Silent Treatment
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Silent Treatment

Every time we argue, my husband gives me silent treatment for days, stays to himself, sleeps in the separate room. The very beginning of marriage, he reached out to me the first couple of times but ever since then, I always talked to him first, write him letter first and call him first to suggest we talk it out. For the simple fact that I felt that I had to make it work and I couldn't stand the loneliness. Well, this time, I told him to go sleep in the other room after the argument. I was hurt by what he said and angry. Ever since then, we stay separately and we haven't seen each other's faces since Saturday night. And it doesn't seem to be getting better. It's icier and icier. I am really sick and tired of his retreating to the other room and I'm tired of always reaching out to him first. I am leaving out of town next Tuesday and coming back on Sunday. He was supposed to give me a ride to and from the airport but I'm just going to take a cab. My birthday is also coming up the week when I come back. And two days after my birthday, we're scheduled to fly out of town to celebrate his parent's birthday. I am really confused about this. He hasn't worn his wedding band since our argument. We've only been married a little over a year. The last few fights, I felt like he wants out. I'm caught in a dilema. I don't want to reach out to him first again because I just don't feel like it. At the same time, I don't want to divorce. I don't know what to think. Maybe he's thinking that I'll reach out to him first again since all these activities are coming up. But then again, he might be thinking that this time is divorce. In the past, he would still wear the ring to work after we fought but wouldn't wear during the weekend but this time, he took it off for good this time. I feel like I'm being punished. It seems so childish to me. He's soon 36 by the way.
I don't know what to do. What do you guys think he is thinking or planning? The next couple of weeks, I have no clue what he'll do since all this events are coming up. What do you guys think he'll do?
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Silent Treatment

There is no way for us to predict what he will do but he is acting childish and stubborn. You are also being stubborn. To avoid conflict for pride’s sake will only make the situation fester and deteriorate. For now I believe you will need to open the dialog on this issue. Maybe as simple as “are you going to take me to the airport?” He is exhibiting very poor communications skills by reacting with withdrawal and non-verbal clues. (Removing his wedding ring.) A discussion about this very subject is warranted. i.e. We need to discuss how we communicate in order to be happier. If he is to improve in his communications skills it will likely take time so be patient. When you are ready to talk to him on this do it when stresses are down and your are not in an argument already. Failing this seek professional counseling. Good luck
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If I ask him about the ride to the airport, then I feel like I'm giving in again. I'm so sick and tired of talking first. I know I'm being stubbor but I tried so much in the past that I feel wiped out and not appreciated. Yes, he's a very poor communicator but he thinks he's the perfect one that does no wrong. Yes, it's about my pride now.
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Silent Treatment

Then be the bigger of the two and begin the dialog. He won’t as this has been his MO all along. What about approaching the conversation from a superior position?

“Listen, we are both adults here, lets start acting like it…..” Then discuss the communication issues. If he thinks he is a perfect communicator ask him how withdrawing from the issues is communicating. This will likely be a difficult process but can be improved with time and effort. But somebody has to start it. Again professional counseling may be in order.
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I suggested counseling because we do have a lot of problems but he won't go for it. He wants me to go by myself. He thinks everything is all my fault/problem. There's just no getting through. It's tough. I had no idea marriage was this depressing...
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I can sort of understand where he's coming from. I say "sort of". I am one of those that 'withdraw'. I do this because I don't like conflict. I also do it because I do not want to say anything in the heat of anger. I like to think about the situation before I speak.
It can take me a few minutes to several days before I want to communicate w/ my spouse. And if I feel I am not in the wrong, I do want my spouse to come to me first.
Having said this, you bring up an important fact. You have always gone to him first. He may feel that since you haven't come to him this time, that you are the one who has given up and there is no need for him to say/do anything because you've made your decision.
Him taking his ring off and leaving it off is a huge sign (IMO). At this point, though you don't want to be the first to talk, I suggest what the previous poster wrote. Simply ask him if he's going to take you to the airport.
Regardless of his answer, this gives you an opening to tell him how you feel. Try telling him he doesn't need to answer/respond to you at the moment. State how you feel and let him know he can think about what he wants to say and come to you later.
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Silent Treatment

