Every relationship has its own set of rules and its own power dynamic. A certain power dynamic exists in all kinds of relationships. However, the way two people behave around each other and influence each other in the relationship can help them grow, and sometimes suppress them as well. Power dynamics in a relationship tread lightly on the line between making a relationship healthy or toxic. While a little bit of power dynamic in the relationship, with both people comfortable with it and adding to the good hygiene of the relationship is important, we should also see to it that somehow the relationship does not become toxic because of it.
Therapist Israa Nasir addressed this and wrote, “Unhealthy power dynamics feed off each other, so a change needs to happen in order to break the feedback look. One way to break the cycle you and your partner is to communicate with each other in a secure and assertive way. This changes the way you interact with each other and creates a break in the cycle.”
ALSO READ: What is a healthy power dynamic in a relationship?
Here are three types of unhealthy power dynamics in a relationship that can give us the feeling of being stuck:
Demand and withdrawal: This demand and withdrawal exists in a lot of relationships where one person feels that they are constantly demanding, while the other person feels overwhelmed by the demands and looks for ways to pull back.
Distancer and pursuer: The distancer feels that they are not ready for the amount of emotional connection that the relationship demands, while the other person feels that they are more invested in the relationship and does all the heavy lifting.
Rescuer and rescued: In this type of power dynamic, the rescuer enjoys the task of rescuing the other person, while the rescued struggles for independent freedom.