Monday, May 10, 2010

The Control Freak's Marriage

Marriage and the control freak.

Often in the guise of caretaker or head of the family, this is the spouse "who is always correcting the other's pronunciation, behavior, manners, posture, meal preparation, driving patterns ...

The caretaker's goal (whether conscious or unconscious) is usually to maintain his or her power in the relationship.  As long as he/she can keep the spouse in the one-down position of child, he/she can be the 'parent in charge.' 

Sure, it's hard work always to be in charge, but for the caretaker it beats the alternative of never being able to predict exactly what will happen and thus feeling totally out of control."
- Carder in TORN ASUNDER

In the end, it's not about the spouse's pronunciation, behavior, manners, posture, meal preparation, or driving patterns. 

It's about the control freak. 

And their attempts to manage their own emotional pain, unmet needs, and searing childhood memories. 

Never knowing what would happen next, these wounded folk often grew up in families defined by unpredictable chaos.  A loving authority figure was often absent - or frighteningly emotionally unavailable.  Without faithful nurturing and care, they were left to fend for themselves, either physically or emotionally.

The legacy? 

Fear.  Low self-esteem.  Powerlessness.   

As adults, they wear themselves out, desperately try to control everybody and everything around them in order to calm the storm of angry uncertainty that continues to rage inside.  In their frantic, often unacknowledged efforts to predict what will happen next, they have donned a mantle of power that results in deep frustration and unending pain in the lives of those they so overwhelmingly try to manipulate. 

The result? 

The fabric of mutual trust and loving partnership that should define their marriage is slowly but surely destroyed.

These relational and emotional issues beg to be tended to.  And there's a huge spiritual component, too. 

Because Christ longs to bring healing to your chaotic childhood.  Healing that will change who you are today - as an individual and as a spouse. 

And as you begin to learn to trust Him to meet those very valid needs that define who you are, that were sadly untended to during those early years, the Holy Spirit begins to gain control. In a beautiful, loving, gracious way {Galatians 5}. 

Isn't it time to lay this exhausting burden down?

"Then Jesus said, 'Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest'"
- Matthew 11:28 (NLT).


  1. This fits me to a "T".I truly need help...journaled about this last night. Please help...

  2. Yes, let's talk!



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