Understanding Stonewalling: How This Defense Mechanism Is Damaging Your Relationship

How Stonewalling Hurts Relationships

Have you ever been in a heated argument with your partner, only for them to suddenly clam up and shut down? That frustrating experience is called stonewalling, and it’s a communication breakdown that can seriously strain your relationship. When your partner withdraws from the conversation, refusing to engage or acknowledge your feelings, it’s like hitting a brick wall.

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Stonewalling often leaves the other person feeling unheard, invalidated, and even abandoned. It can escalate conflicts, create resentment, and erode trust over time. Recognizing the signs of stonewalling—such as avoiding eye contact, giving the silent treatment, or walking away from conversations—is the first step towards addressing this issue in your relationship.

Overcoming Stonewalling

When stonewalling occurs, it’s crucial to address it openly and directly with your partner. Express how their behavior makes you feel and why it’s problematic for the relationship. Encourage them to share their perspective and feelings in a non-confrontational manner, fostering understanding and empathy.

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Working together to identify the underlying triggers and patterns of stonewalling can help both partners find healthier ways to communicate and resolve conflicts. Consider seeking professional support or couples therapy if necessary to navigate this issue and strengthen your relationship. Remember, open and honest communication is key to overcoming stonewalling and building a strong, resilient partnership.

Stepdad Almost Wins Custody Battle, Girl Says Three Words That Change Everything

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Divorce is an unpleasant experience for everybody involved, especially the children. Custody battles can sometimes take a very harsh turn, even though that might not be the intention of the parents. This is one such story of a mother whose worst nightmare came true – she was losing her daughter in a custody battle with her ex, named Roger. But when her daughter Jasmine opened her mouth, the judge heard something that changed the entire course of the case.

The Millers

The Millers were your regular run-of-the-mill family, at least when looking in from the outside. The family consisted of single mom Janet, her daughter Jasmine, and step-dad Roger.

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32-year-old Janet had lost her first husband and the father of her daughter in a tragic scenario. She had met and married Roger four years ago, and Roger had officially adopted Jasmine. On the good days, Roger was an amazing husband and stepdad, treating the girls like queens. But not all was as it seemed.


Growing up, Janet didn’t have it easy, and her past still haunted her. Some days, she managed to escape the pain. And, since her second marriage, Janet had been trying to do better.

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For her, life in New Jersey was her second chance at happiness. She worked hard to keep her marriage stable. She also loved her daughter more than anything and had even gotten her a pet dog, Rover, for company. For Janet, nothing was more important than her daughter’s happiness.

Less Than Perfect

Despite trying really hard, Janet still struggled with everyday life. Times were tough for the family. Janet’s hard past made it difficult for her to hold down jobs, and she found it hard to make ends meet sometimes. She thought Roger would bring a sense of stability, but he had his own battles to fight.

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Through all the hard times and challenges the family faced, they only had one constant ray of sunshine – Jasmine. Janet wanted to give her daughter the perfect childhood, but there was a small thorn in her plans.

Roger’s Rage

The biggest problem for Janet was Roger’s anger. Her husband could be the sweetest man some days, but his mood was quick to change. Within minutes, he would go from sweet and kind to boiling anger.

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Janet tried her best to keep taking his outbursts, but one fear ruled over all. She was scared that he might turn his anger onto her daughter and Jasmine would bear the brunt of it. All she wanted to do was save her daughter, but even she couldn’t have seen what Roger was going to do.

The Neighborhood Watch

The incident on one Friday night set the ball rolling for the family’s end. The Miller’s next-door neighbor heard some noises from the house. Even though they were used to shouts, that day, the sounds were completely different.

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Amidst the shouts were dishes smashing to the ground and the dog barking madly. Just then, a bang echoed, and then all was silent. The neighbors, scared to intervene, quickly dialed 911 as the scared sobs of a child continued to ring out. However, they didn’t know that it was already too late.

Police Intervention

Within 30 minutes, the house was swarming with cops, but that was enough time for the Millers to get themselves together. Janet, who had taken the time to tidy herself and Jasmine up, told the cops that she had just dropped something valuable, and her husband was frustrated by it.

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The police doubtfully took her statement, but Janet continued to stand her ground. Roger, meanwhile, was nowhere to be seen. Janet breathed a deep sigh of relief when the police left, but she knew that the worst was yet to come.

Roger’s Plan

Roger, meanwhile, had been busy covering his tracks and returned home the next morning. He knew that despite careful covering up, the authorities’ involvement would definitely stir up some trouble.

