Published on September 5, 2023

Is your relationship suffering? Are you often having fights that escalate from nothing? Are you confused as to why you and your spouse are not having sex? Are you frustrated at the distance and misunderstanding that seems to occur often in your relationship? Perhaps, your relationship is suffering from the deadliest thing that can occur in a relationship.

marriage conflictThat deadly item is leverage. Leverage is actually the thing we give to another person but often feels like it is being held over our head. If leverage is involved in a relationship it is a form of toxic energy and undermines intimacy and healthy boundaries and effective communication.

A lot of times people say: 'I can't leave the relationship because I'm afraid of being alone, I'm financially dependent on my spouse, I can't imagine living without my partner, who will ever love me, what if I never meet somebody again, I don't think that I could take care of myself if I didn't have my partner, I'm afraid to be on my own and making decisions'.

All of these are examples of leverage that one person is actually giving to the other person. Any kind of vulnerability that you proceed, that you have or dependency creates leverage. If you don't believe you are worth being loved, that is where you are giving leverage to your partner over you.

If you do not feel you can take care of yourself financially or emotionally, this is where you are giving leverage to your partner. If you don't believe you will ever meet somebody again, this is where you are giving leverage.

 Leverage is where we believe we have some sort of dependency on our partner and therefore we avoid conflict, setting boundaries or confronting things that are not working or how we are being treated for fear of losing the relationship. Leverage is really sincerely deep pathology that undermines the quality and helath of a relationship.

It happens whether or not the other person is even trying to exploit the leverage you are giving to them, it's just if you believe it. Learning how to clean up the leverage, which means developing your own sense of worth, getting healthy boundaries, setting self-reflection, maybe perhaps getting skills in which you can financialy take care of yourself are important.

Left to it's extreme, leverage in a relationship can lead to quite toxic relationships or emotionally or physically abusive ones.

If you would like to learn how you can develop self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, learn how to set boundaries and being more independent and autonomous so that you can have a healthy relationship, contact All in the Family Counselling. We are helping people address issues such as these.

Tammy Fontana, lead therapist, has been helping people for just under two decades. She is very skilled in working with people that have difficult situations and cases and can help people with infidelity, communication problems and other complex life issues.

All in the Family Counselling has been providing therapy for just under two decades to Southeast Asia and Singapore. We have online training, we have a portal called My New Beginnings to support people in between their therapy, as well as intensives and retreats. All in the Family Counselling has many ways to engage with you and help you. Contact us at +65 9030 7239 or email us at to find out how we can help you.

Category(s):Adult psychological development, Anger Management, Codependency / Dependency, Communication Disorders Problems, Complex PTSD, Compulsive Spending / Shopping, Couple Counseling, Dance Therapy, Ending a relationship issues, Infidelity, Marital Counseling, Men's Issues, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD, Relationships & Marriage, Women's Issues

Written by:

Tammy M. Fontana, MS NCC CTRT Sex Therapist USA

Ms. Fontana is a relationship counsellor specializing in helping people with their relationships whether it is dating, marriage, parenting or with their extended family. Her clients call her approach practical and found solutions to their problems. Ms. Fontana has obtained her Master Degree in Mental Health counselling from the United States and is a USA Nationally Certified Counsellor. She is also a Certified Choice Theory Reality Therapist and is USA trained Sex Therapist.

Tammy M. Fontana, MS NCC CTRT Sex Therapist USA belongs to All in the Family Counselling Centre, PTE LTD in Singapore