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How to handle being stonewalled

Community Member
I am in a relationship with a female.
Her defensive mechanism when she is overwhelmed is to shut down/ stonewall.

I am dealing with my own depression and anxiety, and I want more then anything to be there for her.

I have never experienced being stonewalled or shut out.

How do I handle the situation when I am being stonewalled?
20 Replies 20

Hi noharmstartingover

I know it’s hard but I’d just wait it out and when things are more stable try to talk it through.

How is your anxiety now? Are you okay?

Kind thoughts to you

It has started to calm down after doing a bit of reading and getting others thoughts on here. I'm getting better each day...I guess it was a bit of a shock as it hadn't really happened that badly before

Hello again

I’m really pleased that you’re feeling a bit better. Hang in there and post any time.

Kind thoughts to you

Hi noharmstartingover.

I am assuming that you two don't live with each other?

If their silent treatment becomes longer than several days, please look after yourself and focus on you.

Community Member
I am a stonewalled too but i come around in my own time.
It can sometimes be a long time and admittedly i don’t show regard for the other in that situation but it needs to be quite extreme.
I don’t like to feel pushed to the point that i get emotional and thus take an exit. Once i am collected which takes time i will come to the table with aim to mediate.
I feel stonewalling is a way of protecting both parties from hurt so if that could be considered if it’s relevant maybe it would help.
As long as it doesnt go unresolved like it never happened.. giving someone time to gather the self is important and not expecting them to get over something when they’re not ready to.
Often we dont know how much something can affect someone else.
anyway might not help, hope it did.

Which i have started doing. I know its not about me. So I'm trying to not let it affect me

Community Member

**Just an update**

So the stonewalling has been going on nearly 2 weeks now. Unsure what to do now as I feel I cant reach out to her as id be interrupting or annoying.

Unsure where to go from here

Hi noharmstartingover

I’m really sorry that you’re still being shut out by your partner. Two weeks is quite a long time and the situation is quite unfair to you. Hugs to you.

It’s a very tricky situation. My gut tells me best not to push. My head is wondering if there’s more to her story. Something is definitely going on with her but I suspect you’ve still got a wait to find out what.

I’m assuming there’s been no contact the entire two weeks. Has she explicitly told you not to contact her?

If not, maybe you could send an innocuous message just to let her know you’re thinking of her. Maybe something you know she might find funny or interesting?

I wouldn’t raise any issues or apply any pressure. It would just be gentle and like “opening the door a crack” to see if she will engage.

What do you think?

Kind thoughts to you

There has been communication but not a whole lot. She says she is still dealing with things but I am not getting any real communication from her in any way.
I do find it quite hurtful and am finding it hard to not let it out. As this has never happened to me before.
I feel I am starting to just not care if this relationship is worth keeping or not.

Hi noharmstartingover.

I want you to know that you are not alone in this situation and as much as you love and care for this person, you also need to look after yourself and put you first. I don't like to assume things are going on, however, a relationship is nurturing on both sides and they are not one-way streets. Nurturing relationships require communications, love, care, support and the ability to be there for each other.

In this case, you are kind of left wondering if this person is okay and that can be very confusing (which is unhealthy) and be energy draining which I feel that you are starting to fall into "I feel I am starting to just not care if this relationship is worth keeping or not."

My personal opinion would be to let her go, as in don't reply or send one final message saying that you are there to support her when she is ready to talk, leave it as that and move on to focusing on people who give you strength.

Chin up buddy, your love and compassion is worth bottling.