In my psychotherapy practice, I have worked with a number of couples where this discrepancy in perception becomes quickly obvious. One partner will feel “steamrolled” or overpowered by the other, especially during fights.
The curious thing is that very often neither partner feels particularly powerful. They actually feel quite the opposite; at a loss for how to bring their message across.
Both partners feel that they aren’t being heard, and often feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the onslaught of blame or demands from the other side.
We might feel powerless in the face of stubborn resistance, but underestimate that our own demands may come across as equally forceful and hard to be met.