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He realized he needed to do something before they came for a check-up. His anger at Janet only increased as, according to him, she had let the authorities in their house, adding to the mess. He wanted revenge, and he knew exactly how to get it.

The Start of a Legal Battle

Roger’s plan involved his friend – a lawyer who wasn’t always on the right side of the law. He worked by a seedy mall and owed Roger a favor.

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Roger called the lawyer and set in motion the plan that would end up being Janet’s worst nightmare. He knew that Jasmine was the most precious person to his wife. Hence, he decided to take her away and sue his wife for custody.

Threats and Treats

Roger began spending time with Jasmine, coaching her on the best replies for the court. He tried to bribe her with treats first, before switching over to threats when treats failed.

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Janet, meanwhile, had spiraled into depression after that night. This fact only made Roger happier, as it would make it easier to make her look like an unfit mother. He was ready for any and all accusations Janet threw at him. Finally, the day of the trial arrived, and the Miller family started their battle.

The Young Witness

Roger’s win depended on two things – his evidence and Jasmine’s testimony. The young girl stepped onto the stand, clutching her teddy bear in hand. Seeing this, the judge asked as kindly as possible to tell the truth. He assured her that he wanted only what was best for the family.

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Jasmine nodded, her gaze bouncing between her broken mother and her cold father. She felt trapped, and a tiny whimper left her lips.

The Choice of Force

The judge asked Jasmine the question she’d been dreading – who did she want to live with? Scared, the little girl knew there was only one answer she could give. Gulping in fear, she whispered that she would like to be with her dad.

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Hearing this, Roger punched the air in victory. His slick-haired lawyer smiled while Janet stared in defeat. Roger was ecstatic; he had everything he needed, and now he could live his life without any fear.

A Mother in Despair

Janet was shell-shocked. She couldn’t breathe as the pain in her heart took over everything else. Roger had hurt her that day more than he ever had before. He had taken from her the greatest joy of her life.

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Janet just couldn’t wrap her head around everything that had happened. She had hoped Roger was different. She had hoped that together, they’d be able to give Jasmine an amazing life. Where had she gone so wrong?

A Look Into the Past

Sitting in court, Janet cast her mind back to the past. After her first husband had passed away, Janet was lost and hopeless. It was Roger who actually made her believe that life could be happy again.

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Who would’ve thought that within a few years, that hope would turn into a court case and the worst moment of her life? She could no longer recognize Roger and reconcile him with the man she first met. But looking back now, Janet knew that the red flags were there from the very beginning.

The First Meeting

Janet Miller was working as a waitress in a hole-in-the-wall diner four years ago, alone and feeling hopeless in life. One day, a group of bikers came to the diner.

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Usually, Janet was good at handling her customers, but this group sent a shiver of unease through her. She quickly brought over what they ordered and tried to get away from the table. However, one man stood apart. He got up and apologized to Janet for his friend’s behavior, and this man was Roger Miller.

A Charming Man

Roger Miller was charming. He was attentive and polite towards Janet, not to mention well-behaved. He asked Janet for a drink and sat with her till the end of her shift.

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Before waving goodbye, he asked for her number, and Janet felt butterflies in her stomach. Janet and Roger started spending a lot of time together, and soon, Roger was moving in with Janet and Jasmine. Everything was wonderful, and Janet thought herself to be blessed that she had met Roger. Little did she know that Roger was yet to show his true colors.

Hiding the Dark Truth

Roger had a secret – one that Janet had no clue about. The truth was Roger had dependencies, the very same dependencies that led to the passing of Janet’s first husband. Janet herself sometimes struggled with it.

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Not to mention, Roger’s dependencies came coupled with a temper. If he didn’t get his fix, he’d fly into massive rages, and the person usually on the receiving end of that was none other than Janet.

An Isolating Life

As time passed by, Roger became very controlling about what was going on in the house. He made Janet quit her waitressing job because he didn’t want her talking to other men. She wanted to become a nurse and go to night school, but Roger wouldn’t let her because it meant her staying out late.

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Slowly and steadily, Janet found herself cut off from her existing life, her friends, and her family. Roger also controlled every penny coming into the house so harshly that Janet couldn’t even buy a banana without him knowing.

Making the Best of the Worst

Janet was used to bad situations, but she didn’t want to expose Jasmine to such situations. She did her best to shield her daughter from Roger’s rage.

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Janet always tried to look at the bright side – her daughter had a roof over her head, she was healthy, and Roger could be nice and caring sometimes. However, now, looking back, she realized all that wasn’t enough. She should have left a long, long time ago. But it was too late now!

