Power struggles in a relationship and especially marriage are not an abnormal thing but they sure are a poison for a healthy relationship. Couples all over the world at some point or other have experienced power struggles between each other. Every marriage has its share of ups and downs with couples fighting with each other now and then but in a power struggle the fight is not healthy and there is a tussle of egos between the couples. In addition when you are engaging in a power struggle the arguments are not about the current situation but about the previous situation that made you uneasy but were never spoken aloud.
What is Power Struggle: Definition and Meaning
Power struggle is a constant bickering between partners who feel that their way is right and they are Mr or Ms Know it all. Power struggle has been defined by marriage counsellors, as a stage where couples see each other as competitor instead of a team and thus there are fights where one of the partners either blows off or freezes the other one out – both the stages are dangerous for maintaining a healthy relationship. In power struggle there is only one way and that could be of either husband or wife and in most of the cases it is seen that it is a wife who ends up in frustration and thus the cycle continues.
Recognising the signs of power struggle
It is easy to recognise whether a couple is having a healthy argument or are in power struggle where the reason for fighting is not to solve the problem but to bring out the old frustrations and hurts. Some of the signs that you are in power struggle rather than having a healthy argument are listed below:
1. When you become defensive
Whenever there is an argument you become defensive and start your counter attack without even listening to what other person has to say then you are in power struggle. This is so true in most of the cases where a wife or husband gets defensive whenever there is a general conversation and the other person feels that it is an indirect hit to him or her. And in most of such cases there is an emotional freeze out by the other person.
Solution: Remember a general comment is just that – a general comment. It is not meant to demean you or belittle you and your spouse is not pointing at you when he or she says something. Try to be more open-minded and trust yourself.
2. Don’t listen to each other
You know you are not fighting healthy when you both are shouting and none of you are listening to what other is saying. A common scenario when there is ego hassles between the couples. The egos are bigger than the problem and thus it seems like a slinging match, which results in both of them shouting at each other and not listening to each other. When there is resentment in the relationship there is a power struggle and power struggle in turn leads to turning your spouse out.
Solution: If you want to save your marriage then you must learn to listen. And by listening I mean really listen to each other. Listen to your partner when he or she talks about their day, because listening and talking are the two important ways you can improve your marital life.
3. Feel like that you both are parallel to each other
It is quite common for man and wife to have different views about lot of things. But if you are arguing over the most trivial issues like where to eat, who will make the bed or something like that then one of the spouse starts feeling that why are you both staying together. It also makes one of the spouses that both of you are on different pedestal and there is no way your thoughts can match each other.
Solution: Next time when you are bickering over the trivial issues just stop yourself and ask is it really worth fighting with each other. No matter how much his or her habit irks you remember that nobody is perfect not even you and each of us have typical flaws that make us all unique.
4. Emotionally freezing out
Too much bickering, constant nagging can also result in emotional freeze out of a partner by the other and this is not a healthy situation at all. Emotionally freezing out means that whatever the other person is saying is not even touching a cord in the other person. It also means that the other person is not concerned about his or her wife or husband and believes that it is nothing to be worried about.
Solution: Whatever happens, don’t freeze out each other emotionally for then you will not have anything to build your marriage on. If you feel that talking at that precise moment will not help then wait for things to cool down and then have a talk with each other.
5. Saying I am right you are wrong
Always thinking that you are right and the other person wrong is another crucial sign of power struggle. It is seen that there is one person in the relationship who believes that he or she is always right and the other person is wrong and his thought process is wrong and outdated or something like that have power struggles for even the most trivial issue.
Solution: Give some benefit of doubt to your spouse – he or she may be right you will only know when you give them a chance to voice their thoughts. You are not always right for you are a human and not a god.
Remember that power struggles are detrimental for your marriage so if you want to have a healthy marriage say no to power struggles and yes to healthy bickering.