How Men Nonverbally Dominate

couple-sitting

How Men Nonverbally Dominate

A power dynamic is how power exists in a relationship. Does one partner have more power than the other? Does one have all the power? Or do they share power? Power dynamics shape love. They either allow a place for it to grow and develop or they choke it. The power dynamic that is the healthiest and aids relationships is when both partners share in the power equally. You can see a power dynamic at work by examining who interrupts the other, who talks over the other, who makes final decisions, who punishes, who generally wins fights and so on. Men and women utilize and respond to verbal and nonverbal cues in different ways.

Of course either sex can be domineering in a relationship. However, men are the ones who traditionally dominate heterosexual relationships. Men control women either consciously or subconsciously using certain verbal and nonverbal cues. For instance, personal space tends to be different in each sex. Men have a bubble of personal space around them. Others penetrate this to cause discomfort, get closer or create arousal. Women have smaller personal space bubbles. And men tend to invade a woman’s personal space more often in the hope of persuading or controlling her.

In terms of posture, men tend to use more open, expansive forms. Therefore they need more space. This taking up of space is deciphered as dominance. Women are more constricted because they tend to take up less space. If you notice how men and women cross their legs, it displays clearly this phenomenon. Men tend to cross their legs with one ankle on top of their knee or thigh, taking up lots of space. Women however cross their legs at the knee taking up far less space. Expansive positions communicate dominance. Constricted positions tell of submission. The latest research shows that incorporating more expansive body language increases one’s confidence and self-esteem. If you notice the mode of dress, a man’s dress portrays power, a woman’s submissiveness. Women have to cross their legs in skirts, ergo communicating submissiveness outright. Women also carry things in a handbag or purse, which also communicates submission while men carry things in their pockets.

Touch is another way men subconsciously dominate women. Research shows that men who aren’t romantically involved touch women more often as a way of dominating them. This is true of dominant personalities too. They tend to touch in order to dominate; someone that puts their hand on your arm to make sure you are paying attention to their point, for example. Men who care about taking part in a blissful, well-adjusted long term relationship should be aware of what nonverbal cues they are sending their female counterparts, and make sure not to dominate, but to allow her an equal share of the power. To learn more about dominance in relationships read, Intimacy and Power: The Dynamics of Personal Relationships in Modern Society by Derek Layder.

Talk about Sex before you Get Married

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Talk about Sex before you Get Married

Planning a wedding can be a whirlwind that scoops you up and carries you along. There are so many things to plan and do. But one of the most critical parts of a marriage, your sex life, is often swept aside. Yet, it plays a crucial role. Not only is your sex life important, but the intimacy that stems from it can fuel your relationship and keep it intact for the long haul. But a lack of intimacy can sap your marriage.  Most people expect their married sex life to be phenomenal throughout. Though married people often register higher numbers on sexual satisfaction surveys, the truth is one’s sex life ebbs and flows throughout a marriage. Psychotherapist and sex specialist Vanessa Marin says that those couples who do talk about sex before they get married are more successful overall. It is important for any couple that wants decades upon decades of happy sex ahead of them to discuss it, and come to an understanding about the matter with their partner. Schedule a time to sit down together. It doesn’t have to be stuffy. You can set a romantic mood, get wine and light candles. Or you can just sit down on the couch together and start talking about sex. It’s really up to you, and what style you have as a couple.

The first thing to consider is to ask what your sexual strengths and weaknesses are. Talk about your favorite memories together. Share what the best sex you ever had was. What was it about that time? How did it make you feel? What about it made you feel that way? Ask what theirs was and why. What do you both really enjoy doing together or to one another? What really works for you? Over time, usually couples get better. They get to know each other’s likes and dislikes, and trust builds. Each person should ultimately feel free to open up and express their needs, wants and desires. This will build a great sex life together. It will help build your relationship, as it provides immense intimacy to be able to shed guilt or shame, open up, be understood and accepted, and ultimately be fulfilled by your partner. Ask yourselves how to make intimacy a priority. Marin writes in an article in Psychology Today that she always shares this with clients. They need to set aside time for intimacy. Those clients usually respond by saying, “we didn’t know we had to do that…” Having a fantastic married sex life requires a little bit of care and effort. Schedule date nights, get a sitter and get some special alone time together each week.

