and purpose but instead make it their sole purpose to clip her wings. When she decides to obey the divinity of her purpose, she finds that her greatest obstacle is her life partner. A research by Stockholm University concludes that, “Promotion to a top job in politics increases the divorce rate of women but not for men, and women who become CEOs divorce faster than men who become CEOs.” It turns out, society expects the man to bring in the bacon and when tables turn and the wife is the one bringing in the big bucks, a mismatch of expectations causes stress and friction. In some cases, things become so bad for the woman that she faces sabotage deep enough for her to make a difficult choice; leave him or leave the job. Other women hold on to both a difficult marriage relationship and a high-pressure job. They pray that her creator works on her husband. You do not want her God to work on you, trust me. Ask Nabal, Abigail’s husband in 1st Samuel Chapter 25.
In contrast, there are husbands who turn out to be the greatest cheerleaders of their high -performing wives. Like the husband of the Biblical ‘Proverbs 31’ woman, such men are proud of their wife’s achievements, so much so that he praises her.
Why is it that some husbands cannot accommodate a CEO of a wife while others will not have a problem with a wife who wins a presidential election and holds the highest office in the land? “World views, upbringing and other factors that require more research.”
While you cannot go back and erase the learnings from a man’s experiences and upbringing, you can read subtle signs before committing into a marriage with a partner who will not support you as you live out to your best potential.
*Jane returned her engagement ring when she noticed a red light from her betrothed. “I was promoted to a regional role, which entailed frequent travels to different countries.” Her fiancé, during one heated argument, hid her travel documents. “It broke my heart to end that relationship but I am so glad that I did.” Jane is still high flying in her career and happily married to Antony whom she describes as, “my friend and a real knight.”
A successful career and a happy fulfilling marriage relationship is every woman’s dream. It would be unfortunate when her husband turns out to be the biggest obstacle in actualising her life’s purpose. I repeat, there is enough for everyone. Cheer them on as you actualise your own calling.
Karimi is a wife and mother who believes marriage is worth it.