Sources of Power in Relationships

 There are many sources of power in relationships, but a few stand out:

1. Higher education, income, and occupational status, especially in marriage relationships when men make more money. Both partners tend to feel that a man should have more say since he contributes greater resources to the family.

When wives are economically dependent and fear they can’t support themselves, husbands can become especially powerful. Some abusive men get their wives pregnant (by destroying birth control devises) to increase their wives’ dependency – and their control over their partners.

Women are less likely to become more powerful when they make more money because they generally don’t want to diminish their partners.

 2. Relationship options. Perhaps a woman is economically dependent, but she is beautiful and she knows it. She knows that if she leaves the relationship, she can quickly find someone else. This gives her a lot of clout.

3. Traditional gender roles. People who hold traditional notions about gender are more likely to accept male authority. While our society has achieved greater equality, men still typically have a bit more power in relationships.

Interestingly, young men today more often say they prefer equal partnerships.

4. Strong personalities. Even among the traditional-minded, some women just have stronger personalities. The couple will often deem the man, “head of home” when really, the woman is in charge.

 5. Whoever cares least about the relationship has more power because the partner who cares more is more likely to cave in.  

There are two ways of looking at this. On the one hand it may simply be a sad, but true, fact of life.

Yet there may be some poetic justice. If one person is poorly treated, he or she will be more likely to leave. And this can create an incentive to change. If the relationship moves back into a better balance of happiness, equality can be regained.


4 Responses

  1. Let us not complicate the word “RELATIONSHIP” which has its roots in emotional mind and linked to Truth,Order and Harmony.Where from and how the word “POWER” is linked to Relationship.Let us uncomplicate it and make it simple by the forces of love, affection,empathy and mutuality.We should not pollute the minds just for the sake of inviting attention or for vague publicity.Relationship is Relationship meaning human bondage.

  2. […] See more here: Sources of Power in Relationships « Free Us Now Weblog […]

  3. It is also important to point out the lack of help in the Justice department.

    When a women is abused – she is not protected by the law. Not the police, the courts, not by restraining orders, not with custody – sho often takes her chances with her abuser because she thinks patronizing him will be safer – than the protection offered by thise who owe it to our female citizens.

    • Why we create an environment where a women is abused?No government or justice department will solve the problem.Problem solving is more dependent on ourselves- our culture and values.If the “family” is healthy morally, women or chlldren will not be abused.But we ignore our “roots”-the family and run after “money culture” and neglect women and children.Bad education of today is also responsible for abuses.Is education is for GNP/GDP or earnining only money. Education system today in the world is derailed as a result we talk of technology devoid of values- we talk of ideas which are virtual and mind polluting.No where we are taught about human bondage,values, the place of love,affection, empathy, tolerance,harmoy,mutuality, peace and bondage of humanitarian qualities in so called best educational institutions/universities of the world.Please restore all these qualities,I am sure abuse of women/children will become a phenomena of past. I have advocated all these in my two books”Peace Technology” & “Peace TimeCalendar” published by authorhouse,Bloomington,Indiana,USA. But as no one has the time to “to begin a new thought process” and every one want instant kick, the books have become unwanted. Change the Equation of Relatioship-Relationship=Family bonding + humanitarian qualities and not Relationship=Power, then all kinds of abuses will be wiped out.
      Prof.Fani Bhusan Das
      Professor of Peace & Ekistics

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