They say that behind every successful man is a strong woman, but sometimes being that strong woman feels like climbing Mount Everest, so as part of a campaign with #CollectiveBias and Gillette, I want to talk a little bit about how I feel I have contributed to my young husband’s career success.
Kyle didn’t become successful in his career because of me, he became successful because he was always going to be successful. He graduated from the University of Central Florida’s Rosen School of Hospitality when he was 20 years old. He worked full time through college to help pay housing costs and to be able to put money away in savings for after college. He had his eye on the prize and he wasn’t going to relent. I don’t call him the Doogie Howser of the Hospitality Industry for nothing.
The unfortunate truth is that some women marry a man and have their own ideas of what the relationship is going to look like. Perhaps unknowingly, they work against their man’s dreams for the future. I’m sure this doesn’t always happen on purpose, I just know, as a selfish person myself, that it’s easy to get caught up in your own hopes and dreams for the future. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that you married this other person because making them happy makes you happy. Sometimes we want what we want and we want it now, no matter what our loved ones are working towards.
I haven’t always been perfect in supporting my husband. Marriage is a constant struggle and balance of growing pains and growth. I find my husband incredibly attractive and I struggle knowing that he works a lot, with a lot of beautiful people. This recent post from Brandi at Mama Knows it All about What to do When: Your Husband is Fine reminded me that yes, he’s super sexy, but I’ve helped him get where he is. I’m the mother to his children. We’ve been through so much together, and nothing can take any of that from us. I have spent the last five years supporting his career and I know that despite the fact he never thanks me openly for it, he definitely recognizes the work I put into his success.
We both made sacrifices when we decided to marry one another. One of his dreams had been to live in Scotland for a while and work. Another was to manage a restaurant in a coastal southern beach town. I was in the process of finishing my bachelor’s degree and wanted to move back to the Pacific Northwest. While working towards our goals and dreams, we found one another, fell in love, and decided to spend our lives together. Yes, we’ve both made sacrifices, but my job as a wife is to stand by and support my husband as he works towards his dreams. You can read more about how he became the General Manager of a 4-star hotel restaurant at the age of 25, or you can just read below about ways that you can support your husband as he reaches for his dreams.
1. Help Him Dress For Success
It doesn’t matter what industry your husband is in, he has to dress a certain way for that industry. Is he a corporate businessman who needs dapper suits? Is he in construction and needs tough denim and steel-toe boots? Is your man a public servant who has to wear a uniform each day? No matter what industry your man is in, he has to dress a certain way. I heard recently, “Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” While that particular sentiment doesn’t necessarily apply to someone who has to wear a uniform every day, it does apply to Kyle’s job as a Restaurant Manager. He enjoys dressing up and looking good, so even when he was working at a property that didn’t require a tie, he wore a tie. In Raleigh, he had to wear season-appropriate suits, and that’s what he’s most comfortable in. At his new property, he can wear khakis and a polo if he wants to, or a button down shirt and some nice slacks. He isn’t required to wear a tie or jacket, but because that’s what he’s comfortable wearing, and because he isn’t done with the career growth yet, he wears ties and jackets. It is my job as his wife to keep his wardrobe fresh and looking good. Because men’s fashion has come a long way in recent years, it also means that I have to keep on top of men’s fashion trends to keep my husband looking dapper.
I shop sales and outlet stores to find the best looks for him. Equally important to trends is fit. Make sure your husband’s clothes fit well. Tailoring doesn’t cost much and goes a long way to making your man look and feel his best. When he leaves the house every day, I know Kyle’s going to turn heads. Knowing that keeps me on my toes and surprising him with new outfits and accessories from time to time keeps him looking his best and feeling well taken care of.
2. Know His Personal Care Routine
Kyle has to have a clean-shaven face and neck in his industry, but he also has really sensitive skin that is prone to ingrown hairs. He likes to shower just before leaving for work, sweats like crazy, and rubs holes into his socks. Knowing about new products to hit the market that will keep my man’s face smooth is just as important as knowing which deodorant he likes to wear.
