Behind Every Successful Woman There is A Self-Sacrificing Man

So many times we hear the old adage that “behind every successful Man is a Woman.” A woman to support, love and be the pillar of strength while a Man
19 Aug 2017 11:00
Behind Every Successful Woman There is A Self-Sacrificing Man
The writer says we have missed that men play a key role in the success of women and it starts with the little things.

So many times we hear the old adage that “behind every successful Man is a Woman.”

A woman to support, love and be the pillar of strength while a Man can “become successful.” My question to you all is why then do we not expect the same to be true in the reverse?

We hear so much in the media about women empowerment and how women can take control and better themselves.

So much research suggests that women are creating their own glass ceilings by limiting their own potential and not taking opportunities. While this may be true, we often as a society miss the most important fact that nobody can be successful without that “pillar of strength” behind them.

In a world where women are fighting for equality and where gender roles are still part of our history, we have missed that men can play a key role in the success of women and it starts with the little things.

As I write this article I am sitting in my office looking at a photo that was taken of me when I was three years old. In this photo I am wearing my father’s wig and gown (he is also a lawyer) and a nappy.

My father had dressed me up like a lawyer and taken this photo and when my mum asked him what he was doing he replied “one day my daughter will be an even better lawyer than I am.”



This was the very first step towards my success. ‘Belief’. Not believing in myself since I was far too young, but it was a strong belief of a selfless man. It was the belief of my father that his first born, a daughter was nothing less than a male and was going to become successful.

Through the years I remember families, friends and acquaintances of ours would constantly tell my parents that they must not forget that I am a girl and that their primary objectives were to teach me to cook and clean so that I could get married and have a family.

My father would never hesitate to say that he believed there was so much more his daughter was capable of and that he wanted us to be successful in all aspects of life.


Standing up for what you believe in

Belief was not the only thing that brought success to my direction but it was also the fact that my father was ready to stand up to everyone in our society, even tell the whole world how proud he was of me.

He did not care what others thought and he had the foresight to see that women had exactly the same; if not more potential than men did at success.

When I graduated with my law degree, my father was ecstatic and completely overjoyed.

I recall him telling his clients about me qualifying as a lawyer, and most people would respond by saying, “That’s nice, but when is she getting married?”

These statements made me realise that even though times had changed the view of many people in our societies had not.  It was as if marriage was the only measure of success for a female.

But throughout this my father stood on ceremony and made sure he supported my success as best he could.

My first three years of legal practice is when my father really became my mentor, he taught me how to stand up for what I believed in and how to deal with dominant male clients, who did not want to hear from a female lawyer. He taught me to never give up and to believe in myself.


Developing your Identity

So is one unselfish man enough to change the world for a woman? Maybe not, and this is where I shall introduce you to the next man in my life who unconditionally supports my success; my husband. I married at 24 and apart from being a lawyer, I had no actual concept of who I was.

I was yet to create my own Identity. Prior to my marriage I thought that my identity after marriage would be that of my husband and after marriage this is the notion I started working towards.

Thankfully before becoming someone’s shadow I married the man that explained to me that identity was what I built for myself and I should not be known only as “a daughter of, or a wife of someone.”

Not only did he explain these ideas to me but he encouraged me to try new things, travel alone, and broaden my horizons. He was the one who picked me up when things did not go quite as planned and encourage me to try again.

Through him I learnt that even after becoming a mother it was important for me to have my own life, which did not revolve only around my children but catered to my own needs and wants.



The last man that I want to tell you about is my baby brother who taught me to love myself just as I am. Despite being 10 years younger than me, I have learnt how important it is to have dreams and to follow them. Not to give up on your dreams merely because they may go against what society thinks is right for you.


How do we measure success?

To me success is measured by the number of lives you have touched in a positive way that has made it possible for you to empower others without disempowering yourself.

Success can be measured by how many times you have tried, failed and got up to try again.

Success is taking time for yourself, even if you have to take a week to do nothing that is on your “To Do” list and only things that help you relax.

Success is being self-preserving because you know that your needs and wants are just as important as the people around you and if you don’t take care of yourself, you will be no good to the people who are counting on you.



I have told you about the three men in my life who have stood behind me with an open mind and open heart but please don’t get me wrong. At no point I am saying that women are weak or cannot be successful without a man.

I am merely saying that often men under-estimate the constant support, love, attention, and encouragement they can provide to women to ensure their success.

Too many times men are quick to say that women themselves create their own glass-ceilings by limiting their own worlds but how many men out there have stopped to think that maybe they can create change.

How many men are willing to sacrifice their success, for the success of the women in their lives?

I believe that a successful person has high levels of self-image, self-confidence, self-worth, self-esteem and self-love and when any of these levels of “SELF” run low or become depleted they find a way to ask for help. So I urge every man, whether a father, brother, husband, son or friend to provide the support women need, to truly be successful, because as you can see “behind a successful women there is a strong and self-sacrificing Man.”




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