My man is giving me the SILENT Treatment what should I do?
The silent treatment is one of the most damaging relationship problems. It gives no resolve to the situation if there is an issue that needs to be addressed, and it makes the other person feel as though that whatever the issue is, is more important than discussing it to even get to a resolve. It causes damage to the relationship because it makes the other person feel unimportant.
When a person gives you the silent treatment or “stonewall” on you, most of the time they are trying to let you know that something is wrong without telling you why. If you ask if anything is wrong, you are met with silence. There is no explanation, no response of any kind, only stony silence. If Fact it is often referred to as a sort of adult tantrum.
In the context of an intimate relationship, some people think that their partner can read their mind. There is also an incorrect notion that you should know why he is upset. Most often, the recipient of the silence is left with feelings of confusion and exasperation as they try to resolve the problem. However, how can someone resolve a problem when they do not know what is wrong?
Before you react to such a situation consider this,
- It may have nothing at all to do with you—some men face circumstances that they cannot articulate for whatever reason. They feel as though telling you may make them appear weak and inadequate and that is the last thing a man wants his wife to think of him.
- Men may feel as though this is their way of keeping peace. This doesn’t condone the behavior but perhaps he doesn’t know any way to communicate what he is truly feeling inside without it becoming a bigger argument so he will remain silent.
- There is a mental condition called narcissism that causes one to go into a mode of silence in order to control the outcome.
The bottom line is YOU want your man to feel confident that you will keep his secrets if there is one to be revealed. You also want him to feel safe with trusting you with his truth. You definitely want to be able to identify with him if he is suffering from a disorder. The bottom line is you must find a place of peace within yourself to remain the strength of the situation. You can definitely turn things around if you consider some of these steps.
- Absolutely REFUSE to engage with them for this: If he is being passive aggressive he is more than likely an expert at getting you and others react . DECIDE that you will not be entangled in a power struggle. So you must manage your own emotions. You have NO control over how people deal with you but you are in full control over your reaction to them. Make a couple of self-talk statements: “Here he is with that; I will not participate in this with him.”
“We will get over whatever this is at some point, it is not worth me yelling and screaming and creating an entirely new conflict.”
- Know that He sees Elephant in the Room
More than likely he could be avoiding direct emotional expression and refusing to admit that he is angry or simply not able to talk about something he is going through. So you have to be willing confront the elephant in the room directly. Be sure that your approach to the issue does not place him in a defensive space. Statements like, “It’s seems that my making this statement agers you dear is that true?” or “ I value you and our time together speaking to one another. Is there truly something on your heart that you’d like me to pray with you about? I understand if you can’t tell me verbally, but remember email and text are both options. I love you and I’m here for you” The impact of this seemingly simple exposure can be quite profound.
- Speak Up and Do your best to Change the negative pattern. If your partner continues to give you the silent treatment time after time, help him work on redirecting the habit that has developed in his life. Wait until he begins speaking to you again, and then address the issue. A Lot of times the Silent Treatment has been ingrained in a person’s personality. They may have seen this in their parents and they simply don’t know that it is a problem nor do they feel that it needs addressing. Be committed to the relationship enough to speak up without being confrontational and angry yourself. Empathize with him and say that you understand how difficult I is for him to speak on things that may seem out of control, and assure him that you aren’t trying to make him speak about whatever it is he is dealing with. Tell him that there is more to him that you love that goes beyond whatever the issue is.