“Trust one who has gone through it.”
-Virgil (70-19 B.C.)

This is a discussion page on Stonewalling and how it affects relationships badly. Steve and I have done a radio show you can listen to on this topic here;


In this show I explain a reason that men are often guilty of this practice (which I don’t think a lot of women realise) and this is emotional overwhelm. If possible it would be great if you could listen to the show before you  join in this discussion here and perhaps you can help think of some ways to deal with this more compassionately and affectionately than to let it hurt and anger as it used to do with me. I hope you enjoy this show and discussion,

and all the best,



7 Responses to “Stonewalling”

  1. Darlene said

    11:46 PM, darlene w wrote:

    Hi Kim, I listened to the show but had a hard time relating to it, being that I am the one that usually does the stonewalling because he is the one that is trying to headgame me into thinking that I am the problem so my brain just shuts down. He has a way of turning things around so he comes out like the good guy and I come out like the crazy one and the wrong one. There is just no winning with him, not that I”m trying to win at a game or anything like that, but just trying to get him to see things that he don’t see or don’t want to see is a losing battle. He can’t seem to comprehend that everyone does not think like him and his way of thinking is not always the right way of thinking, nor is my way of thinking the “right” way, but there is no compromise with him. Its his “right” way or no way and thats it! I’m going to ask my counselor to dig deeper into narcissism and found out all that there is and how I should approach this and our relationship. I think its back to step one and baby steps, but I have to be careful and not let him confuse me and I always have to be one step ahead mentally. I feel like I”m walking on eggshells around a mentally unstable person and never know what the hell crazy thought he’ll be thinking next! He is a very suspicious person of everyone and everything around him. He keeps to himself, does not socialize at all, not with the neighbors, no friends at all, no one person to talk too, he wants me to be the one and only person for him for everything, as a partner, a only friend, but I can’t talk to him like I would a girlfriend, I have to watch what I say afraid he’ll get mad!! And then he wonders why I can’t talk to him!! He can’t handle what I have to say, and then he’ll pout!! oh well, I have some serious thinking to do here! Thank you for everything!! I’ll keep listening!!

  2. Kevin Vincent said

    Hi,Re Darlene’s comments, I have discovered that the problems mentioned are similar to mine to some extent. I get overwhelmed at the verbal onslaught and shut down. But after 4 years of this, I have grown trememdously, seeing all the issues as such a gift to looking within and looking outwards with less judgement. I have also paid a lot of attention to a councellor’s comment ‘we invite the other to be how they are towards us’.Kevin

  3. Darlene J said

    Like Darlene, my marriage partner is very unpredictable and unstable, etc. I am finding great personal healing and help in book: Codependent No More by Melody Beattie and also attending group sessions that support my healthy daily choices to fully recover from – well I will let you all read for yourself how surprisingly easy and how much “power and self healing” we have freely available.

    I am seeing changes, apologies, less raising of voices, cursing. We are able to talk again as friends. Too early to tell if we will be able to become a couple again.

    This site was helpful in that I understand how much pain my spouse is in. He will only get well as he sees his need to make healthy choices. I do how he decides to find help.

    He has chosen not to be apart of the help I am getting for myself.

  4. Chris W said

    More often I tend to be the one that goes silent. Although my husband and I both stonewall. The reason that I do it is that I am so emotionally overwhelmed that I just start shutting down. He has taken it as emotional weakness when I do it in the past and I took his silent treatment as intentionally being mean or indifferent. We both now realize what happens when we get to that point and try to stop it before it happens now.

    Over the past year of our marriage, my husband and I have come up with some great strategies to overcome getting to this place with each other. One of the greatest gifts that we have tried to give each other is a safe place to talk. This helps immensely. However we are both fairly sensitive people so when things start getting emotional, we try to tread lightly and monitor ourselves so that we don’t get so overwhelmed. In the middle of heated conversation, one of us will usually do something to take it down a notch if we notice that it is getting to be too much. For example, we playfully stick out our tongues at each other like two kids on a playground. This helps to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously and usually causes smiles and laughter in the midst of a tough conversation.

    Also, once we are in that place of being overwhelmed, we have strategies for dealing with that as well. Usually the most useful strategy here is to recognize the overwhelming emotions and take care of oneself. It has helped both of us to learn coping strategies for when we are completely overwhelmed. Self soothing is what I think it is called.

    Thank you for the radio show on this subject. I think that it is VERY useful information.

  5. Donna said

    this show felt very family to me. But the stonewalling is so constant that i wonder if there is some other issue?? I love my husband. I would love to find a way to get us to both sit down and discuss stuff that comes up for both of us. My husband just avoids all communication, and so if i try to broach a subject im unhappy with, he just stonewalls me. I really really liked the trust issue, i know that would help us. I’m going to be more patient around him expressing himself!

  6. Darlene J said

    Began attending weekly Al anon meetings to help with focusing my healing on myself first. Helps to know I am not going crazy. Working at removing judgemental thoughts toward him and those he gets in the shadows for when he wants something. Letting more things go. Less depressed.
    I also have finally gotten his mental health group to call him for some more evaluations and to talk about what is going on with him. He is still so unstable. Tells people I am him wife one time and that I am not at another. I have to act or behave like everything he thinks or says is just fine and give him time to make other ideas or thoughts come back into focus. They asked me if I knew how his illness was before I married him. I had no idea how bad he was. I really thought they had missed something or mis diagnosed him.
    In the middle still of some very hard times. Tossed me “aside” from our business by taking me away while he brought in a past relationship to run our business. Took away any and all say even after we worked together to make this month worth of business happen. I am here with him one minute and then suddenly all is taken away and in full swing without us. Once we got away he became paranoid and talked about just leaving me at the hotel. I stayed calm and didn’t try and contact anyone locally for help. Next day it was like he forgot all about how paranoid he acted.
    Just wanted to talk.

  7. CD, Australia said

    Hi Darlene J,

    You mentioned you are in Al-Anon, I am sure you will find the program added to Kim & Steve’s a powerful duo for your self-growth and to deal with your husband’s issues. If your husband is the reason you are in Al-Anon is there a possibility he is having alcohol related blackouts? Periods of time that he does and says things that he cannot remember later on or the next day?

    I remember an article in Al-Anon where a man ended up in another state and city in America, and he didn’t know how he got there, what he had done or why – he later found out on his credit card statement he had caught a plane to get there, but couldn’t remember anything else at all! It is frightening for the drinker – who likes to think they are in control all the time – but if they have a blackout they can find themselves in situations they wouldn’t normally choose to be in – or they simply can’t remember periods of time – where they have been or what they have done. Apparently they don’t have to be drunk for this to happen.

    The first time I discovered it in my husband I had asked him why he had behaved in a certain way a few days before at a public event – he hotly denied it – reckoned I was making it up and he became angry with me – but someone else was present in the conversation that witnessed the same as what I did and they confirmed what I said to him. He was horrified and deeply embarassed – he would never do such a thing normally and he hadn’t been drinking all that much that night – but not having any recollection terrified him. He literally ran from the house, took off in his car, and didn’t come home for 2 days! It has happened many more times since, the problem is it cannot be recognized by me or by others as it is happening – it is usually revealed by accident later.

    When having a blackout – they are rationally or irrationally saying and doing stuff like they are aware of what they are doing – but then they have no recollection of it later. Maybe it is not what is happening with your husband, but just thought I would pass it on just in case it is worth considering. Another Al-Anon member did for me when I related my above story at a meeting.

    Good luck and stay in touch,
    CD, Australia.

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