7 reasons why we need demanding women for our own success

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A rich Italian arrived at Reiters Allegria Spa Resort yesterday. The wonderful rumble of his crimson Ferrari’s engine rattled the entire courtyard of the Austrian hotel.

In the evening, his partner, a gazelle of a woman, expensively adorned, went to him for his keys and credit card. She was, of course, going on a trip.

“Gold-digger?”  he said with a smile, as he noticed that I was watching her legs when she left.

I shuddered, I don’t like the word and all that it implies. All relationships involve give and take, although I had to concede that in this particular one, the amounts being given and taken were much higher than in most.

I suppose I don’t like “Gold-digger” as a label because it’s so one-sided. Would his wife’s girlfriends accuse him of being a “Beauty-digger”, “Excellent mother digger,” And who knows what other wonderful qualities she was “selling” him in return for his “gold”?

Women are entitled to have big dreams too, but it’s more difficult for them. They are often expected to bring up children, and that eats up a large portion of their most productive years. Well-raised children with the skills, values and loving natures that enrich the whole world are difficult to put a price tag on, but society does this nevertheless, and usually values a woman’s role(s) far less than it values a man who makes money.

I think that at least a woman’s sense of security will be fulfilled by a man’s success, even if her ultimate sense of satisfaction will not. The Italian accepted this with a smile and a nod, came and sat down, and ordered “menta branka” for us, an Austrian mint liqueur, and confided: “Honestly, where would I be without her? Probably just an average lawyer in an average job. Without her, I wouldn’t have opened my own law firm. She’s demanding, but she drives me forward. She knows my potential better than I do.”

Perhaps “gold-refiners” would be a more flattering term and a more accurate one. They don’t seek out rich men who will give them a pampered life, they seek out men who have untapped potential, the gold within, and they sift and refine the raw material until everything precious is revealed.

Every business venture is a long-distance race, and every entrepreneur must be a marathon runner. Perhaps the long, slow work of motherhood prepares women to take the long view too, pushing them on day after day with the goal at the end in mind. Men often dream of quick wins and instant heroics, while women push on through adversity, patient and persistent. That same vision and mindset they turn on us, urging us to be all that we can be.

They motivate us to achieve more, just as they do our children, on a daily basis, never relenting. A good partner is a rock who can inspire a man to achieve more than he could alone.

I can’t see anything of the gold-digger in a woman who dreams of a new GLK, a flat in Barcelona, and the best English school for her child. If she can support a man in his efforts to fulfil his dreams, she not only frees him, but he frees them both from the burden of his inaction. She makes him stand tall and test himself, the better to secure the family’s success.

In deferring their own success to raise children and manage a household, many women give up a lot, but they can gain a lot too. Demanding women have seven levers that they use on us and let’s not blame them when they do. They are like coaches who force us to perform better, appeal to the best aspects of ourselves, turning our dreams into reality. They help us do more than we knew we could.

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