Tag Archives: power struggle

House Remodeling a Home Wrecker

When putting a pretty face on is deconstructionist, you need more foundation work than spackle to hold it together. Building needs strength, not dominance. — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My partner and I are remodeling our house. It’s a wreck and I’m seeing how it’s showing the cracks in our relationships too. We started out with the same ideas and now when the contractors are around, there seems to be a power struggle. The most recent one cost us $3000 more than budgeted. Help us! He doesn’t know I’m writing you so don’t publish my name.Seeking One Roof


Dear Seeking One Roof,

I hope we answer you in time, but remodels never finish on schedule (and, in fact, feel endless), so I’m sure your issues are still standing…!

What a great non-question question. To push your building metaphor, you hit the nail on the head by pointing out your power struggle as the issue. Oh, and money is such an underscore. Privately (not in front of contractors or other workers, most of whom already need aligned management) set some boundaries by mutually assigning tasks to each other’s strengths: design, color, budgeting, architectural details, and managing contractor relationships, to name a very few. No need for redundancy on single projects (or rooms). But if you both feel your strengths are too similar to split up tasks/responsibilities, then do as I said and split “ownership” by rooms. Each of you should be accountable to meet the budgets for your assigned task or room. Also, a weekly progress and accountability meeting will be highly productive to keep you on track and “honest” with each other, as well as yourselves.

Just because this is about your home and personal finances, there’s no reason not to treat this like any other business project and handle items accordingly. If anything, it sounds to me like your personal business will benefit from some professionalism.

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” — J.K. Rowling



Dear Seeking One Roof,

Who’s causing the power struggle over budget? What I mean is, is your contractor playing you two off each other, pushing buttons for more line items on the job? Or are you two not on the same page about what you actually want the house to look like (read represent) after this remodel?

It sounds like you two need to sit down with an art pad and list of house fixes and go through one by one describing your blue-sky, no limits visions. Allow each one to take it to the farthest reaches of imagination. Write these descriptions out side by side, and then compare. Are you two trying for the same end vision? Now, realize, blue sky is not reality. It is just a chance to see where each of you would be headed if there were no limits, restrictions or financial obstacles.

Now, if you want to create an ode to travel that inspires the urge to pack and explore, while your partner is creating the ultimate lounge spot that inspires burrowing and all the creature comforts that mean you almost never need to leave the house, well, you can see how the visions for the house and the relationship are no longer on the same page. Find out if your big visions are compatible.

If they are compatible, figure out how to express your needs and your partner’s needs in the real 3-D, boundary-driven world we live in. For instance if your partner wants more built in shelving to store sports equipment and you want those same built in shelves to store your bottle collection, see if you can either have two sets of shelves or devise a new way to store sports equipment or a new cabinet for your bottles. Maybe the shelves are split in half between your needs and his.

What I’m saying is, don’t let unbridled growth in what may be two separate directions cause you to split the house in half. Check in with each other on big vision goals and dreams. Realign that vision. Then work out compromises so everybody’s needs are met. When and if the power struggle starts, remind your partner that you are on each other’s team. That you are willing to support you partners dreams, but your must be supported as well. Smooch. Remember why you love each other. Then work it out.

If that doesn’t work, it may be time for couples counseling. Power struggles can led to the end of your relationship if you let it. But remember, it takes two to tango. Doesn’t mean you should just roll over and obey, but it does mean if you refuse to participate your partner will be left to work with you or have a tantrum.

Mantra: A power struggle requires to people pulling in opposite directions. I choose to work with my partner to find solutions. We are one the same team.

Look for the middle way,



Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.


Power Struggle Couple, “Divorce, My Way!”

Whether in divorce or how to squeeze the toothpaste tube, some people have power struggles not relationships. Relate or struggle, humans do unto others what they first do to themselves. Time to refocus on what’s really important.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’m going through a divorce from my husband who held all the power in our relationship. Of course my lawyer says go for the jugular and my husband wants to be let off the hook. I’m stuck in the middle. How do I finally represent myself well without caving in to anyone else’s wishes but my own? — Underrepresented


Dear Underrepresented,

If you are not feeling represented it is because you have not been representing yourself—and if you don’t who will. You cannot expect others to stand up for what is best for you, if you are not standing up for what is best for yourself.

