Dating relationships and the demandwithdraw pattern of communication
A meta-analysis of 74 studies, including 14,000 participants, shows 'demand-withdraw' pattern is a sign of distress in relationships.
The silent treatment is part of what's called a "demand-withdraw" pattern.
These results offer further evidence that an often-observed difference in heterosexual relationships may result from social conventions that afford men greater power and women less power.
An alternative explanation implicates one form of power differences—wives desire more change and therefore demand, whereas husbands desire less change and withdraw to maintain status quo.
No matter what part each partner plays, it's the pattern itself that's the problem.
"It's a real, serious sign of distress in the relationship." When judging the character of a friend, co-worker or potential romantic partner, pay attention to little acts of kindness or cruelty because these are likely part of a consistent behavioral pattern, ...
The demand-withdraw pattern was seen regardless of type of couple.
Further, for all couples, differences in the amount of change desired in partners during a conflict interaction predicted differences in demand and withdraw behaviors.
Since those initial observations, from dating couples, to married couples, to couples across cultures, researchers have consistently found this pattern of gender differentiation in demand-withdraw interactions (e.g.
Research shows couples engaged in demand-withdraw pattern experience lower relationship satisfaction, less intimacy and poorer communication.