Stonewalling in Couples: When You or Your Partner Shuts Down
Men are more likely to stonewall and by the time that a guy is stonewalling on a regular basis, a relationship is in trouble. Men who stonewall. Stonewalling—a refusal to communicate—can be a defense against issue in my marriage, the lack of power I feel from stonewalling will, like. Communication Within and Outside The Relationship Helps Some find it easier to other people about relationship issues or their feelings.
A fluttering in your stomach might mean anxiety. Nickerson suggested taking several deep breaths and communicating what you need to stay productive. Because, as she said, this may be different for every couple.
What is the best way for me to talk to you so you hear me? Sometimes, no matter how you communicate with your partner, they still might not hear you. Learn to soothe yourself.
This includes being honest and clear with yourself and your partner about what feelings are arising. Self-soothing is very individualized, Gaedt said.
She suggested considering the activities that are genuinely calming for you. This is the way your partner has learned to manage their emotions, Gaedt said. Trying to get your partner to open up i. It often leads to people taking on more responsibility than is theirs in the relationship, she said.
You can talk about this in the same conversation as above. Detach and set boundaries. It is a process that is marked either by a slow decay of your equation or a sudden snapping of the emotional cord. In a circumstance which is sudden, there is always a precipitating incident that can be recalled in the retrospective wisdom for an analysis to solve the problem. However, in the former situation, as there isn't a point outlining the problem area, it becomes difficult for the victim to climb the wall that the perpetrator builds.
This furthers the problem, making it even more complex, and thus frustrating for the one in it and even for those surrounding it. If your relationship is suffering under the pressures of stonewalling, here are a few ways in which you can salvage it.
Dealing with Stonewalling in a Relationship Be Empathetic Than Emphatic A general rule of physics is, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. And by the same logic, stonewalling too is a reaction. It is an outcome of a certain situation that has probably hurt or upset your partner. Trace back to situations to know when was the first time you noticed a negative change in your partner's behavior.
Your partner's attempt at stonewalling could have been a attempt to shut out criticism, contempt, condescension, and nagging. Oftentimes when we are hurt, we try to shut out people psychologically by not reacting to them anymore. The anger within turns to rage, prompting us to shun those who have hurt us.
It is a natural reaction and a defense mechanism to deal with anger and hurt. However, if we do not learn to forgive or strike a civil dialog to solve the matter at hand, this can lead to a conscious effort at stonewalling.
The Perfect Way on How to Deal With Stonewalling in a Relationship
If your partner cannot forgive, then you have to understand the source and the nature of their anger. Begin with doing things together as a couple to break the ice, and seek communication in different setups. This will give the two of you a chance to deal in different scenarios, which momentarily will distract you from domestic conflicts. Despite the hurt that you maybe feeling, be the bigger person, take a step back, and be understanding of your partner's needs.
With the stretch of your imagination, delve into your partner's thoughts. This will give you a change to be more empathetic than emphatic in your reactions. Breaking the negative chain of action-reaction is the first step towards breaking the mammoth wall.
Stonewalling in Couples: When You or Your Partner Shuts Down
Accept Your Change Just as stonewalling is a reaction, the said action also sets in motion another reaction. This means that person at the receiving end is also likely to react in a certain way. The very obvious way, and a very detrimental way, in which the victim deals with stonewalling is by getting aggressive to make a point.
After all, as the numerous attempts to communicate with the partner seem all in vain, it only adds to the vexation. This creates a helplessness, which leads to using every means possible to get through to the partner. Oftentimes, it results in screaming, threatening, gathering an audience, and so on. However, at this point, the purpose is no longer communication, but more so, an ego that wants to prove itself. On the other hand, if you intend to deal with stonewalling in your relationship, you need to understand the effect it has on you.
Many a time, stonewalling puts the victim in self-doubt, making him wonder what went wrong, making him question his actions, and thus pushing in a venomous blame-game within themselves.
The frustration it causes, the guilt it creates, and the helplessness it makes the victim feel, becomes so overwhelming that the victim is left with no choice but to act with certain haste to set things right. This haste becomes the birth of desperate aggressive attempts to mend things. However, all this while, as the perpetrator keeps cool and remains confined to certain quietness, it makes the victim's behavior seem aggressive.
Obviously, in comparison, the victim is only being aggressive out of a desperate need to get the partner's attention. Thus, stonewalling changes the victim's behavior, and the problems worsens, making the wall between the two seem even greater and stronger.
After all, what the victim could not have changed, changed the victim instead. As it is fair to only accept the truth to live more honestly, understand that you have changed in a way that will not solve your issue. The problem of stonewalling has to be approached in a different way for a solution. Causes of Stress Here comes the most important part in dealing with stonewalling in a relationship. Identifying the causes of stress in your individual lives, which naturally percolates into your relationship, is like disentangling wool, to begin knitting afresh.
Careers, finances, kids, social pressures, and the list can go on and on that denotes stress triggers in a relationship. In a stereotypical situation, amidst the insecurity of jobs and rising cost of living, a man finds himself reeling under the pressure of carving his niche and providing for his family. As the pressure increases, he creates a tunnel vision, shutting everyone out to purely focus on his career.
His inability and his disinterest in the domestic affairs draws criticism from his partner, leading the man to build a stonewall. Initially, the conversation attempts made by the partner are met with crossed arms, rolling eyes, a stone face, snide remarks, and every other way in which a body can project disinterest through its own language.
As this continues, that problem aggravates. Instead of criticizing your partner, try to be more patient. Tune into your partner's fears, insecurities, anger, hurt, and confusion.