When One Partner Blames and the Other Shuts Down


Often in relationships there are two different kinds of people. I have noticed this in the many years I have been counseling couples. One is very clear about how they got their feelings hurt, and the other is likely to keep everything inside.

I see this play out in every couple I have ever counseled. It is very common. The one who emotes, (that’s me), often feels alone in the relationship because their partner doesn’t communicate with them on a deep level.

We Can Misunderstand Our Partner’s Silence as Distance

Misunderstanding silence as indifference can leaves couples upset.

They might even believe that the partner just doesn’t want to join them in a deep conversation and is doing this on purpose. I think these were my thoughts before I learned that was not the case.

If we grow up telling everyone how we feel and expect others to understand and give us what we want, and then we partner with someone who is very quiet about their feelings and keeps them inside, this can be very challenging.

The person who doesn’t speak about what they feel is wired that way. They are not doing anything to harm the other even though the mate often feels that they are withholding. This is not true.

Our Partner May Be Concerned Even if They Express it Differently

People express concern a variety of ways, or sometimes not at all.

People who shut their emotions off and think with their heads have been doing this all their lives. It didn’t just start with the relationship they are in. But the partner who needs confirmation that they are loved, needed and admired might not understand that this is the way they come to earth.

I know it was a good lesson for me to learn with my mate. I come from the experience of knowing when my feelings get hurt and expressing what is happening to me. I probably just thought if I tell him what is wrong, he will fix it.

What I didn’t know at the time was that he was probably thinking about my difficulty but was at a loss as to how to help me. Not until the two of us went to couples counseling, before I was a counselor, did I learn that this was the way he was. He probably learned that I am wired the way I am too.

Learning Your Mate Can Be the Investment of a Lifetime

Learning how to communicate with your partner can help you have a long, happy marriage.

I learned that I was too big in the relationship, always trying to get him to do things that I needed. I hadn’t learned how to listen to his needs because, well, he hardly ever voiced them.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have them. He just might not have learned how to express what is right for him and what he desires. When I learned that I have to withdraw some of my energy and he has to amp up, well we just learned how to be together. And here we are 22 years strong.

Learn your mate. If they aren’t speaking or communicating with you at a deep level, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you or care about you or think you are wonderful. You can always check in with them to see what they feel about you.

Even if you don’t hear what you would like to hear from them, I can tell you from my experience, my partner’s heart is full for me. And when my mind remembers to tell me that, my heart then feels it too.


Connect with Your Partner

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Learn how to more effectively communicate with your partner, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might help both of you feel happier, more loved, and even more connected. Give it a read.

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