Kryptonite, for those of you like me that didn’t know, is the substance which allowed superman to lose all his powers when his enemies had it in their possession.
This is a direct quote from a friend of mine, a kind, funny, smart, good looking guy–the kind of guy lots of women SAY they’re looking for. He happened to be talking about his ex-wife. What she thought she wanted was not what he had, and what he contributed to her was not something she valued or appreciated. Irreconcilable differences, take 579.
You could say he’d been a fool for love. Whatever it would take to make the relationship work, he was willing to do. This couple worked together, and he provided all kinds of technical and logistical support for her business. Somehow that support merged into making the relationship the end-all and be-all of his life. How many of us have done that?
In his case, he constructed his life around making the relationship work. When his wife the artist started doing work outside, he considered taking up scenic photography so they could work together in yet another way. All of his choices and life plans were based on making the relationship work, as if the relationship somehow would give him his life.
When he and his wife realized this wasn’t working for either of them, the marriage fell apart. My question is, was that destruction the fault of the relationship, or his own creation because of his willingness to give himself away?
We were discussing what he planned to do with his life, now that he’s unemployed as the overall sherpa and dogsbody for his ex-wife’s business. He would like to find some business in which he could include his kids, age 10 & 13, he said.
“What if you were to choose what you would really really like to do as your life and do that, and then see how your children fit with that?” I asked. He seemed unable to see that he was repeating exactly what had been his pattern with his wife–he was looking for what would work for others, in this case his kids, and then accommodating his life around their needs wants and desires. Noble sounding, certainly, this selflessness, but it has a huge risk.
That risk is of losing your own life. He was repeating with his children exactly what he had done with his ex-wife. Like her, they will grow up and go away. What will he have left?
If you’d like the question that really cuts to the quick, I wondered if it was really the relationship with his wife that had the kryptonite effect on him. If it shows up again even when she’s out of the picture, is it really the relationship with her that’s kryptonite, or his relationship with himself?
Where are you being your own kryptonite?