Power struggle in marriage

Power is sweet. When you are in power you get all the attention and the best of privileges. You become the deciding factor. All animals including human beings therefore love power.

In fact, studies show that in some apes, one in three males are killed by their own kind over power struggle for territory and particularly over their females. We also know that many men have suffered greatly in their power struggle to win women.

No doubt Akans say ‘emaa beku mmarima’ which means women are the main cause of the downfall of men. Poor males!

In Akan mythology, there is a reptile called ‘funtantunafu’ which has two heads but one stomach. The two heads fight and struggle over food even when it goes into the same stomach because each head wants to taste the sweetness of the food.

In relationships, many partners behave like this reptile and struggle for power even though they are supposed to be one flesh because power is sweet.

We struggle over money, sex, social status and worth and anything we see important and worth fighting for.

Why power struggle?

The good book says the heart of man is evil and selfish. We fight to get what we want, how to get it and when to get it. The good book adds that we battle within us. Selfishness is the root cause of power struggle.

Some partners are choleric by temperament. They are man users and may see each other as a tools for meeting personal needs. They get angry with each other when they have opposing ideas but will not tolerate control. Each partner will do whatever it takes to take control of the relationship.

Some partners see themselves as more intelligent, knowledgeable and richer and will exploit a lover’s vulnerable condition to be in the driving seat.

In the past, men were in total control of relationship and women simply submitted because men were the bread winners and women the homemakers.

Not so now. Today due to equal educational opportunities and interventions, women are matching men ‘bumper to bumper’.

The eyes of our women are ‘open’ and will struggle for their rights and even take over relationships if they feel superior. Their motivation is simple; whatever a man can do a woman can do and even better.

If a man can be in power, why not a woman? Meanwhile men are born competitive.

We get great emotional fulfilment as we solve problems, guide, protect and control our women because they show our competence and efficiency. We do not take any less irrespective of our age, talent or social status. This is a recipe for power struggle.

Signs you are in power struggle

Each partner insists on running the show. You therefore argue about almost everything in your relationship.

Your normal discussions become like a debate as you try to convince each other to see things from your perceptive. You frequently find fault with whatever your lover does.

In some cases, a partner thinks his or her lover can never do anything right. You say ‘yes’ and your partner says ‘no’ and each of you think you are right. You behave more like opponents than lovers.

Are you in power struggle?

The good book says a kingdom divided against itself will be ruined. Power struggle may result in physical, emotional and verbal abuse.

If you force your way you put your lover down and deflate his or her ego. You kill intimacy and effective communication.

Power struggle is a way to take what you want at all cost. You ignore your lover’s opinion and push your agenda no matter what. Power struggle is simply divisive and destructive.

If you are in power struggle accept that a true relationship takes two partners who are equally important to contribute to the growth of your relationship.

Mutual decision is therefore critical for the success of a relationship. You must therefore discuss your needs and wants fairly to make each other feel appreciated and valued.

Consider each other’s opinion. Bend and help each other. Make mutual decisions. Harmonise your ideas and focus on what builds your relationship but not who is in control. One thing is sure; your relationship can never grow with power struggle.

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