Why do Men Distance? Factors Predictive of Male Avoidance of Intimate Conflict

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This is an empirical investigation into one aspect of the pursuer-distancer pattern in intimate relationships. It explores why many male partners consistently avoid or withdraw from negotiating important issues in these relationships. Results suggest a broad array of potential reasons for this "distancing" having to do with (a) their own personal characteristics, (b) their expectations for certain aversive behaviors by their partners in conflict situations, and (c) further and related expectations that, in their relationships, engaging in disagreements is more likely to prove destructive than constructive.


This article was originally published as Ward, C. A., Bergner, R. M., & Kahn, J. H. (2003). Why do men distance? Factors predictive of male avoidance of intimate conflict. Family Therapy, 30, 1–11.