(NEW YORK) — Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian are an extremely high profile couple.
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam winner, regularly dominates on the court, and Ohanian is a successful business magnate who co-founded Reddit and Initialized Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm.
The two married in 2017 and have a 1-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
Ohanian recently spoke to Glamour about his relationship with his wife, how the two manage to stay connected despite their wild careers and how baby Olympia has changed their relationship.
He explained that the many grand gestures he’s done for Williams aren’t the most important of their marriage.
“But I think if you were to ask my wife, or many other people in relationships, it’s often the simpler things that are the most important,” he wrote. “You have to show up. You have to be supportive. These are the things that matter.”
I know I’ve been successful in my career, but I’m not the one racking up the trophies.
He shared that the two have to work extremely hard to organize their schedules so they don’t spend more than a week apart.
“When you’re married to the GOAT, the logistics alone can make the act of physically “showing up” a challenge,” he described. “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.”
Google calendar plays a major role in helping connect their schedules, he admits.
However, the birth of their daughter brought about changes that he fully embraced. “My understanding of showing up and being present for my wife was taken to a whole new level when Olympia was born,” he wrote.
He describes that he was afforded the luxury of 16 weeks of paid leave from Reddit, also admitting his founder status helped a bit.
“It was incredible to be able to spend quality time with Olympia,” he shares. “And it was perhaps even more meaningful to be there for my wife and to adjust to this new life we created together—especially after all the complications she had during and after the birth.”
He also acknowledges how fortunate he is to have had this opportunity and admits that many men do not have the same luxury.
Ohanian, who has spoken out before about championing his wife’s success rather than feeling threatened, also touched on the gender roles attached to parenting and marriage.
My understanding of showing up and being present for my wife was taken to a whole new level when Olympia was born.
“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,”” he wrote. “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,” he added. “If that’s where your swagger’s gotta come from, then it’s probably not real.”
Ohanian explains that he is willing to make sacrifices in his marriage.
“I know I’ve been successful in my career, but I’m not the one racking up the trophies,” he shared. “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,” he added.
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