Relationship 101: How To Deal With Silent Treatment In A Relationship

One of the ways that couples use to record their displeasure in a relationship is through silent treatment. Here is how to deal with it.

By Gerald Matiri
Relationship 101: How To Deal With Silent Treatment In A Relationship

Signs of silent treatment

One of the most used tools in a relationship disputes is silent treatment. Despite its harm, this tool is used to control, punish, or even withdraw from a spouse in a relationship. There are certain facts about silent treatment in a relationship that you should know and understand for life. These include: 1. It is marked by a spouse not expressing themselves in an assertive way 2. The person shows strong tendencies that are also narcissistic 3. People use silence to manipulate, hurt and abuse other people emotionally. The most common reason for this is that they have also being victims of abuse. 4. If you have been a victim of silent treatment, you will need to understand that this is not something you deserve. While it is the role of both parties to create that healthy communication in the relationship, none of the parties should be ignored. 5. Where the two parties are in a marriage or any other kind of committed and romantic relationship, silent treatment is one of the most commonly used weapons. This can prove to be damaging. 6. You need to deal with this communication breakdown. Where you find it difficult to stop it, you may need to consult a counselor. If you are not already married, both partners may need to move on. There are many partners who have to endure the silent treatment in a marriage. This may last for days, weeks or month. According to psychology, this is a form of hurt that can be painful to endure. When someone stonewalls you in a bid to be in control of that situation, this is a form of emotional abuse.

Causes of silent treatment

A common reason why people use this kind of abuse is that they fear conflicts. When the two of you talk over a certain issue, there are chances of confrontations and this is the same thing that your partner was trying to avoid in the first place. Your spouse believes that with the silent treatment, they will be in a position to regain control and probably make you apologize. In their minds, they want to see things restored to the way they were without any harm. Therefore, the silent treatment is usually as a result of a number of hurt feelings and the inability of the spouse to talk about them. Psychology experts say that it is not as a result of an argument but the need to feel in control when things are getting out of control. When our partners start to make regular demands, we choose to go silent. This makes them to feel the same and you will both be caught in a power struggle that is never ending. There are instances when people who serve the silent treatment in a relationship don’t do it out of malice. It could be that they are just lacking a good way of expressing their negative emotions such as grief or anger. They may also be afraid of your reaction when you know that they did something wrong. But it is also worth noting that people who are serial abusers rarely care if they hurt you or not. All they care about is the power they get form silence. Their goal is to use silence to manipulate you into doing what they desire and even go begging at their feet. With this kind of abuse, they will leave you feeling desperate to get back into their good books. Before you think of how to handle the silent treatment in a relationship, you will need to determine the cause. You can do that by speaking directly to the person especially after they have calmed down. You should also make them understand your feelings. You will notice that you are already dealing with a toxic spouse.

Don’t accept emotional abuse

While there isn’t a good excuse for the silent treatment, spouses who are victims of this kind of harm don’t know how they should handle it. They think that there is only a single way they can use to regain the co-operation of their spouses-giving an apology for whatever they thought they did wrong. Psychology experts say that if you are already dealing with silent treatment from the person who is supposed to love you, honor you and protect you, there are chances that you are already considering divorce. If you aren’t ready for divorce or you want your relationship to last, you should not just give up. First, you need to try to figure out what is going on in the mind of your spouse when they are giving you silence treatment and if there is something that can be done about it. It is also worth noting that you can easily see the signs of this kind of harm during the dating stage of a relationship. If you are not yet married and your partner has already started giving you the silence treatment, you should view this as a red flag. If you are unable to stop the behavior, you will need to consider whether it is worth making the relationship last any longer.

I’m not sure I’d stop him... #Zeus #anger #therapy #silenttreatment #relationships

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Avoid using the silent treatment

When your partner uses the silent treatment against you, you should avoid using the same kind of harm against them. Remember that your partner is only using the treatment that they found right. There are high chances that none of you is innocent and what is clear is that the abuser and the victim are both engaging in the abusive dynamics. You should consider how to stop the behavior instead of worsening it.

