I see it all the time with my Houston relationship therapy clients. The second their spouse even hints at something they might not have done well, hackles are raised and the other person begins defending him or herself. “Well, that was only because you said…” or “You do the same thing!”
On the one hand, this is completely normal and understandable. If someone starts swinging their metaphorical fists at you, who isn’t going to put up their arms to defend themselves? Unfortunately, becoming defensive instead of accepting the blame for what you’ve done and trying to work on being better next time tends to make your partner push even harder, which creates further defensive behavior and leads to anger, frustration, and hurt feelings. Essentially – marriage problems.
Houston Relationship Therapy Can Help to Lower Your Defensive Barriers
The difficult thing about being defensive is that it’s way too easy for it to become a reflex, and there are so many ways to defend ourselves that we often don’t even realize that we’re doing it. Worse, when our significant other tries to point it out, it can cause further marriage problems by making us angry if we don’t see it or aren’t willing to accept it.
Luckily, Houston relationship therapy can help. How? By showing you all the different methods of defensiveness we use so that you can recognize them and try to put a stop to them.
Houston Relationship Therapy: Kinds of Defensiveness
Denial. It’s not your fault. How can they expect you to do that? Why is it your responsibility? You’re not being ridiculous, they are.
External forces. Okay, you didn’t take the trash out, but the game was on and you got home late from work and the kids needed help with their math and… Nothing is ever your fault because something always caused you to act the way you did.
No in another direction. There’s a concept called “yes in another direction” where you agree with someone who has an awful idea by lauding it and building off of it with your own idea that has nothing to do with it and takes the conversation back in the right direction. In this way, you don’t have to tell them you hated their idea. “No in another direction” is a version of this where you don’t want to admit to doing something wrong. “You always forget to take out the trash!” becomes “I just wish we had the bags with drawstrings.”
I’ll have more in the next post, because this is only the tip of the iceberg, but if you’re suffering from marriage problems due to defensiveness you just can’t seem to get past, Houston relationship therapy can help.