Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Living together in silence

(101 Posts)
gingerbreadshoes Wed 20-Feb-13 21:18:44

I have nc for this as DP has been known to lurk and I don't want him to find this.

For some reason at the moment DP is not speaking to me, when I ask him if he is ok he doesn't answer and if I ask him a question about his day for example I just get one word answers back.

This has been going on for a while but it has gradually got worse to the point now where he didn't even speak to my family when they were here tonight.

He has said that he has had stressful days at work but I really don't think it is this that is causing his silence and if it is it seems a bit unfair to take it out on me.

We have a young DS together and he is fine with him, talking and playing normally but just no interaction with me.

I know I can be grumpy and short tempered at times but it is when I am tired as I have mobility problems which I think he tends to forget about because they are not obvious but do wear me out especially if DS has been having a clingy day.

I have tried to speak to him about this before as it's not the first time he has been like this but he just says he feels like he is missing out on something but doesn't know what and he has always believed this so is never truly happy with what he has, whereas I am the opposite and perfectly happy with what I have/achieved.

He is out at the moment and I will be in bed by the time he gets back so I won't get a chance to talk to him about it tonight but I would like some ideas on how to tackle this please.

AddictedtoCrunchies Wed 20-Feb-13 21:36:33

Hmmm I think if it was me I'd demand to know what was happening. If he's that unhappy with his lot then he needs to do something about it and not make your life a misery. And being rude to your family would be a deal breaker for me too.
Not much use but I'm sure someone with better advice will be along soon. thanks

gingerbreadshoes Wed 20-Feb-13 21:44:09

I have tried demanding in the past because I get so fed up with it but he just clams up even further (if that is even possible). I have also said that if he is unhappy with us then he should leave but he says he can't imagine not seeing DS everyday so that then to me sounds as though we are only together still because of him.

We very rarely do things together anymore and if I suggest something such as the park it is a real struggle to get him to agree but he is quite happy to take DS out on his own.

Seeing this all written down it doesn't sound as though we have much going for us but I don't want it to be this way sad

yellowbrickrd Wed 20-Feb-13 21:49:39

Horrible behaviour this and very hard to deal with when you're getting the silent treatment as often when the person is confronted directly they pretend they're not doing it - they want to make you feel bad but probably know they're on shaky ground and wouldn't be able to give a valid reason.

Have you ever suggested relationship counselling or do you think he wouldn't go? At least then you would have someone there to guide him into articulating his problems properly and getting him to accept some responsibility instead of putting all the weight on you.

gingerbreadshoes Wed 20-Feb-13 21:58:24

I haven't suggested counselling but maybe this time I should - it might even be enough to make him stop and think about what he is doing and why if he thinks he might have to tell a stranger about it.

On the other hand I can't imagine for one moment he would agree to go but it's worth a try.

ThereGoesTheYear Wed 20-Feb-13 22:04:17

This sounds utterly soul-destroying. Stonewalling is emotional abuse. How long do these silent bouts last, and can you trace it back to him 'punishing' you for something?

yellowbrickrd Wed 20-Feb-13 22:06:02

Well if he won't agree to go I think he should be able to justify why not - clearly he's not happy and doesn't value the relationship - you deserve better than that. Tbh even if you mentioning counselling jolts him into stopping the silent treatment I doubt he will get much further than that and in a while you will find yourself back in the same cycle - you need some positive action from him.

From your description the relationship certainly sounds as if it's dying - do you feel you want him to stay or are you also thinking more in terms of your ds? Sorry you're having a crap time sad

suburbophobe Wed 20-Feb-13 22:18:06


Why waste your life on someone who doesn't love you?!

Footface Wed 20-Feb-13 22:18:57

I just wanted to say your not alone. I don't have any answers but my dp can do this at times and its very cruel and controlling

AnyFucker Wed 20-Feb-13 22:20:31

Ask him to leave until he deigns to treat you like a human being

Who the fuck does he think he is ?

