What My Relationship Taught Me About Being a Woman

Woman—what a word. Depending on who says it and how it is said, it can convey various meanings and elicit various emotions.

 A lot of them are not good. I’ve heard the word used disrespectfully in movies when a character uses it in place of a woman’s actual name. For example, “Hey, woman—get me some food.”  It sounded rude, cheap, and careless.

Then there’s the reference to “THAT woman.”  No one ever wants to be called “that woman.”  The words that follow are just never good—right?

“That woman can’t drive.”

“That woman’s a liar.”

“That woman stole my husband.”

As a young girl, I hoped that nobody would ever call me “woman.”  I associated the word with abuse, not with love.

But that all changed when my fiancé used the word to describe me. I remember him looking at me with deep love and respect and saying simply, “woman.”  I was shocked because I felt no resentment; I felt honored.  It was the way he said it.

His calling me woman was his way of showing his love and respect for me. I could read all his truest opinions of me in that one word. Suddenly “woman” took on a whole new meaning to me. All at once, I understood that word to mean so much.  I wanted to live up to it.

Today, I am proud to call myself a woman.  To me, it means being a source of great power.  I have seen the effect that my role as a woman has on those around me.

To my husband, I am a great woman when I am acting as his other half—sharing life and all its demands.  I lean on him, yes, but what makes me a powerful woman is that he can lean on me too without fear of crushing me under the weight of life’s worries and cares.  Being a woman to my husband means that I give him that sweet promise that should his world come crashing down around him, he knows that I will be there to help him stand up in the midst of it.

To my children, I am a great woman when I pick up a shovel and dig a fort with them on the beach.  The great woman they need in their life is the mom who holds them when their feelings are hurt, their knees are scraped, and their dreams are fractured.

To me, I am a great woman when I think of my family more than myself.  This can apply to all women, of any age. You don’t need a husband, children, career, or a degree to be a great woman.  You need only to treat those around you better than yourself.  

I now relish every time that my husband calls me “woman.” It sets a high bar for me in my own mind.  I now view being a woman as a very great honor.  I have been given a powerful role to perform. By loving others, I am working to become the great woman I believe every female is called to be.


Allison lives in South Carolina. She is her own boss as an entrepreneur, but the job she lives for is being a wife and mom. Her husband was born in Central America. As a family, they strive to include both their American and Salvadoran cultures in their lives. Allison believes in love because only true love can transcend differences.
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