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silent treatment/sulking

(59 Posts)
anjali410 Thu 25-Aug-11 21:12:36

So glad to find this site. I have seen similar threads on this forum about sulking husband so I hope I can get some help here.
My husband is a very jovial & good-natured, understanding partner. But he has this habit of sulking every now & then. Its very unpredictable for me. Something minor like background noise (like me cooking) while talking to him on phone makes him snap at me & give me the silent treatment that lasts from couple of hrs to days. Maybe he thinks I am being disrespectful by running errands in house while talking to him. Sometimes if I dont like the movie he chose, he goes into this bad mood. He usually comes back & apologizes. Sometimes he is in a good mood for months & then suddenly he has these mood swings.
We have been married for 3yrs & in the beginning I used to think its my fault & I read books like 'the surrendered wife' to correct my behavior. But after a while I started realizing its not me. I have been on my best behavior. I could put up a fight with him & give him the same treatment but the thing is he had a heart attack last year & I am trying to be more compaasionate towards him. Even before he had the attack he had the same behavior, so its not side-effects of medicines. I have suggested that we try therapy but he doesnt listen. I am walking on thin ice here. I want to ignore his childish behavior but at the same time try not to make him feel bad because I am afraid about his health. We are in our 30s & have no kids.
I am trying to get to the root of his issues & solve it. He lost his mom when he was young & maybe his family over-compensated for his loss that has lead to his spoilt kid behavior. I have tried explaining to him that I really love him & I cant agree with him all the time or leave my work to spend time with him. I try to spend an much time as I can with him. Usually he understand & respects my space & we have a great relationship but something trivial things set him off. I am past the stage of feeling bad & crying over it. Now I just dont care. Dont know how to fix this bratty behavior on my own. Wish i was a therapist. I really love him & hate to see him like this. Its not about me or my ego anymore. Its about his health & well-being.

AnyFucker Thu 25-Aug-11 21:17:49

you read "surrendered wife" ?

you like to read ?

read this instead

much more healthy for you

UsingMainlySpoons Thu 25-Aug-11 21:18:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UsingMainlySpoons Thu 25-Aug-11 21:19:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anjali410 Thu 25-Aug-11 21:27:58

Yes i added that to my reading list yesterday after visiting one of the threads here. Thanks. Looking forward to it. He is in his sulking phase right now. Hope it ends soon.
I enjoy reading & have read several self-help books & articles. Please feel free to recommend more material. Surrendered wife made me correct some of my own subconscious 'controlling' behavior & i think i am very sensitive towards him now. All the reading material has atleast helped me keep level-headed during his mood swings & i am starting to enjoy my alone-time during his 'cave-trips'. I wish I could do something to help him overcome his issues. I really do love him a lot. He is not just my husband but also my best friend & I hope he is always happy.

AnyFucker Thu 25-Aug-11 21:31:24

only he can overcome his "issues" and "cave trips"

love, do you think yourself inferior to him ?

that your feelings are less important ?

that you must suppress your own resentment to make him feel better about himself ?

think about what you are doing

AnyFucker Thu 25-Aug-11 21:31:57

does he do anything to ensure your happiness ?

anjali410 Thu 25-Aug-11 21:42:54

When he is his usual self he does plenty for me. I feel like the happiest woman with perfect relationship. And I dont feel so bad when he is sulking either because I have my own work, hobbies that keep me busy. I dont think I am inferior or superior to him at all. I see him as an equal & my best friend. During his mood swings I see him as a patient needing treatment/therapy but unable to get any, so I feel sorry for him. I am concerned about his health issues & dont want him to get too depressed as it would affect his heart. I sincerely hope he gets over this personality disorder so that when we have kids they dont get the same silent treatment from him. I am an adult & I can handle his behavior without sabotaging my self-respect but it would have adverse effects on my kids.

AnyFucker Thu 25-Aug-11 21:47:54

I wouldn't have kids with such a needy person

HerHissyness Thu 25-Aug-11 22:55:46

googles AnyFucker BootCamp

There's money in that AF....

Damn Anjali, he's got you right where he wants you, and a heart attack to boot! Good work that man!

