What These 8 Successful Women Have Learnt From Long-Term Relationships
On November 20, 2020
What’s the secret to a long and happy relationship? It’s a million-dollar question, and one that can rarely be answered by a stock response. Whether you’re a believer in the institution of marriage or not, one thing we can all agree on is that every significant relationship teaches you something. Just ask these successful, inspirational women who are managing to balance a rewarding career and a fulfilling personal life…
Elizabeth Tweedale, CEO & founder of Cypher
Elizabeth Tweedale is on a mission to get children (especially young girls) interested in computer coding. She was also the only woman on the coding team who helped construct Apple's Californian headquarters, before leaving to set up her own venture.
“General advice for couples suggests that if one of you is an entrepreneur, the other should have a stable job. In our case, both my husband and I are entrepreneurs, which can be crazy at times, as we raise three children together. Marriage is about having someone to inspire you – I watch how Bruce runs his business, raises capital and negotiates deals and use this to help build Cypher; it’s also about having someone to help pick up the slack – when I've taken on too much, he’s always there to help me make a plan or pick up the kids, no questions asked; and lastly, it means always having your best friend with you. Of course, there is romance, love, compassion but, above all, my husband is my best friend and I couldn't imagine going through life without him.”
Jeany Cronk, co-founder of Mirabeau en Provence Rosé
Having moved from England to France in 2009 to pursue their wine-making dream, Jeany Cronk and her husband Stephen now own one of the most well-known rosé brands in the world. In 2015, Jeany was elected to the board of Wines of Provence – the same year that Mirabeau Classic and Pure won Gold at the IWC and Global Rosé Masters.
"It's so wonderful to be able to find a partner in life and in work – I’ve been lucky enough to find a father to our three children and someone who makes me comfortable with just being me. But there is no perfect relationship or marriage and there are plenty of nags and niggles in ours, but for all the important moments in life, we are a team. We also make each other laugh and I can’t overstate the importance of a shared sense of humour. My parents have been married for more than 50 years and I see the same – they still laugh at each other’s jokes, and it has kept them young at heart. I never expected to find my partner for life when I did, and of course, there are no guarantees. Just because you are in love, you will have to weather life’s ups and downs. But I’m so grateful that chance smiled on me on a cold November day nearly 25 years ago.”
Samata, CEO of Red Carpet Green Dress
A British born Ghanaian entrepreneur, Samata is the CEO of Suzy Amis Cameron’s Red Carpet Green Dress campaign, which aims to showcase sustainable fashion on the red carpet at the Oscars every year. A former fashion editor at The Talent Magazine, she is also editor of SamataHome.com.
“I’ve learnt that marriage – and relationships – are the biggest investment of time and the ultimate form of intimacy. It’s also the ultimate training ground and playground at the same time. It's the idea of being ‘in it’ with someone and facing the world together – and knowing you can be your true vulnerable self all of the time. It represents all these opposites perfectly, too – think belly-aching laughter and full-on irritation, brilliant humour and icy silences. It’s all of the best and worst about life but above all, it’s someone to witness your life and the ability to witness someone else’s.”
Amy Christensen, founder & CEO of Sana Jardin
Fragrance label Sana Jardin only launched three years ago, but the brand is already stocked across 80 global retailers, including Harrods, NET-A-PORTER, Liberty and Harvey Nichols. Prior to founding the business, Amy Christiansen spent 25 years in the non-profit sector in the US, Middle East and Europe.
“Being married for 13 years, and the reflection that followed after my divorce, taught me an enormous amount. Relationships make us hold a mirror up to ourselves, and we can choose to work on what we see or not. It’s easy to feel settled in a marriage and forget how truly sacred that relationship is. My own taught me that we all want to feel loved, seen, valued and heard. Everyone, married or not, should read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I found it very useful in that it taught me that people interpret and show love in different ways. When that’s not deeply understood, it can lead to disappointment, resentment and failed relationships. I’ve also learned to speak from the heart and communicate well.”
