Any comic book nerds out there? I can’t honestly say that I am one myself, but perhaps I am by proxy. My husband grew up with the worlds of Marvel and DC Comics, so whenever we watch one of the latest blockbusters based on these characters, I get a “supplemental” history of their storyline. (Sidenote: who knew there were so many X-Men?)
One thing I’ve come to learn is that most of these characters have what is known as an “origin story.” In comic book terms, an origin story is “an account or backstory revealing how a character or team gained their superpowers and/or the circumstances under which they became superheroes or supervillains.” (Wikipedia) It got me thinking that perhaps relationships have origin stories, too.
♦ The X-Men were humans born with mutations that give them incredible abilities. Many started out ashamed of their powers and ostracized by others. After discovering there were others like them, they learned to embrace what made them different and work together to fight for justice. Maybe you and your partner have both had to come to terms with self-perceived shortcomings or shared struggles as a couple. In time, you learned to accept yourselves and each other, and now you make a great team.
♦ Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, precipitating his transformation into Spider-Man. The death of his uncle motivated him to fight crime. Perhaps poor relationship role models in both of your lives gave you the motivation to not let that happen in your own relationship.
♦ Harvey Dent went insane after half of his face was hideously scarred by acid. He becomes the supervillain Two-Face, who flips a 2-headed coin to decide whether to commit an act of good or evil. Maybe you went through a difficult situation in which you both had to make a choice: split up or stick it out and make it work.
Maybe you are at the point where you can look back at past events, appreciate the struggles you went through, and see how they made you stronger as a couple. Or maybe your story is still largely unwritten, and you have not yet gained your superpowers. Whether you are in a great place in your relationship or working through a rough patch, it’s likely that a series of circumstances, events, and choices brought you to where you are now. Don’t discount that story, no matter how flawed, as it makes for a richer relationship. After all, the best comic book characters usually have the most interesting origin stories.