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Power Issues in Couples

Power imbalances in couple relationships can cause conflict that is often not expressed verbally and that couples may not realize exists. Couples may not identify power issues when they attend therapy because they believe that their issues are due to finances, communication, intimacy, or other factors. Due to the focus on specific issues, the underlying issue of power is neglected. In addition, the dominant partner in a relationship may not see an issue with being in power, while the subordinate partner may realize that the person in power is causing issues in the relationship but may refrain from stating this to avoid conflict. This entry discusses how gender influences the power distribution in couples, how power issues interact with other issues in relationships, and ...

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