4 Guaranteed Relationship Destroyers


4 Guaranteed Relationship Destroyers
Feel defensive or critical of your partner? Evidence says your relationship might not last.

Defensiveness: You view yourself as the victim, in an attempt to ward off a perceived attack.  This can take form when one makes counter-complaints, makes excuses (“I didn’t do __”), making “yes, but” statements, repeating oneself (without listening), and whining.

Stonewalling: A form of communication in which one has totally withdrawn from a conversation. This can take the form of being silent, leaving the room, changing topics, and ultimately any behavior that conveys one has stopped responding to communication.  This is seen as a total breakdown in communication, though it is usually used to avoid conflict, de-escalate a situation, or stay neutral; stonewalling behavior sends the message of separation, coldness, and disconnect.


These four destructive interactions are viewed on a spectrum from least to most damaging, where criticism leads to contempt; contempt leads to defensiveness; and defensiveness leads to stonewalling. Studies show that couples who cycle through this spectrum are more likely to break up.

For more info, check out my website where I explain "fair fighting". I discuss the most effective and constructive ways to communicate your needs.

Remember, for all behaviors we do not like, there are always remedies for positive change.

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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