A relationship should be based on equality. In relationship without equality one partner tries to control the other. Many fall into the trap of believing that their partner loves them because she or he says so. They become blind to the fact that their partner controls them through jealousy, threats, and continuous inquiry of an account of their daily activities. This is an unhealthy relationship. Being in a partnership does not constitute a loss of individuality. A healthy relationship is build upon trust.

Use the following guide to rate how you see your partner’s governing style in your relationship.

*Democratic (egalitarian)
Making decisions together (listening to each other’s ideas)
Respecting each other’s space/comfort zone
Assuming mutual responsibilities for kids/pets/finances
Allowing the other to express themselves freely (no put downs)
Not demanding but asking
Power is shared equally (no one is the boss of the other)

*Disempowering (authoritarian)
Ordering the other person around
Disregarding the other person’s ideas
Making decisions for the other
Criticizing without giving positive feedback
Demanding versus asking; physically assaulting when angry
Expecting that things are done versus helping

*Disengaged (disconnected)
Not engaging in activities together
Lack of concern; not offering to help
Doing ones own thing
Disregarding the other’s feelings
Leaving the relationship openly (moving out, divorce, separation)

1. Do you notice any similarities between each other’s answers?

2. What do you think contributes to this?

If you check more than three categories in each style, it is possible that you identify your partner with that style of governing pattern. The Disempowering and Disengaged relationship styles cause the most tension between partners because they are not based on equality or concern for the other within a relationship. The Democratic style offers flexibility and ensures respect in a relationship while providing autonomy to each partner.

Excerpt from: Couple's Communicaton Made Easy (audio book)

Author's Bio: 

Rossi Davis, PsyD, Cht. Please visit RossiDavis.com.