Talk about how you feel about the inevitable changes in your sex life throughout your marriage. Are you planning on having kids? You can’t imagine how that will change your time in the bedroom. Menopause and lots of other things will change it too. Discuss how you plan to keep the spark a towering inferno of passion throughout your life together. You don’t want things to get boring. Talk about interests and fantasies together. Marin suggests each person making a list using red, yellow and green lights. “Reds are the things you know you don’t want to try, yellow are the ones you’re unsure about, and greens are the things you feel perfectly comfortable with. Making these lists can be a fun way to keep the chemistry going,” she writes. Talk about what you will do if you ever have a fight about sex. Marin says it is inevitable. Do you have a communication strategy in place? Will you decide to see a marriage counselor or sex therapist if you have to? Know each other’s feelings on these sorts of things. Think about how each of you can nurture your individual sexualities. Lastly, talk about your honeymoon with your soon-to-be spouse. What are the expectations? What will you experiment with? Does the sex take precedence or other honeymoon activities? For more on how to have great sex with your now or soon-to-be spouse, pick up a copy of Marriage And Sex: Marriage Advice On Spicing Up Your Marriage And Marriage Tips About Sex For Married Couples by Suzie Holmes.

Convincing a Relative to Leave an Abusive Spouse

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Convincing a Relative to Leave an Abusive Spouse

It’s horrible when you find out a relative of yours is in an abusive marriage or relationship. You can feel so helpless. On the one hand, you want to say something so badly. On the other, you are afraid that they will resent you for trying to break them up, or merely swear nothing is wrong and distance themselves from you. This is a delicate matter which must be approached correctly, and with finesse. One way to handle it is to get them alone. Talk to them about your own relationship. If you are single, talk about your parents, a sibling, anyone else’s relationship. Talk about positive things that their spouse or significant other did for that person, or how they handle fights by communicating so well.

Get them to open up about their relationship. With enough details they should start to compare and come to the conclusion that something isn’t right. Don’t push and don’t expect that they will come to this conclusion the first time. Instead, keep trying to drop subtle hints without coming right out and saying it. If this doesn’t work, you may have to have an intervention. The problem with this kind of relationship is that the spouse is so manipulative they make them think that the spouse needs them and eventually that they cannot live without the spouse.

Be careful as his or her behavior may not be counted on. They may lash out at you at times, get depressed, even miss the spouse who is abusing them. Be patient with your relative. Remind them why this is happening. Get them away from it all to a place where they can relax and have fun. Give them chances to show what they know and help them to build self-esteem. In many abusive relationships, one spouse beats down the other for so long, that they can feel worthless. Give them little goals and celebrate it when they reach them. Give them space if they need it. But let them know that you will be there for them, no matter what.

In terms of safety, get your relative to a safe place like a battered woman’s shelter, or to live with you or another relative without contact with the abusive spouse. If need be, have them contact the authorities. Make sure that they get the help that they need. Your relative should start therapy if and when they are ready. The town or city can direct you to free services in your area.  Take heart, your relative will get through this. They will thank you and will be so grateful that they had you and other good people to get them through this difficult time. And someday they will meet someone who treats them right. If you’re trapped in an abusive relationship read, The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing by Beverly Engel.

Are you Giving Too Much and Not Getting Enough in Return?

codependency

Are you Giving Too Much and Not Getting Enough in Return?

If you are in a relationship where you feel emotionally drained bending over backwards for your significant other, while they hardly lift a finger for you than this isn’t real love. In fact, you are being taken advantage of. Some people are born givers and they don’t know where to draw the line. Some people are codependent. And although it may look alright on the surface, in fact this is a very unhealthy relationship for both parties. And some people have low self-worth and so let their significant other walk all over them. Or perhaps, someone could just be in the wrong relationship, where what they do for their significant other is no longer appreciated. Instead, they are taken for granted and don’t see much coming down the pike in the other direction. Traffic only goes one way.

Are you giving too much and not getting enough in return? Here are some indicators. See if these fit your situation. The first question is, do you agree to disagree on a whole host of topics? It’s hard for two people to agree on everything. Negotiation, compromise and commitment to one’s word are key for any relationship. But if there are a bunch of things you don’t like and are expected to ignore, you are giving too much. Stick to your priorities. Demand fairness. And if it isn’t possible or doesn’t come, perhaps it’s best to move on.

