Rejection sensitivity (RS)—the disposition to defensively expect, readily perceive, and intensely react to rejection, could be a potential contributor to the frequent conflicts that disrupt the intimate marital relationship between spouses. High rejection sensitivity (HRS) in one or both the spouses leads to personal distress as well as maladaptive behaviours that strain the marital bond. Repeated misdirected attempts to capture the spouse’s attention, affection and acceptance through behaviours such as questioning, arguing, threatening and crying, end in results contrary to what the high rejection sensitivity spouse actually wanted in the first place. The exasperation, irritation, withdrawal or even real rejection by their spouse confirms the HRS individual’s expectation of rejection. The paper aims to illustrate the role of rejection sensitivity in marital dynamics and explores whether the self-fulfilling prophecy of the rejection sensitive spouses could be reversed through psychotherapy focusing on modifying rejection sensitivity.
Gitanjali Natarajan and Sreehari R, “Detrimental Impact of Rejection Sensitivity in Marital Relationship”, Psychological Studies, vol. 59, no. 4, pp. 351-356, 2014.