Who's The Driver? is an innovative communication method for solving power struggles for couples. Near and Far define two opposite styles of "driving" decisions in your marriage by using or NOT using your personal power and authority. Once understood, either person in the relationship can intentionally make power shifts that solve conflicts, often immediately. The long term effect is a transformation of your love relationship that is both emotional and spiritual in nature.

Are you Near or are you Far? Near and Far are two points on a continuum for sharing decision-making power between husband and wife. At one end of the scale is Far. Far wants independence. He or she prefers to do their own thing. Far does not want others to get too involved in their decisions. At the same time, Far does not want to get too involved in what others are deciding either. “You decide your thing and I’ll decide mine,” is how they behave. They are generally supportive of decisions their partner wants to make. They can also be viewed as disinterested in the decisions of their partner.

At the other end of the scale is Near. Near wants cooperation. Near likes to get involved in what others are doing, and likes others to get involved in what they are doing. “I’ll help you and you help me,” is their mantra. Near wants their partner to have a large voice in their decision-making process. Near is also willing to exercise power and authority over their partner. This can feel controlling to Far.

Near and Far marry each other. Research by experts such as noted psychotherapist and best-selling author Harville Hendrix (Getting the Love You Want), explains why. Near is chasing Far. Far is being chased by Near. Each is trying to resolve love wounds created in childhood by the way each was parented. Far was over-attended and over-controlled in childhood. Now Far doesn’t want to be controlled in marriage. Near was under-attended and under-controlled. Near doesn’t want to be ignored and neglected in marriage. Yet, they marry each other because unconsciously, each represents love as they knew it as a child. In the beginning of the relationship, this feels safe and romantic love blossoms. However, problems soon arise and fighting can seem never-ending.

Because of the opposite nature of each, Near and Far are the root cause of power struggles in a marriage. it is a difficult, often life-long struggle because each comes at the expense of the other. It is impossible to be both Near and Far at the same moment in time! Therefore, Far feels inherently controlled by Near and Near feels inherently neglected by Near. This dilemma of Near and Far has led to many divorces and much heartache.

At the center of marital conflicts lies one key question: Who's the driver? Is the colour of the kitchen mine or yours to drive? Is my body mine to decide or yours? Is how the children are disciplined my space or yours? Fogginess about this central question causes couples to fight since each feels it is their right to make certain decisions, or the opposite - to NOT have to make any decisions.

I have observed that people are often the opposite at home than they are at work. The Near person at work is Far at home and the Far person at work is Near at home. Not always but often. This makes sense because of a person’s perception of risk with other people. Near at home feels safe controlling other family members, but at work may feel the risk is too high and will let others do their own thing to avoid conflict, working quite solo. Far at home may feel it is not safe to let others get involved in his/her life, but at work does feel more confident. This is likely because of the more rational and functional aspects of work life compared to home life.

The driving force behind why people are Near or Far at home is the same as at work – risk. Far manages risk by doing his or her own thing, keeping one’s spouse at a distance. Near manages risk by trying to get Far to do things the “right” way! Confusion sets in because Far appears controlling but it is often their own space they control. Near is often the angry one, criticizing Far as a means to get them to do things their way. Confusion sets in over who is controlling whom. The solution almost always begins with identifying whose space it is. Is it my dirty sink or yours? The Near-Far Solution solves this by using a driver-passenger metaphor. The driver is the doer and the passenger is the influencer. Deciding who's the driver is the first step in this communication solution for couples. Deciding how MUCH power the driver has to do it his or her own way is the second step in the Who's The Driver method.

As people mature in their skills, confidence and life experiences, they sometimes realize that they are different at work than at home. They feel the inauthenticity within themselves. They want to become the same person in public as in private. This is healthy but will definitely cause others to react and adjust to these changes in how the person shares power and authority at work or at home. When it happens at home, it can lead to significant relationship changes that are good in the long run but can be very turbulent in the short run.

Who's The Driver? smoothes relationship changes by helping each partner consciously communicate their role in making decisions and why their position causes conflict. Either partner can shift their own power more near or more far and immediately end any conflict. To learn more, go to http://www.whosthedriver.com and http://www.respectfulmarriage.com

Author's Bio: 

John Kuypers is a couples coach and business leadership expert. He is founder and director of The Institute for Present Living & Learning, a Christian organization dedicated to improving the quality of relationships at home and at work. John teaches the Who’s The Driver? communication program to couples open to faith-based internet training, private coaching and live workshops and events. Http://www.whosthedriver.com presentliving.com John's books are What's Important Now, The Non-Judgmental Christian and The Meaning of Present Living (e-book).