Your role as the abuser

According to psychology, there are instances when the abuser will be trying to escape from other forms of abuse. If there are things that you were trying to change or force them to do, it means that you were giving the people a valid reason for withdrawing. When you find that you are criticizing the person or assigning blame rather than looking for a solution, it means that you are also have a role to play in the behavior. On top of this if you start acting as the victim and you pout or get depressed over the issue, you will need to realize that you are also trying to control your partner.

Why silent treatment in a relationship is destructive?

There are several ways in which silent treatment is destructive. According to one study, this can result in dissatisfaction in a relationship or even divorce. When partners engage in a form of silent treatment, they will have worse communication as compared to their counterparts who use the non-silent treatment and do not enjoy a lot of intimacy.

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Dealing with silent treatment in a relationship

In case you have been receiving this kind of treatment in your relationship, you will need to understand that you can do something against this kind of harm. When your partner starts to hurt you in a relationship, there are several measures that you can use to deal with the harm and to make it stop. Some of the steps you should take to stop the abuse include:

1. Change yourself to deal with silent treatment

Remember that the only reason your spouse is treating you that way it to enable them regain control of a certain situation. This means that you will need to look for ways of boosting your self-worth and stay immune to the control tactics of your husband. Some of the ways to consider include: 1. Remember that since he feels out of control and uncertain, this is his problem rather than your own 2. Acknowledge the fact that what he is doing is to respond to a certain demand that he has already made. Bear in mind that demands will negatively affect the relationship. Encourage the person to share your feelings with you especially if they feeling that you are acting in a selfish way. Consider also a nice way of communicating the challenge with the person. The moment you start complaining, sulking or pouting, your spouse will realize that his silent treatment is working magic . This will only give the person a reason to keep doing it. 3. Don’t think about his thoughts. The moment you begin to think for your spouse, he will not have a good reason to share his feelings with you. 4. If you haven’t done a mistake, do not apologize. While some people will tell you to apologize, it is not possible to have a genuine relationship if you have to act in a hypocritical way. A good thing to do would be to empathize with them by telling them that you understand how angry and upset they are.

2. Do not be affected by silent treatment in a relationship

One of the best ways of avoiding the silent treatment is by acting as if you are not affected by it. You need to take note that people who give you this kind of silent treatment are only trying to make you react to it. Once you fail to play within their cards, they will understand that you don’t fall for their games easily. For instance, your partner may have refused to phone you for a number of days. You should avoid the urge of keeping on calling them until they pick the phone. A good idea would be to pretend that the silent treatment doesn’t matter and making yourself busy with things that help to keep thoughts away from them. The moment you meet him, speak to him in the normal way you usually do. If he doesn’t want to respond to you, tell them that you not only understand but if they are ready to talk to you, you are always open. You should also make it clear to your spouse that you will not accept silence as a form of silent abuse.

3. Dealing with silent treatment in a relationship-be kind

Unless you want to breakup with your partner, you will have to confront him at one time or the other even if they do not want to talk to you. When you get to that bridge, start by taking a deep breath, ensure that you have a clear mind and ask to speak to your partner privately. Find something positive to say about your partner. You should then tell them that they are hurting you by acting in the way they are doing. You should then offer to reconcile with them.

4. Have boundaries in a relationship

Probably you have noted that the silent treatment has worsened things in the relationship. If this happens to be the case, it might be advisable to end the relationship if you are not yet married. However, if already married, you should seek the help of a counselor. Another alternative is to set some clear boundaries and make the consequences known plainly before you can decide to end the relationship. You should let your partner know that you are not ready to continue in a relationship with someone who is giving you a cold shoulder. Make it clear that you want to break up with your partner. This last statement may make your spouse to balk. They might ask you for another chance. This will put you in control of things; if you feel that it is still possible to save the relationship, you should give him one more chance. Ensure that you make it clear to them that if they continue with the behavior; you will have no option but to break up with them.


