Being a strong, independent, financially stable woman doesn’t mean that you are lonely and bitter towards men. But judging by the media’s interest in black women’s love lives, you’d think this was the case. In fact, some of the most successful women I know are happily married and support their husbands in all of their endeavors. These women are powerhouses on the job, but at home they share that power with their mate and don’t try to overshadow him with their success.

They say that behind every great man is an even greater woman. That it is the woman who he has to thank for being able to achieve what he has. Before you say that this saying is sexist, the truth is that we ALL need someone to have our backs sometimes. We need someone who can keep us from falling when we want to give up and who reminds us of the greatness we have within. Only a woman of great strength, poise and respect can have her own and still know how to give her partner the support he needs.

Despite the strong, black woman myth, not every woman who has her life together is a man eater and gets her kicks out of degrading a man every chance that she gets. Michelle Obama is the epitome of a focused and successful woman. In addition to her solo accomplishments, she is a fantastic mother and wife because she supports her husband to the fullest. She knows how to let him shine and is supportive of his greatness. Despite her talents, Mrs. O doesn’t always have to be front and center. Even when the President and First Lady began dating she admitted she was at a higher level in her career than he was, but she saw the potential Mr. Obama possessed. She nurtured it, stood by his side and helped him reach his goals.

As a woman you have to be able to recognize when your man needs you to be strong for him, and also understand when it is time to let him shine. When you are in a relationship it is not always about you. This doesn’t mean that you have to take the backseat, but rather that you must distinguish between when it’s time for you to take center stage and when you have to sit in the audience and cheer.

Some women who are at the top of their games have the unfair reputation of being malicious and hard on any man who comes into their lives. According to the stereotype, they try to be “the man” on the job and in the relationship, attempting to play the dominant role. But as many of us already know that in order to have a successful relationship, you have to respect and support your partner the same way you want to be respected and supported.

Often times, society tries to tell us that we have to be hard, stubborn and borderline masculine in order to be taken seriously. We are told this is the only way to get ahead in life. But when it comes to relationships, it is ok to let your guard down and play fall back sometime.

Having your own is an essential part of being a fully actualized woman, but if you have a good man show him your appreciation by always having his back.

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