Christian Marriage: How to Destroy your Marriage (Part 4 of 4).
Greetings. In the last part of the of the series on how to destroy your marriage, I am hoping you are getting the picture of how destructive these various strategies of criticism, defensiveness and contempt can play in ruining your marriage. I know when you got married; you did not go into your marriage thinking of ways to destroy it. When you buy a brand new car, you intentionally do not think of ways to destroy it by not giving it gas, not putting air in the tire, or water and oil so that your car engine and all its parts flow smoothly.
Therefore, I know that you did not go into your marriage trying to destroy it but you do when you do the previous 3 areas and this last one: Stonewalling. As a way for you to understand the destructive pattern of stonewalling, let me explain how this feature will continue to destroy your marriage.
Stonewalling happens after criticism, defensiveness and contempt does not work anymore and the relationship hits rock bottom. Stonewalling is like the 8th and 9th inning of a baseball game where the game is about to end and one team is going to lose and you use stonewalling when the marriage is nearing rock bottom. Each spouse is exhausted, overwhelmed and defeated and they feel there is nothing else to do. One or both of you are ready to give up and call it quits.
Stonewalling happens and becomes a pattern when of spouse just shuts down and does not respond nor does not care to even engage or help. A spouse will leave the room, turn up the television, think of ways to avoid their spouse, and just does not want to argue, talk or participate in the marriage.
Stonewalling usually happens when talking or communication starts to break down. A spouse is mad and resentful at one spouse and decides once again to confront by yelling, nagging, and being overly critical. But the spouse under attack will just remove him or herself from the room or just act like a stone with no emotional or verbal reaction. In other words the accusing spouse is looking for a reaction but the spouse being attacked has now turned to silence.
When one spouse turns to stonewalling, they are sending off a message of disapproval, icy distance, a cold shoulder, an indifference they just don’t care anymore. The stonewalling spouse puts up a wall of protection around them communicating they are not affected by the other spouse and their yelling, nagging or criticism anymore. The message they are saying to their spouse is this: I am withdrawing and disengaging from any meaningful interaction with you. The stonewalling spouse is saying: You can’t touch me and affect me anymore.
My hope with this blog is to remind you of the destructive patterns of engaging in these defensive ways. My hope is that you will figure out a way to stop doing these things sooner rather than latter or have a conversation with your spouse regarding these four destructive habits so you and your spouse can be on the alert not to do these things. Have that conversation with your spouse to find ways to protect your marriage by no allowing any of these four destructive patterns to enter into your marriage.
If you need help with your marriage and you can see how these four things are going on, please give me a call right away so we can work together to put an end to these patterns and you can save your marriage. Don’t give up, give me a call, and let’s work together to build trust and empathy again for your marriage. It is not too late.