Significance- The Struggle
Relationships start on a very positive note. Everyone at this point is eager to show their best self and win their partner’s approval by dressing up. Displaying good morals, planning romantic dates, always willing to compromise for the sake of the other. These compromising situations may vary from relationship to relationship but in all situations, the cause and effect are the same. A struggle for significance soon develops.
New and intoxicating love makes us want to do things for the other person even if it means going to some extremes. We are all desperate to feel needed at the start of the relationship and some of the things we do are sometimes carried forward into the actual relationship, and they eventually become the source of the Struggle For Significance in the relationship.
What is Significant in Relationships?
In essence, a relationship should be about two people in the same cockpit co-piloting the same “flight of life”. This is true and is mostly exhibited during the first phase of every relationship. Especially in people who have gone past the dating stage and have probably moved in together. It is here that all the illusions and disillusions are quickly replaced by misunderstandings. Hence the pursuant struggle for significance.
As each partner begins to use their own personal style of communication and asserting themselves authoritatively on the direction they want or hope the relationship to take; unhappiness kicks in. One partner will try to tell the other what to do while the other will placate hoping for a reward of some sorts for letting things slide. All this leads to a power struggle where each partner unknowingly strives to get total, uncompromising control of the relationship.
Where Does it All Go Wrong?
Most of the problems in relationships are caused by misconceptions and confusion. This usually starts on a small scale. As they continue to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses, their interactions change and things start going wrong as feelings begin to get hurt. The irony is that at first, we go out there looking for the perfect partner, a best friend, and confidant; a source of support, love, and affection. Then, somewhere along the way, we come to the realization that things are not as we hoped and we start noticing little things our partners did or did not do.
The partners respond by building defensive walls against each other as a result of the disappointments they begin to avoid one another. This can lead to emotional isolation because they stop spending time together often opting to be elsewhere doing whatever rather than with each other. The confiding stops and the blame game begins breaking down communication. Listening automatically stops! The relationship deteriorates into depression, disillusionment, and despair as a result of the chaos.
At this point, they may both know how to remedy their situation but not how to go about it. The more each partner continues to become a dictator emotionally towards the other partner the further away they push them away. In the long run, one partner may leave, or separate. Sometimes they may stick it out but live in physical and emotional separation. Only to continue to struggle for significance again.
The feeling of powerlessness can make you act in a power-driven, demanding, or even overwhelming way always attempting to overcompensate. But recognize the fact that love is about giving up your power and not having power over your partner. Many relationships have become struggles for power and significance as partners try to change each other through manipulation.
Significance requires mutual respect
Maintaining mutual respect for each other and what you have jointly is the first thing to consider. Then this should be followed by trust and mutual support. Maintaining a ledger of your partner’s faults as a way of pulling power moves on them is not the solution. Instead, focus on working things out together and learning to take responsibility for personal actions. It is important to know by being in the relationship your partner already acknowledges your potential and power to change their lives. Do not wait until you are not getting your expectations met to start making demands. Let your partner know what you expect as you strive to find out what they require or need from you. The only way to succeed in relationships is together!