i used to think the silent treatment would stop. i would put all my effort in. trying to sort it out every time.
after 13 years , each time you think , yeh he wont do this again, hes moving on.
but it always happens again.
its his issues that make him the way he is. but its not fault and its not your problem.
men are like babies , just better to stay away. i do.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Like I said, in the past, I would always go to him first after one or two days because I couldn't bear the loneliness and uncertainty. After having done that many times, I feel exhausted and I feel resentful that I am always the one reaching out first. Even this time, for someone to take off the ring that easy all the time, it just tells me that he's not really committed. Yes, more and more he acts childish and I can't stand it. People say men like like little boys but the burden is too much on me. If men are like little boys, women are like little girls too. We are sensitive, delicate and hurt easily. We had a long ongoing feud about him and his friends. I felt like I came in second. No matter what he said, that's how I felt. In his attempt to make the marriage better, he hasn't seem them nor had contact in 5 months. But during this time, it seemed as though he was punishing me. Moping around the house, looking depressed, etc...That made me feel even worse, like I came in last not even second so I've been telling him to see his friends. Every time, he said I'm done with them, I'll make new friends...blah blah blah. I know he didn't mean that btw. So last saturday, he received a text from his friend asking to go golfing and I asked him if he text him back and I asked him to please go. He kept acting resentful and spiteful and said maybe, I don't know, he hasn't called me. So at time when he came up to the bedroom, I asked him nicely to find out what time he wants to go and then he started acting really irritated and started yelling I don't want to go and I'm never gonna see them again. I asked him why he's yelling at me and ask what are you trying to do to me? He turned it all around and said I'm not doing anything to do and why do you always act like there's some sinister plan etc. and he stormed out to the living for an hour. When he came back to sleep, I went down because I was still upset. When I went down, I looked at his phone and I saw that he had already reponded to him that he would go and that any time is fine. I felt so betrayed like he's playing mind games with me. So I confronted him. I yelled at him why did you lie to me when you already made plans with him. What are you trying to do to me. And he responded with a very mean tone of voice and called me a psycho and was pissed that I looked at his phone. I told him to just go sleep in the other room because that's what he ends up doing anyways but this time, I told him first to stay away. I felt so disgusted with him. I have never done this before. Oh, and I told him I'm so sick of you. I feel bad that i said such a thing but what I really wanted to say was i'm so sick of the way you make me feel. So ever since then, he locked his phone and is staying away. I don't feel that I caused the argument. All he could have said was yeah, i made plans with him. Simple. I really don't feel that I did anything wrong. I certainly don't feel like babying him. One thing I learned from my short marriage is that marriage is a commitment between two people, not one and marriage can only be intact if two people want it, not one. I think that's how I look at it now. I don't want to divorce, never but if he's already feeling like he wants out and wants to be free, then there's nothing I can do to stop him. He doesn't like confrontation. He can't stand the arguments, ever. How can a couple not have arguments...especially when he and his friends have been the sole cause of them in the first place. If he's the type of person to quit for this kinds of reason, then that's his limit. Everybody has different tolerance level. Divorce is hard. I don't think he would want to go through with that still I feel hurt that he might be thinking about that. But then again, I think about it everytime we fight too but it doesn't mean that I'll go through with it. Even asking him about the ride to the airport, I don't feel like doing because I feel like he's going to think that I'm just coming up with an excuse to talk to him. I'm gonna take a cab. I don't live that far from the airport. The fair will be around between 20-50 depending on what kind of taxi. I know I'm acting like a child too but this time, I want to make him feel guilty.
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My husband is like that in many ways. We've been married for five years now and he's still like that. I tried many times to change him but he doesn't. The only time he actually came up to me was when I prayed to God that he does! I asked my late grandmother for her help and my mom who didn't know anything about this had a dream of my grandmother giving me a present I don't know how religious you are, but praying helps. That's how I see it, no one's perfect including me. Some men cheat, some men are never home and well... ours that's their fault. If you love a person, you love the good and bad. And I don't mean the bad that you can ignore... because then they're perfect. You feel resentful and exhausted while I guarantee you, he doesn't feel that. Nothing is ever his fault, and you're just giving him hard time, from his point of view. Or may be it's a technique they invent to threaten us from having another fight. I don't know... The reason he took the ring off is because you told him I'm so sick of you. In his head he thinks that means you don't love him anymore and again in his head, then it's over he can't force you to love him. You'd be thinking why can't he make an effort, it's a simple thing... I mean what if the fight was over a real thing... but that's you not him. According to him, he can never feel sick of you because he loves you. It's your decision whether you can stand it or not... but that's the package and that's what's wrong with him. May be it helps if you objectively see what's wrong with you. I don't think it's a childish or little boys thing... I agree it's really silly... We had even way sillier fights... but it's just a personality thing, my brothers are not like that. You feeling you come second or third in his life... these are your feelings. In his head it doesn't interpret that way... it's just blah blah blah complain complain mad and shout. May be not, I don't know. He didn't see them, because you told him not to... he took it as an order. Also when you are calm and your tone is calm, the things you say sink in better. When it doesn't sound like a fight, but sounds like a loving voice, they are less threatened and they can hear better. I don't have a smart idea for how next time you can have a healthy argument with him. I know that the approach and the tone are very important. If you're yelling or shouting, forget it... their ears are blocked. Unfortunately before marriage we didn't have too many arguments so I didn't know that's how he's gonna be! I think it's a little bit bigger than the ride to the airport. I would use the time out from him to weigh how important he is to you and if you can live with this fault or not. Today I had an argument with my husband and he said I'm being whining... but I know for fact that the things I said sinked in. And he never shows me a prompt change I think so that he doesn't reward a fight! But few days later, he does make the effort and the changes stays... now that he knows how much it bothers me. Because the truth, and what counts to me, he does love me no doubt about it... and he does care about us. And that's what matters to me. I think the same will apply to you, if you forgive him and have him back, he will never give too much time to his friends as he used to do because he knows how much it bothers you. And hopefully... the fights do become less as the years go by... I remember our first year was a nightmare!
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You've only been married one year and you are already to this point. How long did the two of you date? This is a complex problem and I see several areas involved. First, neither of you are feeling loved and I see both of you distancing yourselves from the marriage. Next, I see a lot of anger building inside of you. I, too, have gone thru a lot of what you are experiencing. I let the anger stay and it turned to bitterness. It made me a miserable person, and that was reflected daily in my life. A great counselor can work miracles! So, go ahead and go to counseling. Do it for YOU! Don't worry about who is to blame for the arguments and fights. The goal is to get you and your husband settling disputes without the "explosions", which do so much damage. Once you go to couseling, you can always tell him he is welcome to join you--leave the door open.

