One would think that the loss of violence could only be positive for a family unit. However, this is not always the case.
Violence had been the “default” reaction to many circumstances: stress, the need for intimacy, anger, confusion and boredom – all normal experiences for which other families have learned more healthy coping mechanisms. Now, removing violence from the equation leaves the family off balance, without the resource that had proven, on some level, successful. If violence has provided the path of least resistance for a family to cope with difficult experiences, then it is reasonable to assume that something serious is happening or has happened to force that family to have to leave its comfort zone. Defensiveness, the effort to maintain the status quo, can emerge as a replacement coping mechanism.
Part of the challenge of adopting a nonviolent style is to learn to relate to the differences happening with other family members. When patterns of reactivity are abandoned, then new ways of relating have to be discovered.