Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My knight in shining armour

A wise middle-aged friend of mine who's divorced was quoting Mars and Venus the other day so I decided to dust it off. I was pleasantly surprised by how relevant it still is. While not the best written self-help book I've read, I find it's advice and examples quite straight-forward and practical.

This story in particular caught my attention (paraphrased slightly for brevity).

The Knight in Shining Armour

Deep inside every man there is knight in shining armour. More than anything he wants to succeed in serving and protecting the woman he loves. When he feels trusted, he is able to tap into this noble part of himself. He becomes more caring. When he doesn't feel trusted he loses some of his aliveness and energy, and after a while he can stop caring.
Imagine the knight traveling through the countryside. Suddenly he hears a woman in distress. In an instant he comes alive. He races to her castle where she is trapped by a dragon. The knight slays the dragon and is lovingly received by the princess.
As the gates open he is welcomed and celebrated by the family of the princess and the townspeople. He is invited to live in the town and is acknowledged as a hero. He and the princess fall in love.
A month later the knight hears his beloved princess crying out for help. Another dragon has attacked the castle. When the knight arrives, he pulls out his sword to slay the dragon. Before he swings, the princess cries out from the tower "Don't use your sword, use this noose. It will work better." She throws him the noose and motions to him instructions about how to use it. He hesitantly follows her instructions. He kills the dragon and everyone rejoices.
At the celebration dinner the knight feels he didn't really do anything. Somehow because he used her noose and didn't use his sword, he doesn't quite feel worthy of the town's trust and admiration. After the event he is slightly depressed and forgets to shine his armour.
A month later he goes on a trip and the princess reminds him to be careful and to take his sword and the noose. .... you can see where this is going ...
By the time the knight rescues his fourth princess he draws his sword to slay the dragon and hesitates -- should I use my sword, the noose, or the poison. What would the princess say?
... and so the story ends badly -- the knight never returns to his princess.

BIG SIGH here ... I created this. Years of smothering, controlling, mothering. My knight has lost his stride. I've weakened his confidence to the point that he constantly turns to me for advice. And it's so fucking unattractive! Who's the man in this relationship? Me. I have a friend who talks about the feminization of men all the time. I usually ignore most of his ranting ... but that's probably because deep down I know it's true. I want my knight back dammit.

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