According to psychologists: This habit can destroy relationships

According to psychologists: This habit can destroy relationships

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Certain habits can put our relationships at risk. What’s one of the worst? Here you can find out.

Why are some couples in love happier for years while other people’s relationships only last a few months? According to the psychologist, this is partly due to a habit that we develop in the course of the partnership or that we bring into the relationship right at the beginning. First and foremost you may think of verbal arguments, but it is exactly the opposite: our silence.

There is now even a special term for this: Stonewalling. The English word means “stone wall” in German. And we can take that literally. We build a wall around ourselves by intentionally ignoring the partner, not speaking to him/her, or letting conversations go nowhere. We withdraw not only externally, but also internally. And that’s not a good foundation for a relationship. If we don’t communicate with each other, how should the partnership continue?

Why are we silent in relationships?

To solve a problem, we need to find the cause. If you’re feeling caught because you might be falling into similar silent patterns, don’t judge yourself. Many people develop this behavior pattern for a variety of reasons. It’s not our fault. But what we can do is work on ourselves and dissolve these patterns. Possible reasons for the silence include:

  • You grew up feeling that your needs were ignored or unimportant. Therefore, as an adult, it can be difficult for you to express your thoughts and feelings or to admit that you have the right to do so.
  • During a conflict, many people need to collect their thoughts and are unable to react quickly. This is often – wrongly – interpreted as silence.
  • Some also use silence in a hostile or even sadistic way. The reason for this lies in our impotence to communicate our needs, our pain or our desires. Silencing our partner then gives us back our sense of power.

That’s why silence is so bad in relationships

This habit is bad not only for those who remain silent, as they get in their own way, but also for the people who are being kept silent. Relationship therapist Ken Page told “Extreme silence is clearly a form of abuse.” The person being hushed feels depressed and isolated. She is angry and confused. Page also adds that couples who prefer to talk about problems rather than face them are happier in a relationship than those who ignore conflict. “We often choose to remain silent and avoid in order to maintain the relationship, but it does the exact opposite — and the other person perceives the silence as absence and avoidance,” Page said.

How do we stop being silent?

The lack of ability to communicate with each other is not uncommon. We often experience them in our childhood in contact with our parents and take these behavior patterns with us into our adult lives. But we are not a hopeless case. We can work on ourselves and develop further and in turn pass this achievement on to our children. Whether we get help from a therapist or work on ourselves is up to us. Of course, staying silent is easier, but breaking that silence can take our relationship to a whole different level. Facing your vulnerability and sharing it is the bravest means of intimacy.


Whether we’re the silent or secretive type of person, keeping our emotions under wraps can have terrible effects on friendships, family dynamics, and romantic relationships. When we are open to difficult and vulnerable conversations, our relationships deepen and improve. It’s not always easy and, above all, a long way to break the habit, but it pays off in the long run.

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