Shared intimacy also requires attention to the balance of power in a relationship. If one partner makes all the decisions, controls such important aspects of the relationship as money, conversation or sex, or is looked up to by the other but does not look up to his or her partner ,the balance of power is not equitable. There are real-world power differences, such as skin color, gender, ability, education, financial resources, physical size and age. There are also interpersonal power differences, such as the ability to express feelings, comfort with oneself, and verbal quickness. It is vital that couples become aware of and discuss the impact that all these differences have on each of them and their relationship. It is important that instead of taking advantage of a power imbalance, we must strive to bring fair communication, respect, and love to the situation. Since racism is still prevalent in our society, racial or ethnic differences can prove challenging. Age is also a difference that can create tension or a power imbalance in relationships. One woman who is many years younger than her partner says they "grew up in different worlds." Differences in class and nationality can be challenging as well. It is also important for partners to acknowledge each other's health issues or disabilities. There are numerous other differences that may exist between partners, including but certainly not limited to gender identity, sexual orientation, health and physical ability, religious or spiritual beliefs, political values, and unique methods of self-expression. With a willingness to fully see and be seen, and to communicate openly, you can develop a deeper relationship and an opportunity for greater intimacy.
Find out more about this book:Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era