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How to Create a Power Struggle in an Intimate Relationship

By Andrew Heartman

Often, we create power struggles without realizing it. I thought it would be useful to look at how to deliberately create power struggles, so we could have more awareness about power struggles, both how they are created, consciously and unconsciously, and how to avoid them.

Here are some surefire steps to Create a Power struggle.

1. Find something it will be difficult for your partner to agree to. After all, in your time of intimate relationship with them, you have learned about their insecurities and what demands are likely to trigger these insecurities. Make that demand.

2. Convince yourself that your happiness depends on your partner doing what you have asked.

3. Find ways to convince them that there’s something wrong with them if they don’t do it (or don’t want to). Make it not about what they do, but who they are. If they were a better person, or didn’t have this character flaw, they would want to do this for you.

4. If they object, take it personally. Tell them if they loved you, they would do it.

5. Stand your ground! Be willing to sacrifice your relationship to make it happen. After all, the relationship isn’t worth having if you don’t get your way. If you’re willing to sacrifice the relationship, this will put you in a position of power. Your partner must know that the only way that this agreement will be resolved is if they back down.

6. If they back down, let them know that you were right and that they would have been better off to go along with you in the first place. This may not make any difference in the current power struggle (which you’ve already won!), but it makes getting into the next power struggle really easy!

Based on that, we can then see How to Avoid a Power Struggle.

1. Remember that the relationship is more important than getting your partner to do what you want them to. Remember the relationship is more important than being right.

2. Accept and love your partner the way they are, regardless of what they do.

3. Take responsibility for your own happiness. If your partner doesn’t have the natural inclination to do something for you, do it for yourself. The way you treat yourself sets the tone for how others treat you. They will learn from your example.

Also, if your partner doesn’t have the natural inclination to do something for you, do it for them. If they like it, they may feel more inclined to do it for you.

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