Friday, January 25, 2008

are you compelled to control?

"You are controlling my life," Sue shouted at Roger. Her face was contorted and from her eyes shot almost visible beams of hot, red anger at her husband.

"You interrogate me about every dime I spend and then you go out and buy a brand-new set of golf clubs. Every weekend any team of football players over six years old is playing on TV, we have to stay here so you can watch. You don't like my friends who don't like football, so we never see them any more. We only see your friends. You are incredible. You control what we eat by eating only beef and potatoes and making fun of vegetables in front of the children. I suppose you think it is funny when you say that if you want to eat a bush, you can get a plateful from the side-yard hedge."

Sue glared at Roger. Roger stared back in disbelief. What was she talking about? "I am controlling your life?"

His words began to rise. Roger could not believe she was serious. It seemed to him that they always did what Sue wanted. The voice that repeated over and over in Roger's head always seemed to say, "Make your wife happy, dear. Be unselfish and do what she wants and she will love you."

Roger blurted out, "For God's sake, Sue, I have gone where you wanted to on vacation, gone to movies, plays and symphonies because you wanted to, made love the way you wanted and deferred to you about how to raise the kids, including what and how much they can do at each age."

As he spoke, Roger felt a rumbling rage churning in his stomach. This was the second most controlling woman he had ever known, next to his mother.

Sue was saying that he was controlling her life. Roger's face was flushed as he tried to get his voice under control. He said evenly, "You try to control me every chance you get. You have done it through our whole marriage and you are doing it right now. I am sick of fighting with you all the time. I don't know, maybe we should just call this whole sorry marriage off."

Now it was Sue's turn to look at Roger in disbelief. She turned and stalked out of the bedroom, slamming the door.

"And that," Roger told me, "was how the great war was declared that finally brought us to you for counseling." J. Keith Miller

There are many of us who are wrestling with the pain of our lives and are realizing that it is that pain and the control issues that cause it that may lead us to God in a new way.


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