Knowing what you need to re-balance your personal power in your current relationship can be difficult. It may seem that your only options include unpleasant behaviors such as; being more aggressive, raising your defenses or even finding a different partner.
If your partner is not abusive and you feel safe in your relationship but seem to always defer to his/her suggestions – then becoming more secure in your own worth will help you show your needs and preferences more often.
You may be able to create more relationship closeness when you and your partner respect the need for both partners to have a balance of power within the relational system. The two of you are co-creating that system with every overt decision and covert withholding you each make. Mutual respect is the key to making both partners more equally present.
The ability to balance an external system (relationship) may be easier when you balance your internal system of self-worth. Do you know how to show respect to your partner and not lose respect for yourself? Can you show up for your own best interest when a disagreement threatens your self-esteem?
Showing respect for yourself, your needs, ideas and voice will help your partner see you and know you better. Mind reading isn’t a magical power your partner obtains as soon as you enter the picture. You can make yourself known by showing up more fully in conversations, decision making, and during down time. Respect your need to be known first – then let your partner learn what you know about yourself.
One Thing to Do: Talk yourself through the last important conversation you had with your partner and write down how often you showed respect and how often you felt respected. This is mapping a pattern you engaged in – which you may repeat.
Dawna Daigneault, Ed.S., LPC.