The Hammer and the Wall in the Couple’s Relationship

In every couple relationship there are changes and, therefore, adjustments. The problem appears when we can not adapt to the new conditions, using unsuitable strategies to try to go back to a previous point.

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Relationships are not simple or, at least, this is what some people think. Maybe this happens because the hammer and the wall are present in a relationship and those that form it or its environment have not noticed. A hammer they take to try to tear down the walls that are raising different attitudes in the couple.

Then, through a brief history, we will discover how the hammer and the wall are no more than the metaphor of a terrible fear that the other person moves away from us emotionally. However, we will understand that however much we try to hammer, sometimes, in relationships it is necessary to respect the space of each one.

The hammer and the wall

Alicia did not understand what was happening to Juan. It had been a little weird a few days, I felt more silent than usual and this, for her, was to be distant. When I asked him if something happened to him, the answer was always the same: “nothing”.

For Alicia, the situation did not improve; She grew increasingly tense and nervous, Juan seemed to be moving away from her more and more. She told him that everything was fine, that he needed to be with himself, something that Alicia could not shape in her head… beyond that it was a sign that something was wrong in the relationship.

Why did he need to be with himself? Was something wrong? I was not happy anymore? Alicia’s insistence, the constant questions and her list of shared plans with Juan did not seem to resolve the situation. Juan needed space, time for him, and that Alicia did not understand.

Misunderstanding about the need to give space to the other person can cause serious conflicts within the relationship if this circumstance is not solved.

Insecurity in the couple’s relationship

As we have said, Alicia was very insecure; a state derived from the interpretation of Juan’s behavior. He did not understand why Juan needed time for him. Thus, faced with a situation that he did not understand, his response was to try to change it.

For this reason, the hammer and the wall were installed in the relationship causing a conflict difficult to solve. For Alicia the words “time for oneself” or “space” were synonymous with the fact that her partner was moving away and this caused her enormous anxiety.

The constant claims

As Alicia did not give Juan the space he needed, he began to build a wall and close himself more and more. Meanwhile, Alicia with a hammer began to try to knock him down, trying to reduce the distance that Juan had put.

The solution seems simple from our perspective. If Alicia changed her strategy and chose to give Juan the space she needed, a natural readjustment in the relationship was likely to occur. However, Alicia’s anxiety and coping strategy has only hurt the relationship. But, remember that we are in our perspective … adopting a role of spectators.

The importance of space in the relationship

All relationships go through a phase of falling in love in the couple shares a good number of activities. The best definition, as this study rightly points out, would be “the state of a person dominated by a vivid feeling towards another, whom he considers his greatest good, with whom he would like to be united forever and for which he would sacrifice, if necessary, his own life. “

However, with the passage of time, each member of the relationship needs to recover a part of that shared space. Have friends that are not common or do activities in which the couple does not participate.

If we are in a period of transition between the two phases, it is positive to analyze if we carry out any activity in which our partner is not involved. Also understand that each person needs their space; thus, we may need more or less than the other: it is about reaching a balance.

“A couple are two people who share their happiness together and not two people who become one.”


This does not translate into “I do not want my partner anymore” or “the relationship has cooled down”. Quite the opposite. The space in the couple’s relationship is essential so that the feeling of lack of freedom does not appear and, therefore, the hammer and the wall do not make an appearance.

Each couple is a world and manifests in how big or small they need this space to be. A) Yes, we can identify couples that work very well maintaining a small personal space and others that do it with a larger functional space. It will depend on where they find their balance point.

In any case, it is important to try to overcome resistances with strategies different from that of the hammer and the wall. Moreover, in these cases where we take the hammer, governed by insecurity, it is best to put ourselves in the hands of a professional. It is he who will help us adopt a viewer perspective to identify the problem and give us tools to recover the lost balance without damaging the relationship.