Stonewalling abuse in a relationship often comes from an obstinate person. If you don’t feel heard, you might sit glumly and silently as your heart rate increases and you get more and more agitated. Alternatively, they might discount everything you say by calling you dull, unreasonable, or “making a big deal out of nothing.” They present themselves as having diminished hearing. Talking to a wall when you are being stonewalled can be frustrating. They show no empathy for you and little interest in what you have to say while you talk the whole time. This article helps you deal with all of these after you’ve been able to identify the signs.
What is Stonewalling Abuse
Stonewalling is an argument strategy that poses a serious risk to anyone’s emotional well-being, particularly when it takes place in a romantic partnership or marriage. When in a relationship, a person who is stonewalling avoids having an emotional conversation, coming to a solution about feelings, or taking any other emotional action. They don’t deal with issues like conflict, hurt, rage, desire, or fear. Always avoid having an emotionally intimate relationship with you.
They are abusing people’s emotions with their actions. Anybody can experience it, including close family members, parents and children, and romantic partners. A person who stonewalls you when you try to talk about your emotional issues during a disagreement makes you feel as though you don’t matter or have nothing to contribute. Online counseling might be helpful in this case to help you process how to react to their actions.
Is Stonewalling Abuse?
It’s critical to define both stonewalling and abuse in a relationship before we can decide whether it counts as abuse or not. The latter is any pattern of emotional or physical abuse that hurts a person’s physical or mental health. It’s important to remember that abuse can take many different forms, including emotional, sexual, psychological, and financial abuse.
In a relationship, stonewalling is when one partner fully shuts down all communication, including non-verbal indications. It could appear as though you are attempting to communicate with a brick wall. To “punish” a partner, you assert dominance, avoid an argument or a fight, or even gaslight someone, one could stonewall.
Narcissists frequently abuse this by stalling. People with a strong sense of entitlement might not even be aware of the harm they’re doing when they ignore their partner. It entails declining to interact with someone else. The silent treatment, also known as purposeful withdrawal during a disagreement, can be upsetting, unpleasant, and generally detrimental to the relationship.
So yes, stonewalling is a kind of abuse; but not physical.
Stonewalling Abuse Signs
Did you just encounter a brick wall? Sometimes stonewalling is blatant, and other times it is subtle. You might not even be aware that it is happening. The following are a few indicators of stonewalling in a relationship:
The partners of a stonewaller will experience abandonment. Particularly for a partner, dealing with this emotion can be terrible, and the effects will be visible throughout the marriage. No matter what your genuine intentions are, marriage is a transactional commitment to collaborate with someone, and your disengagement shows that you are no longer available for or interested in the partnership.
#2. Actual Punishment
If you are being obstinate at work, your coworkers will likely think that you are punishing them for mistakes or wrongdoing that you have not yet acknowledged. Their confidence levels and ultimately, their performance at work may be impacted by this. You shouldn’t count on shutting off coworkers to get great results unless you have sadistic tendencies.
This holds true for various kinds of connections, such as those with friends, lovers, and kids. They might believe that they are to blame if you refuse to budge. For the people around you, it can be tremendously destructive and perplexing. Relationships lose oxygen when a person is constantly obstinate. Others may feel quite inadequate and helpless as a result of this.
- You criticize your partner to start serious dialogues.
- When you speak, your partner doesn’t respond.
- Rather than using a nickname, your partner calls you by your first name.
- Whenever you try to have a serious conversation, your companion suddenly becomes preoccupied with something else.
- When you accuse your partner of being obstinate, they respond with righteous wrath.
- There may be more evident indications of stonewalling. Pay close attention to body language and other non-verbal cues by keeping an eye out for:
- Not making eye contact
- Turning their back on you
- Arms crossed
- Feet facing the door (or away from you)
- Fixating on things
- Leaving a situation to “get space”
How do you Recognize Yourself as the Stonewaller?
