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Dear Wendy

Stonewalling Advice

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  • #942273 Reply
    avatarHazel
    Participant

    I think the boyfriend is the controlling one. He gets to do things which upset her, pretend he’s going to discuss, refuse to discuss, (or defer discussion, even when that’s offered)- or even look at her, until he gleefully points at her and sneeringly mocks her. Doesn’t look like she’s the controlling one to me.

    #942874 Reply
    bittergaymarkBittergaymark
    Guest

    Eh, if a man wrote in and stated that whenever he started in on badgering his partner with yet another (near daily!) lecture on her “behavior” that she would simply shut down and then calmly accuse him of throwing a tantrum once he really got “wound up” —nobody —- and I mean nobody -— would argue that it was she who is controlling and/or abusive.

    🤷‍♂️

    #943037 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    Yeah they would. If a couple is fighting regularly and one of them is stonewalling, that’s not a gendered thing, it’s one of those major indicators that your relationship is failing. Whoever is doing the stonewalling doesn’t really matter, it could be either of them, it’s still one of Gottman’s big 4 predictors of relationship failure and is a way to exert control over the other person. Maybe you feel you need to exert control because you feel threatened or powerless, or maybe you’re a controlling person. But when a relationship gets to this point, it’s dying or DOA.

    #943039 Reply
    avatarHazel
    Participant

    If he was finding her behaviour hurtful, and she promised to discuss it later, and was then offered the chance to defer discussion again, and responded by staring at her phone instead, until he was quite infuriated, pointed her finger at him mockingly saying “look at you, you’re having a tantrum” I actually would.

    #943046 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    Right, I would say that behavior was abusive too if the genders were reversed. Stonewalling isn’t a gendered issue, but this behavior the guy is exhibiting in this case is asshole behavior. Sarah May be doing asshole things as well, but yeah, looking down at your phone, refusing to engage, and then pointing the tantrum finger is asshole. A more constructive way to deal with that is to say you still need more time, or you’re feeling ambushed, or a whole host of things, including breaking up.

Viewing 5 posts - 13 through 17 (of 17 total)
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