The Four Horsemen of a Relationship (Part 3)

Combating the Four Horsemen in a Relationship


There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. We all struggle with love from time to time, you are not alone. Do you find yourself withdrawing from your partner? Do you resent them or their lack of something? Do you wish you could discuss an issue and it go away? We have all felt this at one time or another.

Let’s explore something we refer to as the Four Horseman of a relationship, this will be a five part series. We all picture a fairy-tale romance with a lot of love and respect and never prepare for the inevitable conflicts. Sometimes in life when things are frustrating or harder than we were prepared for, we slide into a less than ideal version of ourselves. Communication is key to all relationships whether they are love interests or not.

The Four horseman in a relationship, are communication techniques we use when we feel attacked or are experiencing pain and are used as a form of self-projection and self-protection. We know that withdrawing into ourselves as a form of protection creates even more issues that will need to be resolves.

Let’s take a deep dive into the four horsemen, and ways to avoid allowing them into your relationships. Ultimately, replacing them with healthier communication habits.

four horsemen stonewalling

Horseman 3 – Stonewalling

Stonewalling is used by some people as a way of avoiding conflict and is often a physical response to stress. However, it comes across to the other person a sign their partner no longer cares about them, their feelings, or their concerns.

The person that is stonewalling is likely in a state of physiological flooding, this happens when your body detects a threat. The body releases stress hormones, our heart starts racing and the part of our brain responsible for relational behaviour goes offline. You dip into fight or flight mode and are incapable of humour, affection or problem solving.

When someone is physiologically flooded it is physically impossible to have a productive conversation. They are self-soothing by stonewalling, and it will take about 20 minutes for the stress hormones to leave the bloodstream. The best solution at this point is to take a break, during this time the effected party should go for a walk, do something soothing, take deep breaths or exercise.

When the person with the flooding feels like they have calmed down, they should be the one to reengage the conversation, this return will build trust with your partner.

Everyone has their shortcomings both you and your partner can do better together. Join us at our next Save my Marriage & Relationship in 2 days WORKSHOP and you will come out a stronger couple.

The relationship is not a walk in the park, but if you love your partner and work together at the end you will reap the fruits of your labour.

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