You know the deal. Something happens that is frustrating or hurtful, so you approach your partner to let them know. You tell them what happened and a better way to do it in the future, so you don’t end up feeling hurt. But, all you hear is:
“I didn’t do that! And, anyway, you do that all the time.”
“What about last week when I ask you not to _______?”
“I only did it that way because you _______!”
When this dynamic is sustained over a long period of time, it can lead to something called “pre-emptive defensiveness.” That sounds a little something like this:
“Hey, what’s for dinner tonight?”
“Oh, so I’m just supposed to cook for you every night and I bet you expect the food to be on the table when you walk in the door?!”
Ever been blown away for asking what you thought was a neutral question? If so, you’ve got a case of pre-emptive defensiveness.
If you’re struggling with defensiveness in your relationship, you’re going to want to join us for our livestream on Facebook and Instagram this Monday, September 9th at 7:30pm EST. We’re going deeper on this topic and answering YOUR questions! If you’d like to submit a question ahead of time, you can do so by clicking here.
We hope to see you there!