Saving the Princess of Power and Control


In some circles and most certainly in our family, my wife, Marti, is known as the Princess of Power and Control. She even has a pseudo-business card with that title printed on it. I’m not sure when this moniker was first applied to her, but I can guess that it came from her years as an executive in the business world, and it most likely came from those who had to work for her. She is a hard driver who expects the impossible out of people. This is not because she is a particularly mean-spirited person. It’s because she drives herself extremely hard and cannot fathom, for the life of her, why everyone around her does not operate with the same intensity as she does. Marti will throw her whole being into something and wonder why everyone is standing around watching her.

It’s especially hard on our marriage now that she is running the Catch, because that means I am working for her, and my laid back personality is a constant source of frustration to her, while her high expectations drive me nuts. One thing I know for sure, is that no one around Marti thinks of her as a person with any needs. She’s always strong, always on top of it, always engaged, and always “there” when you need her. It’s like her switch is stuck in the “On” position and the power level is stuck on “Full.”

I’m writing about her because either you are like her, or you know someone who is. I’m sure our friend Mark, who is an expert on personality types, has a name for it, and I hope he shares it with me, because he also may have some advice as to how I can cope with this. But I do know that one part of Marti’s personality carries a particular curse with it. No one considers her needs. She’s always operating at such a high level that no one stops to think that she might have her own inadequacies, fears and insecurities. Where I might isolate myself in my inadequacy, Marti can become isolated in her adequacy, and no one even surmises that she might waver at all in her determination. After all, she’s the Princess of Power and Control.

But here’s the thing I realized as I was thinking about this last night: Marti may be the Princess of Power and Control, but that means one important thing — she’s still a princess, and one thing I know about all princesses is that they need to be rescued from their tower by a brave and dashing (musketeer?) on a white horse. As strong as she might appear, she’s still a princess trapped in a tower, and there’s a dragon somewhere that needs to be slain. My job is to find the dragon and kill it. You’d think I would have done that by now, but I think the dragon has lots of lives and it keeps coming back. Killing the dragon may, in fact, be a daily thing.

What about you? You must fit into this story somewhere. Maybe you need to come down from your tower and admit your vulnerability. Maybe you need to stop being everything to everybody. Maybe you need to strap on your sword, step into the power of God, find a dragon and slay it. Maybe you are the dragon. Maybe you have lots of power and control, but it’s your power and your control and not the Holy Spirit’s. Whatever you need to do, there is help to do it. God never asks us to do what He won’t empower us to do.

And speaking of empowerment, we have four new MemberPartners to welcome who are going to be helping sustain the Catch now and in the future. Please welcome Dana, Laquita, Nancy and James! That brings our total for the month of May to 15 new MemberPartners. That means we need only 85 more to reach our goal. Sound impossible? Not with God, with whom all things are possible. Better hurry up! Only three more days!

Until I get my feet on the ground, you are my lifeline. I do not have much but I am a MemberPartner. – Gladys

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10 Responses to Saving the Princess of Power and Control

  1. Kevin Krabbenhoft says:

    Thank you John, today was a reminder that I should never miss a Catch ! Can you help me with two questions ? What is a healthy response when frustration is voiced about being too laid back or not caring ? How do you remind yourself that the high expectation is not mean-spirited in nature. I work with several people that fit the amazing work ethic of Marti and “throw their whole being into” the task at hand. When I hear that I have “fallen short”, my first response is from my flesh and it usually says “that was mean and uncalled for.” I know that is just a lie to create division but I struggle with using truth to confront the accusations of never helping and not caring. Instead of “my true thoughts and feelings spilling out”, I stay quiet, take the hit, and eventually remind myself that I was not being attacked. In staying quiet I am not sure if I am truly showing mercy and patience or just avoiding conflict.

    • Mark Seguin says:

      Let me plz highly recommend for u Kevin K. to consider reading a good book to help u w/ the answer to your very good questions: Understanding Personality Types by Dr. Robert Rohm. what I like about his very easy methods of understanding people, yet gives great advice not only to help understand yourself and others, but very good suggestions to get along w/ others too.

    • jwfisch says:

      Probably a little bit of both. If we realize that we don’t like conflict we will more easily spot it when we are avoiding it and do something about it. As reread what wrote yesterday I realize I may have made Marti seem like a giant pain. That is not the case. It is just her work ethic rubbing against my procrastination (see Carole above).

      • Mark Seguin says:

        Didn’t get that at all: “..may have made Marti seem like a giant pain.” To me sounded like a perfect high I & D and yours Pastor John of a high C and wanting to avoid conflict…

  2. Mark Seguin says:

    And LOL today Pastor John over being mentioned in today’s Catch; although, I’m not sure I’m an “expert” on personalities, lol just read a few times and thoroughly enjoyed reading a couple books by Dr. Robert Rohm on Understanding Personalities Types, (PT)

    But to answer your question about lovely & I feel gorgeous Marti what little I knew of her, I’d say she’s a high “I” with lots of “D” in her too… a few terms that she may relate to: She’s inspiring, influencing, impressionable, interactive, interested in people and the D side to her: Dominant, direct, demanding, decisive, determined and a doer.
    Now 4 your PT: I think/believe you’re wat Dr. Rohn considers a “C”. A few words u may relate to: Cautious, calculating, competent, conscientious, contemplative and careful….

    I think / believe what u and others will find so interesting about Dr. Rohm’s book(s) is they’re certainly not boring and easy to read and understand, plus apply… 🙂

  3. Carole in Midland says:

    Not that this would EVER work for Miss Marti, BUT, I finally conceded that “control” of anything is an illusion – we THINK we have it when things are going the way we want them to go. When they DON’T, well, Buddy, we are gonna find the reason WHY and fix THAT sucker! And if all else fails, it’s on to Plan B – or in my case Plan Z, which is usually where I get when I remember to cry out to the one who is TRULY in control. I have, therefore, opted to trade in MY Princess crown for a bigger one – I am NOW the Ultimate Supreme Queen of Procrastination. I gotta tell ya’, it’s not working out much better…maybe tomorrow I’ll think about resuming my role as servant.

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