Know What is Stonewalling in Relationships?

One of the many problems found in today’s relationships is stonewalling. What is stonewalling? Stonewalling is one of the most severe problems that can work its way towards ending a relationship.

We shall, in this article, have a deeper understanding of what is stonewalling, what are its causes and what to do when someone is stonewalling you.

Stonewalling Definition

So, before we look into this problem and consider its treatment, let’s first understand what is stonewalling. Here is a stonewall definition.

Stonewalling is the act of refusing to cooperate, especially during communication. The most common traits of this habit are silence or what you would call, the silent treatment. Marriages and long-term relationships serve as the common ground for stonewalling.

To stonewall someone is not the same as to ghost someone. While ghosting someone means shutting down all forms of communication and even contact, stonewalling is more of an avoidance strategy where a partner provides a cold shoulder in the relationship.

Signs of stonewalling

Sometimes, it’s hard to recognize stonewalling. You don’t know whether your partner is stonewalling you or the silence has occurred for other reasons.

This can be very frustrating. So, here are a few signs to help you understand what is stonewalling better and let you know if a partner is stonewalling you.

  1. You try to communicate your feelings, but your partner refuses to participate in the conversation.
  2. Your partner is getting disconnected from your needs. When you try to express them, the reaction you get is “whatever.”
  3. Changing the subject or passing the buck is common during conversations, especially when you try to communicate a specific problem in the relationship.
  4. There is a noticeable lack of intimacy in the relationship. Your partner shows no interest and leaves you feeling rejected. When you confront your partner about it, you find yourself getting distant.

If any of the above is right in the case of your relationship, then there is a high chance that your partner is stonewalling you, and it’s time to learn what you can do about it.

How to Handle Stonewalling

Now that you have gotten the idea of what is stonewalling, here are a few ways that you can consider to heal the situation. Like other problems in a relationship, stonewalling too does not come without a solution.

Try to Reconnect

It’s normal to feel frustrated or give up on your partner when you are struggling with getting stonewalled in a relationship. This is the time when it would be best to seek reconnection.

Try doing the things you did when you dated or looking at old photographs. This is sure to put a smile on your face and help you work through the relationship.

For this, check out – 10+ Fun Things to do With Your Partner to Rekindle the Love

Don’t Be Aggressive

Yelling, threatening or gathering an audience will only lead a stonewaller to go deeper in a shell. So remember, these are things to avoid when you are stonewalled in a relationship.

Show Empathy

Stonewalling could occur when a person feels unloved or unworthy in a relationship. So, one way to deal with the situation is to put yourself in the shoes of your partner and understand your partner’s perspectives.

Try to identify the cause of stress in your partner and communicate ways in which you’ll deal with them. This will go a long way in helping a partner open up and feel more relaxed with communication.

Related – 9 Signs to Know that Your Relationship Will Last

While all this is true, sometimes stonewalling can occur when a partner is trying to gain control and an upper hand in the relationship. In such a case, the best thing that you can do is walk out of the relationship. Falling prey to the blame game of a partner can lead to a lot of self-doubts and other issues in a relationship.

Hence, it is essential that you understand what is stonewalling and its causes so that you know the right steps to take when you are being stonewalled.

Final Words

Stonewalling can have many causes like a feeling of hopelessness, fear of a partner’s reaction or even issues that took place in childhood.

Whatever it may be, stonewalling can have a lot of harmful effects that can end a relationship too. This makes finding the cause and dealing with the problem at the earliest very important if you want to save the relationship.


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