Friday, November 13, 2009

Power Struggle- "No, you come into MY world!"

Most of us have experienced a power struggle in a relationship. No fun. But what is it really about? I have found that most power struggles with couples are about trying to get the other to come into your world. The wife wants her husband come into her world and live in their with her. The husband wants the wife to come into his world. The more determined of the two usually wins. The loser resents the winner; the winner loses respect for the loser.

How about a choice c. ? What if a couple created a new world together. The new world would be different than either of your individual worlds. It would be based on what works for both of you. You still get to keep your individual worlds. It is just when you are together you primarily hang out your shared world. You could occasionally visit each other's worlds to experience and understand each other. You could go into your own world by yourself or with a friend. But you focus most of your time with each other creating a world together.

This requires a shift in consciousness- from "I" to "We." (See my previous From I to We blog). In your shared world you have to consider what is best for both of you when you make decisions. You have to give up some of your pictures of how you wanted the relationship to be. You may have to decorate and pick out paint together. You have to ask each other, "What do you think?" a lot.

Is it worth it? You decide. I will tell you the destruction, resentment, and loss of respect created by an ongoing power struggle are rarely resolved. And... the beauty and happiness of creating a world together far surpasses the initial discomfort and fear of redefining yourself and letting go of control. Who knows, maybe WE will have a good time together.


  1. What a great write and so appropriate for me right now as my boyfriend is on his way with the Uhaul moving in! Thanks much.


  2. Thank you for your comment Christine. Best wishes to you and your boyfriend living together.

  3. That is such great advice. Just what I was looking for and needed to hear. Trying to move on.