Silent Treatment

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
2913 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

My FI does this. I guess I don’t help it because I just fall silent when he does. Once this went on for like, 3 days. All of a sudden he will decide he wants to talk again, but I am supposed to just let it go. Luckily, this has only happened like, twice in our relationship. Now when I feel like he is about to go silent on me I call him out right away.

Post # 4
Member
3941 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@SarahP898:   Ugh.  Passive aggressive.  One of my ex-boyfriends was like that.  I hated it.  It never got any better.  I hated the control freak aspect of it.  

He may not enjoy fighting but I’d guess enjoys being in control of the situation.

Post # 5
Member
3557 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

My FI and I do not do this because we respect each other. I did have 2 roommates who managed to give me the silent treatment for 3 months, it was impressive in the sheer staggering amount of passive aggresiveness kind of way. The relationships basically imploded because nothing ever got resolved. I honestly think the silent treatment is one of the best relationship killers out there. Your FI needs to learn a different and healthier way to have a disagreement before you marry him.

Post # 6
Member
6273 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

you have to work this out before you get married.  at 30, he is still acting like a teen.  he needs to man up and communicate.

let him know he can go take a 10 minute breather to be mad and get his thoughts together but after than, you need to talk.

 

Post # 7
Member
8907 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

My take is that a few minutes of “silent treatment” can be acceptable – often people aren’t able to have a rational discussion in the midst of an argument, and just need a few minutes to calm down and think logically.  But more than a few minutes definitely veers into immature terrority.

You should tell him (sometime when you’re NOT fighting) that it hurts your feelings when he ignores you and then pretends like nothing was ever wrong.  If your guy is like mine, he may not realize what he’s doing is making you feel so shitty….

ETA: lol “manchild” tag

Post # 8
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

The silent treatment is not fair, and it is really immature.  You need to talk to him about this when a fight is not taking place!  Maybe he needs some time to himself to “process” the information and choose his words.  If that is the case, he needs to say, “I need a little time/space to think about this…let’s come back to this _____ (insert: in an hour/after dinner/before bed.” 

Post # 9
Member
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I think it’s ok to be upset and not feel ready to openly work out a disagreement. I have found it’s often better to walk away a disagreement calmly, take a short bit of peaceful alone time, read a book or go for a walk (no door-slamming!) and just deal with thoughts and emotions separately. I have my husband to thank for teaching me how helpful this can be. I used to relentlessly pursue a resolution to a disagreement, but when over-emotional, this was ineffective and stressful. He taught me that it’s okay to say, “We should talk about this later”, take a break to let the initial anger dissipate, move on with the day, and bring up the topic later on. It’s really important to give each other the space to do that. 


That said, passive-agressively avoiding all communication for an undetermined amount of time (really, DAYS?) is not at all productive. It seems like he could be blowing disagreements out of proportion.

Post # 10
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@SarahP898:  I used to be like your FI.  It was a coping mechanism I learned growing up to avoid conflict because my dad would yell at me for everything and I wanted to avoid everything.  In fact, it made conflict worse once my partners realized what I was doing.  My current FI calls me on it and has over time broken me of the habit.  Maybe it would be a good idea to ask him why he prefers this nonconfrontational silent treatment when he isn’t in the middle of giving you the silent treatment.

Post # 11
Member
1259 posts
Bumble bee

I feel like it’s okay to take some time after an argument or step back from an arguement, as long as you calmly let the other person know that’s what you’re doing. But silent treatment for a whole day/night or longer than about 10 minutes is kinda silly and doesn’t help the feeling of tension between two people. It’s stressful as F*ck to sit there for a whole night watching tv in the same house or whatever and just not communicating at all! 

I can admit that I have retreated into a bedroom or went out to clear my head after a disagreement, but I always come back and then we talk it out. My fiance is very much like you OP and wants to figure it out and come to a compromise/decision right away. While I need more time to analyze and decompress after an argument. Call me sensitive but that’s just how I am. I think speaking with him during a regular non-arguing time about working through disagreements and letting the other person know if you need a 10 min break from the situation is a better way to proceed.

