8 Ways to Overcome a Power Struggle in Your Relationship

By Krista


Last Updated: September 15, 2022

Falling in love is a beautiful time. But after the honeymoon stage, reality begins to set in.

Perhaps you’ve discovered that both you and your partner argue a lot and are bent on being right. It’s a problem. Yet, there are so many other great aspects of your relationship. So, what’s going on?

Well, you might be facing a bit of a power struggle in your relationship. And the truth is these are fairly normal! Yet, sometimes, they can also turn ugly. In this article, we’re going to dig into the dynamics of a power struggle and how you can fix it. Let’s take a look!



Why Does My Relationship Feel Like a Power Struggle?

In a power struggle, even the smallest disagreement can end up getting blown up. It feels as though you can’t win. Negative power struggles in a relationship can arise from a need for control. Maybe you both intend on controlling the other or getting your way. 

It can also arise from being two strong and very opinionated people who refuse to compromise. Yet, at the end of the day, a healthy and functioning relationship often comes down to compromising—not on everything but on some things.

And if you can’t compromise on the vital things that you both need, then it might be best to move on (in some cases, not all!).

Some tell-tale signs that you are in the midst of a negative power struggle include:

  • You continually criticize one another.
  • You no longer do special things for one another.
  • You often think about and talk about being single
  • It feels as though you never resolve conflicts or disagreements

It’s also important to note that the above isn’t black-and-white.

Just because your relationship is showing these signs, it doesn’t always mean you’re in a power struggle. It could be an indicator of other things in life, such as depression, trauma, life changes, and emotional abuse.

So, now, let’s get down to business. How can you actually move past a power struggle in your relationship?

Related Article: Do You Feel Crazy In Your Relationship? Codependency Could Be To Blame



How Do I Fix My Power Struggle in My Relationship?

Gary Zukav once said, “A power struggle collapses when you withdraw your energy from it. Power struggles become uninteresting to you when you change your intention from winning to learning about yourself.”

The good news is that your relationship is by no means doomed. This isn’t the end (especially if you both have expressed you want to be there). Most of the time, a power struggle can be resolved by proper communication. Yet, easier said than done!

It may also be best to take a course or see a relationship counselor to uncover how to communicate better.

Yet, a few things you can do right off the bat include:

  • Looking at your personality differences (Some great go-to personality tests include 16personalities and understandmyself.com). Where is conflict more likely to occur? What factors play into this? How can you understand each other better to reach a resolution?
  • Brainstorm ideas to come up with solutions when these disagreements arise.
  • Nail down the common disagreements between you two using what you know and any personality tests.
  • Discuss what in your past could be contributing to conflict. (For instance, if one of you comes from divorced parents, you might fear abandonment, and this could be playing a part.)
  • Listening more and talking less. 
  • Practicing forgiveness. Yes, there will be some things you disagree on. And many of these things aren’t relationship-ending. You can simply agree to disagree, forgive, and continue forward.
  • Observing other healthy relationships and watching how they deal with conflict.
  • Communicating clearly and often about your needs. Furthermore, communicating about when something bothers you. Suppressing things can lead to a worse scenario down the road, as well as explosive fights.

A few other things you may want to explore also include setting goals together.

  • Where do you see yourself in the future?
  • What do you want to accomplish together?

Finding common ground can help remind you why you’re together, to begin with.

Creating your own relationship “rules” or “roles” can also help you both understand where responsibilities begin and end with one another. This is particularly important in any team, and a relationship is no exception!

Related Article: Happy Relationships Take Work: Are You Really Doing Your Share?



Overcoming the Power Struggle

While some individuals just aren’t meant to be, others can overcome their differences and peacefully (and happily!) experience life together. The fact that you both want to resolve this means something! 

Try the tips above when you’ve both had time to cool off. If these don’t work, you may want to explore couples counseling together so that you can truly make your relationship what you want it to be.

Read Next: Healthy, Harmonious Love: 7 Relationship Tools To Keep In Your Pocket


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