• Do You Block?​ Does Your Partner?

    Couples who fight too much often do so because one or both partners are Blockers. Blockers have passive aggressive defenses against warmth and connection. Other terms for this style include being walled off, a love avoidant, or stonewalling. Blockers reject their partner’s teamwork mindset to solve problems, negotiate, or get close unless it’s on their terms. “My way or the highway” is the Blocker’s motto. They can block with disdain, disinterest or by shouting, but the end result is the same: disengagement.

    1. Surprisingly sensitive. Blockers experience their partners’ attempts at connection as being intrusive, needy, smothering, overwhelming, and demanding. Blockers admit that they block, but state that it is only to protect their peace of mind. “If she would just leave me alone for a while, I wouldn’t have to stay so distanced.”
    2. Creative. They block in so many ways. The silent type uses a tone, a glare, a huff, an eye roll. They are deaf, mute, gruff.  Some block with words and say things like, “Suck it up” or “So?” or “Let it go!” or “Not my problem.” They use the TV, their tablet, the newspaper, being too tired, too energetic. Anything can be repurposed and used to block.
    3. Evasive. Blockers have smooth maneuvers. They go to bed before or after their partner. They avoid sharing simple domestic routines like Saturday morning chores. Work is a block. They leave the house before breakfast and come home late. Play is a block. They have more weekends away without their partners than with, or more solo nights out than date nights. They also block by showing less interest in their partner than their partner has in them.
    4.  Naive. They are ignorant. Blockers have no idea how satisfying real intimacy can be or that they are missing out. And they don’t see a problem with their strategies. They are baffled about their partner’s anger. If you’re reading this and thinking, “Val must know my wife” or “Aren’t most men that way?” your partner may be a Blocker. Or if you’re thinking, “So what. Seems normal to me,’ then you may be a Blocker.

    With coaching, Blockers can learn bonding tactics that strengthen the relationship and still allow for their need for space.