Imagine you, your divorce lawyer and your soon-to-be Ex husband are all on a desert island together. There is one piece of chicken left in all your reserves. Your lawyer knows she/he can only expect a portion of the chicken you manage to get for yourself. Your husband wants the entire piece of chicken for himself. Is that fair? No. Stand up and ask for half of that chicken.

I make this silly analogy because for some reason when it is food, we can see what is a fair division of property. However, once we start talking finances, emotions get involved and the fair dividing line is blurred. In this case, stand up for yourself and your rights. Do not be forced into going for the jugular because your attorney is hoping for a bigger slice of chicken. Do what feels fair to you—for you. It is time to learn how to make yourself happy.

You cannot expect your ex- to do what is fair for you. He seems to have based your life together on his needs getting met first. Well, now it is time for you to teach him a lesson about fairness and respect. It does not have to be a battle, but you do have to put your foot down about what you will and will not accept. For you, this is an opportunity to set the tone for the rest of your post-marriage life. You do not need to give in to everyone around you to be loved, respected and appreciated. In fact, if you do cave into everyone else’s wishes without looking out for yourself chances are you will be neither respected or appreciated and being loved for being a push-over…is that love?

Don’t look for someone else to solve the problems of your not being treated fairly. This is your problem first and foremost. Do for you because you deserve it. Remember, every human on the planet deserves the same level of care and respect. But only you can decide to respect yourself. He is not worth more respect and care than you are. There are things you bring to this relationship that he could not and visa versa. So be fair to yourself and him. Put your foot down for your own best interest.

And every time he says something to make you doubt yourself, refer back to this post and the chicken analogy.

Good luck!



Dear Underrepresented,

Girl you got to Represent!, is not just a cry from da ‘hood. It’s just true. And not just in your divorce, but always. I’ve said it a million times, here’s a million and one: We teach people how to treat us all the time (it’s not just what you say, it’s what you do). OK, I’m going way out on a Has BadWitch lost her idealistic mind?-limb here. Although I’m talking R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Aretha, this is not a Girl Power pump up, I’m aiming for personal growth and genuine fulfillment for everyone – yo! I suggest that very often, the best way to represent ourselves is to remove the “I” first. Hey I’m BadWitch, so I’m not asking you to go all Polyana during divorce proceedings of all times…keep reading…

3 + 3 = you. Focus on the right things. Retrain your brain and your behavior will follow. Small steps done repeatedly will take you a very, very long distance. Put those three things together then ask yourself these three right focus questions when dealing with others (no matter the scenario):

1)    Does this person have a higher good in mind, or just his own above all else? (your personality need) Beyond every human’s pure survival instinct, does the other person’s personality and action-perspective allow for compromise or flexibility to fair outcome? Know who you’re dealing with, open your eyes.

2)    What do I need here? (your personality need) Then figure out if this need/want conflicts with your life core values. (Re-)align.

3)    What is the best outcome for the highest good? (your spiritual need) Acting with connection (and if you can get there, love) helps YOU meet your human need to grow/evolve, and eventually maybe even contribute beyond yourself that which is your calling or passion.

Run #1 on your lawyer and soon-to-be-ex as they constitute the “other” here. By the time you get done with #3, it’s my hope that the three of you teaming to achieving a fair (to you and hubby both) outcome where genuinely no one is “ripped off” (uncharge the emotional from the financial where the power struggle now lays) will prove to be the best possible way you can represent your best you, UnderGirl.

Notice I first said to ask these questions “no matter the scenario.” You’re an adult and know not all situations are created or weigh equally — I’m helping you find, identify, or remember your true values — then decisions and self-representation become not only second nature, but a skin we wear for all to instantly recognize.

If you practice this re-thinking > retraining your brain > redirecting your behavior, I think you will be surprised that sooner than later you will be asking question three (3) first and the other two will come in more of an intuitive snap for you. Divorce and power struggle will come and go. Then the real work begins as you attract the right and respectful people and situations that will really challenge how much you actually respect yourself and show others how to treat you.




Juicy Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your FREE brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.