A woman can have a unique and amazing ability to help her man achieve his dreams. This might sound silly or too fairytale-like, but trust me, it is anything but silly. It’s pretty serious. If you’re a woman, and you’re reading this, you need to know that you have incredible power in the life of your husband (or any man for that matter).
This power truly does affect any man, which includes family members and even male friends. A woman has the power to inspire, encourage, and believe in them. She has the feminine power to awaken a man’s dreams, and then the tenacity to help him accomplish them by simply believing in him.
Too often, this power is abused in a relationship, women either fail to recognize and care to inspire their husband’s particular dreams and talents, or they use their femininity as a sexual weapon. Women have lost the art of inspiration. The feminist movement has told and taught women to compete with men; the problem is, if you’re competing with someone, it’s extremely hard to want them to do especially well. A man doesn’t want to compete in that way, but he does want to be believed in.
I love the marriage of Nathaniel & Sophia Hawthorne. A woman who believed in her husband’s writing. It perfectly captures how a woman is supposed to believe in and inspire her husband, take a look at how their son, Julian Hawthorne, described his parent’s loving marriage:
“The life of a man happily married cannot fail to be influenced by the character and conduct of his wife. Especially will this be the case when the man is of a highly organized and sensitive temperament, and most of all, perhaps, when his professional pursuits are sedentary, and imaginative rather than active and practical.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was particularly susceptible to influences of this kind; and all the available evidence goes to show that the most fortunate event of his life was, probably, his marriage with Sophia Peabody.
To attempt to explain and describe his career without taking this event into consideration would, therefore, be like trying to imagine a sun without heat, or a day without a sun. Nothing seems less likely than that he would have accomplished his work in literature independently of her sympathy and companionship.
Not that she afforded him any direct and literal assistance in the composition of his books and stories; her gifts were wholly unsuited to such employment, and no one apprehended more keenly than she the solitariness and uniqueness of his genius, insomuch that she would have deemed it something not far removed from profanation to have offered to advise or sway him in regard to his literary productions.
She believed in his inspiration; and her office was to promote, so far as in her lay, the favorableness of the conditions under which it should manifest itself.
As food and repose nourish and refresh the body, so did she refresh and nourish her husband’s mind and heart.
Her feminine intuition corresponded to his masculine insight; she felt the truth that he saw; and his recognition of this pure faculty in her, and his reverence for it, endowed his perception with that tender humanity in which otherwise it might have been deficient.
Her lofty and assured ideals kept him to a belief in the reality and veracity of his own. In the warmth and light of such companionship as hers, he could not fall into the coldness and gloom of a selfish intellectual habit.
She revived his confidence and courage by the touch of her gentle humor and cheerfulness; before her unshakable hopefulness and serenity, his constitutional tendency to ill-foreboding and discouragement vanished away.
Nor was she of less value to him on the merely intellectual side. Her mental faculties were finely balanced and of great capacity; her taste was by nature highly refined, and was rendered exquisitely so by cultivation. Her learning and accomplishments were rare and varied, and yet she was always childlike in her modesty and simplicity. She read Latin, Greek, and Hebrew: she was familiar with history; and in drawing, painting, and sculpture she showed a loving talent not far removed from original genius.
Thus she was able to meet at all points her husband’s meditative and theoretic needs with substantial and practical gratification.
Awaking to her, he found in her the softened and humanized realization of his dreams. In all this she acted less of defined purpose than unconsciously and instinctively, following the natural promptings of her heart as moulded and enlightened by her love. What she did was done so well, because she could not do otherwise.
Her husband appreciated her, but she had no appreciation of herself. She only felt what a privilege it was to love and minister to such a man, and to be loved by him. For he was not, as so many men are, a merely passive and complacent absorber of all this devotion. What she gave, he returned; she never touched him without a response; she never called to him without an echo. He never became so familiar with her ministrations, unceasing though these were, as to accept them as a matter of course. The springs of gratitude and recognition could not run dry in him; his wife always remained to him a sort of mystery of goodness and helpfulless.
He protected her, championed her, and cherished her in all ways that a man may a woman; but, half playfully and all earnestly, he avouched her superiority over himself, and, in a certain class of questions relating to practical morality and domestic expediency, he always deferred to and availed himself of her judgment and counsel.”
As you can see, Sophia not only did her husband a wonderful service in being a capable, inspiring wife, she also inspired her son to greatness. Julian Hawthorne went on to write several poems, novels, short stores, biographies and histories.
We do our men a great disservice when we as women don’t recognize and put into action the immense power we have in our femininity.
Nathaniel Hawthorne about Sophia:
“We were never so happy as now—never such wide capacity for happiness, yet overflowing with all that the day and every moment brings to us.
Methinks this birth-day of our married life is like a cape, which we have now doubled and find a more infinite ocean of love stretching out before us.”[14
“She is the most sensible woman I ever knew in my life, much superior to me in general talent, and of fine cultivation.”
(excerpt from Julian Hawthorne’s Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife Vol 1, Chapter 2, Sophie Amelia Peabody)