In her articles for The Monthly Aspectarian ( http://www.lightworks.com/MonthlyAspectarian/ see also my review of her column), Jacqueline Lichtenberg talks about using a type of fiction she calls "Intimate Adventure" to grow as a person. The First Lifewave books, written years ago by Jacqueline, herself, are proof of the efficacy of such fiction to initiate change in lifestyle, although it took me years to identify them as the instigators of that change, it began so subtly.
Raised in a home where a healthy relationship was unknown, I believed it was my obligation to "show" others how they should live their lives. When I read Molt Brother and City of a Million Legends, I was already in therapy for unrelated issues, but within several months, I asked the therapist to help me renovate my own relationships.
In these two books, one of the themes is the use of power in a close
relationship, bhirhir, or Molt Brother.
The Kren are a fanged, venomed, alien species, who molt every few years. They need a close significant other to express their venom daily and help them through molt. Arshel, one of the two protagonists in Molt Brother,, chooses a human bhirhir, Dennis, at the beginning of the book. He is an archaeology student, and she begins training as an archaeovisualizer, someone who "reads" the past of ancient objects by touching them.
The school where she studies, Mautri, teaches that between bhirhir, one of the two is always dominant, and that to learn the power in full that comes with the ability to archaeovisualize, she will eventually need to learn to live without a bhirhir -- a prospect that terrifies her. She is told not to worry -- the process will take many years, and before she can live without a bhirhir, she must fully experience living with one.
Unfortunately, something is rotten in bhirhir. Dennis begins showing character flaws, leaving Arshel more and more shaken.
Meanwhile, the second protagonist, Zref, a human with another Kren bhirhir, works for his parents, who are translating a manuscript Arshel and Dennis had found.
When tragedy strikes, Zref is thrown into an unforeseen path, led to a planet and a life he could never have foreseen, where danger lurks -- danger, and a meeting with Arshel.
If you're the least bit dissatisfied with your relationships, and you think a power imbalance might have something to do with it, you owe it to yourself to read these books. They're back in print. They're in stock at www.amazon.com.