Marriage is not always easy, and it is common for couples in Michigan to go through periods of difficulty. However, there are certain behaviors that indicate a bigger problem and are good predictors of divorce. One of these is stonewalling, and it is important to understand what this entails so couples can seek help when they recognize it in their relationship.

According to Psych Central, stonewalling is when someone shuts down in order to withdraw from an interaction. This can look like refusing to engage, participate or communicate with one’s partner. Many partners withdraw as a way to avoid conflict and/or because the situation is overwhelming.

While a spouse may withdraw to calm down, this behavior often causes the other spouse to feel hurt, misunderstood, ignored and invalidated. This shutting down can be very damaging to a marriage because it makes the recipient feel unimportant. In fact, experts identify stonewalling as one of the four main forecasters of divorce.

Live About discusses that stonewalling can take on different forms, depending on the situation and relationship. Some examples include:

  • Disconnecting from the spouse or family and focusing on one’s own wants and needs
  • Refusing to communicate and participate in a conversation to avoid conflict
  • Distancing oneself physically and intimately
  • Switching blame to the other person to display smugness

While both men and women can stonewall, it is more common in men because they are more likely to withdraw as opposed to talk openly about feelings. Experts say that when a man is unable to accept influence from his spouse, this is a big indicator of divorce.