Power struggles in relationships are partially rooted in our past. If we experienced control while growing up, we want to control our relationship. If we didn’t receive enough love, we want to control our partner’s love for us. It is all about getting our needs met. Yet our partners have no idea that they are expected to compensate for what we missed earlier in life.
Controlling people try to remake the world in their own image, starting with you. They think they know better and don’t acknowledge your equality. They haven’t learned the equality of relationships, the right of every person is to express himself/herself freely without penalty.
When an argument stops being about finding an objective solution and starts being about who is more entitled to be ‘right’ that becomes the breakdown. Once the argument escalates past the issue, then someone needs to recognize the power struggle. The first thing that will happen is the discussion turns very emotional. Be prepared to walk away from an argument for a while, even if you are convinced you’re absolutely right. There’s too much of a risk your partner will intensify the argument to the point of no return. People who need to win arguments as a rule will often bring the original argument to a halt, and then bring in other issues guaranteed to cause an emotional reaction. It’s no longer about the issue at hand- it’s about the power struggle.
Everyone should want their needs met in a relationship. You also have to be realistic and understand that there is no way that you are going to get 100% in any relationship. That’s just a fact of life. Relationships are designed to make us better. We should be able to feed off of each other’s energy. So honestly if you have a relationship where you are controlling every aspect of it how is that making you a better person?
One of the biggest problems in a relationship is most people refuse to meet the needs of their partner because ALL of their needs or wants are not meet. People do not look at the overallpicture of what the other person is bringing to the relationship. You have to realize in yourself that there are things that you have to except. If you are looking for someone to make you happy 24/7, you need to go live in fairy tale land because this is not realistic.
People need to understand the difference between their wants and needs in a relationship. Wants usually are the Achilles heel of a relationship. This is driven by thoughts and unmet needs.
I think that people do recognize the power struggles in relationship in the beginning and sometimes will tend to let the other person have the upper hand in the relationship. Instead of expressing yourself in the beginning and saying hey this relationship is lacking equality we let the person continue to be superior and have their way. Once you continue to let this happen people get use to it. Now changing the situation is going to be hard. For example you have been eating lunch for the past year at 1230 and now your co worker tells you that hey I know you been eating at 12:30 everyday but I am going to start eating at 12:30 each day so you either got to go at 11:30 or 1:30. How are you going to feel about that? You body is use to eating at 12:30. You are going to be like no you go around me I am not changing. This is what happens in that type of relationship. It has been working for them so why change? You have dealt with it this long. It is not my problem it is yours.
Power struggles in relationships are going to happen. We are human. We all want to maintain our Identity. If you see signs of a power struggle in a relationship, before you get to emotionally involved make sure you point them out respectfully. Some people learn to compromise if they really treasure the relationship, but you also have to understand that most people do not change their desire for control over every aspect of their life.