Be a Real Couple not a Power Couple
I hate this phrase power couple. Just like the false perception that there are individuals out there who have it all together and live superhuman lives, the term power couple makes us believe there are couples out there who are the perfect match and feel nothing but love for each other. I have heard Beth and Randall called a power couple many times over the past three seasons. Just recently we’ve started to see them struggle to see each other’s point of view and support each other well. As painful as this episode was to watch, I’m so glad the writers saw fit to add this story. These fights are what real relationships are made of. There is no such thing as a power couple. Two adult humans should expect to have conflict. It’s the way we choose to handle the conflict that makes a relationship healthy.
You may have your opinions about who is right and who is wrong in Beth and Randall’s fight. The beauty of it is that neither is right or wrong – they’re both hurt. Now sure, they both made mistakes and could have done things differently, but neither has done anything innately, morally, incorrect. This is a real marital fight.
I see glimpses of codependency. Beth can care more about Randall’s emotions than what she wants or needs and rescue him out of feeling uncomfortable. Randall can struggle with boundaries and try to say yes to everyone and everything in a desire to have it all and bump Beth to the side. There is room for both to work on these dynamics, but at the end of the day it comes down to recognizing that they’ve both been hurt. If Randall can acknowledge that Beth feels hurt because she thinks her desires often get pushed to the side and Beth can acknowledge that Randall feels hurt because his emotions aren’t validated, then they can get somewhere regardless of the details. If they know that the other still genuinely cares about their emotions and is willing to help address the hurt most of these problems can be solved.
When we choose to continue to criticize our partner, refuse to state what we want but expect our partner to meet our needs, believe that our point of view is the only point of view, give in when we are secretly still upset, and get defensive the real trouble starts. If you find yourself getting stuck in some of these dynamics,couples counseling might be a good fit for you.
Some Things to Consider:
- When in conflict with your spouse how might you gently bring up your concerns instead of harshly attacking?
- When you’re tempted to believe that your point of view is the only point of view could you challenge yourself to see things from your partners perspective?
- Instead of getting defensive in your next argument, could you try to find at least one thing that makes sense about your partners concern?