Why Taking More Control In a Relationship Might Not Be a Good Thing

There is a price for taking control.

Relationships 20th Dec, 2020

Sometimes we can mis-calculate the level of control we have in a relationship. Obvious extreme situations aside, gauging how much control we are able to exert over a partner is difficult. Here we are going to look at why trying to take more control is not necessarily a good thing, and how you might already have more than you could possibly imagine.

In the daily routine of a relationship there are many hidden subtexts. In the nature of compromise your partner might try changing their behaviour if you are gesturing to them it displeases you without you even realizing it. In this way you inadvertently and unintentionally exert massive amounts of power over your partner’s behaviour. There are many subconscious relationship levels well beyond a restaurant choice. The next time, after a hard day, in order to garnish a significant amount of attention and you resort to exaggeration, ask yourself whether this was an organic reaction or one where you were exerting your power. It must be noted that if you over analyze any situation you will find hints of manipulation but the reality is that the power still exists, power you might not have even thought about.

On another level, you might not want to take control in the first place. No-one wants to be a doormat for their partner, but sometimes giving responsibility away for trivial things is nice. When it comes to deciding what take-out to get, which t.v to buy or even what to watch on that new t.v., the answer usually matters very little. Of course this is different when it comes to big decisions like what house to buy or when to have a family but many don’t complain about these things as they are usually shared decisions. Rather than asking yourself “do I have enough control” a better question is usually “am I happy?” If the answer is yes then you really don’t have to worry, and your quest for more power might not be coming from you but instead some other extrinsic influence.

When a relationship becomes a bid for control there becomes a “you vs them” scenario. A relationship is not a competition and therefore there are no winners and losers, you either both win or both lose. With this in mind, when you consciously try to exert more power, a path to a failing relationship is paved. The reality is the only healthy way to balance power (if that is your wish) is to have power over yourself so that you are not negatively affected by what your partner is doing. By becoming a strong person who stands up for what “you” believe (this is important as many people will tell you what to think) you will naturally find yourself in a relationship where you have the “right” amount of power. Relationships, by definition, should be reciprocal and by ensuring that you focus on your happiness rather than your control, this is the surest way to get what you want.

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