I went through it myself and I have run across many women who have also.
I was married to a man who didn’t support anything I did.
I have an entrepreneurial spirit. I want to be free and independent, not punch a clock or report day in/day out to a 9-5 job. I understand the importance of having a job – I’ve worked many of them, career jobs, and climbed the corporate ladder. But even then, I was always trying something “on the side”. I’ve sold life insurance, beauty products and even wine through various multi-level marketing schemes. (ugh, that’s a whole other blog right there -_- ). I’ve owned a gift basket business, a romance package business and an editing services business, all registered, legit businesses. I even opened my own coffee shop/lite fare/internet cafe/book shop called Java Scripts Coffee House and Book Store and published my first full length novel, The Broken Sword.
I’ve spent countless….omg…COUNTLESS hours on the Internet writing with online groups to hone my skills, marketing myself, my work… I’ve read every blog, joined every list, networked with other writers…anything I could think of to help promote me, my product, services or business…whatever I had going on at the time.
In return, what I got from the one person who was *supposed* to walk through fire with me, swing with me – back to back, support me through my endeavors, and sing my praises – was grumblings about spending too much time on the computer with my “fake” friends and always “dreaming up something instead of getting a *real* job”. The thing was, I was working frantically to make something POP because I COULDN’T get a real job despite my best efforts! When I launched my radio show, Lette’s Chat, the first question I was asked was if I was getting paid for it.
No support. No emotion. No…nothing.
While writing The Broken Sword, I repeatedly asked him to read my pages, give me feedback, was I on point, did the story make sense, would the readers get it, were there plot holes…?
No support. No emotion. No…nothing.
It wasn’t until I got my first royalty check did he read The Broken Sword and MUCH to his shock, he actually enjoyed it. By then I could not have cared less. It wasn’t until I landed my first remote interview with local Tony Perkins (Fox5 news anchor and local icon) did he accompany down to the station…of course, to enjoy the spotlight because he was a big fan – NOT to support me.
Men often say they want a strong, independent woman but I’m not really sure they know what that means or what it entails because what most strong, independent women want is a man who will support them. Not just financially, but also emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
I know an actor/producer who has been on my show and we have kept in touch. His name is Mark Gantt (haha, he told me I could say his name!) I frequently see his posts on my Facebook news feed. He is a recent newlywed but he and his wife, Brianne, have been together for, what I gather, quite a while. One thing that impresses me the most beyond his talent, beyond his accomplishments, beyond his kindness and charm, is his RAW, UNBRIDLED, OPEN support of his wife. Let me make this clear. This man PROMOTES her WORK, he gives her accolades on HIS page and he professes his love for her and her WORK with the most genuine appeal. I don’t even hear his voice, yet I can clearly FEEL how he feels about his wife, her work, her dreams, goals and ambitions.
That’s awesome. It’s also a man who is secure in his OWN rite. He can promote his wife without FEAR of her getting more of the spotlight than he does.
That’s what it all boils down to doesn’t it?
Men don’t support women in her endeavors as an effort to keep her “down” so that she doesn’t outshine him, right? Come on now, be honest…right?
As usual, I wrote this blog to exorcise some of my own demons but usually when I do this it’s because someone else needs it too. Like I said, I know plenty of women who have commiserated with me on this issue.
So, what do we do?
I offer my same, repetitive advice. Outside of deciding if you want to stay with someone who does not support you or give less than a flying … er, fig.., about what you do (I decided I didn’t want to, but that’s ME), or someone who doesn’t understand why you MUST market yourself on social media almost 24 hours a day, or who is a control freak, or who doesn’t understand that your Internet friends are some of the best people in the world and do FAR more for you than your … “real life”…friends and family, then I would tell you to continue to surround yourself with like minded people who love the same things you love, have the same goals you have and who have the same ambitions that you do and who travel in the circles where you WANT TO BE.
I once heard a motivation speaker say this: “Don’t travel in your same circles because that’s just what they are…a circle, going round and round. Always aim for a higher level…where you want to be…so that you constantly work to get there.”
Of course, I paraphrased that because I can’t remember *exactly* what he said, but you get the point, right?
I wish all men could support their women like Mark does. I think if they did, there would be even MORE successful women. I know women who have given up their dreams due to lack of support from their spouse/(in)significant other.
Don’t do it. Don’t quit. You’ll HATE yourself for it. If you’re depressed now, you’ll be even more if you quit.
Keep writing, keep knitting, keep making jewelry, keep marketing, keep pod-casting, keep producing whatever it is that you do. Get RID OF toxic relationships and bask yourself in the light of others who will bask in yours, support you, elevate you and love you.
It IS worth it.
YOU are worth it!
They ARE out there. THANK YOU to the men in my life who support my efforts: Paul Sampson, Bleedingcritic, Kinte Ferguson, Scott Kos, Ranjeet Marwa, Crash Palace, Joe Wilson (and Mike Cat), H, Giovanni Russano, Keone Reed, Greg Maye and Bryden Lloyd.