Mistaking Power for Love in Relationships


Have you ever been in a relationship that feels more like a power struggle than a healthy love relationship? There is a lot of that out there. There is nothing at all healthy about such relationships.

A healthy love relationships is, first, one where the partners have mutual respect. That is at least as important as love. After mutual respect comes love, trust, shared values, and true caring for each other. As far as power is concerned, in a healthy relationship, the balance of power usually shifts back and forth between the two partners depending on their situation. It is never overwhelmingly held by one partner. If it is, that constitutes control. A relationship where one partner tries to wield control is not a true love relationship. It is a power struggle.

If a relationship is a power struggle, it cannot possibly be an enjoyable relationship. Love is not power. It is not giving up your power in a relationship to someone else so they will “love” you and stay with you. If your partner requires that, then your relationship is already over. It is just dying a slow death.

If you feel like you require the power in your relationship, you should examine your motives. Partners who require power in a relationship are basically insecure. If you only want the relationship if it is on your terms and you are hanging around to see if you can force the other person to see that your way is the right way, you might as well end the relationship now. This will never be a healthy relationship. You’re forcing your partner to be submissive to you and he/she will always resent that.  You may, quite simply, be with the wrong person.

If you require power in every relationship, then that is another issue. Unless you examine your motives, you will never have a healthy relationship. You need to learn to give and take power in a relationship as the situation demands.

Power usually involves control and manipulation. If you hold the power in a relationship, you usually use control and manipulative tactics to get what you want from your partner. Is this love? Of course not. If you are the partner being manipulated and the one without the power, run, don’t walk, out of the relationship. You may want to say something like, “But, I love him.” I say, “No, you don’t.” You just think you do because he has convinced you of it. It’s part of the power and control tactic. Find yourself a healthy relationship where there is a give and take situation concerning power.

Whether you are a person that requires power in a relationship or the partner who is submissive, don’t spend your life with the wrong person. Find someone you love and with whom you can have a healthy relationship without the issue of power.


  1. Well done! If only we could make others see as we see…they have to come to see it on their own. Hopefully your post lights it up for someone.


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