What if you’re the one in the relationship who doesn’t show emotion? You might not be aware of what you’re doing to them or why you’re doing it if you’ve been stonewalling someone else, such as your partner. Keep an eye out for the following indicators of stonewalling:
- Whenever your spouse queries you or shows worry, you become defensive right away.
- You avoid conflict at all costs, even if it means leaving the room.
- Saying anything that will start a fight is preferable to saying nothing at all.
- The other person doesn’t even seem to hear your cries for help.
- Being “correct” in a dispute is so essential to you that you’re willing to put your relationship in danger.
Effects of Stonewalling
Although doing this to someone else may not seem like a huge deal to you, even if you understand what stonewalling is and can spot instances of it in your relationship, it is one of the most damaging practices in a relationship. Couples who use stonewalling to resolve their issues with one another typically indicate that their relationship is about to end. Stonewalling can be an indication of extreme marital misery.
When this state of conduct is exhibited repeatedly, a person may start to question their inherent worth as a person or believe they are going mad. Other compulsive tendencies could also emerge. This is understandable given that stonewalling is a type of gaslighting. When this occurs frequently in a relationship, it may be extremely difficult unless both parties face the problem head-on and develop effective communication skills.
How to Deal with Stonewalling Abuse
#1. Recognize That You Probably Aren’t the Issue
Give your partner the benefit of the doubt at first; you are most likely not the issue. He or she might be experiencing a crisis that is overwhelming and awkward to talk about. If this is out of character, you might want to think twice before attempting to engage him or her. Your kindly assurance that you will be there for him or she whenever they feel ready to talk about what is happening can well pave the way for improved communication. It might even make your connection stronger. In the event of an issue, your companion will seek assistance first. She or he cannot be coerced into allowing you to assist them.
#2. Maintain Order on Your Side of the Street
You might be contributing to the issue. Examine your actions. When someone criticizes you or you feel like they are being hostile and aggressive toward you, you could respond by stonewalling. Are you supportive of your partner when they interact with you? Or, if your spouse acknowledges their mistakes, do you condemn, belittle, and attack? A lack of sympathy and empathy on your part can promote stonewalling. It will help to clarify your function if you take into account your perspective on the scenario.
#3. Self-Care is Important.
It’s possible that you’ve tried your best to solve a problem by talking about it. It’s possible that you avoided being critical and instead chose to be encouraging. Stop if your partner continues to resist you. You must take care of yourself because there is a chance that things will get worse. Your partner’s actions are likely to enrage you, and you may also feel overwhelmed by challenging emotions.
In order to do this, you must take a break from your agitated thoughts and give your partner some room to modify their behavior. Find ways to divert your attention, such as by engaging in a hobby, listening to relaxing music, watching a good movie, going for a walk, etc.
When your partner tries to change their behavior, don’t maintain a distress-inducing attitude. The Four Apocalyptic Horsemen (criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling) occasionally make an appearance in all relationships. When partners are able to interact with each other in a positive way, strong relationships are developed.
They are qualified counselors who are aware of the harm that emotional abuse can cause to families, as well as to intimate and sexual relationships. Starting is simple, and therapy is practical and reasonably priced. You can put these issues in the past and begin living the life that makes you happy the sooner you and your partner patiently solve this challenging issue.
Stonewalling Abuse FAQs
Is stonewalling a form of manipulation?
As a manipulative or dominating tactic, stonewalling is another option. When one spouse deliberately avoids communication, the other partner is frequently prevented from exploring other choices to resolve the dispute or even end the relationship. This is known as stonewalling.
What type of person uses stonewalling?
When one partner in a marriage purposefully ignores the other, this is known as stonewalling. Stonewalling is frequently a power play or a response to feeling overpowered. Stonewalling is shown by giving someone the silent treatment.
What is stonewalling in a relationship?
How do you define “stonewalling”? Simply put, stonewalling is when a person entirely withdraws from a conversation or declines to engage in social interaction.