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Silent treatment- how to deal with it.

(58 Posts)
NightSkyBlue Sun 15-Nov-15 22:34:06

Had an argument with DH on Friday. He hasn't spoken to me properly since. It's been on my mind since. I can't eat. I feel so sad and can't get on with the day like normal with this hanging over my head. It's all so draining. my whole weekend has been ruined with this.

I've asked him to talk about it several times and suggested this evening after kids go to bed.

When they were in bed he said he didn't want to talk because he thinks that I'm going to be irrational?! I said I will be fine and could we talk please. He said tomorrow morning which he knows isnt a good time as I am very busy on Mondays with college etc. I don't think we will talk then either.

Does anyone else have experience with silent treatment and dragging things on unnecessarily. I find it so draining. I'm so tired mentally. I can't cope.

Offred Sun 15-Nov-15 22:40:01

Yes, the silent treatment is a common abuse tactic.

Your response - feeling sad and visibly suffering, asking him to talk etc is what pays a reward to someone childishly meting out silent treatment.

Do you want to continue living with someone who treats you with such contempt?

OhBeloved Sun 15-Nov-15 22:44:08

I feel for you OP, silent treatment is very draining.

It's also regarded as a strategy of emotional abuse.

The best way to cope is to disengage your emotions. Take a giant step back. Watch what he is doing but don't react and certainly don't try to get him to talk! Just get on with your normal day and ignore his ridiculous and nasty behaviour.

How is your relationship generally? Does he display other ea behaviour?

amarmai Sun 15-Nov-15 22:47:02

the only way to beat this is to get busy placing the ducks in a row so you can start a new life without this dead weight, talk on mn ,listen to music,do not let this petty dictator run your life. Who the fuck does he think he is AND who the fuck is he trying to make you his subservient woman begging him to speak to me please ?Get mad not sad,op.

Hillfarmer Sun 15-Nov-15 22:47:00

OOh OP - this makes my blood boil for you. Haven't got much to add to Offred but really, telling YOU when you are going to be irrational?? That takes the frigging cake. He is refusing to talk by insulting you further. He must be a sadist, watching you plead with him to deign to discuss his unacceptable behaviour at whatever far off point suits him. He appears to like watching you suffer, as if he didn't he would end it by talking.

Just tell him his behaviour is unacceptable and that if he refuses to talk to you then you will take that as proof that he has no interest in the marriage.

Controlling, abusive, sulky arsehole.

Hissy Sun 15-Nov-15 22:49:22

My initial idea when I read your post title was :
<hold door>
<POINT his sorry Arse at it>
<let it slam>

Crack this nut with a sledgehammer, tell him to go now, or grow up and talk like a human being.

This IS one of the worst abusive tactics

marriednotdead Sun 15-Nov-15 22:57:33

My Ex used to do this. Note I said Ex.

NiceAcorns Sun 15-Nov-15 23:01:53

My DP occasionally does this. It causes me such pain. It really feels like my heart aches & I want to disappear.

But I pretend I haven't noticed. Carry on as normal, be cheerful on the outside.

Thankfully, this is rare for me. I couldn't cope with the pain otherwise

NightSkyBlue Sun 15-Nov-15 23:11:23

Oh my goodness! I wasn't expecting all these posts about abuse. Is this really abuse? It's sort of thrown me tbh. I don't really know what to think.

He has always been like this. It's how he deals with arguments. He just shuts down and doesn't talk about it or talk at all. He is usually like this for a few days or it can be even for a week if its really bad. I've put it down as his way of dealing with it, almost like a cooling off period but longer.

It's how to deal with it, is the main thing. I find it quite overwhelming and stressful.

I'm really confused. I've read the link that a beloved posted and am making my way through all the related articles.

I'm so confused. He isn't abusive in other ways that I am aware of.

CocktailQueen Sun 15-Nov-15 23:12:39

It's shit. it's not an adult way of dealing with problems. What do your dc think of it? He needs to grow up.

Hillfarmer Sun 15-Nov-15 23:13:03

I used to do what you do NiceAcorns, then one day when I was thinking my usual,"God, why does he treat me like he hates me?", I thought "Hang on a minute, he DOES hate me!'. Doesn't matter that he said he loved me, he treated me as if he held me in contempt.

In the end you have to understand that when he (in this case OP's DH) is acting out utter contempt - and you have eliminated every other possibility - then it cannot be anything else.

GiddyOnZackHunt Sun 15-Nov-15 23:15:32

It is not normal. If he does it as learned behaviour he needs help. If he does it to punish you, he needs leaving.

RNBrie Sun 15-Nov-15 23:19:34

I grew up in a house where the silent treatment was used as a punishment. Sometimes for days... I used to do it to my partner till my counsellor talked me through the fact it's a form of emotional abuse. I don't do it anymore. We talk things through now, sometimes one of us might need a bit of time to cool off but we treat each other with respect.

cuntycowfacemonkey Sun 15-Nov-15 23:20:11

It's not his way of dealing with things at all, it's his way of punishing you. In his eyes you have done wrong and he can see how miserable this punishment makes you so that's what he does and it will end when HE decides not you, hence the "we'll talk tomorrow not tonight like you've asked".

It's all about putting you in your place and keeping you there. Nothing more nothing less

Offred Sun 15-Nov-15 23:21:26

It is an abusive behaviour, no mistake!

It is designed to control you by humiliating and dis empowering you.

It is never acceptable.

