Essay on Longitudinal Effect of Defensive Denial on Relationship Instability

Published: 2021/11/16
Number of words: 668


Effective communication is the main foundation for every relationship. Without communication, one cannot know what is going through their partner’s mind, therefore making it the main co-factor determining the state of a romantic relationship. Defensive denial in this paper has been depicted as the root of instabilities in relationships, including romantic ones. Besides maladaptive communication, the behaviour model has been delineated by the behaviour model regarding marriages and relationships to be prominent predictors of divorce. Defensiveness is the kind of communication where one tries to protect themselves from a perceived attack. This deflects a situation that holds one responsible or blame, thus inducing abet defensiveness in others. It involves the demurral of a person to acknowledge the actual problem or personal responsibilities.

According to this article, defensiveness can refer to how some people defend themselves to perceive attacks by using statements to counter complaints posed on them, thus minimizing disagreements by making excuses for their actions by circumventing taking personal responsibilities. Defensive acts include gross excuses, denial of responsibility, negative mindset to correction, and antipathetic reasoning behaviours. These defensive behaviours have been the master mines of marital instabilities between couples, may initiator of divorce between couple, and contributed significantly to marriage dissolution that requires a couple to take therapy.

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Defensive behaviours are influenced by various factors or traits that make someone defensive. A negative interpersonal process may lead to having a defensive behaviour. This process includes constant criticism from other people, contempt, being stonewalled, or facing hostility, making one have defensive traits from assumed perceived attacks.

When people are in denial, they refuse to acknowledge some of the painful experiences, encounters, realities, or subjective escapades that others detect. The denial defensiveness is rated on a disavowal level and usually manifests itself in impulses and aversive stressors among others. Additionally, denial has been characterized by trying to minimize, disputing, or reject connotations that may jeopardize information as those people fear, making them vulnerable to others.

These defensive denials for a significant amount may be deleterious to a romantic relationship in various ways. This is because the denial of defensiveness brings many negative implications, such as being hostile. Others include contempt, anger, verbal attacks, disruptive process, overdominance, or externalization of external factors. This affects a relationship in that people fail to acknowledge and address their issues more reasonably. Besides, partners cannot address conflicts as their person implicitly denies their existence of a problem that needs to be resolved. Moreover, they constantly claim everything is okay to avoid being held responsible or as an excuse to prevent others from recognizing the issues that make one act in a particular manner. This creates problems in a relationship are people are constantly trying to avoid conflicts but are unable to address their issues appropriately due to these defensive denials.

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When couples refuse to address various issues that affect them hypothetically, they have adverse interpersonal reactions towards the other person. This action includes irritation, the tension between them, and the abidance of the problem. These behaviours escalate the conflicts resulting from refusal to come up with solutions, blaming each other to be the cause of a problem, and constantly trying to make the other partner align with one’s perspective. This may lead to hostile fighting among other escalated conflicts, thus increasing the degree of relationship dysfunction. Besides, research shows that transmission of these denial defensive traits may originate from an individual’s family set up to affect the future relationship of an individual. Endurance from vulnerabilities in a family set-up or previous relationship traits affects the future relationship from a future relationship. These people use their family origin and bring it forward to their future relationships, impacting the romantic relationship negatively.


Bailey, J., Vasey, P., Diamond, L., Breedlove, S., Vilain, E., & Epprecht, M. (2016). Sexual Orientation, Controversy, and Science. Psychological Science In The Public Interest17(2), 45-101.

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