Relationships require open communication, but they often go through periods where one or the other partner closes off their emotions. They may do this because of a traumatic event, or something that occurred before the relationship may affect them at any given moment. It takes patience to deal with this behavior, but most relationships can be salvage if both work at correcting the issue. When the partners stop communicating completely, they encase themselves in a wall of silence.
Building a wall takes time, and this is just as true in a relationship. The first block is often laid when one person says something that hurts their partner, and it continues if it is not addressed. The hurt may have been unintentional, but that does not matter. As time goes on, the hurt partner will continue to place more blocks in the wall. Both people will eventually notice the wall of silence, and that is when the relationship will need assistance to break down the wall.