“I’m not going to forgive you if you don’t make me pizza for dinner.”
My 5-year-old son sent this announcement to me last night. He is generally one of the most upbeat and easygoing people you would ever know. However, he has lately begun to investigate power relations. He also enjoys pie. Then he drew the most powerful tool in his arsenal: the weapon of withholding passion.
This power grab didn’t concern me at all because he’s just five. I kept my cool. In reality, I had to fight the urge to laugh at him.
When emotional attacks are delivered by small children, it is (usually) simple for us to respond peacefully and lovingly. We believe they care for us. We suspect they don’t believe what they’re doing right now. And it’s often as obvious as a day when they’re attempting to deceive us.
It’s a whole different story when someone we’re dating (or married to) pulls a grown-up variant of the same trick. We are frequently perplexed as to what is going on. Is it because they’re exhausted and busy, or because we’re having the silent treatment? Is that that we’re insecure and needy, or that they’re being passive-aggressive? Are they pointing out real problems that we should be mindful of and address, or are they accusing us of anything to divert blame to stop dealing with their issues?
That is to say… When you’re in a long-distance partnership, it can be difficult to tell if they’re being a dick and pulling a power play or not.
We’ll take a deeper look at 13 different power plays that turn up in long-distance relationships to help you understand what power plays are at work in your long-distance relationship.
But first, let us pause and consider what makes anything a power play.
If your spouse has no respect for your desires and wishes, there is a remarkably clear answer: Something is a power grab.
That is to say. It’s a power grab if the significant partner does or does things solely to satisfy your desires, even if it means hurting you in the end.
Now let’s delve a little further. What are some of the most common power dynamics in long-distance relationships?
1. A Stumbling Block
What exactly is stonewalling? Silence is used as a shield or as an exit in stonewalling. It is manipulating the condition by declining to engage—refusing to discuss a certain topic or even refusing to speak to you at all.
Distance makes this especially simple because your SO will simply avoid answering the phone or responding to texts and emails for a while. When you are the target of stonewalling, it will make you insane with anger, second-guessing, and self-doubt. It often makes you afraid of bringing up the specific problem that “set them off” again for fear of upsetting them.
Ghosting is an extreme form of stonewalling and is becoming an extremely popular means of “breaking up” with somebody you encountered online. When someone ghosts, they abruptly sever all links and contact with the individual they’ve been seeing or talking to. They will ban you from any of their social networking sites, fail to answer emails or phone calls, and just… vanish. It’s arrogant, cowardly, and completely unnecessary.
It would hurt if anything occurs to you. A great deal. However, tell yourself that you do not want to be around someone who can do this to you, and concentrate on going forward.
3. Getting off The Phone
When you’re in a long-distance partnership, the only option is to use the cell or a video call. It is a power grab to keep that hostage by hanging up on someone.
4. Creating Envy
If someone is flirting with other people and makes you aware of that, it is a power move intended to make you jealous. They can purposefully leave ‘likes’ or remarks on another person’s social network page. Or casually drop a certain name into the discussion to make you “wonder” or “keep you waiting.” They might frequently discuss how appealing a certain star is to them, or they may frequently bring up ex-partners in conversation.
It may be difficult to understand that anyone is acting in this manner. It’s a power grab if you’re pretty certain they’re primarily attempting to instill envy and making you feel vulnerable.
5. Using Resources to “Purchase” Specific Commitments or Behaviors
If they promise to cover your expenses or purchase your plane tickets for a visit, they want you to do something in exchange (e.g., call every night to check in, stop a certain friend they’re jealous of, give you naked photographs, etc.), this is a controlling power move.
6. Making You Feel Guilty if You Aren’t Willing to Submit Saucy Pictures or “Speak Dirty
In every partnership, sex is a complicated problem. It’s especially important to take it easy when meeting anyone online and to be cautious about sending someone revealing photos. They are mistaken whether they ask for naked photos or phone sex and making you feel pressured (or worse if you aren’t ready for that). That’s simple.
7.Making You Feel Guilty if…
While we’re on the subject of feeling horrible… Often you’ll feel terrible after an encounter when you realize you’re in the wrong or because you’re nervous over anything. Most days, you’ll feel guilty when you’re getting pushed in unhealthy ways. For example, whether they begin expecting or insisting that you respond to emails and texts within a few minutes, or if they require you to call several times a day simply to “check-in” to let them know what you’re up to, they are exploiting you.
8. Threatening to Break Up The Engagement Until…
They are not being a bully if they try to break the friendship before you seek therapy for gambling, opioid, sex, or alcohol problem. If they attempt to end the partnership until you ____(insert: submit nude pictures, send money, call every day, break off ties with those people, etc)___, they are almost likely using a power move.
