The survival of a marriage depends on whether married couples handle arguments between them effectively. Some may decide to set differences aside and agree on a workable solution while others may resolve to divorce if they have irreconcilable differences. However, separation becomes necessary only when a partner refuses to own a mistake and decides to portray characteristics such as defensiveness. A defensive person is one who gives excuses for a particular behavior and tries to blame others as well. Likewise, the reaction is dangerous because it aggravates an argument, which could lead to more differences in opinion. Occasionally, an individual may experience defensiveness in a dispute between married partners.
The first time I encountered defensiveness was when I caught my parents arguing at home. My mother was angry because my father had been coming home late for the past two months. She claimed that he had been emotionally detached from the family and preferred to extend his working hours than to spend time with them. Conversely, he defended himself by insisting that he had pressing deadlines to meet and that the office had many backlogs (Papp 9). Similarly, he said that he had to work hard to provide for the family since he was the only breadwinner. My father also asserted that he did not come late because some husbands came later hours than he did. Indeed, he tried to justify the reasons for his lateness without accepting that it was a mistake.
On the other hand, my dad also claimed that my mother had a role to play in his lateness. Firstly, he mentioned that she spent too much time at her friend’s house than is necessary. The second reason is that she spent a lot of money on excessive shopping. However, my mother explained that she does not overspend on shopping and that she only visited her friend on Saturdays. Similarly, she said that she did those things because she felt that he did not appreciate her company anymore (Papp 13). As a result, she blamed her behavior to his absence at home most of the time.
Despite a difference in opinion, my parents agreed to find viable ways to improve the relationship effectively. Primarily, my father vowed to stop working late especially when was preventable; however, when the deadlines were urgent, he stated that he would come and work at the house rather than extend his time at the office (Medved 15). Likewise, he also accepted to spend more time with her, and they agreed to go for a date on Wednesdays in the evening. Similarly, my mother decided to stop her spending habit and promised to buy essential items only. She also agreed to moderate the time she spent at her friend’s house and insisted that she would invest most of her time with the family. Although the argument was short-lived, it rekindled love in my parent’s relationship because they agreed to devote more time to each other.
Occasionally, marriages are bound to experience arguments that may affect how the partners relate with each other. Spouses who accept mistakes and opt to change behavior are likely to stay together eventually. However, those who try to justify unwarranted character traits are likely to consider a divorce ultimately. Defensiveness is one of the significant factors that lead to divorce cases in most marriages. Nevertheless, couples should accept mistakes and formulate feasible plans to sustain the matrimony. Without a doubt, they should avoid defensiveness in arguments if they want to remain together in the end.
Medved, Diane. “Don't Divorce: Powerful Arguments for Saving and Revitalizing Your Marriage.” Simon and Schuster, 2017.
Papp, Lauren M. "Topics of marital conflict in the everyday lives of empty nest couples and their implications for conflict resolution." Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy 17.1 (2018): 7-24.
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