Probably not the ones you are thinking of…
Living with someone, whether you are married or not requires an enormous amount of patience, perseverance and flexibility. No matter how “in love” you may be, there are bound to be topics that can create power struggles.
Here are a few examples;
Temperature – whether it is too hot or too cold
Windows open – windows closed
Lighting – too bright or not enough light
TV Shows to watch or not watch
Household chores – share of the workload being balanced
The list could go on and on. What is touched on here appears minimal compared to more serious relationship issues. However, when there is a constant need for one or both partners to have “things” there way, it can become a power struggle. Some sort of compromise should be made when these situations arise or one person may feel as though the relationship is a dictatorship.
Generally, one person is more adaptable in a relationship and will naturally make concessions. But, if that generosity is taken for granted, resentment may set in.
A typical conflict that can create a power struggle for many couples is temperature. Men usually run hotter than women. To address this matter in my own relationship, when he is running hot, the ceiling fan over our bed goes on a timer, so it shuts off when the temperature drops at night. While the fan is running, I add an additional blanket. Another issue is lighting. I am hyper light sensitive and need time to adjust to bright light in the morning. The compromise is that the drapes are opened slightly until my eyes adjust, then I open the drapes up completely.
Another compromise is the even and odd day of the week solution. For example: Even days of the month the windows are open and odd days the windows are closed.
Compromise can be reached all on topics if both parts are willing to give and take. If one person is always set in stone, the other person may need to decide whether or not to adapt, adjust without resentment, live with resentment or leave.
There are much larger struggles that will arise in relationships like money and children. If you can’t compromise on issues like temperature and chores, what will happen when more serious problems arise?
Take an inventory of the issues you and your partner consistently struggle with and take the time to make compromises together. In doing so you will deepen your communication skills and create more balance in your partnership.
Leah Kay Rossi