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Letters Sent to Us from the Public

Articles by Joel Martin

Articles by Margaret Wendt

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You Make The Choice I Don't Care

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How many times in your life have you surrendered your choice or decision to another person thinking this was the best way to go?  Pondering this question brought a story to mind.

There was a couple I knew where the female partner was the one who made most of the decisions in the relationship. I remember at the time I lived near this couple I recognized what I thought were power struggles going on between them and I came to realize the couple was unaware of this. Since my opinion was not being asked, I kept them to myself in relation to what I thought was happening.

Frequently I would hear the female partner asking the male partner, “where do you want to go to eat tonight?”  Then I would hear the male partner say, “oh I don't care you make the choice.”  Then I would hear the female partner say, “since you don't care where we are going to eat, we will go to Eddie's restaurant tonight”.  Then the male partner would say in a disconnected voice, “okay, that's fine.”  

One day at one of the local female luncheons I attended I heard her complaining to some of her female friends that her partner never liked the restaurants she chose.  Her basic complaint was he is an angry person, has no opinion on anything, lives a boring life and all he does is spend money on his computer.   I remember at the time I thought to myself, "I wonder when she will see him differently?”

One day on one of my nature walks I ran into the male partner. We exchanged our morning greetings and he explained he was feeling much better about himself after reading a book about Control. I knew the author of this book personally and enjoyed them, which led to a conversation about why people are controlling. He expressed he felt he had unknowingly given up his power, originally to his mother, and then did the same thing with his current partner, all because he wanted peace. He said he realized by doing this he was destroying his self-esteem. He said by reading this book he came to understand that when he gives up his power he becomes angry and he likes himself less.  I agreed with him and said I could relate to his words of wanting peace and taking actions that you think will bring peace when instead it's self sabotaging. I mentioned sometimes giving in and not offering an opinion is a way to ask the other person to become responsible for the answers needed.  He laughed and said, “I know that one now!  And he said further “I also know if I don't give my opinion on where I want to eat, that I can't really complain if I don't like the food and try to blame her for making the wrong choice.”   He said “once I discovered I was doing this, I told myself to stop it right now.” He said, “I think I was trying to work out my mother issues with her, which I found out was stopping me from having intimacy altogether.”  I said “Good for you to discover this!”  I gave him a big hug and we went back to our separate walks.

About two months later I was at school function. Suddenly I saw the female partner come walking over to me. She was filled with excitement as she had been going to therapy and looking into some of the control issues she had been demonstrating in her relationship.  I asked her, “what did you discover?”  She said, “I was trying to control everything because I was afraid and I felt like if I didn't control everything I wouldn't be safe.” I said “Wow that's some discovery!”  She said, "yes it is".   I said, “well how are things different in your relationship now?”  She said, the first thing she had to do was share in the choices of where they went out to eat. I said, “has that turned out to be a good thing?”  She said, “at first it was a little strange for both of us however now it's become easier.”  The second thing was she had to stop complaining about how he spent his money and realize that if she wanted her own money she needed to get a job, otherwise she was asking him to take care of her. And if he did that she wouldn't have the self-esteem she desires, which she felt was part of the cause of being a big controller.  She said, “I honestly never knew how much I was chipping away at his self-esteem by keeping the power struggle going on with him". She said, “I was the one who didn't want intimacy in the relationship and here all along I thought it was him who didn't want intimacy.”

As I looked at her face and deeply into her eyes I came to understand she was deeply changed by what she had learned in therapy and she was without the desire to be a dominating, controlling person.  I said to her, “becoming aware of unconscious stuff is a big deal and I hope you pat yourself on the back for all the hard work it took to be able to look at this and then make changes in your life.”  I said, “you're doing well and I'm really happy for you.”  I gave her a big hug and we said goodbye to one another.

As I walked away I thought to myself how important it is to be assertive and say what you want in life rather than giving up your power to another.  After all who knows best what is good for you other then you!


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It has been brought to our attention that Margaret is being portrayed as a psychic on $1.99 sites. These sites are doing so without Margaret's permission. Margaret has not claimed she is a psychic. - MW