For an appointment:
Call  917-692-3867
For an appointment : Call  917-692-3867

Power Struggle

spiral2grow, a counseling center in NYC, provides skills to overcome power struggle for individuals and couples. Our experts in power struggle include couples counselors and marriage therapists who help building successful relationships by teaching healthy relationship skills. spiral2grow, located in midtown Manhattan at 260 Madison #8023, New York, NY 10016, offers proven power struggle solutions in a variety of formats: individual counseling, couples counseling, marriage therapy and relationship workshops.

Power Struggle

Not once a personal relationship tends to exist as a power struggle. A power-struggle exists when one partner insists on getting his/her own way without considering the other person needs. Unfortunately, in such case, all people involved in the relationship are in losing position. In marriage or intimate relationship, extending the desire for control to our other half can lead to unhappiness and even divorce as only few relationships can survive long in the control/rebellion position. The reality is that power struggle is pretty common, troublesome/taxing, and potentially destructive.

Power struggle is challenging for many couples. It is not easy to face a partner that you love “makes you crazy” who pushes your buttons. That makes you disappointed, upset and even angry. Yet, the upside of the power struggle is that it can make you grow. In my practice, spiral2grow, I explain to couples that power struggle is a natural phase in a relationship and can be can be used as an opportunity to wake up, grow and stretch your skills to be more connected and in love.

Unfortunately, many couples are stuck in that phase and cannot let go of the desire to “win the argument.” This leads them to loss the relationship. Couples, who open and committed and that are willing to work hard and accept responsibility for their actions, can experience a total transformation and even a shift in their conscious to see the benefit that power struggle bring to their relationship.

Differences in relationship are always going to be present. What going to change is your reaction to the differences and the way you approach such differences. The goal is to reach a point of respecting the differences, feeling unthreatened and changing your reaction to the differences.

In marriage, when power struggles exist constantly (without resolution), either the marriage will fail, or one spouse will fall apart. If both spouses have the willingness and motivation to resolve the marriage problems, as well as the skills needed to make it work, it can often bring the marriage to another level of respect, happiness and fulfillment. Yet, in many cases, marriage counseling is necessary– because it is very difficult to shake destructive beliefs from a person when he has held them for much of his life.

The ability to resolve the power struggle rests in both spouses’ willingness and readiness to acknowledge two main points: first, that a healthy marriage “takes two”, and, as such, each person’s beliefs, needs, feelings, and input are equally essential; and second, that each is an individual person who cannot be taken advantage of, silenced, or dismissed.

Imago couples counseling, developed by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly is one method (Getting the Love You Want: a guide for couples) that proposes a constructive way to understand and work with the struggles to emerge stronger and happier.

Loving relationship is built on respect and mutuality. Mutuality and compromise as well as healthy communication skills are the antidote to power struggles. This is why it is in your own relationship’s best interests to build a win-win relationship and not to control others. When one of you loses, so does the relationship. Committing to resolving the power struggle opens a space for deep communication, empathy, safety, healing on the journey to loving relationship.

Below please find few steps to defuse a power struggle:

  • Listen to understand your partner’s point of view with patience and respect. You might have heard it all before but try to understand why the situation has become so loaded.
  • Pay attention to what is NOT being said (ex: emotion and body language). A useful prompt is: “Can you explain why you feel so strongly about this?”
  • Behind nearly every power struggle is fear. Resist the temptation to placate, rationalize or dismiss these fears. Instead acknowledge them aloud. When someone feels truly heard, they will be happy to listen to your concerns.
  • Be open and clear. With everything out in the open, you are finally ready to look for a win-win outcome.
  • Acknowledge (to yourself and your partner) that the person you fell in love with is a unique individual with his/her own wishes, needs, preferences, and experiences.
  • Accept your partner’s uniqueness. Needing to be in control of decisions is a major block to accepting that your partner’s perspective is both different from your own and valid.
  • Create and provide enough space so that each of you has a voice in the decision-making process. This space is created when judgment is suspended and you and your partner take the time and effort to understand each other’s perspective – even when you disagree with him/her.
  • Remember, as long as you keep the power-struggle shuffle alive, the gifts of love and intimacy will never be realized.
More about Relationship and Conflict
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Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in New York City
License # : 000697