The Power Dynamics in a Relationship
A few days ago I wrote about a song, Branscombe. I have often said that I love songs that make me introspect.
"If I was at the table with you
I would see, I'd see your crown."
This is my favorite line of this piece. When I first heard this, along with the melancholic melody, I choked up. For days I wondered why I choked up about this line, and I feel it's related to my past experiences of being stung by the lack of appreciation for the efforts I put in for those I care for.
A king is meant to serve his people. To have someone, sit at the table with you, and view you with such respect and admiration... is something all want. In turn, he whom you envision with a crown will, too, see you the same way — solidified with smiles between the two.
In a culture where men are curated to keep their feelings to themselves, I risk much being unfairly judged for my following words:
The old saying of "happy wife, happy life" is a myth, and is dangerous to any relationship. Men who put this into practice lose their authenticity and even their integrity in the process. It's this mindset that causes them not to share what's important to them, and they diminish their self-worth. But no... some men, like me, would often say, "I am OK with what she wants, because I am allowing it, not because I am being forced to. If she's happy, I am happy." That is how I used to think, and it can lead to frustration, resignation, and even resentment that can ultimately harm the relationship. How long can one be passive of his wants and needs in a "reward system" relationship? One in which a woman "rewards" her man with sex, how money is spent, and other things he may want.
To a woman, she may believe that he loves her so much to put his needs aside for her, that it can be seen as beautiful, even romantic - a gentleman in a dream that has come true. What she may not realize, however, is that over time, a sense of entitlement may go over and a power hold takes shape. She then feels she has the power to "reward" her husband based on her level of happiness. If she does not get what she wants, her husband, at that point, is wrong, doesn't understand, and is failing her. Therefore, she refuses to "reward" her husband with what he wants. Over time, this mindset poisons the relationship.
Does she then want a relationship that's based on authenticity, truths, respect, and transparency? Or does she want one full of untruths and illusions?
If both are willing to engage in this "happy wife, happy life" concept, then both parties are guilty of creating a co-dependent relationship. One fraught with "I need you to validate my self-worth. I need you to make me happy. I need you to ease my insecurities."
That is not love.
While I am an alpha, and no doormat, a variance of this did take place with my ex-wife some years ago. Slowly over time, my opinion was muted, a sense of entitlement took hold of her, resentment grew, and small disagreements became power struggles; my efforts to centralize power-sharing and her effort to maintain her grip. This led to events that made me feel as if I had no other choice but to file for divorce.
Today, when getting to know someone, I am more interested in learning just how compatible we are, to then form a partnership. A partnership in which we each listen to each other's wants and needs. One where a man is free to express himself fully, and where a woman not only does the same, but also appreciates a level of authenticity that only solidifies the foundation they stand on. It's this reasoning that leads me to speak, clearly, of what my wants and intentions are.
Fascinating. How a single passage of a song inspired this post. I wish I knew these things when I was younger... and hope that this is a passage my daughter reads one day.