One of the things I hear repeatedly from my clients is that controversial topics in the relationship are completely avoided on the assumption that to do so may be better than to "fight." Often it seems, and unfortunately, "fighting" may indeed have been the only other alternative in their relationship experiences. One self-proclaimed "relationship sufferer," complained that her intended discussions with her husband immediately turned into "attack and defend" exchanges. Each partner focused on leveling criticisms and then defending or justifying their positions to each other, thereby making their so-called communication a negative experience. This level of exchange is likely to produce two people who will be inclined to avoid talking about issues that occur between them, possibly leading to the erosion or deterioration of their relationship.
Another problem occurs when one or both partners in a relationship are prone to intense anger when they feel misunderstood, misperceived, or even just disagreed with when they have a strong need to be 'right' or have their view or idea accepted by the other. Among other damages, this type of interaction forces their attention to the anger itself and its various harmful consequences, including increased hurt, distance, withdrawal and away from the issue at hand which then may never be discussed again, to say nothing of ever satisfactorily resolved.