Seriously, this bloke is a joke, you know this is HIM not you.

Do please let us know when the Lundy Bancroft books hits your doormat, you will love it, it will save you!

don't have kids with a man like this. believe me, those of us that do have kids with men like this kick ourselves for LIFE!

FabbyChic Thu 25-Aug-11 23:01:51

He sulks to punish you when you have done nothing wrong.

He wants to see you crawl to him to beg forgiveness for something you have not even done.

It's a matter of control, it is his way of controlling you.

I'd let him sulk and get on with things, go out with friends, do things round the house. Tell him when he finishes being an asshole you will come back, sit with him etc.,

My mother had over 6 heart attacks, didn't stop her being an asshole, or smoking. She ended up with a bypass 20 years ago and is still going strong with her vitriol.

Just because he had a heart attack does not mean he is made of glass, does not mean he can treat you badly and get away with it, there is no excuse for being a knob.

ghostofstalbans Thu 25-Aug-11 23:04:15

my sister does this to her dp, ignores him for ages.

i would just get on with it, that seems to wind them up more!

solidgoldbrass Fri 26-Aug-11 09:02:09

Either bin this miserable fucking pig and go get some therapy for yourself to find out why you have internalized such utter misogyny, or treat his sulks by laughing at him and taking the piss mercilessly. Otherwise he will grind you down into nothingness.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 26-Aug-11 09:14:50


He does this too because he can; this is about power and control. Your strategy of appeasement has clearly not worked. Sulking like this is yet another form of emotional abuse.

Do read the book AF recommended; it will open your eyes and be of more use to you than that surrendered wife book you previously read.

You as his wife cannot fix him; you are not his therapist and should not try and act as such. If he won't seek help then I would suggest you have counselling on your own to truly discover why you are behaving the way you are around him. This is not a situation that gets better with time; he would be just the same if you became parents primarily because he does not want to address his issues. Please do not bring a child into this.

shocked2 Fri 26-Aug-11 11:38:05

Hi Anjali
You sound like a very nice person and your husband is lucky to have you. I agree that his bad behaviour is a symptom of his own pain / lack of emotional maturity, however I don't think that is a reason to be as accepting as you are. I would tell him straight that unless he radically rethinks his controlling approach to you (ok it doesn't happen all the time, but it happens WHENEVER he decides to behave like that therefore you are not in control of your own emotional environment and have to wait for when he decides to behave properly to be happy), you will have to seriously rethink being with him. Have you considered going to counselling together?
I am married to someone who has the capacity to not speak to me for weeks. Last year he didn't talk to me for two months after an argument, and about two to three years ago he did the same for six weeks. He would never do this to our children but he still does it to me.... It is very painful to be left out in the cold while he is loving towards the children. In general our relationship is not good however and he is not jovial and good natured with me the rest of the time either!
I just wanted to say that having children seriously seriously binds you to someone and also that once he knows you are completely trapped (nothing like babies to keep you in one place), his controlling behaviour may escalate.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Fri 26-Aug-11 11:53:14

Solo counselling only if you go the counselling route, anjali, to find out why you accept his behaviour, and examine what you need, emotionally. From your posts it's all about you trying to accomodate him. Talking to a therapist would help right the balance a bit so that you can consider your needs for a change.

(He could probably do with some solo counselling too, but that's his lookout. No-one but him can choose to sign him up to see a therapist and attend sessions. It's not your role to try and convince him, nor is it likely to be very successful if you try).

Couples counselling would not be a good fit for you: the therapist will give just as much validity to your feelings of upset when he gives you the silent treatment, as s/he will give to your husband's reasons to become sulky. You are already bending over backwards to accomodate his sulks. I fear that, even if you were to convince your H to attend couples counselling, you would go there seeking answers for how you could change your behaviour so that he won't sulk (as you are already doing by reading the surrendered wife), and he would also go there finding reasons for you to change your behaviour so that he won't sulk, and it would be a totally skewed result.

First stop, though, is understanding that his behaviour is not your fault, and not in your control. The Lundy book will do that for you; good initiative to order it.

