Every Couple Argue
No relationship is complete without little disagreements here and there but how well do you fight? Experts suggest that it is not how much or often a couple fights but rather how they fight that will predict the future of their relationship.
The thing, however, is that no one likes fighting in a relationship because of the recovery time or the time it takes you two to find your groove again. Fighting gets you mad at the person you like most and you can’t talk to them because you’re still stewing. Worse still if he’s the one stewing and won’t utter two words to you no matter how hard you try.
The Silent Treatment After An Argument
Giving or receiving the cold shoulder after an argument is a common way that most couples deal with an issue they feel they’re not emotionally equipped to handle. The silent treatment is one of the most common patterns of conflict in relationships and that is because of how effective it can feel like a tool to deal with whatever the couple is dealing with.
The silent treatment tremendously decreases satisfaction in a relationship and diminishes feelings of intimacy, reducing the capacity of couples to show affection. There are many reasons why people choose to be mute once they get int a fight with their partner and the chances are that you’ve both given and received the silent treatment.
No matter how good you fight, no one can deny that fighting drains you emotionally and couples use the silent space created after to recharge. During this time when your energy is low, you can barely think of two words to say to your partner. It could be both of you needing this space or one of you and the other partner may feel like they are being iced out if their partner goes silent on them.
A person can use the silent treatment as a way to protect themselves from all the feels. A fight with your partner can leave you feeling emotionally vulnerable and so your mind retreats into this place where it feels safe and your emotions won’t be exploited. Unfortunately for the other partner, this means him going silent on you.
Getting the upper hand
Excluding someone activates the same area of the brain as a physical fight does and does a remarkable job of bringing someone to heel. If your partner seems to e talking to everyone else and purposely excluding you from conversations with other people will have you feeling horrible and chances are that when he is ready to talk, you’ll be subdued and willing to do whatever it takes to have him talking to you again.
Sometimes a partner will go silent after a fight because they’d rather not discuss the underlying issue that was the cause of the fight. Avoidance is seen as taking the easy way out and hoping that things get magically solved by the time you talk again or that the issue will be dropped
What You Should Absolutely Not Do
Your partner giving you the cold shoulder is just that-cold and unforgiving. This is your person so you’d rather just be back to normal, however, a number of negative emotions can be associated with the silent treatment like anger, frustration, insecurities, and sadness and it is important to consider these emotions before we do anything about it. In these moments, doing anything that might magnify these feelings does more damage than good so watch for these things that you should absolutely avoid.
1. Badgering him
A fight evokes the need in us to assign blame and point out all the things your partner did to fuel the fight. We don’t all deal with highly emotional states the same and if you notice that your partner has retreated to his own corner, best to leave it alone until a time when things are calm and you both can have a rational conversation.
Most couples after noticing that their partner has gone silent decide to stoke the fires and push things from bad to worse because they think that will force him to talk his feelings out. It might actually make him talk but it will not be in a way that you like and the damage caused by constant badgering after a fight can be irreversible and detrimental to your relationship.
This is absolutely not the time that you need to start assigning blame. I know it’s a natural instinct in us to accuse our partners of all their shortcomings but he’s like an injured animal in this state and will react like one if he feels cornered. He needs some time to collect himself together before he can have a coherent conversation with you, so back of and let him collect himself first before you have another conversation on who did what.
3. Hostile language
You’re angry too and you might even be angrier when he chooses to ignore you after an argument and the thing about anger is it chooses some very unhealthy ways to be let out. It is key that you take care of what comes out of your mouth in your moment of anger. Once something is said, t cannot be taken back and will remain with your partner even if you patch things up. If you feel that anything you try to say maybe taken negatively, it’d be best to leave it alone until you calm down.
When It is Best to Appease Him?
You can’t stay in this limbo place forever. Little by little you both need to start taking things back to normal. Problem is, your man may not exactly know how to come out of his funk so it may be up to you to appease him and get him back to normal.
4. Once he’s calmed down
If he went silent because of an overload of emotion and you notice he’s calmed down after some time, then you can approach him and try to talk to him. During this time, you can try and be cute if that works for you, cook him a meal, or do something special for just the two of you.
5. After apologies
Apologizing is a great way to deal with the issue at hand. In case you were the one in the wrong, apologizing will show him that you heard him and are sorry for the part that you played in your fight. After a sincere apology and talking it out, you can plan something special for him like a romantic night or getting him seasonal tickets to his favorite game.
6. If he shows signs of talking
If he’s over the fight and is trying to do little things to reconcile you two, then it’s best to just go with the flow for a while before you discuss your fight. He wants to feel like he’s still important and that not all is lost. Be patient with him and wait till he’s in the space to talk. Meanwhile, if he tries to sneak in a hug from behind, hold him to you and let him know that you’ll be okay.
When It is Best to Ignore Him?
Not every silent treatment requires an immediate fix. Sometimes it’s best to just leave it alone and continue with your activities.
7. If he’s brooding
If he’s still sulking around and not talking to anyone, it won’t do any good trying to talk to him and may just make you mad which in turn may lead to negative responses. Let him brood in his own space and let him come to you instead.
8. If he was the one on the wrong
He’s not a baby that you need to coddle and he’s being mute after he was the one on the wrong, then it would e best to ignore his whims. Ignoring him means you’re not feeding his bad behaviors and it will force him to reflect on his own actions and come to terms with his fault in things.
When It is Best to Act Normal?
9. If you both worked it out
If you’ve already talked about your fight and have come to a conclusion, let things start flowing slowly back to normal. Keeping with the silent treatment after working things out negates everything you’ve worked through. He may be waiting to follow your lead after so just acting normal and he’ll follow suit.
10. After some time has passed
Time is the healer of all things including your broken communication line. After some time has passed, you can test out the waters by talking and acting as you normally would with him otherwise. It doesn’t mean that you’re ignoring your fight, sometimes men don’t know exactly how to swing back and may be afraid of being shut down so you taking the lead on back to normalcy could be all the nudge he needs.
Every couple fights and it’s normal sometimes to just need your space in silence. Understanding why your partner is silent is key in handling the situation and how to diffuse it. Take care though that the silent treatment isn’t used as a way to punish you emotionally and if you feel so, make it clear to your partner your sentiments and how you’d like to move forward instead.