11/11 is a special day for me. No, it is not because the carnival season starts, nor has it to do with some sacred spiritual ritual. It is the date that I married and it is also the date that I did a special divorce ceremony and thereby this day marks for me 2 of the 5 stages that you have in relationships.
I had never heard of these 5 stages until I created my relationship self study program. While doing a pilot, one of the participants shared with me how this concept helped her understand the dynamics in her relationship, what she could expect going forward and how she could move through the various stages in a more harmonious way.
What are these 5 stages? Let’s listen to Paul and Layne Cutright (3:10).
As Paul and Layne emphasize these 5 relationship stages are predictable and the most difficult ones are the power struggle stage and the completion of a relationship. Is that also your experience?
Today, I would like to share some thoughts with you about how I was able to go beyond the power struggle stage in my relationship.
1. Acknowledge the energy manipulation
It was not until I attended the Sexual Energy School of the Crimson Circle that I understood that the power struggles we are having are actually one of the many ways in which people, unconsciously, try to “steal” energy from each other by using manipulation and control.
Just consider this for a moment. How do you generally feel after you have an argument or a fight with your partner? Do you feel tired or exhausted? Or, do you feel some kind of energy rush? Some people say it is good to fight because it clears the air, while actually they love the energetic drain that they put in the other person.
The first thing to do when you want to stop the power struggles in your relationship is to recognize and acknowledge this energetic manipulation.
2. Stop being a victim
The second thing to do is to stop considering yourself as a victim of these power struggles. Why? Because generally you are both a victim and a abuser when it comes to energetic manipulation. You may have a hard time accepting this idea but just observe a little closer what is going on in your relationship. What methods does your partner use to control and manipulate you and what tricks are you using? Be honest with yourself.
You will very quickly discover that each person has his/her way to get the upper hand in power struggles. It may be through shouting and screaming, but also more subtle, through seduction, blackmail or playing the “poor me”. The tactics may even change depending on the situation. But once you understand how you are playing this game you also have a choice to stop feeling a victim, like I did.
3. Start accepting and loving yourself
Relationships are usually about needing each other. How often do you hear someone say that their partner makes them feel complete? Just take a moment here to ask yourself: do I need my partner? In what way?
This need is expressed in many different ways but in essence they all come down to the need to have someone else love and accept you and this is the reason for so many of the power struggles.
One of the core, spiritual messages is that you don’t need others to love and accept you once you start loving and accepting yourself. For most people this is not an easy thing to do and you may want to read 5 ways to accept and love yourself more to help you with this.
But, just consider how your relationship would look like if you fully accepted and loved yourself and didn’t need the other person to “complete” you? Would you still be involved in power struggles? Or, would this be replaced with compassion for the other person? In my case it greatly helped me to go beyond all power struggles and setting myself free.
4. Set yourself free
The final step, after you understand and acknowledge the energy manipulation that is going on in power struggles, your own role in that and that loving and accepting yourself is the door to freedom, you have to make a conscious choice to actually set yourself free.
When power struggles are going on you have to make a choice to stop yourself from participating. No one else can do that for you. But once you do, chances are that you will no longer be involved in any power struggle whatsoever.
Have you experienced power struggles in relationships? How did you solve them? What challenges did you face? Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions in the comments section.