Power is a field of contention for many couples. They both want a position of dominance over the other, whether in one or more fields. A desire that many times is not conscious and that gives rise to a dispute that is not conscious either.
In every relationship, there is a distribution of power to make decisions and in many cases, the preferences, desires, or needs are not the same. It is in these cases where power manifests itself and, therefore, it is so important.
On the other hand, the relationship of power in the couple influences many aspects, such as the sharing of responsibilities, intimacy, or sexual relations.
However, the tension that the power relationship can generate in a relationship is not necessarily negative. The problem appears when the strategies to conquer this power are harmful or when the person who has achieved that power does not use it for the benefit of the other or the relationship itself.
The Dispute for Power in the Couple
Couples are dynamic entities and are therefore in a constant process of mutual exchange. In every love context in particular, and social in general, we find elements such as persuasion or domination, which can be indicators of the struggle for this power.
The distribution of power in a relationship can be complex. Because it is sensitive to changes expectations, along with the wishes and needs of each one. On the other hand, after a while, it usually reaches stability that places each member of the couple in a place where they feel comfortable. One ends up taking the lead in some moments and another in others.
For example, in a couple, the man may be the one who chooses where they are going to go on vacation, while the woman will be the one who chooses the type of accommodation or the views they will do. In more established couples, we constantly see this exchange. In it preferences are combined, but also knowledge. For example, the woman may have friends who have already visited the area and have references to places of interest.
All this would make distinguishing who is the dominant of the two in the couple can become very complicated. In addition, it is important to understand that the fact that there is someone who dominates and someone who allows himself to be dominated does not have to be bad; the problem would arise when this power dynamic becomes dysfunctional or when the means to achieve or maintain this power harm the other.
Problems Related To Power in a Relationship
In general, the relationship of power in the couple tends, within the change, to preserve a certain balance. Thus, the members of the same have a tendency to regulate themselves spontaneously, and the people who feel more comfortable directing in a certain field will do so naturally. Thus, the conflict will only appear when that domain preference matches.
Thus, on some occasions, this balance is not reached spontaneously. Next, we will see some cases in which the relationship of power in the couple can be a major source of conflict.
Case 1; Couple Formed By Two Dominant Persons
Sometimes the two members of a couple are used to taking on a leadership role. When this happens, the most normal thing is that a lot of arguments take place: since the two people need to be right and the other is willing to listen and heed, it would be very difficult for both to give up part of their power at the same time.
If you think you are experiencing a dynamic similar to this, one way to approach the situation is to actively work to understand the other. To do this, developing skills, such as empathy, can be very helpful.
Case 2; Couple Formed By Two People Who Tend To Follow Orders
When the two members of the couple do not want to have power in the relationship, it can come to feel discomfort and maladjustment, since neither is able to take the initiative. In this way, there will be many situations in which insecurity reigns, an aspect that can wear out if they remain constant over time.
In many cases, the solution comes when both share their opinions and try to reach an agreement, such as taking the initiative in an alternate way.
As a reflection on power relations in the couple; the relationship of power in the couple is normally configured in an unconscious and natural way – each one acquires more weight in those decisions that have a greater interest or knowledge.
The tension that it generates is usually more important in the post-infatuation period: that place in which each one begins to balance the investment they make in the couple, yielding less and showing interest in maintaining more preferences than they had tried to defend up to that point moment.
In the event that it is an inexhaustible source of conflicts, it will be necessary for the couple to feel and consciously and reflectively agree on the weight that each one is going to have in certain decisions, as well as what arguments or strategies are or are not valid to achieve a purpose. For example, one partner may say that emotional blackmail is not valid to get the other to clean the house or “want” to have sex.