What Is Stonewalling?

There are four traits of stonewallers

  1. Rejection. First, stonewallers reject their partner’s attempts to solve problems, negotiate, or get closer unless it’s on their terms. “My way or the highway” is the stonewaller’s motto.
  2. Surprisingly sensitive. A second key is that they usually experience their partners’ attempts at connection and communication as being intrusive, needy, and demanding. Stonewallers admit that they have a wall , but state that it is only to protect their peace of mind.
  3. Busy bees. They build walls in so many ways. The silent type uses a tone, a glare, a huff, an eye roll. They are deaf, mute, gruff.  Some build walls with their words and say things like, “Suck it up” or “So?” or “Let it go!” or “Not my problem.” They stonewall behind the TV, their tablet, the newspaper. Stonewallers have evasive maneuvers. They go to bed before or after their partner, they leave the house before breakfast and come home from work late. Work is their stonewall. Play is a stonewall. They have more weekends away without their partners than with, or more boys nights out than date nights. They also maintain their wall by having less interest in their partner than their partner has in them.
  4.  Naive. Finally, they are ignorant. Stonewallers have no idea how satisfying real intimacy can be or that they are missing out. And they don’t see a problem with their tactics. Nor do they understand why their partner is angry and frustrated. If you’re reading this and thinking, “Val must know my wife” or “Aren’t most women that way?” or “So what-seems normal to me’ then you may be a stonewaller.
      *Stonewalling: Credit to John Gottman

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