Power Struggles in Relationships

Power Struggles in Relationships

December 23 2022 TalktoAngel 0 comments 130 Views

What is a power struggle?

A power struggle is an obvious or covert competition or conflict for influence, authority, and control in a relationship. Power dynamics can either be rising or break the relationship.

No matter how much you have in common with someone, you will inevitably disagree on something. However, disagreeing on an issue is not the same as competing for dominance with your partner.

Power battles are frequently manifested as a desire to obtain your way on critical issues where ideas or perspectives diverge. This may entail neglecting your partner's point of view or requirements, or breaking limits they have established.

Fighting for power and control may emerge early on in a relationship, but in certain circumstances, it only becomes a problem when critical issues are raised but not resolved. According to Prof (Dr) R K Suri, Top Relationship Counsellor of Asia Pacific, “Self-awareness is a skill set to perceive, know and understand the things that make you a unique individual, encompassing your personality, thoughts, emotions, attitudes, beliefs, values, and actions”. Self-awareness is essential to a successful partnership or relationship. Self-awareness reduces competition and promotes collaboration.

Some of these subjects of power struggle could be:

  • Determining whether or not to have offspring 
  • Parenting Styles
  • Where to reside or where to go on vacation
  • How to generate and spend money
  • Cultural ethos,
  • Spending time with parents
  • Religious convictions or practices
  • Issues of morality, politics, or ethics
  • Choices in lifestyle

Power struggles may arise as a result of one or both spouses' emotional difficulties, in addition to differences in thought and ideas. It's a good idea to consult online with the best “Clinical Psychologist near me” to identify conflicts and resolve them in individual Online Therapy consultation or couple consultation online.

Power struggles may arise as a result of one or both spouses' emotional difficulties, in addition to differences in thought and ideas.

For example, insecure attachment patterns may cause someone to relinquish their influence in critical things out of fear of being abandoned or rejected. Personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder may increase a person's desire to exert control and authority over their spouse.

Only a mental health professional or an Online Counsellor should be consulted to understand and explore if there is an underlying issue that is causing frequent power struggles in your relationship.

Are power struggles common in every relationship?

Every relationship consists of an imbalance of power, but it is not always a conflict.

It's natural to differ with your significant other on certain issues and wish they saw things your way. However, being in a serious relationship may include negotiating how everyone's demands are addressed, which requires both partners to compromise.

Power disputes are usually avoided if both spouses recognize the importance of compromise.

According to a 2021 study of 181 heterosexual couples, objective power inequalities do not often affect relationships, but rather the way each partner interprets these disparities and their own level of power.

Furthermore, the study discovered that harmonious power dynamics were connected with higher relationship satisfaction, libido, and emotional well-being.

One individual may struggle with their sense of identity or begin to demand things from their spouse, resulting in arguments. But, more frequently than not, the primary source of power problems is an unwillingness to compromise.

You won't know if you'll have to confront this problem in your relationships until it happens. However, if your significant other does anything of the following behaviors early on, experts warn that you may have power conflicts later in your relationship.

1. Your partner shares a strong personality with you.

Relationships work much better whenever one person is in command and the other person is more malleable or fluid," Birch says.

However, if you and your significant other both have strong personalities and prefer to have things your way, it will be difficult. If you wish to combat this, Birch recommends learning when to push and when to pull back. That way, it would always be your time to be correct or in command.

2. Your partner frequently fails to see your view of things-

When you're disputing with your significant other and you feel that your message isn't coming across, it's natural to speak up. However, Birch claims that this will not make your partner comprehend you any better than the initial time. Instead, it is likely to spark an even greater conflict.

"Instead of speaking up or fighting, try articulating your current feelings or even what you think in new and diverse ways," she suggests. "Some people speak more physically, some more abstractly," while still others might be more rational. It is critical to speak with your significant other in a straightforward and understandable manner.

3. Your partner is unable to compromise-

Compromise is necessary. Sometimes you simply need to agree that you disagree. Compromise might be difficult if you as well as your significant other struggle with it. According to Birch, it's critical to look for chances when you may score "little wins." "It'll be a difficult dynamic if one spouse wins and the other loses every time you have had to make a shared choice," she says.

4. Your partner does not listen to you

There will be power battles in your relationship if you and your significant other do not practice active listening. You may feel neglected or misunderstood, which can only lead to squabbles. According to Birch, it is critical to ensure that your voice is heard.

To deal with your relationship conflicts connect with the best Relationship Counsellor and take Couple Therapy at TalktoAngel India’s No.1 Relationship Counselling platform.

Contributed by: Dr(Prof) R K Suri, Clinical Psychologist & Varshini Nayyar



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