A Shrewd Judge

Back in the court, the judge was looking at Jasmine, who seemed to be brimming with fear as she said her stepfather’s name. The judge was an observant man, and he saw right through Roger’s sham pleas.

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He was also able to read the desperation in Janet’s eyes and was well-versed in Roger’s lawyer’s reputation. He wanted to get more answers lest Jasmine pay the price. So, he called Jasmine back to the stand.

The Three Words

Gently, he asked Jasmine again about her living arrangements, this time asking her why she wanted to live with her stepdad. Jasmine paused at the question, and then, with a deep breath, she expelled in a rush three words, “He killed Rover.”

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While Jasmine burst into tears, and the court erupted in whispers as all heads whipped towards Roger, the judge handed a sobbing Jasmine a tissue and asked her to continue her story. He was ready to get to the bottom of it all.

Jasmine Speaks

Between sobs and hiccups, Jasmine told the story. That ill-fated Friday night, Janet and Roger were having a fight, and their pet Rover was trying his best to keep Roger away from Janet. However, Roger decided enough was enough, and a loud bang later, Rover was no more.

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Jasmine continued to sob, adding that Roger threatened to do the same to her mom if Jasmine didn’t listen to her. She ended by telling him that she didn’t want her mommy to meet the same fate as Rover, so she decided to listen to Roger.

The Aftermath of the Revelation

Everybody sat in stunned silence as they listened to Jasmine reveal the truth. The judge, satisfied with her explanation, called Janet back to the stand, and this time, the truth poured out of the desperate woman.

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Feeling brave after watching her daughter’s confession, Janet told the judge and the court everything. She talked about how the family dog was protecting her. She told the court how her husband had attacked poor Rover, wrapped him in a rug, and driven away to hide the evidence.


Roger knew his jig was up, and he watched the horror unfold. Every lie he’d told, every time he’d raged, was put on display for all to see. His lawyer seemed equally dumbfounded, unsure of what to do.

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A tiny voice in his head kept insisting that he was right. Everything he had done had been because he cared; he had to do what he did to keep her in line. According to Roger, he was right – wasn’t he?

The Final Verdict

The judge called for a brief recess, and when the court was back in order, he gave his final verdict. Looking at Roger, he spoke about how he had manipulated a vulnerable woman and an innocent young girl.

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The judge also added the charges of wrongfully bringing a lawsuit to the court, as well as the harming of an animal. The judge, on the grounds of all these transgressions, sentenced Roger to eight years of prison. He also granted Jasmine’s custody back to Janet, conditional on Janet’s enrollment in a wellness program.

The Win

The tired and weary mother sighed with relief and gratitude as she realized the dark ordeal was finally over. She and Jasmine could go home, this time without Roger, who was going to be locked away for a long time!

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The mother and daughter clung to each other in relief and happiness as they took their first steps together into a new life. The court case was one of the darkest of their lives, and they could finally put it behind them.

The New Chapter

As dictated by the judge, Janet was a regular at a wellness program, determined to finish it this time. She also got in touch with all her friends and family that she had lost due to Roger’s controlling nature.

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The mother and daughter soon moved from New Jersey and moved to the more suburban area of Rochester, closer to Janet’s sister. The new place was a fresh start for both of them, and Jasmine loved her new life. She was even more thrilled when her aunt showed up at the door one day with a present – a new puppy!

A Vengeful Roger

Roger, meanwhile, was behind bars, and he was full of anger. He quickly became one of the most feared people in his holding. He wanted Janet and Jasmine to pay for his condition, unable to see the role he himself had played in his downfall.

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He decided to send a message to her and called up his biker buddies to do the deed. He told them to let his ex-wife know that he would be coming back and that she couldn’t escape him.

A Message Relayed

Roger’s biker friends rode up to Rochester to pay Janet a visit. When Janet saw who was at the door, she was chilled to the bone. She was scared that something truly horrible was going to happen, but she was in for a shock.

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One of the guys stepped forward and, to Janet’s surprise, apologized to her. Quietly, he added that the group had known what Roger was like, and they felt guilty for not warning Janet when she first went out with him.

Protection for the Future

The biker group also extended their protection for the mother and daughter, promising that they’d ensure that the two never come to any harm from Roger.

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Janet looked at the burly men and felt tears coming to her eyes. At last, she had somebody in her corner, and she felt cared for. She felt the warm hands of safety envelope her, and she breathed a sigh of relief.

Looking Forward to a Bright Future

Janet had made many wrong decisions in life, and one of the decisions led to Jasmine almost being taken away from her.

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However, despite Roger’s best efforts, the love between this mother and daughter won in the end, and the two are stronger together now than they’ve ever been before!