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The Way Out of Power Struggles

And the hard truth is, anyone who has all of that information and repeatedly chooses not to attend to it isn't for you. Which is important information for. But if you don't give your partner the chance to first, you can never know.
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So often in our pursuit of mattering to our partners, we find ourselves trying to make them do things.

Truth is, we can't "make" someone do something without significant costs to the relationship on both sides. The cost on the side of the one being coerced is often resentment towards their partner. That part is probably not unfamiliar to anyone. What might be less obvious is the cost to the one doing the coercing.

For the one trying to influence, coerce, force or "make" the other to do something, the cost is what we are so often really pursuing - when we influence our partners to do things rather than give them a chance to choose it, we still don't feel like their doing it means that we matter. We can sense that we've been placated, rather than attended to because our partner cares.

When we rob our partners of the choice to care for us, we never feel cared for.

This does not mean we don't share our feelings, longings, desires, wishes, preferences, fears and sadness with our partner in hopes that they will choose to attend to them. They can't make an educated choice about whether and how to care for us if they don't have all the information about what's important and how things feel to us. It just means we share those feelings, longings, desires, preferences, fears and sadness with our partner from the stance of recognizing that they don't "have" to do it.

And the hard truth is, anyone who has all of that information and repeatedly chooses not to attend to it isn't for you. Which is important information for you. But if you don't give your partner the chance to first, you can never know.