SolidGoldBrass Wed 20-Feb-13 22:21:38

Say to him that you are not prepared to put up with living like this, and if he doesn't show any interest in resolving the problem then you will dump him. Because at the moment he's got you running round trying to make him happy and he's putting no effort into the marriage at all. It's worth reminding him that you have choices and options and that he's not the only one who can decide that the marriage is over.

gingerbreadshoes Thu 21-Feb-13 05:37:34

Thanks everyone you have helped me to see that it isn't ok to live like this.

I don't know if I want him to leave it seems a bit scary to be on my own with DS.

I think that I find understanding his behaviour difficult because I am the complete opposite in that if I have a problem with something I say it there and then and although I might get angry and shout it is all over and done with quickly. Whereas he could drag this out for days.

Nobody in rl knows about this because I don't have anyone I can speak to plus he is such a nice person to others I doubt I would be taken seriously. He has been known to twist events that are happening so that he looks as though he is very hard done by and when I've told his friends the facts about the situations they have admitted that he hasn't told them the truth.

I also find his idea that he is missing out on something but not knowing what very confusing and have told him it must be a very tiring way of living. I don't know why he can't just enjoy what he has got, there are alot of people worse off than him.

I'm dreading the morning as I can see it still dragging on sad .

yellowbrickrd Thu 21-Feb-13 12:29:48

He isn't always nice to others tho because he was giving your family the treatment as well. Do you ever talk to them about the relationship or is that difficult? They must have noticed things aren't right.

The behaviour you describe, as theregoestheyear says, is definitely emotional abuse and not just some personality quirk. He shuts you down by refusing to talk, he twists things to paint himself as the victim, he blames you for the fact he is 'missing out' on something without making any attempt to help himself.

I actually think you are focusing too much on him, wondering about his problems and his personality and not enough on yourself. You can't really do anything about his behaviour, only he could do that. You don't have to go to Relate as a couple, you can go on your own and that would give you someone impartial to discuss things with if you lack support in RL.

I also think you are underestimating the damaging effect this is having on your life if you are scared of being without him. Whatever you might have to cope with would surely be better without being undermined by someone who treats you as if you don't exist.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 21-Feb-13 12:39:14

My Ex was like this at the beginning of our relationship.
I am not a school child in a playground and when he gave me the full silent treatment (for what I do not know) I packed my bags and left while he was at work.
He had no idea what had happened.
He called round to talk to me. At last!!!
I told him in no uncertain terms that we are adults. We are both educated and very capable of communicating via speach. And if he ever did it again I would leave for good.
We did talk about things and the issue for him was, he didn't see anything really wrong with his behaviour. It was something his mum used to do a lot so he thought it was a normal way to behave.
We lasted many years after that and he never ignored me again.
I think he needs to leave to be honest. Even if it's just a temporary measure to allow both of you a bit of space out of this toxic environment!
Set a time limit. So he leaves at the weekend and you have some time apart for 4 days and you have a meeting to discuss thing on Wednesday.
I think you will both benefit from some time apart.
Good luck!

Liltzero Thu 21-Feb-13 12:53:22

The title of your thread caught my eye because I have experienced exactly the same. DH first became withdrawn and quiet, then only spoke to me if I asked him a question and then replied with one word answers. After months of this shit he finally he admitted that he is in love with a friend of ours angry [hmmm]

Two months later we are still together (just) whilst he tries to decide whether to risk all on the OW or stay with the DW. This is hard work on me but my pride dictates that I will do nothing to precipitate the end of marriage if that is want he wants he's going to have to get the balls up to do his own dirty work!

I was interested in the comments on emotional abuse. I might use that expression next time we talk!!

Liltzero Thu 21-Feb-13 12:54:00

Best of luck ginger!

gingerbreadshoes Thu 21-Feb-13 22:29:51

Thanks everyone!

Well after a still not being spoken to this morning as he was getting ready for work I asked him if he was planning on speaking to me today, his reply - I might do!!!

At that I told him that I didn't want to live like this and if he wasn't happy he should leave because I don't want DS growing up with parents that don't speak to one another.

I also asked him why he was in a mood and hadn't spoken to my family and all he coukd come up with was that the living room was full of stuff and he didn't expect to come home to it. The 'stuff' was DS's clothes I was sorting out to sell so yes they were all over the sofa but they were packed away today.

