Many ambitious women wonder how to strive both in their careers, businesses and at work. It is possible to be an ambitious, striving, successful woman, and still have a happy, successful marriage? Despite the many modern advances in our society, it’s still a question many of us ask ourselves.
I know I asked myself the question when getting married. Would I be able to still be able to chase my dreams, while still being happy in my marriage? Would I have to choose between ambition and happiness in my marriage? Can we really have it all, in our love partnerships and in our work?
We can’t help to notice that a number of extremely successful women are also not partnered. We can also see through social media and even reality television, that many marriages and partnerships are destroyed when career success or ambition enters the equation. Just look at Hollywood marriages for instance.
From talking with a few girlfriends, and my own experience, I’ve learnt that it’s more about finding the right balance than it is about combining career ambition and happy marriage. It’s also about keeping in mind certain golden principles when it comes to career ambition and happiness in marriage:
Know yourself first and what works for you
One of the biggest mistakes we can make in any relationship is not knowing ourselves and what works for us. If there ever were a mirror rendering an accurate reflection of who are, it would be marriage. It’s important to know who you are and what works for you.
Giving the impression that you’ll be cooking and cleaning when you’re more interested in attending networking events and breaking the glass ceiling will not serve anyone. You can have a successful marriage and still build an outstanding career or business. The key is to understand yourself first, and be honest about what you bring to the table.
Don’t be ashamed of your ambition
Ambition is nothing to be ashamed of or suppressed. It makes you who you are. Instead of being ashamed at your own desires for career or business success, don’t hesitate to claim it. If your partner cannot handle it from the get-go, then you may have to reconsider the relationship.
We bring all of us into any relationship, and denying or concealing any part of who we are only complicates things in the long run. Whether it’s your ambition, passion, goals or objectives, they are all valuable and worthy to be at least considered.
Honesty is key
As in any relationships, honesty is the key to a healthy marriage. Not being honest about your career or business ambition may only set the tone for a dishonest partnership. Instead, be forthcoming about what you need for your own fulfillment. The happier and more fulfilled you are, the more you can bring to the relationship.
Prepare for obstacles
Obstacles are a given in any partnership or marriage. It’s simply par for the course. Unfortunately, for many working women, career or business ambition can constitute yet another, potent obstacle to a harmonious relationship. Being ambitious in your career or business may require you to make certain sacrifices, travel or work overtime, which in turn may not bode well at all times with your partner.
It’s important to be prepared to manage and overcome these types of obstacles. Being as honest as possible, having an open dialogue, and even resorting to couples therapy, can help.
Be flexible and open to change
Last but not least, being flexible and open to change can go a long way in any relationship. This is especially true as your partner may also have a demanding career, and both your schedules may be conflicting with each other. Careers, like relationships, are subject to change. Showing flexibility and adaptability, while focusing on the health of your relationship, is key.
What other advice do you have to combine career ambition with a happy marriage?
To Your Success,
The Corporate Sis.