A Dad's Guide to Partner Influence

One very important concept that exists for relationships is simply called Partner Influence.  Dad’s who have a respectful and softer approach to be able to consciously and purposefully accept the influence of their partners are statistically happier than rigid fathers are (Gottman, 2015).

Sidenote.  Don’t think for a second that I am suggesting that dads should be the only ones to accept influence from their partner.  I am merely suggesting they start things off with their partner. Lead by example. Lead by action. This can be a new dynamic found in your relationship if you let it be.  

Defining Partner Influence

This concept means many things. It is setting your marriage up for a win-win rather than a win-lose (Pincus, 2017). This is possible but it takes some work to get there.  

Partner influence suggests you put your partner’s needs at a high level of importance in your life. You may feel this you are doing this already but we’re not talking about how you feel your level of success is, we’re talking about what your partner feels your level of success is which is a very different measure.  It is your job to check-in on your current defined level of success.

So often I see married couples who aren’t doing this.  Why? Because society doesn’t place an emphasis on its importance and American’s often are drowning in a world of busyness and stress.  

Don’t be offended if your partner doesn’t consider you up to the level you think you should be.  This isn’t a time to be successful. This is a time to learn and be accept influence from your partner. Here’s another thing about society.  These days, it isn’t easy to be a great partner with work and careers in the mix. Kids definitely don’t make it easy! There is so much working against you.

Regardless of what is going on for us personally, it doesn’t give us an excuse to give our family members the shaft.  Partner influence is one way to be mindful of our current behaviors and remain stable when there are personal life stressors present.  

Why Be Influenced

Statistics tell us much about the importance of partner influence.  Did you know that wives are a ton more likely to already engage in being influenced by their partner than men (Gottman, 2015)?  That’s why it is important that husbands are taught to engage in this practice too. Remember, we’re shooting for a win-win in the relationship.  

Also, marriages that incorporate partner influence into their creation are statistically proven to be happier marriages overall (Gottman, 2015).  This is the goal. To be happy with having your partner as a partner. Also, to be a partner in your marriage rather than a “force to be reckoned with” which is often a position couples take when turbulent issues arise.

I share this with you as a path towards tranquility in your married life. This is not the biggest challenge in a marriage but it is one to produce quick and positive results if you correctly implement it.  If you need any help getting there, read the 7 Principles for Making a Marriage Work. As always, I am here to help too. 612-207-9953 or


The 7 Principles for Making a Marriage Work - John Gottman