Full Speed Ahead: Supporting an Overachiever Husband (or Wife!)
My husband likes to succeed. He’s a go-getter and an alpha… and what can I say? It’s very attractive. When we started dating, it was one of the things I quickly grew to love about him. He is motivated, ambitious, and driven; and he does it all with self-respect and integrity. But…is there such a thing as too much drive?
When your spouse is always on the go and working toward the next big thing, do you ever wonder where you fit in? I’ll be honest—sometimes I do. I wonder if I’m supporting him, or if I’m just getting in the way. The thing is, I can’t stand to be useless. Instead, I consciously take steps to ensure we are both happy. When he is meeting his goals and I’m feeling like my support is effective, both of us find success and fulfillment.
So what about you? Is your spouse an overachiever? How do you help fuel that tank? Here are a few ideas that I’ve found effective.
Be willing to operate independently. As much as I love doing everything with my hubby, I know that he won’t be able to meet all his goals if we’re attached at the hip. Attaining goals takes hard work and a big time commitment. While your overachiever is out there doing his or her thing, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. It’ll also give him or her less to worry about. Your spouse can reach goals quicker and more efficiently if he or she knows you’re okay and not counting down the minutes until he or she gets home. Make your own goals for your education, profession, or health, and aim to achieve them while your spouse is achieving his or her goals.
Be ready to rein your spouse in sometimes. It’s a fact: sometimes those overachievers need a bit a of a reality check. Whether I’m playing the devil’s advocate or just slowing him down so he doesn’t get too burnt out, I always have my husband’s best interests at heart and I try to make them known to him. After all, it’s quite stressful being an overachiever. Sometimes it’s even as simple as sitting down with my husband and asking him how he plans to achieve his next goal, or what strategies he’ll use. The added benefit of this is that you’ll also be prepared for what is coming. Kind of like prepping for a hurricane, perhaps? Just kidding.
Show your pride and be supportive. When your spouse does something to make you proud, let him or her know! Show it, say it, share it, do whatever it is you do to be outwardly encouraging and supportive. I do this for my husband for whatever the next move, plan, or goal may be…even if it’s just to take a break. I support those, too!
Stay positive. Like many things in marriage, supporting an overachiever spouse isn’t always easy. It can be overwhelming, aggravating, and even tiresome at times. That’s why we supporters must keep a positive attitude. I try my best to stay focused and be self-motivated, and that’s easier to do when I know we’re both putting in the effort to make things happen. It’s a two-way street, and we aren’t going to get anywhere with a negative attitude.
So is there such a thing as too much drive? In my opinion: no, not really. There are ways to help fuel an overachiever spouse and incorporate needs for both of you into a relationship. It helps to agree on mutual goals, be open to new ideas and opportunities, and take a few minutes each week to make sure things are in perspective. You’ll both feel like you’re on the road to success!