When two people enter into a relationship it quite often happens that they slip into roles as though they are on opposite ends of a ‘see saw’ and this causes a perceived power imbalance where one feels overpowered by the other. The dominant partner increases their ability to be outspoken and the passive partner becomes even more quiet. But it can be an illusion because the partner who appears dominant is behaving that way because they feel unheard and the one who appears passive actually controls the relationship through passive aggression – both contribute to the disintegration of the relationship. It is vital that the couple stops the aggressive dance and looks at the whole situation with a willingness to talk through and to resolve the issue at hand, rather than trying to win the battle.
they love each other dearly yet
when they came to me for therapy
there was so much hate in their eyes!
at first each accused the other of being
cruel and not caring of the other
then they progressed to being curious
as to how they could possibly resolve this problem
finally they set some goals which seemed promising
and their demeanour towards each other was
much warmer as they left and prepared for the festivities
Talk 1, photo by Dora Pete, Nagytarcsa, Hungary, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/801380, loving dialogue