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Share how you feel

When you invite your partner for a discussion on bringing to a stop the silent treatment, you need to inform them of how their withdrawal is impacting on you. You can begin by telling them that you have noted there is something that is bothering them. Add that you have already noted that they have withdrawn. Ask them to feel free to discuss what might be bothering them. Inform them that their silence is hurting you. Make sure you keep your words. If your partner goes back to that old treatment, you should break up with them without looking back. This is important as you definitely deserves better.

5. Take care of yourself after silent treatment

When someone is giving you a cold shoulder it is easy to be thrown off-balance especially when you want the relationship to last long. You might end up blaming yourself for not doing what your loved one wanted. You need to note that you do not have to take the blame for your partner’s actions. If the person indicates that you need to change, be ready to act on their complaint. Otherwise, you need to let them be. Surround yourself with people who are positive. On top of this, eat a balanced diet and always ensure that you are exercising regularly. Ensure that you practice positive affirmation on a daily basis. Keep reminding yourself that you aren’t a bad person if you are in a relationship with someone who gives you that silent treatment.

6. Talk about the silent treatment in a relationship

According to psychology experts, one of the best ways of dealing with silent treatment in a relationship is by talking about it. A good way of engaging in this conversation is by finding a therapist to help you address the cause of conflict in a relationship. You will also need to accept the part you have played in the silent treatment. If your partner is ready to talk about it, you need to continue having a healthy dialogue on this issue. Appreciate the fact they are ready to discuss the issue at hand. Also appreciate the fact that they are showing reinforcing positive behaviors. This can act as a great fix for a situation tat would otherwise be troubling.

7. Silent treatment in a relationship-contact a therapist

The fact that you are handling silent treatment may end up taking a toll on you. This may leave you feeling anxious, angry and depressed as a result of how you are being treated. If the person refuses, you should make an appointment alone with the psychology expert.

ارتباط دوتایی مادر با کودک که از نظر گاه کودک آیدال سازی شده یک فضای دوتایی می سازد که کودک برای حفظ آن، تمام آنچه را که بد تجربه می شود به بیرون از این ارتباط فرافکنی می کند و پدر هم بخشی از این بیرون است . سگال آنرا اینگونه توصیف می کند: ابژه ی بد , هم بدخواه و هم قدرتمند ادراک می شود که سعی دارد این دوتایی ( مادر ، کودک) را از هم جدا کند و هر آنچه بدی ( ابزه های بد) را که کودک به بیرون از این فضای دوتایی پرت کرده دوباره به درون این فضا برگرداند و این امر توسط کودک یک تهدید بزرگ ادراک می شود و او سعی می کند ارتباط خود را هر چه قوی تر با مادر نگه دارد تا از ورود ابژه های بد به این فضا جلوگیری کند و در نتیجه با ذهنی روبرو خواهیم بود که پذیرش چیزی از بیرون را نخواهد داشت. در درمان هم همین امر دیده می شود که تحلیل شونده ( مراجع ، بیمار ...) سعی می کند تحلیل گر( درمانگر) را در بیرون از این فضای دوتایی نگه دارد چیزی که در بسیار از موارد زوج درمانی نیز دیده می شود. #couples #coupletherapy #زوجدرمانی #زوجين #مادر #مادروکودک

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8. Be ready to reconnect in the relationship

If couples agree on time-out from a relationship, they can use that time to pray; reflect and choose a healthy response. On the other hand, silent treatment is not only painful but it doesn’t have a place in any healthy relationship that is supposed to last. Spouses must agree for timeouts but they must also agree that silent treatment shouldn’t be tolerated. When your spouse shows that they are ready to reconnect with you, you should be ready to reconnect if you want the relationship to last. You will want them to be responsible for withdrawing in that unhealthy way and hurting you in the relationship. Ensure that your partner takes responsibility for withdrawing in that unhealthy way. Once they acknowledge the damage that they have caused to you, tell that you are ready to reconnect. Once the two of you agree to reconnect, it will be possible to not only resolve the differences but also ensure that they do not reoccur in future.