Sometimes in Houston marriage counseling, my clients tell me that they feel like their relationship is a battle. They “win” and get their way, “lose” and have to give in to their partner (usually feeling resentful), or have an ongoing fight because no one will give in.

As you might imagine, this kind of behavior causes all kinds of relationship problems. It emphasizes your importance over that of your relationship, and – more importantly – your partner. Imagine how you would feel if your spouse simply said, “I want this and I am doing it because I am more important than you.” It would feel awful! But that is exactly what people are doing when engaging in “win-lose” behavior.

Houston Marriage Counseling: No One Is More Important Than Anyone Else

We all have wants, needs, thoughts, and dreams. Unfortunately, many times the wants and needs of those around us come into conflict with our own. When people view these diverging viewpoints as “winning” or “losing,” it causes relationship problems.

Instead, people in relationships should strive to understand why their partners feel the way that they do – even if their feelings are the polar opposite! No one should ever have to feel bad for expressing their needs and beliefs. This means that your partner respects your feelings and you respect theirs because (and here’s the important part) everyone deserves respect and their desires are equally important.

Houston Marriage Counseling: Equality Means Finding a Win-Win

Once you acknowledge that your partner’s needs are just as important as yours, both of you can talk about how to balance your desires so that both of you get what you want – or at least a version of what you want. Part of negotiating or compromising in this way means that both sides will likely need to give in a bit, but trust me when I say that both of you will be happier ultimately.

Acknowledging your equality and thinking about your partner’s needs as well as your own will put an end to power plays that cause stress and ongoing arguments. It will also allow both of you to be more trusting and open with each other, and help to deepen your connection and solidify your relationship.

If you and your partner are struggling from power plays and can’t seem to move past your issues yourself, Houston marriage counseling can help.