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Can Stonewalling be Fixed in a Marriage?

Sep 11, 2014

verbal_abuse.jpgWhat does it mean to stonewall in a marriage? Stonewalling is when one partner refuses to cooperate and answer or to basically stall and delay.  A partner that is dealing with this needs to recognize if this pattern of behavior is occurring from their spouse and then agree to both work on building new communication in the marriage.

Here are a few examples of stonewalling and how to recognize it in your marriage:

  • When one partner needs to discuss a concern with finances and the other changes the subject to point out a flaw in the other partner
  • When one partner feels rejected from lack of intimacy and the other removes themselves from the conversation, leaving the partner feeling distanced intimately and now physically too
  • When one partner brings up a concern and the other ignores their partner and refuses to consider their request
  • When one partner tries to communicate feelings and the other responds with silence

Stonewalling is a manipulation tactic where one spouse wants the marriage to be all about their needs while the other’s request for what is good for the marriage is dismissed. It is more commonly men that stonewall their wife by insisting their wife is just “nagging” them. Marriages are typically healthiest when a man accepts his wife’s influence since women naturally do this for the husbands already.

What can the victim in the marriage do?

The one who is feeling stonewalled should first take a step back and look at their approach. Changing your communication towards the victim is doing the stonewalling will be the first step to putting an end to it.

For example if the wife feels her husband is stonewalling her, she should first empathize with what her husband may be feeling. She should ask questions to her husband to understand his concerns and show that she’s giving complete attention. Make sure to enter the conversation by setting aside differences and keeping emotions aside. The wife should calmly reveal her feelings and needs by using “I” statements.

With the right approach and tone, a victim of stonewalling can break down their partner’s wall and have effective communication in their marriage.

Category: Issues in Marriage

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