A power imbalance can be a dangerous thing in a relationship. Unfortunately, they will affect almost any couple as sharing your life with someone can be tricky. If there are love and care in a relationship, these power imbalances can be easy to address.

Here are five of the most common signs of a power imbalance and what to do about them to save your relationship.

1. They don’t take your feelings into account when making decisions

When you’re in a relationship, decisions that affect both of you should be made together. If your partner makes decisions without consulting you or incorporating your needs, this is an unhealthy power imbalance in the relationship.

If there is a lack of compromise in the relationship or your partner simply doesn’t take your needs into account, you need to do something about it.

What to do about it:

If you feel that your needs aren’t being considered, the most important thing to do is talk to your partner. Your partner may not even realize what they are doing. If they respect you, they will take into account how you feel about the situation and take steps to change it.

The important thing is that they realize their mistake and make the effort to act differently in the future.

2. You don’t feel comfortable defending yourself

Some partners can be overpowering in arguments and this can make it difficult to defend yourself. If you feel uncomfortable standing up for yourself, your partner holds the upper hand. This is a dangerous situation to be in and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

The longer this goes on, the more isolated and intimidated you will feel and this is unhealthy.

What to do about it:

If you feel uncomfortable defending yourself in an argument, it is important to approach the situation carefully. Stay calm and don’t let things escalate. Explain how you feel and ask that your partner be more respectful in arguments.

Bickering can get heated and it can be difficult to maintain your emotions. If you feel the situation continues, find a code word to pause the argument and take a moment to calm down.

3. Their needs must always be met but yours aren’t considered

A key indicator of a power imbalance is one person’s needs being met more than another’s. If your partner demands more from you than they are willing to give, this is incredibly imbalanced. This will lead to your needs being cast aside and you can end up feeling lonely or unsatisfied.

What to do about it:

Talk to your partner about how you feel. Again, they may not notice their selfishness. Ask them to take your needs into consideration more often and to think about how much they ask from you. If they refuse to change, you may need to reconsider your relationship because your needs are always important.

4. You do more work in the relationship

Relationships are always a little imbalanced in some places but it is usually evened out in others. The give and take should always level out. If you find yourself doing more in the relationship, whether it be the housework or making time for the other, this is dangerous.

Doing more in one area of the relationship can seep into other areas of the relationship. This is why you need to address the situation as soon as possible.

What to do about it:

Bring your partner’s attention to the key issues you are feeling and in which areas you feel you are doing more. Talk about whether it is possible for them to take on more responsibility to take the pressure off you. If your partner loves and respects you, they will find a way to make things work so that the effort is equal.

5. You feel lonely

Finally, if you feel lonely in a relationship, this is a serious sign of a power imbalance. This is usually the final sign which appears as it means you are isolated not only from your partner but from friends and family.

You may not want to talk about relationship issues with others because you want to protect the reputation of your partner. This, however, leaves you alone.

What to do about it:

Talk to your partner. Tell them you are feeling lonely and why you feel this is. If your partner doesn’t understand or doesn’t wish to help, you may want to rethink things. Open up to your friends and family. When feeling isolated, the only way to fix it is to let people in.

It may cause strain if this causes a negative opinion on the relationship, but it may be a sign that things really aren’t going well.

A power imbalance in a relationship is something that almost any relationship must navigate.

Most relationships will find a way through it, especially when there is a lot of love and respect present. However, if your partner is unwilling to try and change things to make you feel better, they may not be the one for you.

There are many ways a power imbalance can affect a relationship. The key to fixing it is to be open and honest with your partner and seek solutions that suit you both.


  1. https://www.verywellmind.com/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

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