Anniegetyourgun Fri 26-Aug-11 12:14:04

Don't be put off Lundy by the fact that a lot of the cases he refers to involve physical violence. It's not just about battering. Giving a loving partner the silent treatment is cruel too, and unacceptable. "The only acceptable level of abuse is none."

I think you did well to examine your own behaviours within the relationship - everyone should - but everyone else is so right that it is not your job to stop him behaving badly. Since you know you are behaving like a reasonable human being, it's up to him to meet you half-way, which it appears he is not interested in doing. This is, of course, because he gets what he wants out of it.

The mere concept of "Surrendered Wife" makes me quite cross, actually. Life partnership is about compromise, about what works for both of you, not one of you learning to become a non-person to accommodate the other.

Dignified Fri 26-Aug-11 12:18:35

This sort of nasty shit is emotional abuse and its not ok . Its highly unlikeley that when hes not doing this you have the perfect relationship , in between these times you will have a NORMAL relationship , not a perfect one . The fact you refer to it as perfect shows just how gratefull you are for the normal times .

Every time this man child sulked at me like this id get glammed up and id go out , every single time . He can only sulk if he has someone to sulk at , i would remove the audiance .

anjali410 Fri 26-Aug-11 14:09:49

Wow thats some really helpful responses. I will go to a therapist on my own to sort out my feelings. I agree that i cant change this behavior. I have read about various personality disorders like bipolar, passive-aggressiveness, borderline PD, etc & thought some therapy might help him solve these issues. Dont know how long his sulking will continue this time. Once he gets out of it I will ask him to seek some therapy on his own. I am going to take a stand on this & bring it up again & again.
I guess i get my submissiveness/cowardness from my dad who faced 24x7 nagging sessions from my mom & he still is. My family is old fashioned & doesnt believe in leaving their spouse, no matter what. I might have incorporated the same values i guess. I hope therapy will help me break away from that.
Thank you so much for helping me realize i need therapy. I am looking forward to reading the book this weekend. You all have a lovely weekend. I am going to go out & have fun on my own smile
Life is beautiful & so sorry for the people who are wasting it biscuit

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Fri 26-Aug-11 14:22:48

Once he gets out of it I will ask him to seek some therapy on his own. I am going to take a stand on this & bring it up again & again.

no no no no no. Common pitfall.

I understand this urge, anjali. But again: it's not your job to fix him (or to tirelessly work at convincing him to get help, which amounts to the same thing). It's his job, if he wants to. You can't make him want to fix himself, anymore than you can make him stop sulking, or make him understand how you feel. All that has to come from him, and you're wasting precious energy athat you could better use elsewhere by trying to change someone who doesn't want to change.

Good that you can already identify similarities with your parents' dynamic. You're going to whizz through therapy at this rate! smile

anjali410 Fri 26-Aug-11 14:47:24

Thanks. I will do my homework so that i can save some therapy time & thus, money. I am quite excited about it. I will request some group therapy so that i know i am not the only one in this. I hope that when he sees me going to therapy he might be encouraged & take my lead.
Again, thanks a lot to all for letting me share & respond to my issues. This is something i wouldn't be able to confide into my family or friends.

anjali410 Fri 26-Aug-11 15:15:08

All, please read this. It captures everything i am going through right now. I am so tempted to email him this article. Dont know if its going to make him madder.

heleninahandcart Fri 26-Aug-11 15:19:18

Anjali I have no advice to offer on this except to take note that you have

Anyfucker and SGB HerHissyness and Fabbychic in broad agreement on one thread shock

Take note

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Fri 26-Aug-11 15:22:31

Don't e-mail it to him Anjali!

He is not going to see the light. He'll only find some way to turn it against you.

Please start by reading Lundy?

anjali410 Fri 26-Aug-11 15:29:11

God, i am feeling so miserable. I just feel like packing my bags & leaving for the weekend. I was on the verge of emailing him this article & telling him i am leaving for a couple of days. But i think I will take ur advice & read the book first. I dont want to take any emotional decisions right now. Will hold on to the article just in case i have to take such a step in future.

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