This past winter I fell in love with Alexandrina Victoria. You might know her as Queen Victoria of the House of Hanover, the longest reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom to date and the longest reigning female monarch in history. Now that is a powerful woman.
I fell in love with her because I saw the movie, “The Young Victoria.” I got to see it in the theater and now I own the DVD. Within that little gem is a bit of advice for how to love a powerful woman. Based on the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign (the Victoria for whom “Victoria’s Secret” is named), we watch the young beauty fall in love with her handsome Prince Albert – a man who would never be called king – and watch them navigate how to love and be loved in these roles that demand she be his superior in every way.
Prince Albert was no puppet. He masterfully and with great masculine expression, made a place for himself in the palace, in Britain, among the world’s leaders, and in his wife’s heart.
It may seem this blog entry was written just for men since it is about how to love a powerful woman. However, as you’ll quickly see below, women share the responsibility for being well loved! Here is the advice I gleaned from the movie:
Women, respect your men. In this 21st Century, it’s easy to not appreciate what it costs a man to be in a relationship with a powerful, successful woman. Regardless of how the world measures your and his accomplishments, he is worthy of your respect because he loves you – even adores you. Respect him.
Have a sincere interest in his work and interests. Nothing says, “I love and respect you” quite like having a genuine curiosity in the interests of another. It makes him feel seen and heard.
Along these lines, we have the opinion of a powerful 21st Century woman who is happily wed. As Mo’Nique made the interview rounds in regards to her 2010 Oscar win, she made this provocative statement, “I don’t think that anyone should be in control of a relationship. I think that if you have a woman that controls her man, he is a puppet and he is weak.” But ladies, the attempt to control him begins with you. If you don’t want to be a tyrant in your relationship, if you want it to feed and nurture you, then respect him.
Now advice for the men: gentlemen, have your own work and interests. There are hundreds of ways to love and support her. While you may be content to be the moon that orbits around her as sun, most of you will thrive best if you have your own work and interests.
Know your place in her life. Depending on just how successful she is she may have a posse or entourage of folks who take care of her. Those kinds of relationships can get sticky – a little dysfunctional with various people longing to have a place in her heart that usurps all others. Don’t allow it. You don’t have to go to war with anyone who would like to position themselves between the pair of you. You simply have to know that you are her husband (or lover) and that no one can take your place. Taking that stand, you simply won’t engage with those who would like to be superior to you in her heart.
Protect her and provide a safe space from the slings and arrows of life. Because of a woman’s natural ability to multi-task and see a big picture, she can take on entirely too much, attempting to make too many people happy, feeling like the Great Mother to people who both have their own mothers and are perfectly capable adults themselves! Your ability to focus can help her make time for herself and for the both of you to have time to rest and relax and to feel safe and secure.
Finally, work together for both of you to accomplish your goals. Rather than treat the stuff of her life as more important than yours, view your separate and mutual interests as equally valid and do whatever it takes for both of you to win in your careers.
At one point in the movie, Victoria and Albert are drenched from running in the rain, undressing each other back in their private quarters. She clings to him, looks him in the eyes and says, “We will take care of each other, won’t we.” More of a statement than a question, it’s a delicious moment between lovers who are equals in their hearts and souls, unencumbered by the demands of the gifts of their lives that put them in the roles of Queen and Prince.
If you love a powerful woman or if you are a powerful woman in love with a man who loves you, the two of you have been gifted with a rare opportunity to contribute to this world and to love each other in a unique and abiding way. Know that you are not alone on this journey; other couples have and do traverse it well. Remember to have fun! And if you want a true story that will support you, rent or purchase “The Young Victoria.” It’s just scrumptious!