In every relationship there are certain topics we don’t talk about enough; Adebola Aduwo is opening up the discussion in this piece.
Relationships can be so complicated sometimes. Maybe if we communicated early on and made our deal breakers bold and clear enough, these issues wouldn’t come up so often.There’s always a little confusion when it comes to power dynamics in a relationship. Most people believe one partner should have more control in the relationship.
You may have heard statements like, “One person should be respected more than the other, the excesses of one spouse should always be tolerated” time after time. I’m not here to tell you that the standard you’ve grown to normalize is an old school ideology that should be binned (hey, I said it anyway!), but certain relationship ‘how-to’ templates need to be reviewed.
One of those templates is pleasing your spouse (or anyone, for that matter) at your own detriment. There is a big difference between a controlling attitude and a healthy power struggle. It can be cute to see your new bae being jealous and protective in a new relationship but it becomes concerning when someone starts making you do the things you hate.
— MTV Shuga (@MTVShuga) March 14, 2018
Notice that the person with the ‘power’ is always happier. You go all the way because you don’t want to see them grumpy or wait… maybe you’re afraid of losing the relationship altogether. Somehow, they are in control of your emotions but they never want to be told what to do. When you try to snap of out the madness, they leave you feeling inconsiderate and accuse you of being selfish! You make yourself available for their needs and feed their ego all the time.
In Episode 2 of #MTVShugaNaija, we saw what manipulation can do to a person that’s in love. Leila is so in love with Tobi that she’ll do anything to make him happy. He ignores her texts because she refuses to send him nude photos. Instead of standing her ground, she ends up feeling pressured into doing something she’s uncomfortable with.
Further along in Episode 3, Diana and Chike have a misunderstanding because she is reluctant to do his bidding and right now, she’s probably thinking of ways please him so she doesn’t lose her ‘source of income’.
Dominance and subordination in a relationship depict a power imbalance. One thing everyone needs to know is that power should be equal in a relationship. Of course, some sacrifices have to be made but there’s a thin line between compromising occasionally and losing yourself. A lot of relationships are hanging by a thread because respect and equality are a foreign language. It’s disturbing that one person has to pull all the weight and be submissive in a relationship involving two adults.
This is an issue we should be having honest discussions about. It’s unwise to sweep these things under the rug and act all ‘love conquers all’ when you’re actually dying inside. If you’re not comfortable with anything, speak up and lay down your rules!
Do you have any advice for people trying to navigate power struggles within a relationship? Leave us a comment below!