Ruby Hammer, celebrity make-up artist & businesswoman
Ruby Hammer, MBE is one of the best-known and most respected make-up artists in the business. Having worked with some of the world's most celebrated photographers, hairdressers, art directors, stylists and models, she went on to found Ruby & Millie in the late 90s. Her latest capsule beauty sets are now sold at retailers including Harvey Nichols and Cult Beauty.
“Life is all about teamwork. I’ve been married twice. I was 23 the first time and it was a long marriage, but it ended in divorce. I’ve now been married to my second husband for ten years and we are happy – we live life as a team of two. Like with any team, you have to work together, equally. There will be times when you have to compromise and there are the times to fight your corner – choose your battles wisely. At the end of the day, my husband and I keep each other at the forefront of every decision we make. Whenever he makes a decision, big or small, he considers how it will affect me, and I do the same. People think you’re never supposed to surrender, or you’ll lose sight of who you are. For me, this isn’t true. It’s about retaining your independence and spirit – that’s who they fell in love with, after all – but choosing to commit to them in every shape and form. So, if that means compromising sometimes, then fine. You are still choosing to make a decision to benefit your ‘team’, and you are in control. Think of marriage as an equal balance of love, respect and trust. Without all these three things, it won’t work.”
Tiffany Salmon, founder of Glow Hub & creative director at Amelia Knight
After 15 years at the helm of her family’s own cosmetics business, making products for some of the world’s biggest brands, Tiffany Salmon decided to share her secrets and create innovative skincare, which was accessible, affordable and simple to understand. This year, Glow Hub was born, and has quickly proved to be a hit with skincare fanatics.
“For me being in a relationship is about being part of a team. When life gives you a win or a golden moment, they are the first person you call. The same for when you’re having an awful day – it’s the person you want to wrap their arms around you. If you feel you’ve become like ships in the night, put in the extra effort for a lockdown date night once the kids are in bed, to reconnect and actually talk. Me and my husband Jack are parents to a two- and a four-year-old. We both work full time, and it is hard work. Finding those moments to be who we were when we fell in love, before our children, our businesses (and a 2020 lockdown), takes effort. Remember, marriage is the ultimate partnership – the true meaning of ‘in it together’ through the good, the bad and the ‘Did that actually just happen?’ moments.”
Whitney Bromberg-Hawkings, CEO & co-founder of FLOWERBX
A one-time PA to Tom Ford – before working her way up to senior vice president of communications at the fashion designer's eponymous label – Whitney Bromberg-Hawkings founded flower delivery service FLOWERBX in 2015. Already one of the most well-known florists globally, the brand is gearing up to launch its service on the US West Coast this year.
“Ultimately, it’s important to find a partner who simultaneously supports and pushes you. My husband Peter is both my partner and my best friend – I honestly don’t know how I could do any of the things I do as a mother or as a boss without having him there as a sounding board and an advisor. I am so lucky that I married a man who brings out the best in me, loves me and completes me.”
Hannah Martin, celebrity make-up artist & former artistry manager for Bobbi Brown
A pro make-up artist with Bobbi Brown for more than a decade, 105,000 Instagram followers and royal wedding day beauty maestro – it’s no exaggeration to say Hannah Martin is a force to reckoned within the beauty industry.
“Together from the age of 15, and married for 14 years, my husband and I are still best friends – but I’m most definitely still learning about our relationship. We’ve had some great times and some quite dark times, but that’s life. Like most things, the more you put into something, the more your get out of it. There have been times where work and the kids (and Simon’s Iron Man training) have led to less time for ‘us’ – which always impacts the health of our marriage, although some quality ‘marriage time’ has usually rectified this. Marriage has also taught me the importance of compromise – that doesn’t mean ‘submitting’ but it definitely means often looking for the middle ground and knowing when to back down. The importance of communication can’t be underestimated, either. Communication, or lack thereof, is usually the root of any misunderstandings, so it’s something we’re constantly working on. I’ve had to work on listening, too – I honestly thought I was a good at it until we did an exercise a few years ago at The Marriage Course (which I highly recommend) where we had to allow our partner to speak without interrupting… my goodness, I struggled. But marriage has ultimately shown me how much I love working as a team. From parenting to the running of the house – we do it together and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
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