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7 Ways To Solve A Power Struggle In Marriage

Sometimes, power struggles in marriage seem inevitable. One person might have a more dominating personality, and one person might have a more submissive one. This seems like it would naturally work out, but it doesn’t. 

If you’re submissive, you wind up feeling like you can’t speak up. The dominant partner winds up feeling as though they are taking advantage, even though they might crave control. 

How To Make It Through The Power Struggles

A power struggle phase is common in relationships. Almost every couple will go through this stage. It happens when you both realize that your partner is packed with flaws, just like you are. Then, the conflict ensues. Sometimes, you’ll have power struggles throughout the relationship. 

It’s important that you realize that this is not a healthy marriage. Winning a power struggle won’t make either person happy in the long run. Instead, you need to use these tips to make it through them and develop a happy, healthy relationship.

1. Develop mutual respect for each other

Both of you need to have respect for one another in the relationship. Neither of you should expect the other one to serve. There shouldn’t be name-calling or other forms of disrespect. Instead, you should both have respect for one another. 

Relationships don’t always start out like this, but that doesn’t mean that you’re destined to have one power struggle after another one. Instead, you need to work towards developing that respect to make it work. Each person in the couple accepts the other person for who they are, flaws and all. 

You’ll also need to respect each other’s boundaries. If one person sets a boundary, the other person should respect it. This shouldn’t instantly lead to you both arguing. You may not agree, but it’s still important to respect each other’s limits. You can simply agree to disagree. 

When one partner wants to dominate the relationship, they often will not respect boundaries. This is a huge red flag. You need to stick to your boundaries and attempt to work through them if you can. If things escalate or there is abuse, simply leave. You should never stay in an abusive situation or become submissive simply to make the other person happy.

2. It’s important to avoid power struggles

If you can, avoid them altogether. To do this, use effective communication. When one of you has a problem with something, you need to sit down and have a talk about it. During this talk, make sure that you are both respectful of each other. 

You should both be able to state your opinion and how you feel about things. Then, if you still disagree, it’s important to compromise. This conversation isn’t about either of you winning or losing. It’s about having a happy home and relationship.

3. Understand that you’re a team

understand that youre a team

When married people get into a power struggle, it often turns the partnership into one person being against the other one. This isn’t what you want. Instead, both of you need to work together to solve the conflict. This is about working together and making the marriage work. 

If something isn’t working out, the two of you need to have a talk, come to an understanding, and make it work.

4. Discuss the downward spiral of a power struggle

It’s important that both of you have an understanding of the negative impact of a power struggle in a relationship. The point of these arguments is for one person to win. That typically involves one person hurting the other until they give in. 

Sometimes, it will feel like there is a sense of peace in the household afterward, but there isn’t. The original conflict did not get resolved. 

Instead, one person has simply submitted to the other one. Whichever one of you that was will more than likely not feel comfortable communicating in the future. This does more damage in the long run. It breeds resentment, fueling the fire for more intense arguments down the road. 

Instead of continuing that downward spiral, both of you need to understand what is happening. You need to know that it’s ruining your relationship. Then, you need to talk about committing to making marriage work. If both of you are going to do that, you both need to stick to not competing or getting into another power struggle.

5. Agree to disagree

The power struggle period is all about the infatuation period being over. This is when you both realize all of each other’s flaws. Your differences will stick out like a sore thumb compared to previous months in the relationship. It’s as though reality has suddenly smacked you in the face. 

It’s typical to hear people complain about how their partners have changed during this part of the relationship. The honeymoon period is over. Love hormones aren’t at an all-time high. Romance is slowly becoming less and less. However, this period is necessary to move into a successful, long-term relationship

Because you’re both realizing each other’s differences, you lose the perfect idea that you had of them. This is why so many relationships end during this period. 

Instead of breaking up, you can both choose to work through it by acknowledging and respecting the different things about each other. This is necessary to make it through this period. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck in the power struggle part of the relationship until you do.

6. Encourage intimacy

encourage intimacy

Intimacy goes far beyond having fun in the bedroom. To help with a power struggle, the two of you need to encourage intimacy. It’s vital to create understanding in the relationship. You both should feel safe communicating things and feelings with one another. 

To do this, begin by talking about your day. Share your thoughts and feelings on things. This can both create more intimacy as well as help you have a happy relationship. When you do have to deal with a disagreement, this can help you both feel better about saying what you have to say. 

If you’re struggling to be more emotionally intimate in your marriage, that’s okay. Both of you can work together to create the level of intimacy that you need in order to have a successful relationship. Start off by learning to empathize with the other person. This will help you truly understand where they are coming from. 

It’s also a time that both of you break the social stereotypes about men not being able to communicate. If either the wife or husband has a hard time speaking up or labeling their feelings, it’s time to learn how. You should both feel comfortable sharing, and be able to do that. It can feel awkward at first, but over time you’ll get used to it.

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7. Don’t give in

When you’re going through this, you learn about each other’s boundaries. You learn what your partner will, and won’t, deal with. For some, this can lead to them taking a submissive role in the relationship. 

As we talked about earlier, this isn’t good for either of you. Instead, set clear boundaries and stick with them. Don’t let anyone bully you into doing something that you don’t want to do. 


How is a marriage power struggle resolved?

A struggle like this between a husband and wife is settled through talking it out. You both need to address what the problem is and find a way to work through it together. Instead of focusing on winning, consider focusing on compromising. 

Why do couples have power struggles?

Most couples go through this period because it is necessary to grow. They realize that both people in the marriage have faults, and begin to have disagreements. When people make it through this part, they are able to have long-lasting love. 

What are the signs of a failing marriage?

When your marriage is failing, all of the signs will be there. You guys won’t work together anymore. There will be little or no intimacy. Deep down, you won’t feel connected to your partner. You both may lead separate lives, and not talk about them with each other. 

How long does the power struggle stage last?

It can last for a few months. The sooner that you both learn how to work through it, the sooner it will be over. Instead of focusing on how long it will last, focus on being able to work through conflict in a healthy manner with each other to get through it. If you can’t do that, you’re stuck in it.

What is the power struggle stage?

This is the one that naturally follows the infatuation stage. It comes before reality love. During this period, you and your partner will discover all of the differences that you have. You’ll have to get through this and learn to accept one another in order for your relationship to last


Getting through power struggles can be difficult. It requires a lot of hard work from both of you. Have you managed to successfully navigate these? How did you do it?

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


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