9. I’m Blaming You For…
This power struggle sometimes happens while the significant other is protective over something. As an example, consider stealing. If you suspect your partner is cheating and want to bring it up with them, they are likely to become aggressive.
If your partner is not cheating on you, they will be understandably defensive when confronted with the topic. People who are cheating, on the other hand, will respond aggressively and use distraction and accusing as a strategy when challenged.
They can, for example, vigorously refute any misconduct and ignore the complaints. They may say stuff like, “We’re just mates,” “We’re not sleeping together, so what’s the big deal?” or “Children, it was just a text!” Then they frequently begin to criticize you.
They can accuse you of being crazy, paranoid, nervous, or petty to shift the spotlight away from themselves and onto you. They should accuse you of being to blame for something that has occurred because you have acted in a certain manner or have failed to satisfy their needs.
What’s the bottom line? Blame is sometimes used to gain strength.
10.Shaming You For…
Would your significant other regularly judge you, make fun of what you do or say, or make you sound stupid or inconvenient? These tyrannical power moves are intended to erode self-esteem and trust whilst making the other individual feel more dominant or positive about themselves.
Take precautions. Many of the power moves on this list are major red flags in a partnership, but this is one of the worst. You don’t want to be around someone who always puts you down and instills emotions of guilt in you.
11. Expecting You to Be Accessible and Attentive at all Times
We always appreciate it when we can submit an email or text and immediately get a response. When you’re in a long-distance partnership, it’s easy for the innate need for touch and prompt answers to turn into desires, and eventually requests.
How would this transform into a power play? This, on the other hand, maybe a subtle (and not always an intentional power play). For eg, if you do not respond to a text or phone call right away, your SO will become irritated and angry. You will tend to believe that you must be attentive and accessible to prevent offending them. Your SO may not be attempting to exploit you on purpose, but you are being fooled nevertheless.
12. Leaving You in Suspense
We just spoke about how unreasonable it is to ask somebody to always pick up the phone when you call or to react to any email or text message right away. People have lives and obligations (and moods), and they aren’t really in a position or condition to react right away.
The other side of this is keeping others waiting. It purposefully and habitually makes them wait for an answer.
For eg, if they realize you can tell that they’ve read a message or a letter, but they purposefully don’t reply right away, that’s only making you nervous. If this occurs often, they are more likely on a power ride, or they are responding because they believe you are being too needy and smothering them. Everything has to be addressed in any case.
Another indicator of this power grab is whether your Too consistently delays planned phone or video call times. It indicates that they are putting you on the back burner and not considering you a priority. It’s impolite because it usually indicates that they’re not involved in the partnership.
13.Tying You Up
If your long-distance ex continues reappearing in your life (or inbox), they might be manipulating you to make themselves feel better.
What exactly do I mean? Many people secretly expect their ex-partners to always want to be with them, even though they no longer want to be in the partnership. So, after a divorce, it can be tempting to maintain contact with your ex, particularly if you were the one who ended things. Knowing that there are people who find you fascinating and appealing is a massive confidence booster. However, deliberately remaining in this manner for your interests can jeopardize your ex’s ability to truly move on. It is what has the potential to render this a power transfer.
Then What Do You Do…
So, what do you do if you notice one of these power moves in your long-distance partnership (or after it)?
Of course, the bottom line is that you do not engage in these power moves, and you should not encourage them to be exploited against you.
I’m planning to write a whole article on how to defend yourself against these types of power plays being a major issue in your relationship shortly.
What to do after they’ve been a major issue in your long-distance partnership, on the other hand, is far easier.
If you find yourself repeatedly involved in one of these power fights with somebody you’re dating, and cool, logical, non-blaming conversations do not alter the relationship dynamics, it’s usually best to end the relationship.
Wait for a partnership in which you can be both strong and weak at the same time. Where you will feel secure, trusted, and trusted much of the time. Where there is a healthy mix of giving and take founded on appreciation and flavored with kindness. Where power plays aren’t a common occurrence.
Everybody has rough days, weeks, and months. So, I’m not suggesting you can abandon your partnership the moment one of the power plays rears its ugly head, but just use that as a wake-up call to consider twice.
Do you believe your partnership is heading in the right direction and is healthy? Can you believe your Doing makes you a stronger version of yourself… or a worse version of yourself? Listen to the gut feelings. Consult with close colleagues.
Then… do what sounds wise, even though it isn’t what seems simple or nice at the time.