Q&A: Getting beyond power struggles

Q: My wife and I are constantly getting in power struggles. How can we get beyond this?

A: Why do power struggles cause us such trouble? It’s simple. In every power struggle, couples see themselves as adversaries. This can be as subtle as insisting on “making a point.” The problem is, even if one member of the pair “wins” the point, it means an automatic loss for the relationship. If one person in the marriage “loses,” then both persons in the marriage lose. There is no such thing as a win/lose scenario in marriage.

We encourage you to make a commitment to a new way of doing things and to abandon the failed, old model. This begins by establishing what Dr. Bob Paul calls a “No Losers Policy.” In a No Losers Policy, couples agree that it will never be acceptable, from this point on, for either of them to walk away from any interaction, feeling as if they had lost. Each spouse has to feel good about the solution.

Creating a No Losers Policy goes a long way toward creating the kind of relationships that yield joy and satisfaction rather than grief and frustration. It can work equally well for you, regardless of the type of relationship in which you apply it. Although it takes some work, press on to find a win/win solution when addressing a decision or issue.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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