Stonewalling in a relationship is what happens when one [or both] partners consciously and intentionally refuse to allow communication flow especially when there is something that really needs to be talked about.
Obviously, even when there aren't issue or problems to deal with, the communication line between partners is meant to stay on at all times. Being able to talk to a partner; being able to express one's deepest fears and even dumbest thoughts is one great thing about having a partner.
But all that is put on hold with stonewalling.
Stonewalling is actually a form of communication deficiency, and differs greatly from the occasional timeout to calm down or collect your thoughts, which partners normally have every now and then.
It is an absolute refusal to consider your partner’s perspective. If you listen at all, you do it dismissively or contemptuously. It is a failure to practice the kind of communication skill required to keep your relationship going; and men have been accused of being main culprits of this.
According the result of a research carried out by Prof. John M. Gottman, a world-renowned psychologist, stonewalling “ is far more likely to be a male thing."
“When women stonewall, it’s typically a function of temperament – they’re , inhibited, or . More commonly, it’s a learned behavior – engaging in conflict or emotion-laden conversation has exposed them to put-downs or abuse in the past.”
And more interestingly, men do not even know when they do this. When their partners try to initiate conversations about certain important issues that affect them, they run or continuously push such discussions of dismiss them altogether.
One of the signs that a man could be stonewalling is if he believes his partner nags him.
Women don’t necessarily nag all the time. When a partner keeps repeating something, it’s because she’s not being heard. A nagging partner is usually an unheard partner.
Whether it is practiced by a man or woman, stonewalling hurts your partner, and causes feelings of isolation, frustration, anger and could make them think that you don’t care about them or their opinions.’
There is only one solution to this malaise; intentional, effective communication.
Whether you have a spouse, bae, boo or you’re about to get one of these, stonewalling has no place in your relationship because great relationships thrive on communication not on negative actions as this.