Reading marriage and self-help books also provides much insight into what is going on within your marriage. Those books can be wonderful tools! I also agree with Martina. If you believe in God, now would be a great time to turned to Him for help. You need to find inner peace and that will help you cope with daily problems much more effectively.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thank you guys. Martina, I think you hit it right on the money. I have been thinking more and more lately to have god in my life. I have always been intrigued with religion but never experienced a pull. After losing my beloved dog of 18 years, I started to feel differently. I lost him 2 months before the wedding and ever since the wedding, I have been feeling kind of blue..never thought marriage would be like this. I heard people say that newly couples fight the most the first year or so and we're are one of them. We dated 2.5 years before we wed. We didn't have arguments back then and if there ever was (it was always about him going out or us going out w/ his friends to bars to much...), he would always call me right away and said I'm sorry, i won't do it again and he would make noticeable changes. That's why I thought he would make a good husband because he would always try to make it work but after marriage, it was a different story. Well, I am approaching a period in my life where I want to turn to something/someone greater for strength. I should start by praying. Yeah, I really feel bad that I blurted out that I'm so sick of you. That must be such a hurtful thing to hear. But still I don't want to go to him first because like you said, in his mind, he hasn't done anything wrong, it's always me. If I go to him this time, it will only encourage that way of thinking. I am beginning to feel that this is how it's going to be. it's his personality and that he will never change. I'm fearful that if I go to him again, it will make him think that it's okay to do this every time. It's been one week that we've seen each others' faces. We stay away in different rooms. I don't see any sign that things will change. I've decided to just drive myself to the airport and leave the car there. It'll be almost the same as the taxi fare anyways. I'm really worried and sort of scared. I don't have a clue what he's thinking.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Oh, yeah, Martina, I agree with you on the yelling. He said to me after one fight that why can't I just speak in a calm voice. He says as soon as start yelling, he blocks it out. But it's kinda hypocritical of him because he yells too. He just can't stand it when I do and he doesn't see what he does...that's how i feel.
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Then may be after you come back home, you talk to him about the fact that you want him back, that you didn't mean it that you're sick of him, how much you HATE the silent treatment, that you understand he doesn't want to speak when he's angry but that at the same time if you ever have a problem with him, if feels like you're speaking to yourself because he never has a clue when he hurts you with his actions. And when you try to point it out, he blocks you. Trust me, the first year is by far the worst ever. It will get better. Not overnight better but every year is a little better than the one before. With God by your side, you'll be fine. Remember last night I told you I had an argument with my husband. Today he started acting differently right away. Something he would have never ever done in our first year of marriage. Men are too proud to change overnight, it takes a lot of patience, prayers and time, if you believe it is worth it.
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
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monalisa-

I don't want to be seen running my wife down here because she reads the posts! But, in our relationship, if we have an argument, it is, on balance usually me that mends the bridges afterwards. Her dad is past master at the silent treatment, in fact I would go as far as to say he freezes people out if he disagrees with them. A 10 year freeze is nothing for him.

My wife and I have a fantastic relationship. We argue quite heatedly form time to time, but I see that as positive. (I could write a thesis on that, but somebody already did). When we have a bad atmosphere, I have come to accept that I am the bridge-maker. Very occasionally, she does it first. but usually it is me. Why should I insist she take on the role that I find easier? She does lots of things for me that I can't stand doing. She does my accounts for instance - I hate paperwork.

The main reason why I want her to be the one to make it up first is that, it "proves" I am right and she is in the wrong. But now I just don't care about that any more. I just want the love to keep flowing, and I just take the fastest route I know - Saying sorry, and if it's a real tough one - flowers as well
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