Application 4.2 The Case of Lynn and Daniel Lynn and Daniel are a married couple in their 30s. Daniel is employed as a smoke jumper supervisor. This work requires him to be ready literally at a moment’s notice to get in a plane and direct safety activities for firefighters from various regions when a fire breaks out. Lynn and Daniel have two small children, ages two and four. They have decided that for now, the family needs are best served by Lynn’s being the primary parent, and taking care of the children, especially since Daniel is sometimes gone for weeks during fire season. Here’s where the problem comes in. Daniel was raised in a family in which the person making the money had the power. He believes that since Lynn is not making much money (she works part-time as a piano teacher), she should not make major purchases without his permission. He expects Lynn to pay the necessary bills, but to ask him for money, when she needs it, for household expenses. Lynn is angry and sometimes feels defeated since, in her view, Daniel does not know the needs of the household. She thinks she should be able to make expenditures as she sees fit. When she wants to plan a trip, or buy something out of the ordinary, Daniel says, “Make the money, then. I’m working as hard as I can.” Lynn believes that Daniel completely devalues her work at home.
How can this couple change their orientation to power in order to solve their problems and enhance their long-term relationship?
Specifically, how might they move from either/or power to both/and power? See what ideas you can generate.