Why Defensiveness in Marriage is Unproductive and What You Can Do About It

Why Defensiveness in Marriage is Unproductive and What You Can Do About It

Why Defensiveness in Marriage is Unproductive and What You Can Do About It

When it comes to any marriage, there will always be issues. One of the most common issues that couples have to deal with is defensiveness. Defensiveness can often lead to an unproductive and negative cycle that can cause further strife in a relationship. If you are dealing with this issue in your marriage, it’s important to understand why defensiveness is unproductive and what you can do about it.

Defensive Posture vs. Problem Solving

When someone feels defensive, they become focused on protecting themselves instead of working together as a team to solve the issue at hand. This defensive posture can lead to hurt feelings, anger, and mistrust. In order for any problem-solving to take place, both parties need to be willing to listen and compromise instead of being stuck on their own opinion or point of view. That’s why defensiveness can be so damaging; it prevents partners from truly hearing each other out and understanding where the other person is coming from.

Finding Fault Instead of Solutions

Another way that defensiveness in marriage can be unproductive is when one partner begins pointing fingers and trying to find fault instead of working together on solutions. This kind of behavior not only leads to more hurt feelings but also creates a situation where both people are more focused on blaming each other than finding a solution that works for both sides. It’s also important to note that when one partner finds fault with the other, it reinforces their feeling that they are somehow “right” while the other person is “wrong” -- which may make them even more likely to stay defensive!

A Collaborative Approach Is Key

The key here is collaboration rather than competition or blame-shifting. Partners should strive for an approach where they work together towards finding solutions rather than trying to prove who was right or wrong all along. This means focusing on understanding each other's perspectives and actively listening during conversations rather than just waiting for their turn to talk or proving their point at all costs. Additionally, partners should strive for mutual respect during disagreements – even when things get heated! This will help ensure that both people feel heard and valued within the relationship, which will ultimately lead to better outcomes overall.


Defensiveness in marriage can lead to a never-ending cycle of hurt feelings and misunderstanding if left unchecked. However, by understanding why this behavior is unproductive and taking steps towards collaborative problem solving, couples can develop healthier communication practices that will help strengthen their relationship over time. If you are dealing with defensiveness in your marriage and need help resolving these issues, contact Orlando Thrive Therapy today for an appointment with one of our experienced marriage therapists in Winter Park! We look forward to helping you get back on track!

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at (407) 592-8997 for more information.