Criticism and Defensiveness

In order to resolve the inevitable differences that couples experience, they need to be able to talk openly about issues without criticism or defensiveness. When these skills are practiced, conversations emerge that allow couples to explore the parameters and underlying issues of any topic and to problem solve if needed.

In contrast, if criticism and defensiveness are allowed to enter a discussion, the conversation typically escalates into a fight after as few as two or three comments.  It is possible for couples to have very different perspectives, even disagreements and still work their way through their differences but only if criticism and defensiveness are left at the door.