Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.


Community Member

Hi Everyone

I am new here but interested to know more about stonewalling. My husband has had a lot of experience as he has been doing it to me for as long as I can remember but at this time in my life I have reach the end of my tether with it. He blames me for him doing it, and actually says I am the one who starts it so I am wondering how others have coped with the silent treatment over & over again, sometimes just for a few hours but mostly for a lot longer, sometimes even weeks.....I find now that I don't try to talk to him when he is like this as it goes nowhere, I just have to ride it out until he decides to start talking...

6 Replies 6

Community Member

Hi Lilian,

Welcome to Beyondblue. That must be really difficult not being able to communicate with a loved one. I'm so sorry you've experienced this over and over again. I've done this with a loved one, it feels so exhausting and stressful, that after a while I would get really physically sick.

Once my body has reached its tether physically, I know that the only solution to feeling better is talking about it. (I know the irony) Maybe with friends, family members, health professionals and trying to rationalise the behaviour.

Stay positive, know that there is always someone willing to listen on these platforms.

Thank you, yes talking about it does help but I am getting sick & tired of living with it.

Sorry you have also been through the same, it is reassuring that others understand, like you said it is very draining emotionally & physically. I appreciate your support. Thank you

I can imagine you are very tired of this.

I'm not a health professional and I admire the work they do. If this is really troubling you and beginning to make things far too difficult, speak to someone with more expertise. They may be able to assist during these trying times. I hope you get the help you deserve. We are always here.

Community Member

Im sorry that you’re having a difficult time. I wanted to reply as my mother does the exact same thing. Sometimes it’s a couple of days, but the longest was three weeks and she made it sound like I was ignoring her, but she never contacts me after an argument.

It is unfair what he’s doing. Have you got a close friend or relative you can confide in?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
As a fellow stonewaller (🤦‍♀️) I thought I would respond to potentially offer some insight. My partner and I have different anger styles - my partner has a fairly quick but explosive temper and I have more of a slow burn, I have a lot of patience but it simmers and once I get to a point it’s hard to let go of. back from. So he gets super angry and says all sorts of hurtful things and it wounds me, I feel as though I’ve been betrayed, that my best friend has turned on me. and so I withdraw, I clam up, I feel like my trust in him has been damaged and I don’t want to be vulnerable around him. I don’t want the person who has hurt me see that they have hurt me so I put up my guard and I stonewall, but it’s really just hurt. It goes on for a day but then I find that I have set up this dynamic that I don’t know how to come back from it, so it can sometimes go on for two days etc until something breaks it, usually a joke and I can come back. What are the circumstances that usually precedes your husband’s stonewalling? Is it over particular things or is he fairly quick to stonewall? I think it’s a maladaptive conflict style, and it may have unfortunately been modeled to him as a child so he never really learned how to express his negative emotions (my mother was a terrible stonewaller)

Community Member

My ex of only 2 weeks was a chronic stone-waller.

It is such a horrible thing to endure. She would at times for no known reason stop talking to me. It would last sometimes a whole weekend or just a day. It made me feel like I was going loopy.

Silent treatment was her weapon to keep my confused and in doubt. She had other destructive behaviours but the silent treatment/stone-walling was one of the more insidious.

Even now I have left, I am now extremely hyper-vigilant and paranoid, that constant walking-on-eggshells experience causes so much damage in the long term.

It's a form of emotional abuse. For me, after 5 1/2 years , I had to leave. I couldn't deal with it any more.