Post # 12
Member
526 posts
Busy bee

We had this happen last night! I was cranky bc I was cooking dinner at 9pm while DH did homework in the kitchen after golfing, and I was annoyed.  He gets mad at me when I get cranky/snappy and then doesn’t talk to me for hours.  I think this is ridiculous, man up and realize I haven’t eaten in 9 hours and its not about you! I will be fine in 10 min once I eat something! So basically I am not allowed to get hangry, or annoyed without him doing the same and ruining our night? And no amount of me apologizing or trying to talk to him will get him out of his ‘funk’ until he is ready to.  I have explained this to him and how stupid it is (I didn’t say stupid, but I WANTED to) and asked what I can do to stop this (once a month-ish) occurrence, but he can’t seem to see it as his issue yet.  I love him, but I’m over this behavior.  looking for tips on how to cope!

Post # 13
Member
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

SUper unhealthy communication style. When we isn’t mad at you, i’d suggest gently bringing up that you guys need some serious work on your communication style. Whether via books or a therapist, something’s gotta change there.

Post # 14
Member
5966 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2017

Ok here is another perspective. If you are assuming that any time he wants to go in the room and be alone that he’s mad at you, that would be the first thing I would I would stop doing. Its just as wrong to assume as it is to give an all out silent treatment, they both can really cause problems because both are skipping any kind of communication. I am someone who goes quiet if im upset, but it doesn’t always have to do with FI. Sometimes I need to just be left alone before I approach whatever the problem is, and sometimes after a bit of reflection I decide im not upset and was making a mountain out of a mole hill. People like me, who need silence and to be left alone, sometimes get mistaken as people who are giving the silent treatment. Is this at all possible? Im not passive aggressive and FI is similar to me. We used to butt heads a lot because he has always been like this and I would right away want to “communicate” and talk it out. That’s not how he worked htough and it wasn’t until I got a bit older and changed that I understood more of why he would go silent. It’s not always done to be a jerk. I would be ridiculously bad at just blurting out what was wrong at first. Sometimes I think it’s one thing and then I realize its something else and the smaller thing is just the cover. It’s a big pain, I know.  Granted, I will actually say “im pretty effing frustrated so just leave me be until I can figure out exactly how to address it” or ill say “i just had a bad day and need to just chill out, it’s not you, but I just need to let myself decompress and need some space, but please know it has nothing to do with you, ill tell you about it later when im not so irritated”

It is possible that he is just giving you the silent treatment but no matter what, I would talk about how you guys plan to handle disagreements so there is very clear boundaries and a plan as to how to go about things so there are as few hurt feelings as possible. also I would talk about why he feels the need to go quiet on you, is it a punishment (wrong)? is it because he needs to simmer down before approaching things (acceptable)? is it because he just needs an afternoon alone to just do nothing and not be bothered (occasionally acceptable)? etc. Either way, he needs to let you in on his thought process and you need to stop assuming.

Post # 15
Member
4474 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

There’s a communication breakdown happening on his end and it can be very damaging. I would approach the situation by sitting him down when you’re NOT arguing and express to him that you want to try and work on your communication before getting married. Don’t make any accusatory statements because they can come off as attacking. Don’t even necessarily put the blame on him, like, “We’re need this because you give me the silent treatment.” Be careful to use all “I” statements. Maybe have a few reading suggestions handy, things that you guys can either read together, or go chapter by chapter and then discuss. You can express to him that when you guys get into small arguments if he feels the need for space then he should explicitly ask for it (like if he’s giving you the silent treatment because he needs space, but just doesn’t fully know how to express that need). I don’t think you guys need to jump right into seeing a counselor or anything, but definitely you have to be the proactive one in trying to bring about some positive change. If nothing else changes then maybe your best bet would be to just see a counselor for a few sessions to work out the issue. 

Post # 16
Member
5966 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2017

Also, I think it’s unfair to put a time limit on it. I think its fair to decide what is excessive but not something like well you only get 10 minutes to go silent, then we are gonna talk about it. FI and I have an agreement that we have to explain that we just need a moment (or more) so the other one of us isn’t left to assume what’s going on. We also have a one day cap on how long we can leave things alone before we address it. Sometimes after the one day cooling off period we sit down to talk and decide its either not something we need to dwell on, we still don’t know how we feel about it, something else happened that is unrelated that is making it hard to talk at that time, etc. We have gone to counseling for a long while now to work on our communication. We found what works and sometimes silence is what one of us needs.

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