How Batman Saved….My Marriage
I like to joke that I want to write a book, and call it “Your Husband Could Be a Freaking Idiot and God Would Still Use Him.”
But it’s true.
God is a great affirmer of every individual, and a great respecter of chain-of-command. And, in my marriage, many times he uses my husband’s wisdom to help, support and even guide me.
You see, my guy isn’t an idiot. Not even close. He’s an engineer.
You see, engineers are a very unique people group. Oh, they’re smart. They are also focused on excellence. Attention to detail. They don’t mind correcting one another. Because getting the project right is more important then anyone’s feelings. They may not always be great with words, and emotions are either scary, or just plain alien, to them.
Perhaps not a stellar recipe for romance. Or for a parenting partnership with a teacher/minister/doctor who loves words.
And occasionally awkward in group social settings.
But my guy is more than just an engineer. He would take a bullet for me.
He has lived every day of the last 28 years trying to figure out ways to make me, and our children, happy.
Putting himself last. Staying in dead-end jobs so we had the finances we needed. Setting his own dreams aside while I lived mine. Funding every dream our kids wanted to pursue, to the best of his ability. Putting me through, ahem, medical school, while our 5 kids were in elementary school. Impressive.
He is an artist, and a musician. A lover of science. A man of great compassion, with a heart for special needs children. For babies. For animals. For hurting people.
With a great sense of humor, and a penchant for staying home with his family. For a girl whose dad always travelled, and eventually left us altogether, that’s pretty nice.
So I have learned to put up with occasionally awkward moments, with hours of silence together. With his idea of “togetherness,” which essentially means being in the same building, doing our own thing.
I have learned to like classical music (which I actually don’t–too many piano lessons in my past. It feels like work to me). I have learned to read Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (science fiction, way beyond Star Trek) and watch Battlestar Galactica.
And it was all worth it. Because he’s great. Really, he is.
But there was one thing that was really, really hard for me.
He likes to remind me of things.
Like, “Do you have your keys?”
Or “Did you tie your shoes?” (Actually not kidding here.)
“Did you go to the bathroom before we left?” Seriously.
And, for a woman who has survived an abusive church and built an empowered marriage as a brilliant professional, it rankles.
I want to look him in the eyes and say, “Doctorate. Remember?”
“I’m. Not. One. Of. Our. Kids. Remember?”
But then I look down and see that my shoe is untied.
And I realize that God can use this guy, whose attention to detail is orders of magnitude above mine, to help me.
And, beyond that, with him in my corner, I can focus on big-picture ideas, concepts and dreams.
I can think about patients’ broken hearts, and writing a sermon for tomorrow, and calling my kids to see how they are, while he makes sure the stove is turned off. And here’s the kicker. He really, truly, doesn’t mind.
And, I realized something remarkable.
We are built to work in teams.
Even Batman, the ultimate loner, had an Alfred.
So, I decided, that if it was good enough for Batman, it was good enough for me.
I didn’t ask for it, but I, too, have my own ….Alfred.
A brilliant, organized man, dedicated to my happiness, and to my mission.
As I am dedicated to him.
A guy who makes sure the cape is ironed and Batmobile is gassed up.
Turning sexism on its ear.
Because the only way I can be a submitted wife is to let him help me.
It’s hard for me.
My pride doesn’t like it. A woman with 3 degrees ought to be able to tie her town shoes.
My religious alter-ego is embarrassed; shouldn’t I be the one helping him?
But I’ve learned to let it go.
God made us to be a team, and gave us different strengths.
We are better together.
My shoes are tied. My keys are in my hand.
I am ready to serve the people God brings across my path.
I didn’t forget my lunch.
And, hey, I get to be Batman.