The new Gillette Flexball Razor that I found at Walmart glides across his skin effortlessly and pivots on a ball to reach all of the angles and lines on his sexy face. The five thin blades tug less at the hair he is trying to remove than other blades, which causes fewer ingrown hairs. The last thing my baby-faced husband needs is an ingrown hair looking like a pimple and making him look even younger than he already is. This razor also has a larger lubricating strip which is vital in keeping the skin moist and healthy while you’re shaving hair off of its surface. He was already using the Gillette Fusion Proglide to shave, so we had cartridges at home that are compatible with the Flexball Razor – yay for not having to stray from his Gillette razor comfort zone!
I try to keep up with when he runs out of his shaving cream, aftershave, face wash, hair styling products, and deodorant. I want my husband to always know that his needs are being met so that he has one less thing to worry about as he gets ready for work. Can you imagine managing a restaurant without deodorant on? He might not have any clientele if that happened. Keep your man stocked up on the things necessary for his industry.
3. Learn to Discern The Appropriate Times to Have Serious Conversations
I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s SO hard for me to hold my tongue, but the reality of the situation is that you don’t want to attack your man about something that is on your mind as he’s walking out the door to work. It will leave him frustrated and unfocused on work and will leave you frustrated and unable to focus on anything but the argument until he gets home. This isn’t good for any relationship. I have found that learning to hold my tongue for a better time makes for fewer arguments and more productive talks about our future or whatever happens to be on my mind. It also means that often I have something on my mind that he doesn’t know about. In those times, I turn to my closest friends for advice and to calm me down. Us women can be irrational from time to time, right? That’s why it’s so important to have friends who have your best interests at heart and will tell you when you’re acting like a crazy person. Seek friends who will tell you the truth about the situation, not just what they think you want to hear. It’s a lot easier to have a conversation with your man when he has time to listen to you and you’ve been diffused by a good girlfriend.
4. Put Yourself Aside
I don’t mean ignore your dreams. Just like you want your husband to be happy and successful, he should also want you to be happy and successful. My point is that sometimes to help your spouse pursue their dreams, you have to put your own dreams on the backburner, and that is OK. Sometimes it’s just a season that you have to get through in order to elevate the person you have chosen to spend your life with. That doesn’t mean you should be unhappy, it just means that you have to find new things to satisfy your own happiness. For me it’s working out, writing, and spending time with my girlfriends. I’ve had to learn to make concessions and hire a babysitter if I need some “me” time. Putting myself aside doesn’t mean I put my happiness aside. It means that I seek other ways to keep myself happy and fulfilled while helping my husband attain his ultimate dreams.
What can you do to make yourself happy while you support your husband in his quest for success?
5. Learn to Love Him
How does your husband like to be loved? If you haven’t read “The 5 Love Languages”, I highly recommend you pick it up ASAP. It will teach you to love others the way that they receive love rather than the way that you give love. We all have one or two of five different love languages. My husband’s are acts of service and touch. Mine are quality time and words of affirmation. If I love Kyle by offering to spend quality time with him and praising him verbally, he might feel affirmed, but he doesn’t feel like I’m loving him. If he cleans the house and wants to be intimate with me but isn’t meeting my quality time and affirmative words needs, I don’t feel loved. You might be doing your best to love him the way you know how, but it isn’t keeping his love tank filled. I know that when Kyle comes home to a clean, tidy house he feels loved. I also know that being available for him on an intimate level also makes him feel loved. I hate cleaning house and it’s not one of my strengths, but I have learned that if I want my man to be happy, I need to make sure he comes home to a clean, un-chaotic house.
Nobody ever said that marriage was easy. All relationships require significant work, but at the end of the day, seeing your spouse happy and feeling the effects of that happiness, is the best feeling in the world. Remembering that you chose your spouse for a reason and that their happiness makes you happy will make your job of supporting them a lot more fulfilling.
How can you help your spouse achieve success?