By Ryan Velez
CNBC starts one of their latest articles with the classic adage that "Behind every successful man is a good woman.” A recent article from Carnegie Mellon University suggests that not only does this hold true, but the same may apply for successful women as well. The final conclusion is that people with supportive spouses are "more likely to give themselves the chance to succeed."
The researchers studied 163 married couples and discovered that people with supportive spouses were more likely to take on potentially rewarding challenges. Those that accepted said challenges were overall more likely to experience further personal growth, happiness, and psychological well-being, only months after doing so.
"We found support for the idea that the choices people make at these specific decision points, such as pursuing a work opportunity...matter a lot for their long-term well-being," Brooke Feeney, lead author of the study and professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon, says in a statement.
This evidence backs many anecdotes from some of the most successful people in the public eye, including former president Barack Obama.
"Obviously I couldn't have done anything that I've done without Michelle," Obama told Oprah Winfrey in 2011. "You were asking earlier what keeps me sane, what keeps me balanced, what allows me to deal with the pressure. It is this young lady right here... Not only has she been a great first lady, she is just my rock. I count on her in so many ways every single day."
This sentiment was shared by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who credited wife Priscilla Chan with inspiring him to volunteer his time and take on social work in a 2017 Harvard commencement speech. "Priscilla's the most important person in my life so you can say, it's the most important thing I built in my time here," he says in the speech.
The same applies to husbands supporting their wives, as Beyoncé spoke of regarding her husband Jay-Z in an interview with Oprah. "I would not be the woman I am if I did not go home to that man," says the Grammy winning artist. "It just gives me such a foundation."
Wondering how to add some of this winning magic to your own marriage? Some of the best things you can do are express enthusiasm over opportunities your spouse gets, reassure them, and be ready to discuss the benefits of taking on new roles or challenges.
"Significant others can help you thrive through embracing life opportunities," says Feeney. "Or they can hinder your ability to thrive by making it less likely that you'll pursue opportunities for growth."