Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Makes Powerful Statement On Making Less Than His Wife, Serena Williams

Alexis Ohanian is no stranger to tough endeavors.

Ohanian co-founded Reddit, the so-called “front page of the internet,” and also Initialized Capital, a venture capital firm based in San Francisco, California.

He is also the husband of tennis superstar Serena Williams and is well known for making grand gestures such as flying Serena to Venice on a whim.

And buying four billboards to display their newborn baby Olympia.

Serena Williams is currently considered the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) of women’s tennis, which is a formidable match even for a person of Ohanian’s status.

“When you’re married to the GOAT, the logistics alone can make the act of physically ‘showing up’ a challenge,” says Ohanian, in an essay on Glamour.

“Serena’s tennis schedule takes her all over the world, and my career also requires being on the road, whether it’s traveling to meet with founders, speaking at industry events, or spending time at my venture capital firm Initialized’s home office in San Francisco.” 

“Comparing calendars isn’t romantic, but at the start of every year, Serena and I map out our schedules so that, ideally, there isn’t more than a week that we go without seeing each other.”

“I brought Google Calendar into her world so we could see each other’s schedules at any time, which would also make it easier to plan an impromptu call if we’re away from each other—a day without FaceTime is rough when you’ve been away from each other for two weeks.”

But Ohanian says this is no excuse not to “show up” for your family. He also elaborates that “showing up” can mean many different things.

He said:

“My understanding of showing up and being present for my wife was taken to a whole new level when Olympia was born. I was able to take 16 weeks of paid leave from Reddit, and it was one of the most important decisions I’ve made.” 

“I see taking leave as one of the most fundamental ways to “show up” for your partner and your family, and I cherished all 16 weeks I was able to take.”

Ohanian also notes that the pressures of his wife’s career are demanding for her, but that is all the more reason for him to “show up” and be supportive.

“I know I’ve been successful in my career, but I’m not the one racking up the trophies. It helps that my wife and I both know what it takes to be successful and bring that mutual understanding, drive, and relentlessness to the table.”

“But at the end of the day, sometimes her career really does have to come first. I try to be the most supportive partner I can be and to have conversations with her about her career goals and what she can do to reach them.”

Ohanian loves Serena and loves their family and how their family has to function in order to survive.

Which is more than he can say for most men.

” Research shows that men are happy to have successful wives—until it interferes with their own work. A full 50 percent of men expect their career to take precedence over their wife’s.”

“I know this is real, because I’ve seen the tweets and comments about how being less successful (or doing what is traditionally considered ‘women’s work’ and caring for your kids) can be ’emasculating’.”

“To me, that says more about the guy than anything else. If you need to make more money than your partner to have confidence, then I think there’s something more going on under the hood. If that’s where your swagger’s has to come from, then it’s probably not real.”

The pair continue to have an active, involved romance, and Ohanian sharing this piece of his story reminds us that even the greatest, most successful relationships take a lot of effort.

The couple, who have been married since 2017, live in West Palm Beach, FL.  Olympia, their daughter, will be 2 on September 1, 2019.

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