Behind Every Great Man Is…
…potentially a woman who is quite tired of hearing this quote. if you finish the sentence of “behind every great man is a great woman” then you are not alone but i would like you to reconsider it.
in 2012, i coached my husband ryan avery, as he entered and then WON the world championship of public speaking. here’s what it’s like to be married to a world champion and this has lead us to pursuing opportunities all around the world! that’s a pretty amazing statement and i feel thankful for how our life has taken shape.
when people see my husband on stage, where he speaks of how we worked together through the process of the world championship and how we now run a business together, i can almost guarantee you that at least three people will come up to me after he’s done to say “ya know…behind every great man is a great woman!”
i realize most people who say this to me are coming from a place of encouragement and they mean well but it actually drives me insane. i also acknowledge that while it may actually be my husband on stage a fair majority of the time and i’m in the front row or at the back of the room with our resources, i’m still not behind him. in our relationship, i’m never behind him but rather next to him, even if not literally at all times.
when people first started saying this to me, i used to just smile and nod even though it felt like banshees were screaming in my head. i know that he doesn’t see me as just his supportive arm candy so why do i care what others think or say?
i care because words are how we communicate so they do matter and effect us.
i know people don’t usually mean to place more value on my husband than me. heck, i’ve even had people say “behind every great man is an even greater woman.” while that’s nice, i don’t see myself as greater or better than my husband.
i’ve started responding in a very ‘new wifestyle’ way of:
“actually…neither of us is behind or in front of the other! we strongly agree that we stand next to each other since we are equals in our relationship. we both support and encourage one another. we work hard at being a team so thank you!”
of course there are times when i’m in a more supportive role while being his encourager and vice versa. point being, it matters to be intentional with our words and even if “you don’t mean it that way” think about what you are saying because words are powerful.
if you are reading this and you’ve said this to me…no, you don’t need to apologize. however, i would ask you to consider retiring this old saying.
here are some alternatives to use when we talk about supportive spouses:
“couples who support each other go farther together.”
“success usually involves many people all gathering around one goal.”
“behind every great man is his behind.” (that’s just a fact)
1) what is your take on this age-old saying?
2) what other sayings are you tired of hearing regarding marriage/wife roles?
3) how do you decide when to just ‘smile and nod’ and when to speak what’s really on your mind?