All relationships have ups and downs. Even good relationships will not be perfect but the way that you handle disagreements can determine if the relationship will turn sour. If you have a partner and you have to deal with different problems, how do you handle them? Do you choose to fight and argue, or do you handle things in a calm manner? Do you or your partner choose the silent treatment or stonewalling?
Stonewalling might seem like it is not a bad way to handle conflicts and the truth is, it can lead people to choose to get a divorce.
Stonewalling is when someone shuts down during a conversation and they give their partner silent treatment instead of talking. It is a response that allows the person to stop the conversation due to their emotional feelings or the discomfort that are feeling.
Many times, stonewalling happens when the person is confused about the questions or confused about what to say next to someone.
Are You Being Stonewalled?
Here are some ways that you can tell if you are being stonewalled:
- The person leaves in the middle of the conversation without anything said.
- They won’t talk about issues.
- They don’t listen to the concerns you have.
- The become passive-aggressive.
- They make accusations to avoid the problem.
- They change the subject to avoid an argument.
- They give silent treatment.
Are You Stonewalling Someone?
You might have an easier time noticing if your partner is doing any of these behaviors but what if you are the one that isn’t listening or talking? You can tell that you are stonewalling if:
- You refuse to talk about any conflicts
- You get defensive when your partner has a concern with you.
- You hide your feelings.
- You hide your opinions.
- You don’t want to say when you’re wrong.
Stonewalling Versus Gaslighting
Stonewalling is different than gaslighting even though they both stop there from being good conversations between you and your partner. This can be hurtful to everyone involved.
Stonewalling often happens when someone has learned to put up walls or a defense mechanism that comes from the reaction of someone that was in their past. It might be hard for someone in the relationship to express what they are feeling, and this will cause them to choose to shut down instead.
Gaslighting is a way that someone can hurt or manipulate someone in their life. This is emotional abuse.
Why is Stonewalling Bad?
Stonewalling is not a good thing because it causes the person that is being stonewalled to feel hurt and angry and to not understand what just happened. This can cause them to have low self-esteem and can make them feel that they are not worthy of being talked to or cared about.
The person that is doing the stonewalling will cause their partner to not trust them and it will cause them to deny their intimacy that they can have emotionally with the person that they are supposed to love.
This will cause there to be problems in the relationship and can cause mental distress between the partners.
How to Handle Stonewalling
Stonewalling that is happening over and over has to be dealt with. You cannot ignore that this is happening, and you and your partner have to work together to figure out how to talk to each other in a healthy way. This can be fixed with therapy.
Rather you are the one doing the stonewalling or the one getting stonewalled, this is a type of communication that is unhealthy and will never make the marriage better. There are many issues in this situation.
Getting couples therapy can help you and your partner to learn to communicate better and to help bring peace into the home.
You and your partner are both important and you have to realize that if you want the relationship to work out then you have to work through these problems. The relationship has to be different and has to have some help in order to see it get stronger.