Post # 1
He and I had an arugment two nights ago. I really overreacted. I apologized, but now he is being extremely distatant. He won’t let me hug him or kiss him. Today is his birthday. He’s also giving me the silent tretament. How would you ladies conduct yourselves int his situation?
Post # 3
Therapists/psychologists call this “stonewalling,” and I don’t handle it well. (After dealing with it from an ex for years, it was on my list of dealbreakers when I was dating!)
I would wait until he starts speaking to you again, and then I would ask him if we could talk. Very calmly and non-accusatorily, I would explain to him that stonewalling makes you feel like absolute shit, like the fight is still ongoing, and like you’re being disrespected as not even good enough to acknowledge. I would explain to him that it’s imperative that you two, together, find another way to handle the aftermath of an argument (and if he can’t stop stonewalling, that might mean one of you leaving the house for a while so you don’t have to deal, up close and personal, with being ignored).
I think a lot of people who do this don’t realize how harmful it is, though. Google “stonewalling” and you’ll come up with a lot of reading that might help you formulate to him why you find it so demeaning and alienating.
Post # 4
@sda519: I can’t say how I would conduct myself in this situation without a few more details.
What was the context and content of the argument? What is the nature of your relationship, are you married, living together, engaged, etc.? You said you overreacted – how exactly did you overreact?
Post # 5
@calendula: It might be stonewalling, but I think we need more details before arriving at that conclusion. The silent treatment might mean that the guy just needs to think things through. But, on the other hand, I’ve been a victim of stonewalling and I. hated. it. so that’s definitely something to be considered.
Post # 6
@Sunfire: What was the context and content of the argument? What is the nature of your relationship, are you married, living together, engaged, etc.? You said you overreacted – how exactly did you overreact?
+1 to it being hard to respond without knowing the answers to these questions. I would have a much different response if, for example, you were being verbally or physically abusive, than if you just mean that you picked an argument over something silly that didn’t matter. I hate stonewalling too, but there seems to be an unfortunate trend on the bee lately where a girl thinks if they hit their Fiance or cuss them out and call them horrible names, it’s not a big deal like it is if it happens the other way around, so I feel the need to make sure it wasn’t anything like that before I draw conclusions. Because if it is anything like that, I totally understand the guy’s response and my advice would be very different than if it’s a dumb argument he’s dragging out.
ETA: I went back and looked at your previous posts OP, and it looks like you two are living together and engaged, but have postponed the wedding due to his parents being extremely disrespectful and him not sticking up for you…is that what the fight was about?
Post # 7
@Sunfire: Fair enough! Stonewalling is such a hot button of mine, I jumped to that possibility – but you’re right, unless this is a consistent pattern, there’s not enough info or cause to call it that.
Post # 8
@Wonderstruck: but there seems to be an unfortunate trend on the bee lately where a girl thinks if they hit their Fiance or cuss them out and call them horrible names, it’s not a big deal like it is if it happens the other way around, so I feel the need to make sure it wasn’t anything like that before I draw conclusions.
I’ve noticed that too. Some women behave terribly in relationships at times still want paint themselves as victims. I’m not saying thats what the OP is doing, i’m just talking generally.
Post # 9
I absolutely hate this, too, and I will not deal with it. My Fiance used to do it until he was told unexplicably in Catholic pre-marriage counseling that it is NOT okay and he better work his damndest to stop doing that to me. Before that point, I don’t think he realized how universally accepted it is that the silent treatment is extremely damaging and at times emotionally abusive.
That was months ago, which was the last time we fought. He hasn’t done it since. Thank you, Catholic Church! 😉 Before the Catholic intervention, I think it also helped that I preempted his stonewalling the last time by heading straight to my parents’ house after an argument. I told him I simply could not sleep in the same bed as him while he was being hostile, refusing to resolve our argument and acting like a child. And I absolutely was not going to deal with it anymore.
I highly recommend dealing with an ojective outside source to deal with problems like this that just don’t seem to be changing. Also, you have to stick up for yourself!
Post # 10
@sda519: I agree with PPs, that it’s important to know more information before trying to explain how you should best handle the situation. There is a difference between stonewalling and just needing some time to process the situation and cool down. Sometimes I need some time alone in order to move forward rationally in an argument. Although, two nights plus a birthday of not talking is way more than the time I am talking about… I may need an hour or two, maybe even to sleep on it to get my head straight.
It’s a shame that you guys are not getting along on his birthday. To me birthdays are meant to be celebrated, so that’s hard to do when you’re not talking or getting along.
Although more info is definitely needed in order to really comment, I’m sorry that you guys can’t enjoy his birthday together the way that you probably want to. Hang in there!
Post # 11
@sda519: Haven’t you ever just wanted to be mad about something for a while? That could be what’s going on here, regardless of what the date is on the calendar, if the fight is over and he’s still a little sore about the whole thing…let him have his space. Nothing worse than poking the bear, that just gets him all riled up and makes life miserable for you….I’m sure he’s not doing it to upset you, he’s doing it to AVOID upsetting you.
If you apologized and he accepted it, the rest is his stuff to process, and if he’s anything like Mr. 99…that can take like, three days depending on what exactly happened. It used to bother me a lot, but once I understood it was just his way of wrapping up the loose ends internally, I never let it bother me again, because he’s cleaning up the emotional fallout in his area, and we’re all entitled to that.
Post # 12
I know I can tend to do the same thing. Even though the fight is over and I want it to be over, I still need to process my feelings. Without knowing more (as PPs have asked), I would say to let him know you are here for him whenever he is ready but that you are going to respect his space and give him some time.
Post # 13
My father uses the silent treatment. As a child it was horrible living in a house where he wouldn’t speak to my mother for days. Keep that in mind.
Post # 14
It really depends on the context and situation. I’ve had one time where I was so angry at my fiance that we did not speak for a few days. There was no affection, kissing, cuddling, anything. I was beyond livid, and I told him that if he got in my face to try and talk about it, I would say something that I would not be able to take back. It wasn’t stonewalling. It was making sure that I had calmed down to the point where I could say something to him besides ‘go drink bleach and die in a fire’.
However, it has only happened ONCE in 5 years. If the fight was that bad, let him cool down. Poking at him and trying to be nice and affectionate will just prolong the process. If he’s just being obnoxious, leaving him alone till he comes to his senses works just as well.
Post # 15
@sda519: please read any marriage book by John Gottman. Stonewalling is very, very destructive on a relationship.