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The Power Struggle that in Relationships and How to Deal with it.

The Power Struggle that happens in Relationships

When you first meet the ‘love of your life’ or at least the person you feel you want to commit to, everything seems easy. The chances are you can’t imagine you will have any real disagreements.

But, there often comes a time in a relationship when you may feel your partner is taking over, becoming stubborn about issues for no apparent reason. Or that your partner wants the last word, or the final decision.

And those niggling feelings start to rear their ugly head and perhaps other feelings too of -

  • Resentment

  • Annoyance

  • Anger

  • Injustice

  • Taken for granted

So, without realising it, the power struggles start.

Your Relationship is No Longer a Partnership - Its a Battleground

Why should they get all their own way? Why are they taking over, dismissing your views and feelings? Making decisions without even talking to you. Issuing you with a ‘fait accompli’.

The problem is it can go several ways.

When one digs in their heels the other one is likely to do the same, and you have stalemate. Each of you feels powerless in the relationship.

Or – You retaliate, exerting your voice, your power. Leaving your partner confused and trying to appease you, but feeling ruled by an emotional dictator and possibly leaving the relationship either emotionally or physically.

If the situation continues, you may have thoughts about leaving the relationship because you can’t stand the rows anymore, or feelings of being bullied.

Communication – Communication – Communication

I talk about this so often, but it really is the key. But that communication isn’t about blame and finger-pointing. It’s about sitting down and discussing how you can make things better.

Choose your battles wisely

Step back for a moment and ask yourself if the things you are arguing about are really important issues or minor irritations. Do you find the minor issues are escalating into much bigger rows to the point you don’t recall what the initial issues were? If you recognise this is happening, acknowledge one of you needs to stop playing the game.

Wanting the other to change

It’s so easy to take the view that you want the other person to change, and be the person you want them to be. Just think how it would feel if your partner wanted you to change to suit them! You fell in love and developed a relationship with someone who has their own ways of being in the world, and I am guessing you loved them for the qualities they hold. So why do you want them to change into something or someone else just to fit in with you, just because it suits you.

By trying to do this you are more likely to build up resentment, as well as hostility, accusations, sarcasm, and sniping. A really unpleasant atmosphere for sure.

It doesn’t have to be this way

Sit down and talk to each other in a loving way, explain to your partner how unhappy you are with the situation, and that you feel sure they are as unhappy in the relationship as you are. Without pointing the finger of blame, discuss ways in which you feel the relationship isn’t working, and then work together to find ways in which you can improve it.


None of us like to think if ourselves as controlling but there are many ways we might get caught up, fighting for power and control in relationships, often in subtle and not always acknowledged ways. Join us as we explore, whose got the power and what to do about it.

If you would like to learn more about how I can help you, then please get in touch. You can book a free call, the details are on my Contact page.

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