An Interdependence Analysis of Accommodation Processes
Few relationships ride an ever-increasing wave of uninterrupted bliss. The health and vitality of an ongoing relationship may be challenged not only by external threats such as the presence of a tempting alternative, but also by threats internal to the relationship itself-threats such as satiation or boredom, disagreement regarding central life issues, or destructive interaction sequences initiated by the hostile acts of one or both partners. This chapter addresses one important threat to couple adjustment, reviewing research and theory regarding an interaction pattern termed accommodatiun. This interaction phenomenon involves a sequence of interdependent responding that is initiated when one interacting partner engages in a potentially destructive act-for example, when the partner is rude or thoughtless, behaves in an inconsiderate manner, belittles or humiliates the individual, or worse. Accommodation refers to the individual's willingness to inhibit the impulse to respond destructively in kind, instead reacting in a constructive manner.