What is Your Relationship Culture?

relationship culture 01 02

Do you and your partner clash over decisions and priorities? Are you and your partner on the same page when it comes to your future, children, finances and lifestyle?

Just as there are different cultures in organisations, there are different cultures in relationships. These relationship cultures can affect everything from decision-making, priorities, raising children to finances in a relationship. Here are a few examples of different relationship cultures:

Group Consensus:

  • You work together as a couple in making decisions, rather than one partner being the sole decision maker

  • If both of you are indecisive and wait for the other to decide first, this may delay decisions

  • Both of you need to feel good about the decision and so not much may get done in the absence of that

Status Quo:

  • You know your roles and duties and do things the right way

  • A structure where there is a hierarchy in the relationship and everyone knows their place – each partner, each child, each relative

  • There may be resistance to change, to “rocking the boat” or changing family traditions


  • Each partner has their own self interest at heart rather than working together in a relationship

  • Partners compete with each other rather than work together

  • Partners may bully, back stab, lie, cheat, sabotage to get what they want


  • You seek continuous improvement as a person and in your relationship

  • You are committed to ongoing learning and growth

  • You are mature in dealing with issues in a relationship and empower each other to work through these

Conflict or Alignment?

As you read through the above, do any of these resonate with you and your relationship with your partner? Is your relationship culture in conflict or aligned with that of your partner?

For example, if partner A has a relationship culture of growth and partner B’s is one of aggression, then when issues arise in that relationship partner A will want to work through these together, while partner B may get angry and want to manipulate the situation to their advantage.

Alternatively, if partner C has a status quo relationship culture and partner D has one of growth, partner C may resist changes and suggestions and may prefer to keep things as they are, while partner D will prefer to improve and experience new things in that relationship.

On the other hand, if partner X has a group consensus relationship culture and partner Y has one of aggression, partner X may bend over backwards to keep harmony in the relationship even if partner Y takes advantage of them. Partner X will want to work together with partner Y, while partner Y will only be thinking about themself and what is in their best interest rather than that of the relationship.

When your and your partner’s relationship cultures are naturally aligned, there is greater agreement and harmony between you. When you and your partner’s relationship cultures are different, this may lead to disagreements in the relationship. Once you become aware of the differences, you can learn to respect each other’s relationship culture. Then both partners can learn to work together to ensure that the relationship succeeds.


Dr. Vesna Grubacevic is an author, speaker, media commentator, the founder and Performance Transformation Expert® with award-winning company, Qt. She is the creator of breakthrough behavioural change techniques, holds a PhD, a BEc and has over 35 years’ business experience. She is passionate about helping people to improve their relationships and confidence. Her Amazon best-selling book, Stop Sabotaging Your Confidence, has also been gifted to Hollywood and Australian award winners, nominees, hosts and celebrities. For more free resources on improving your relationships, please visit

Ó Qt, 2000 – 2018. All Rights Reserved.