Most frequently this phrase is associated with some sort of male bonding ritual or code. Due to the phrase having its origins in the seedy realm of bar fights and parking lot brawls, this is entirely und...erstandable. Guys want to know that their buddies, “have their back,” and this in now true and expected everywhere from the bar to the boardroom. At some point we all get to grow up and hopefully our need for a backup at the bar is replaced by our need for the same, perhaps nobler, defense in other areas of life. I believe that regardless of our age or stage, we never stop appreciating the feeling of having someone there to support us, encourage us, and keep an eye out for a life-blow that might blindside us. But here’s the deal boys…we want in. While women rarely, slap each other’s shoulders, helmets or backsides, we still want someone to “have our back.” Namely YOU. And what a win-win! You guys are already good at it. You’ve practiced since puberty! You know how to be loyal, supportive, brave and ready to take or throw a punch if the need arises. Truth be told I long to see men do more of this in their relationships with women. Ask yourself, does your wife or girlfriend, feel like you, “have her back,” in the same fearless, committed way that your buddies do? If not something is wrong. Does your wife, girlfriend or significant other feel as though you are ready and willing to jump in and support them no matter what? This is not an academic discussion of right and wrong. This is a suggestion that while it is important to source out right and wrong at some point, your partner in life needs to know that you will react on their behalf automatically and even impulsively. No buddies in a bar fight have ever said, “hey look, dude, before I get involved in this did you say something insensitive to piss this guy off because if so, you’re on your own.” No way! You react. You support. You defend instinctively and perhaps ask questions later while licking your wounds. So if you could throw a little of this bravado our way that would be super. If somebody is critical of us, be as willing to rush to our defense. If we are being undercut, undermined, underpaid or underappreciated, it would be really great if we could count on you to support, defend or encourage us, no questions asked. Or at least asked later. I will gladly lay claim to being REALLY fortunate in this regard. Greg is my greatest source of support and encouragement in ALL things. If I have a business idea, he encourages it. If I have a heart desire, he will take it on as his own. My thoughts, my dreams, my hopes, my endeavors – I have always felt his strong and unwavering support. Even if the idea eventually goes down in flames he’ll just help me put the fire out - not stand there warming himself with the heat of a smug, “I told you so.” As parents, we try to be very much on the same page but right or wrong Greg ALWAYS supports me in those inevitable moments of conflict. He is quick to say things like, “don’t argue with your mother that way,” or “do what your mom told you to do,” or “if you ever speak to your mother like that again, you’ll wish you hadn’t.” He doesn’t stop to assess the situation, he reacts in the moment with an “I’ve got your back,” attitude and I think this is so meaningful in a life partnership. On the flip side I think women need to be ready to go to proverbial blows too. There have been instances in our life where someone has said something critical about Greg and I nearly lose my mind. Does this mean that occasionally a child doesn’t have a reason for acting out or that a business contact doesn’t have a valid complaint? No. But it does mean that come hell or high water we all need to know that we have somebody that will love and support us NO MATTER WHAT. This isn’t about setting good judgment aside, as at times your necessary role will be lending wisdom to your partner’s less than prudent choices. It’s about knowing that in spite of our sensibilities or lack thereof we have a source of unwavering belief in us. Bottom line: We all need a wingman. Someone that is willingly and courageously in the dogfight with us. Somebody ready to “go to guns” on our behalf. Life is an undulating series of victories and defeats and are you brave enough to be there for both? Whether you’re a guy or a gal, a husband or a wife, we ALL want and need to know that win, lose or draw you’ve got the guts to “have our back,” and to be there fearlessly loving us every step of the way.