Character development and plot-driven stories are the best! What if I told you I fight fear and the things that ruin my marriage like Batman fights injustice in Gotham City, or like the Avengers in the Age of Ultron? To Men, that shouldn’t sound weird. It might sound childish to the Ladies. Bear with me.
My son, Jet, loves Batman, the DC Comic and cartoon character. As a stay at home dad of five plus years now, I have learned to accept and embrace my inner child and theirs. I know Batman is not based in reality but you can not tell that to a six-year-old.
Over the years, I have asked Jet why he identifies with Batman. His answer.
- Batman wears black and is not afraid of the dark. Jet was afraid of the dark till he realized Batman used it to scare bad guys.
- He is a hero in his own story. Batman is not a victim. My son says Bruce Wayne saw his parents shot and killed in front of him. That loss could have crippled him for life but it fueled his desire to capture villains and protect the innocent.
- Batman has skills! He is not just rich. He is mysterious, smart, cunning, resourceful, calculating, and dangerous. He is an investigator. He gets down to business.
My son is a strong young warrior. He desires to inherit greatness. I can see the attraction to the tales of Batman. He hasn’t experienced many setbacks, like me or my wife, but he is already realizing he is a mythic character in his own story. Though his story can seem life threatening and dangerous for boy, he does so in the safety and shade of his parent’s marriage.
To think mythically – meaning to understand that stories resonate with our hearts because our lives are made for greatness – is not something I have to teach my kids, only to foster and encourage. This is also true of marriage. I saw a glimpse of greatness on my wedding day! Now, that is ALL I see – Glory!
We are all born for greatness. Every created human being. Fear of success has to be taught and beaten into us by the enemy, the world, the wounded ego over time.
Ever wonder why books, movies, video games, (and other platforms of entertainment) are so addictive? Simple: Our lives are story driven. If I am not inspired to live out the greatness of my own marriage story daily and work on my own character development then I will happily live in the shadow of another man’s story and even pay to play in their arena while I lose my mind and heart. I will never go back there again!
Over the years, I have realized I can use my setbacks, even addictions, to fuel my marriage story. So like Batman, any circumstance or assault on the city and territory of my marriage and heart will be dealt with brutally – meaning I get rid of anything that moves me away from unveiling intimacy including, but not limited to, my ego.
After a while, I look forward conflicts because of what I can always learn from the opportunity. Now, I almost want to thank the enemy and others with unhealthy boundaries for pissing me off and making me work harder to become stronger in my marriage. You could treat the attributes that were ruining my marriage (from my last blog here) as if they were villains from Batman’s universe attacking my land, the dark unexplored territories of my heart and marriage.
- Bane (Abuse) escalates in anger, wreaks havoc, and addicted to drugs that increase his physical strength at the cost of his real memories. He has no vision, so he casts off restraints. He is a shell of a man. A weak man.
- Poison Ivy (Belittle) is an emasculating woman who knows all about plants, but nothing about people. She is toxic, invalidates everyone, and forever unteachable.
- Clayface (Comparison) is in every sense of the word a hypocrite, seeks a dialogue of death and destruction in the lives of others. He will never be happy in his own skin.
- Joker (Discouragement) is a maniac who shows up without invitation, lacks any transparency, and negatively interprets himself and others.
- Harley Quinn (Enable) is a desolate woman. Plays a sidekick without a spine and withdraws her heart in exchange for a twisted disgusting type of relationship with the Joker, who also will never win in life.
Every villian that lies dormant in my heart ought to be afraid of the crushing weight of love for my wife. I have armed myself and I am loved with an everlasting love!
The marriage of two lives shares a profound message, sings a song, and unveils a glorious mystery. Marriage combines our stories into an epic adventure in the midst of conflict fighting enemies that makes us even stronger than we ever thought!
Questions worth asking (I’d love to hear your thoughts):
Do you see your marriage as a huge story where you are the main characters? If not, whose story are you promoting? How’s that working out?
Do you have any negative communication patterns that hinder true intimacy? Any villains you need to destroy?
How can you be more character-driven in your own marriage story? (To start: what superhero can you identify with?)
Ask your spouse: If you were a superhero, who would you be? 🙂
What does your heart say after reading this blog?
Hope you had fun reading as much as I had fun writing it.
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