Is your spouse giving you the Silent treatment?
More inspiration on how to cope with silent treatment:
- Stopping emotional abuse in marriage
- Examples of verbal abuse
- Is name calling verbal abuse?
- How to respond when your spouse is angry at you
“When my wife and I argue, we never solve anything. My wife tends to stop talking altogether. She just shuts down and then won’t talk to me for several days. I always end up apologizing to get her to talk to me again and then the problem never gets solved. She says she stops talking because she doesn’t want to argue. Can you please teach me how to cope with silent treatment in marriage? I think the silent treatment serves no purpose. What can we do?”
A lot of people use the silent treatment in their marriage. However, this technique can actually be quite damaging to your relationship. If you're on the receiving end of the silent treatment, no doubt you're looking for how to put an end to it. Keep reading to develop further understanding of why it's being used against you and how you can react to it.
Reasons that your Husband/Wife is giving you the Silent Treatment
In a marriage, one spouse will often use the silent treatment as a passive aggressive way to punish the other spouse. Instead of trying to resolve a problem, the silent treatment may be employed as a way to try and get the other person to give in or to avoid the problem altogether.
Sometimes spouses use the silent treatment as a means to hurt their partner. They may think, “You hurt my feelings, so now I’ll hurt yours.” It can be used as a defense mechanism to try and protect a person from further hurt.
Because the silent treatment often goes on for hours and possibly even days, it's most likely not being used by your husband or wife as a way to calm themselves. It is a deeper problem than that.
Alternatives to giving (or getting!) the Silent Treatment from your spouse
It’s important to talk to your wife when you’re both calm to develop some strategies to help you resolve conflict in a more productive manner. If the two of you can successfully resolve a few problems together, it’s likely your wife will gain confidence in your ability to work together as a couple.
It can be helpful for you to identify the role you play in conflict as well. Examine any of your behaviors that may trigger your wife to shut down. For example, do you raise your voice? Or offer any non-verbal cues that you are getting angry?
How to cope with silent treatment in marriage
Unresolved conflict is one of the most common reasons people seek help for their marriage. Often, a lack of healthy communication skills in marriage can lead to couples saying and doing things that can be damaging to their marriage. Unresolved conflict can build up over time and can lead to more anger, frustration, and resentment which can dissolve your connection.
That's why it's important that you take action now for your sake and for the sake of your children (who are watching and know just when the silent treatment is being given), and fix the greater, underlying marriage disconnect that is going on.
Read our free book to learn more about what has led to this breakdown of your relationship.Be in touch,
Shlomo and Rivka Slatkin