Power and ControlRelationships roles are something that is always a subject of interest in today’s society. Some of the most studied areas within relationships are those of power and control. Who controls the relationship or who “wears the pants”. When it comes to who is in charge why or how is that person the one making the decisions? While there is not always a defined controlling party in every relationship, it is quite common. We’re going to explore a few situations that define power roles in relationships.

Financial control is probably the most common. Who makes the money? It is quite common for the primary breadwinner to make most of the decisions for the couple. It could be because that party controls the money and if something needs to be purchased, of they want to have a nice night out, it is up to that party and his or her wallet to make that happen. Another form of control is sex appeal. In many relationships the more attractive party will control the relationship. Primarily because of the other party fearing that they will not be able to do as well should they lose their partner. Finally, another common power defining trait is social stature. Should one party come from an affluent family and the other maybe from no family at all, there are many factors that will grant a power role to the more affluent party, even over shadowing financial or sex appeal control. Society places levels of importance on people and those standards have to be maintained to keep that social stature. This can put pressure on the other party and result in them taking the more subservient role.

It is interesting to note that these power roles are not necessarily bad, and even more important to note that in a very high percentage of relationships everywhere, there is always a dominant role and a subservient role. To find two completely equal parties in a relationship is almost unheard of. In heterosexual relationships, this goes back to animal instinct and roles relative to sex and child rearing, and has carried on through culture. The only difference now is that the power role has other defining factors besides sex and survival instinct.

Filed under: Control In a Relationship

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!