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Dominance Will Lead to Damage

Day 1 - Jul 13, 2020

In 1998, the famed psychology professor John Gottman released a fascinating study. For six years, he interviewed 130 newly married couples in a project about listening in relationships. He compared them to another group he had been monitoring for 13 years.

The purpose of the study was to gauge the effectiveness of a certain kind of communication, but in the process of researching so many couples, he came to an unrelated conclusion: The common element among the most successful couples was “Shared Control of the Relationship. Or as the couples put it, “receiving influence from each other.”

The health of your marriage depends on the degree both of you are willing to receive influence from each other. That means control of the marriage is shared.

  • When one spouse dominates a relationship, that dominance creates damage.

Take Action

Which one are you?

  • Will you do both? Are you willing to give and receive influence from your spouse.
  • Or, do you only want to dominate the relationship because you feel like you know what's best?

It’s time to listen! If you want to be heard, begin by listening. Listening to your spouse shows that you value them.

Day 2 - Jul 14, 2020

Research has shown that the most successful families are those in which the husband treats his wife as an equal but takes a leadership role in initiating the well-being of the home.

Children who grow up in this kind of home are the most emotionally healthy. They understand what leadership looks like. They understand what it’s like for someone to take initiative. They also see an example of a mother and father treating each other as equals and sharing input on decisions.

Take Action

Be a leader, not a dictator.

  • People follow leaders and are usually fearful of dictators. The difference shows up in how you genuinely care for those around you.  

Plan a date with your spouse in which you both choose the details.  Remember, it's not about what you do, it's about spending quality time together.  

Day 3 - Jul 15, 2020

Most women want their husband to treat them as an equal, while taking a leadership role. That’s why they want their husband to take the lead on certain issues with a Christ-like spirit of love and sacrifice.

These issues include the family’s spiritual life, discipline of the children, finances and even romance.  There is a difference between leading and dominating.  A male dominated, or female dominated home, leads to dysfunction. Some personalities are naturally dominant, and if left unchecked it can cause the other spouse to be passive. The strong, overbearing personality, typically wins every argument...but in reality, no one wins!

Take Action

It's time to get healthy, and more balanced.

If you are the more dominant one, you must ask your spouse for their opinion and truly listen to them.

If you’re more passive, set your communication up for success by not throwing out passive words. Plan ahead to perhaps take a walk, or grab coffee.  Discuss the issues that concern you the most.  Share your heart.

Day 4 - Jul 16, 2020

What do you do if you’re in a dominant marriage?

First, you have to be honest with yourself.

  • Don’t sugarcoat your situation.
  • Admit “I’m being dominated.”

Second, you have to stand up. A marriage is like a teeter-totter. Your actions directly impact the person on the other side.

That means you don’t have to wait for your spouse to change. You can initiate the change by standing up for yourself. This will change the entire equilibrium of your marriage.

Take Action

This is not done in a one-time conversation but by setting up a time to discuss priority issues on a regular basis. This is not a discussion you want to have daily nor is it needed every other day, but possibly every other week or once a month.  But you need to have it.

As you meet, keep a mindset of being "equal" in importance to your marriage, show respect to each other by speaking, listening & responding with respect.  

Day 5 - Jul 17, 2020

Example by Ps Jimmy Evans: When Karen finally had enough of my dominance and stood up to me, she didn’t force the issue. She lovingly insisted on having a voice. In the process, I recognized my chauvinism and God began to heal me. It forced me to sit down. Today, I will not make a decision without Karen Evans—period—and our marriage is so much healthier. I still have a dominant personality, but I’ve learned to control it. I’ve learned when to sit down.

Added thought:  The same is true of a dominant wife.  She may not realize how her dominant actions hinder or even stifle the God intended headship of the home within her husband.  I've seen marriages where husbands are hesitant to speak up to their domineering wife and due to their own passivity, the scenario unknowingly creates a cycle of insecurity that only fuels the continual dominance from her.  She needs you to lead in a lovingly strong manner that lends her confidence and security (this happens to be a wife's #1 need).  

Take Action

What about your marriage?  

  • Is it equal?  
  • Are you “receiving influence” from each other?  Or does one spouse dominate?  
  • Your action point today is to remember are not in competition with each other, you are "Team (insert your names here)" and as husband & wife, you are equally completing one another.  If this has been a relative issue in your marriage, pray and ask God to help you change your perspective & dominant habits into bringing value, peace & restorative balance into your relationship.