Demand/withdraw patterns are communication behaviors that commonly occur in relationships, particularly in conflict situations. In this pattern, one partner makes demands, criticisms, or complaints, while the other partner withdraws, avoids, or shuts down. This type of communication can be detrimental to the relationship as it creates a cycle of negative behavior. Below are the key headers to discuss demand/withdraw patterns.

Definition of Demand/Withdraw Patterns

Demand/withdraw patterns refer to communication behaviors in which one partner is making demands or criticisms, while the other partner is withdrawing or avoiding. This type of interaction often occurs during conflicts or disagreements, but it can also manifest in day-to-day conversations.

Examples of Demand/Withdraw Patterns

Some examples of demand/withdraw patterns include one partner making demands for attention, affection, or emotional support, while the other partner withdraws by becoming silent or changing the topic. Another example is when one partner criticizes or blames the other, while the other partner becomes defensive or dismissive.

The Negative Effects of Demand/Withdraw Patterns

Demand/withdraw patterns can have negative effects on the individuals and the relationship itself. When one partner demands and the other withdraws, the demanding partner may feel frustrated, angry, or unimportant, while the withdrawing partner may feel overwhelmed, defensive, or resentful. This negative cycle can create an emotional distance between partners, leading to feelings of loneliness or disconnection.

How to Break the Demand/Withdraw Pattern

Breaking the demand/withdraw pattern can be challenging, but it is essential to improving the relationship. Couples can benefit from seeking help from a Christian couples counselor to improve their communication skills and understand the root causes of their communication issues.


Demand/withdraw patterns are common communication behaviors in relationships that can be detrimental to the individuals and the relationship itself. It is essential to identify these patterns and take steps to break the cycle of negative behavior. With practice and patience, couples can improve their communication skills and build a healthier and stronger relationship.

Finally Alive Counseling

Finally Alive Counseling Ministries is a Christian based counseling facility. We help those suffering stress, anxiety, anger, depression, and more.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!