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Stonewalling Likely to Lead to Divorce


You and your spouse just got into another fight. You told him he needs to get a job and stop playing video games all day. Instead of discussing the situation like adults, your spouse is ignoring you. You try to talk to him, but no response. He has put up a wall, so to speak.

This is called stonewalling and this is not the right way to resolve problems. Stonewalling may stop the argument, but it doesn’t do anything to solve the issue at hand. In fact, it frustrates the other person and makes matters worse.

Statistics show that 85% of stonewallers are men. This is likely because men tend to have a hard time with emotional situations in general. They get overwhelmed, causing their blood pressure and pulse to rise.

Stonewalling is a tactic that experts say is like poison to a marriage. If you or your spouse engage in this type of behavior, you better be careful. This behavior is the biggest predictor of divorce, so try to stop this behavior in your marriage if you want to stay married.

What is Stonewalling?

Stonewalling can happen in many ways. It is seen most often in the form of the silent treatment, when one spouse ignores the other. If they do talk, it’s usually one-syllable answers or they may repeat the same things over and over again. They may also change the subject, avoid eye contact or disappear for long periods of time.

What these actions all have in common is that they make communication impossible. The couple is unable to work through their problems, making divorce inevitable.

How to Stop Stonewalling

If your spouse engages in this type of behavior, you need to call them out on it. Some people aren’t even aware of how poisonous this behavior can be. They may have seen this type of behavior from their own parents and assumed this is how they should act.

However, this is not the way to deal with conflict. If your spouse is willing to change their behavior, here’s how you can help. First, be gentle and sensitive. Now is not the time to nag or yell. Help them recognize when they are feeling overwhelmed. Is their heart rate increasing? Are they having a panic attack?

If the argument is getting too heated, take a 20-minute break. Do not abandon the conversation. Be sure to work toward resolving the conflict. Once you are both aware of the negative effects of stonewalling, you can work toward more productive discussion and keep your marriage on track. 

Seek Legal Help

Certain behaviors in a marriage can predict divorce. Stonewalling is one of them. This behavior is not healthy and can quickly ruin a relationship.

If your partner is insistent on engaging in destructive behavior, it may be time to end the marriage. Seek legal help from Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can effectively represent you and ensure your best interests are kept in mind. To schedule a consultation, call 954-764-4330 or fill out the online form.



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