It may well be that this is his way of dealing with things but it doesn't make it acceptable. As an adult he needs to find a better way to deal with his frustrations.

NightSkyBlue Sun 15-Nov-15 23:26:02

RNBrie now that you have mentionef it, I think it might be a learned behaviour. His dad does the same with his mil. But I only really remember the one time probably because it went on for a while.

What did your counsellor suggest? Is it a matter of having a couple of hours of cooling off period and then talk again.

Hillfarmer Sun 15-Nov-15 23:29:42

Sorry OP - must seem a bit full-on, but what on earth do you think he is doing? It is quite severe - you're not eating, you're a nervous wreck, really unhappy, confused and totally tired out by his behaviour. It is not a small thing because it matters what effect it is having on you, and the effect on you is profound. He should not be allowed to behave like this. It is punishment. Who gives him the right to punish you? That's the question. What right does he have to do this to you?

He knows you are suffering, you are practically begging him to 'come round'and talk. He has got all the power here, and he is using it in a cruel way. That's why I said sadistic... there is no way he doesn't know what he is putting you through by doing this.

Anyone looking in from the outside of this relationship as you have described it i.e. people on this thread, OR anyone who has been persecuted by an emotional abuser i.e probably quite a few people on this thread - will recognize his behaviour as abusive.

If he is absolutely lovely and respectful the other 364 days of the year, well OK, but to me (and I know I am biased and probably projecting madly) this man shows all the signs of someone who does not view you as an equal partner and does not see why he should show you respect.

This may be 'his way of dealing with it', but guess what, his way of dealing with it leaves you....'overwhelmed','stressed' 'drained', 'sad' 'ruined weekend', 'tired mentally', 'can't cope'. What exactly is he training you for?

He is setting the weather for everyone in the house, he is holding you and dcs to ransom. This is not just 'cooling off'. It is cruel behaviour. Sulking serves his purpose - it's just a bit frightening for you contemplating what his purpose is *, and whether you want to be married to such a person.

* Power and control is the usual answer I'm afraid. And no, it's not stupid to ask why would someone want to do that to the person they are supposed to love and the mother of their children. But it is abuse and it is depressingly common.

RNBrie Sun 15-Nov-15 23:42:39

Um no... Not a couple of hours, maybe 10 mins... It was a pretty long process, I'll not lie, but the first thing I had to acknowledge was that my behaviour was unacceptable and entirely my fault.

Then I had to learn to recognise when I was doing it and then I had to learn new behaviours.

But unless he realises he's being a disk, nothing will change.

RNBrie Sun 15-Nov-15 23:43:59

Disk? Dick. Sorry.

Jux Sun 15-Nov-15 23:50:03

Tell him that he can behave like a two year old whose chocolate has been taken away, or he can act like an adult. Either way, you are going to tell him whatever. And then do so.

And then walk away unless he grows the fuck up.

OnTheEdgeToday Sun 15-Nov-15 23:50:09

Learned behaviour or not - it is abusive.
When you said he wouldnt talk to you incase you were going to be irrational... abusive again.

Emotional abusve can be very confusing as they are very good at putting it all on you.
Just as he wont speak to you incase you are irrational. He isnt speaking, but he claims it is your fault with a statement that is clearly going to make you question yourself!

All the while you are suffering, silently and then feeling bad, wondering if this really is all of your fault because you have possibly been irrarional.
Irrational or not (which i can say your more than likely havent been), he should not refuse to speak to you because of it! He should be helping you see the rational side! Again, i dont believe you have been irrational.

Does he withold any kind of affection at times?
Open your eyes over the next week or so to abuse. Accept that it may be a possibility.

I did...and by god i was shocked at how manipulating he was.

Do you find yourself apologising all of the time?

girlguide123 Mon 16-Nov-15 00:13:05

he's behaving like a child. when my children were toddlers I used to ignore this kind of behaviour.

do your own thing and treat him normally, still offer a cup of tea for example if you would usually, if he doesn't answer then just make your own. pretend there's nothing wrong and do not beg him to talk it over.

make it clear you're not going to play his game. do your own thing. if he's sulking in the living room, go for a nice long bath & read a book in bed, for example.

girlguide123 Mon 16-Nov-15 00:14:03

toddlers find a tantrum much less appealing when they don't have an audience...

OnTheEdgeToday Mon 16-Nov-15 00:25:15

He is a grown man. He is behaving like a dick and deliberately making his OH feel bad because of it.

Nobody likes to be ignored... he knows this, and this is why he is choosing to do it.

While he is sitting there all quietly, pack his bags.

Oneeyedbloke Mon 16-Nov-15 08:13:26

'He is a grown man'. Well, clearly not as far as his behaviour goes. But men don't all go somewhere at 18 to learn how to be grown men emotionally. Instead, all sorts of childhood crap runs on into adulthood, same as for everyone. Tell him, either you stop this now & we sort out our differences like grown-ups, which means saying what's on your mind, listening, responding, trying to see the other person's point of view, or if you carry on with this you are going to end up alone with whatever your resentments are because this is just unkind and unfair. It's a growing-up moment for him. My OH sometimes argues like this: 1. Here's what's pissing me off about you 2. Get it sorted. 3. End of discussion, take that look off your face. The temptation to sulk in response to this is strong, but the truth is that it just entrenches us both in the roles of parent and child. She's not my mum. Don't shoot me but if your DH does this a lot, could it be down to you both having fallen into this kind of parent-child style interaction?

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