Let’s talk about having an adult interaction. There are several psychological states that people can be in within their interactions with others. One very useful model for understanding this is Transactional Analysis, discussed in a book written about 40 years ago by a psychologist named Eric Berne. Each person may be in adult mode or child mode or parent mode in their “transaction” with the other person, where transaction means the interaction between the two parties.
When you have an “adult to adult” transaction, then you have the very best chance of creating a true partnership and quality relationship. If you have a child to child transaction, the transaction may work because you’re both in the same mode, but the likelihood that you’re going to get a quality adult relationship out of that is remote. What if one of you is in parent mode and the other is in child mode? That can work also as these are reciprocal states, but that’s only going to work as a relationship if one partner wants to be in child mode with the other. Or partners can both be in parent mode, which tends not to work because parent mode is looking for someone in child mode on the other end of the transaction.
Partners may have an unspoken agreement about what modes they want in their relationship. You and your partner must be clear if you want an adult to adult relationship. At the end of the day, whatever the dynamic is, it has to be one that meets the needs and wants of both partners.
Take a look at what role you have accepted in your partnership and what role do you accept or adopt when you’re in a conflict or fight situation. If you and your partner want a quality adult to adult relationship, then each must share the power and responsibility for making the relationship work.