Do you apologize immediately when there’s a problem? Do you do this whether it’s your fault or not? In healthy relationships, people analyze the conflict or problem and only apologize for what they’ve done wrong. But if you do this you are over-apologizing. Your partner, whether they realize it or not, will soon feel free to take advantage of you. Instead, apologize for what are your mistakes or missteps only. Otherwise you are giving way too much. Are you in a happy relationship or an unhappy one? If you fight all the time, how long has this been going on? Codependent people stay in bad or tumultuous relationships for fear they won’t find anyone else. If this is you, seek professional help. This is a serious problem and can prove dangerous depending on who your partner is. You may be experiencing emotional or even physical abuse. If you are in a high conflict relationship get out as soon as you are able. If there are children involved take them with you too. How much do you prioritize the relationship? If your partner is all you think about, putting school, your job or career, friends, family and other things aside for this person, you may be codependent. Each person in a relationship should have their own lives. But if your entire life is wrapped up in the other person, but they don’t feel the same way, you are giving way too much and not getting enough in return.

When you go out, do you worry constantly whether your partner is enjoying themselves, that you can’t relax and enjoy yourself? If parties, clubs, bars and other social situations are a constant source of worry about your partner, but they aren’t concerned whether or not you’re having a good time, you are giving way too much and not getting enough in return. Have you changed your entire life to fit this person, while they have hardly changed, if at all, for you? If so you’ve given way too much and them not enough. Do some soul searching. Talk with friends and family. Then discuss it with your partner. If they aren’t willing to change, or don’t change, get out. Find your self-worth. And then find someone who appreciates you for the incredible person you are. Don’t accept this situation. You deserve far better. And if you don’t know it, find out how you can come to that realization and feel how great you are inside. It will help you one day find the person who will recognize it when they meet you. If you believe you may battle with codependency read, Codependency- Loves Me, Loves Me Not: Learn How to Cultivate Healthy Relationships, Overcome Relationship Jealousy, Stop Controlling Others and Be Codependent No More by Simeon Lindstrom.

Don’t Ever Say These to your Husband

arguing-couple

Don’t Ever Say These to your Husband

Good communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. Of course if you are going to spend the rest of your lives together, you have to expect issues to creep up from time to time. Some of these issues your spouse will be particularly sensitive about, as you yourself may be sensitive to certain issues. Whatever you do don’t ever say these to your husband or else you will find yourself in the middle of a fight, or he’ll withdraw from you, depending on his temperament. Either way it’s not going to go well.

First, if you don’t like his best friend, do not tell him outright. Your husband and his friend go back, maybe even way back. A history like that means something to a guy. Even if this person isn’t your cup of tea, if they are harmless why get between two friends? Allow them to have their guy time and trust your husband to make the right decisions. If you trusted him enough to marry him you should trust his judgment when he’s with his friends. Why not spend the time with your own friends, or at the spa?

If there’s a certain actor you have the hots for, don’t gush every time he comes on TV or you may face a jealous husband. If you want to tell him something he does that drives you crazy, that’s fine. But make sure you do it in a way that he will react positively to. If you do it in a way that gets his guard or dander up, you may have a fight on your hands, and he’s less inclined to follow through with your wishes. Discuss the behavior instead. “I hate it when I find your socks on the bathroom floor,” or even “It makes me upset when I have to pick up your laundry.” Using “I” statements are far less confrontational. Let them know what bothers you in a positive or non-confrontational way and you will elicit cooperation without causing an argument.

If his hair is thinning, don’t bring it up. You’ll only bruise his ego. Nothing positive can come out of that statement. If he comes to you about it list all the men you think are attractive that also happen to be bald or have thinning hair. Men get insecure too. If he’s your hubby and you love him give him a boost when he’s feeling that way. He’ll do the same for you. If he made some effort to exercise or do something good, praise his efforts, never belittle them or you won’t see them repeated. Don’t criticize or say anything about his salary. Men equate their bread winning to their ego. So when you say something, even in passing it could be seen as an affront. For more advice read, The Good Wife Guide: 19 Rules for Keeping a Happy Husband by Ladies’ Homemaker Monthly.