I must admit I did tell him he was pathetic for this as he knew it wasn't going to stay a mess.

He has sort of resumed speaking but it's still not quite right. I think I will see how tonight/tomorrow goes and then maybe suggest a break.

Thank you for your replies they have really helped me, I have tried to talk to my DM but she doesn't offer any help or guidance so I don't tend to bother anymore.

yellowbrickrd Fri 22-Feb-13 10:59:06

Shame about your DM ginger, is she the type who just expects to put up with things?

You were right - his excuse about the clothes is really pathetic and clearly you caught him out by asking - he was probably counting on just keeping you shut down so he could continue to make you suffer in silence so well done for fronting up to him.

You're also quite right to highlight to him the damage this will do to your ds. It's horrible to imagine growing up that kind of atmosphere for years on end.

What was his answer when you said he should leave? You mentioned upthread that his response to that before has been that he can't face not seeing ds everyday. This is weak because there's nothing to stop him coming round every day and doing his share of parenting. More likely he doesn't want to go because he has his comfortable niche there where he can take his frustrations out on you and never has to face the truth about himself.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 22-Feb-13 11:22:53

the living room was full of stuff and he didn't expect to come home to it

You have got to be kidding me!? He actually said this?
And you just accepted it???
I would have gone mental at a comment like this.
So what? You stay at home, do nothing other than cook and clean up after him all day long? Does he really think you don't do anything all day?
What decade does he think he is living in?
Seriously OP, this is not right!

gingerbreadshoes Fri 22-Feb-13 18:11:00

yellowbrickrd I think she just isn't interested and you are right she probably does think I should put up with it. She has been on her own for quite a while and I don't really want to end up going down the same route.

hellsbellsmelons I do think he believes I don't do anything all day but if he looks after ds it is only for a couple of hours at a time as I'm still bf. He doesn't get to experience not being able to shower etc unless you get up at 6am or wait for a potential nap which may or may not happen - the alternative is washing whilst ds screams. He does do a lot around the house but sometimes I just don't want to do it because the atmosphere is so bad.

I have told him tonight that I'd like him to leave because it hasn't improved enough for me and I've just realised that the last time we went out together as a family for more than an hour was December even though I have suggested things.

I hope we can talk tonight but I can't see it going well or making a difference.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 22-Feb-13 18:28:46

You know what - just LTB seriously, who the hell does he think he is? I am going through a bad patch wiht my DP just now and its not great but if he refused to speak to me it would fry my head. OF course people go quiet and uncommunicative after a row, my DP goes "into himself" but never ignores and refuses to speak - terrible behaviour. It will affect your children, just leave him.

claudedebussy Fri 22-Feb-13 18:33:01

this is not a good way to live.

good luck with talking to him ginger. counselling does sound like a good idea. i do think he needs to understand the seriousness of this.

emess Fri 22-Feb-13 23:39:11

I know this behaviour too. My DH tends to do this when he's feeling particularly depressed. (he's been on meds for it for 5 years, I'm not just using the word casually). He's fine for days on end then he just gets withdrawn and - as tonight - just takes to his bed after we've eaten, sometimes without a word to me. Just wondered if your DH could be depressed? If he is then he needs to seek help for it.

jynier Sat 23-Feb-13 03:34:32

"Silent treatment" is the least recognized but severest form of mental abuse. It is cruel and unacceptable OP.

So sorry for you and your DS; it must be having an effect on him.

Be strong! Best wishes.

Littleturkish Sat 23-Feb-13 03:53:16

I had a friend whose DP did this every time she had been out the night before. Silence over the weekend. Ridiculous.

If it is 'mid row' sometimes I am too angry or upset to compose sentences, and go silent (or withdraw) whilst I think what to say...usually trying to think of the right balance of emotion/logic...but to not speak for days?! It is emotional abuse.

I'm glad you called him on it, he is entirely unreasonable and you don't have to put up with it. I would tell him YOU find his behaviour intolerable and wish him to leave- regardless of his feelings. Of course he doesn't want to- he has a great life sulking and attention seeking with you doing all the hard work and caring!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: