Dating relationships and the demandwithdraw pattern of communication facebook groups dating
But, gee, I wish I’d understood it better at the time. In our work with couples, we see it all the time - one partner pursues, the other withdraws.We have a framework for this we call PAP & PEP (stands for Primal Abandonment Panic, and Primal Engulfment Panic.) More info on it is here: I do think it is interesting that it seems that in heterosexual relationships, women are in the demanding/pursuing role, and men in the withdrawing role.I wonder how much of that is socialization, because certainly at least lesbians can easily play either role.(We don't work with gay men, so I don't have any info on how this plays out in their relationships, but I'd be surprised if it were not similar.) Michelle, I'm really not surprised; it's a human interaction (one human who needs something, and one who doesn't want to hear about it).(The marital literature calls these “intergenerational transmission effects.”)Regardless of one’s original intention—let’s assume it was to have a quiet, reasonable, and civilized talk about a relationship—escalation is built into the DM/W pattern, and the pattern itself effectively straps each member of the couple into a reserved seat on an ever-spinning merry-go-round. As they hypothesized, it was “marital topics”—such as intimacy, communication, commitment, habits and personality—that triggered the demand-withdraw pattern and .) That said, the presence of the pattern in the couples’ interactions lowered their overall ability to resolve conflict constructively.Withdrawal is likely to spark an increase in demand—a voice that grows louder with every moment of frustration at not being heard which eventually devolves into what marital expert John Gottman calls “kitchen-sinking,” a catalogue of every flaw your spouse possesses and a litany of every transgression and misstep—which, in turn, provokes greater withdrawal and so on. The pattern does, it would appear, poison the well. Recognizing the pattern is the first step toward extricating you and your partner from it, but it’s been noted that most couples will need a therapist’s help to try to change it once it’s been established.
Some individuals are far more likely to find themselves in this kind of conflict than others.
It absolutely can play out this way with gay men, because I'm in version 2.0 of a relationship that ended in a 1.0 crash and burn because of this dynamic. While I agree with you that this is a damaging pattern in relationships I have to disagree with this overall sentiment: "Some individuals are far more likely to find themselves in this kind of conflict than others.
It’s not a familiar pattern in a healthy relationship but common in one that’s already distressed." As a therapist, I see this pattern crop up in relationships that are not inherently unhealthy but where wounds have forced individuals into anxious protective patterns, which may appear different depending on attachment style.
Needless to say, the more the partner is invested in either holding onto the power he or she has or keeping things the way they are, the more he or she will withdraw from the discussion.
Personality differences, in addition to individual needs and goals, clearly play a factor too.
It’s not a familiar pattern in a healthy relationship, but common in one that’s already distressed.