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   Home  > Health Club > Building closeness and intimacy > Articles

The Games People Play, "Communication in Marriage". Part 9

By Norman & Ann Bales Of All About Families



  1. Do you play games at your house? If so, what kinds of games do you play?
  2. Do you ever play "power games" at your house?
  3. What is a power game?
  4. Why do you suppose we play power games?
  5. Who's in control at your house? Who would you say is "the boss?"


  • Comparison of Power and Intimacy

  • Power:
    1. Protects and defends itself against the other person.
    2. Says, "because I feel inadequate, I'm going to work hard to hide my vulnerability and need."
    3. Trusts only its own control over another.
    4. Frustrates intimacy.

  • Intimacy
  • Opens itself up.
  • Says, "because I know I am incomplete on my own, I want you to be part of me."
  • Ventures into an ever more trusting relationship.
  • Takes away the need to wield power.

What has happened when a couple is primarily concerned about who is going to have control?
  • Intimacy is not working for them.

  • Something's gone wrong in their mutual trust, caring, openness, and refusal to have secrets, and unquestioned loyalty to each other.

  • Instead of pursuing intimacy they have taken a fall-back position in which each one is striving to maintain power or rights or territory or all of the above.

  • Trust is compromised. Trust is what motivates people to follow another person's leadership, whether at work or at home. And trust must be earned.

Is there a "good" use of the word "power"?

In this article
- Introduction
- Is there a "good" use of the word "power"?
- What is submission all about?

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Copyright, All About Families, used with permission.

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