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Thread: "He who cares the least, has the power."

  1. #11
    catfeeder
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    Yep. If you want to dispute it, try to identify any post on any of these boards where it's not true.

    The partner less invested has less to lose by standing his/her ground in any power-struggle. The only way to shift the power is to shift the investment. The most invested partners are unwilling to do this, so the power imbalance remains.

  2. #12
    BMP2CPM
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    I don't think it's that simple. Because if you don't care much, you're not going to be with that person at all.

    People tend to put the time and effort into the relationships with people that they care about.

    At different times during the relationship, one person may care more than the other, but most of the time it's something that no one has complete control over.

    So that while the statement may be true for a given relationship at a given time point, it doesn't accurately describe the overall relationship.

  3. #13
    waveseer
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    It is not true. People who think they have power over other adults are crazy. We are free to choose who to be or not be with at any time no matter how we feel.

  4. #14
    catfeeder
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMP2CPM [Register to see the link]
    I don't think it's that simple. Because if you don't care much, you're not going to be with that person at all.
    Right, investment isn't an all-or-nothing deal, it's about degrees.

    Quote Originally Posted by BMP2CPM [Register to see the link]
    [...]At different times during the relationship, one person may care more than the other, but most of the time it's something that no one has complete control over. [...] So that while the statement may be true for a given relationship at a given time point, it doesn't accurately describe the overall relationship.
    True, and that's where degrees come in. With a couple closely invested there appears to be equality, and that gets tested daily with subtle differences revealed over the course of the relationship--whether the partners are aware of this, or not. In some cases the more assertive partner might appear to be the power-holder, even while it's the quieter partner who gifts that illusion to the other. But there's rarely ever a perfect balance of power in any relationship at any given time.

    Quote Originally Posted by waveseer [Register to see the link]
    It is not true. People who think they have power over other adults are crazy. We are free to choose who to be or not be with at any time no matter how we feel.
    It's more subtle than that. Sure, there are extreme instances of an abusive spouse wielding a physical threat over the other, but that's usually overcompensation for an actual lack of power--especially as the abused partner's investment in the relationship diminishes more and more--this is exactly what causes an escalation in violence. These kinds of losses of power can translate into acting out, manipulation, stalking and sometimes even physical abuse.

    Other examples of acting out to compensate for lack of power are when children or elderly parents manipulate their families. Kids manipulate constantly to test their power as a normal course of learning. The elderly who suffer fears of powerlessness (withdrawal of investment from loved ones, such as with an 'empty nest') can regress into being as manipulative as children, only they're better at it.

    Point is, the term 'power' might sound like a forceful exaggeration out of a sci-fi movie, but it's really a legitimate psychological and sociological term for a currency of control between partners, family members and groups. The power dynamics may shift over time and circumstances, but despite appearances, they're rarely in equal balance.

    Thanks for hearing me out, and my best,
    Cat

  5. #15
    waveseer
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    catfeeder, I made a point to say adults. Children and animals are inherently at a disadvantage power-wise.

    A person abused can leave at any time (or alter the power structure by showing their abuser that they really do have power, as in "don't hurt me and then expect to sleep here in safety").

    Every power play in a relationship is based on fear. The other party is in no way obligated to play, if they do give up any of their power it's a choice. No matter how a person is raised they can always choose to respond differently than their upbringing would indicate.

    If I think I have control over another adult then I am delusional. Insecure people play power games all the time and are then shocked when the other person simply doesn't want them any more. Nobody is completely immune to manipulation, but once having had a moment of clarity, everybody is free to wield their own power as they see fit.

  6. #16
    catfeeder
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    Quote Originally Posted by waveseer [Register to see the link]
    [...] If I think I have control over another adult then I am delusional.
    Holding power and control in a relationship has zero to do with recognizing it or even wanting it. It can actually be the most dismal experience to know that you're the one holding the bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by waveseer [Register to see the link]
    Insecure people play power games all the time and are then shocked when the other person simply doesn't want them any more.
    The insecure partner manipulates because they're the one invested without the power. (Real power = no need to manipulate.) Take this back to the subject line, as it's about degrees of investment. The partner who cares less is also less interested in the power--and that's why he or she controls it.

    Quote Originally Posted by waveseer [Register to see the link]
    Nobody is completely immune to manipulation, but once having had a moment of clarity, everybody is free to wield their own power as they see fit.
    I agree that no adult is without choice. Sure, anyone can opt to drop or lower their investment, but investment by definition is an unwillingness to do that. (How often do people complain of their suffering due to a partner without any willingness to consider walking away--or even backing off?) That's the whole point. When someone opts to forgo their own power by placing their investment in another above it, then they're giving their own power away.

    Doesn't mean the other person asked for it or even wants it. They just care less than the invested one, and so they control the relationship--whether they like it, or not.

    My best,
    Cat

  7. #17
    waveseer
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    Quote Originally Posted by catfeeder [Register to see the link]
    Holding power and control in a relationship has zero to do with recognizing it or even wanting it. It can actually be the most dismal experience to know that you're the one holding the bag.
    I maintain that it isn't control, it is an illusion of control. The other person can exert their personal power at any moment. Not necessarily likely, but it does depend on the person.


    The insecure partner manipulates because they're the one invested without the power. (Real power = no need to manipulate.) Take this back to the subject line, as it's about degrees of investment. The partner who cares less is also less interested in the power--and that's why he or she controls it.
    I disagree with this too. Nobody has to accept responsibility for their partner if they don't want to, it's just a victim mentality.


    I agree that no adult is without choice. Sure, anyone can opt to drop or lower their investment, but investment by definition is an unwillingness to do that. (How often do people complain of their suffering due to a partner without any willingness to consider walking away--or even backing off?) That's the whole point. When someone opts to forgo their own power by placing their investment in another above it, then they're giving their own power away.
    Absolutely! I was just pointing out that anyone who gets comfortable in the power dynamic of their unbalanced relationship on either end is setting themselves up for a potentially very shocking surprise.


    Doesn't mean the other person asked for it or even wants it. They just care less than the invested one, and so they control the relationship--whether they like it, or not.
    If they don't like it they can refuse to accept control whether that means making a bigger investment to balance the relationship or ending it thereby separating their power from the other person's.

    My best,
    Cat
    Mine too, this is a very interesting discussion.

  8. #18
    petite
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    I read a book in which this was quoted. " He who cares least, controls the relationship".

  9. #19
    rapunzel
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    I agree that the dynamic exists. Saw it in my relationship with my ex-ex who asked me to marry him 3 times. When I broke up with him, I really was glad to be gone and I had met my ex, who I feel head over heels in love with, who promptly dumped me. Twice. Still reeling over it, and it was a much shorter relationship than the one with my ex-ex. I still care about my ex-ex but I am not "in love" or perhaps never was truly "in love" with him.

    The person who is more "in love" in the relationship, has the least power. The feeling of imbalance, of not knowing fully where one stands, makes the person with the least power feel desparately and helplessly in love, thus leading to behaviors that often result in that person becoming the "dumpee". I think it is very difficult to observe the dynamic and react to it in a rational way when one is "in" the relationship...which is why so many relationships fail.

    Brilliantly illustrated in the book: "The Passion Paradox" also published under "The Passion Trap" by Dean C. Delis.

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