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The silent treatment...

(34 Posts)
NotACinderella Wed 18-Jun-14 00:00:10

Your opinions pls.

VanitasVanitatum Wed 18-Jun-14 00:01:48

Hmm. I have done this in the past when I either just don't know what to say or just want to calm down before discussing. Not right really though, and very bad if it's manipulative.

NotACinderella Wed 18-Jun-14 00:05:41

I must admit to do this. I think I do it when I am angry and hurt and disappointed. And also because dh's reaction to most discussion is verbally aggressive. But Is it also manipulative? I'm going to bed and ponder...

NotACinderella Wed 18-Jun-14 00:06:29

*I do this

thecuntureshow Wed 18-Jun-14 00:09:11

Not usually helpful is it usually.

Not always manipulative though or meant with malice.

A friend admits they give the silent treatment - they have little idea how to communicate normally when faced with a disagreement. Their parents never spoke to them, and gave them the silent treatment. Counsellor said it's likely they weren't spoken to much as a child. sad They say they sometimes physically just can't get the words out.

And I think people deal with anger differently. Some people need to talk and sort something out now, some need to think about things and talk in the morning. The key is to compromise, or at least consider the other person's feelings.

NotACinderella Wed 18-Jun-14 00:15:01

Thecuntureshow maybe your friends are us because those reasons you mention are pretty much our reasons.

Def not helpful. And in communion with ither issues probably worrying...

thecuntureshow Wed 18-Jun-14 00:29:02

You and your DP, OP?

Not sure what the answer is. Perhaps at least talk long enough to agree you'll talk in the morning/tomorrow after work or whatever.

And mean it! Then just break the ice. It's hard - I think we've all been there!

Having been on the receiving end, I know getting the silent treatment is far worse. Made me want to tear my hair out!

If there are other problems, have you thought about mediation or something?

lovemenot Wed 18-Jun-14 00:52:52

For me, retreating into silence was my response to his verbal abuse. If I tried to break the ice, or discuss, I would get another dose of "my faultitis". God knows I tried, and tried again....but eventually I gave up.

So my silence was not designed to manipulate him, it was to protect me.

bragmatic Wed 18-Jun-14 01:04:46

How long has it gone on for?

Wrapdress Wed 18-Jun-14 02:02:39

I clam up until I'm ready to talk. Doesn't matter who the other parties are or the situation - home, work, parents, kid. I want to think, process, calm down. It's not about "giving the silent treatment". It's about thinking things through, weighing options and being rational in my own mind before being ready to talk about it. It's not about torturing the other people.

jynier Wed 18-Jun-14 02:06:00

Apparently, the "silent treatment" is the most serious and least recognised of severe mental abuse. Good luck, OP Went through it myself! You will find lots of help on here and elsewhere but I don't know how to link to the many sites

kickassangel Wed 18-Jun-14 02:26:08

I think it can vary greatly. there is a huge difference between being temporarily mute when faced with a conflict situation, and deliberately refusing to speak as a form of punishment. Then's there just the 'not sure what to say/might blow my top' scenario where a tactful pause is best.

They could probably look very similar in a snapshot situation, but the emotions and intent have no similarity.

PinklePurr Wed 18-Jun-14 02:39:21

It's all about the intent really.

DP appears (to outsiders) to give me the silent treatment when he's angry or upset, but it's just his way of dealing with the situation. I just leave him alone and let him come to me when he's ready.

It's not something he's doing maliciously but it took me a while to realise that.

mammadiggingdeep Wed 18-Jun-14 06:06:38

Even reading your title have me a shiver. I used to be ignored for days by twunt of an ex. Not just him going quiet, him acting as if I didn't exsist. I will never ever put up with 'the silent treatment' again. It feels great that I don't have to smile

newnamesamegame Wed 18-Jun-14 06:13:16

lovemenot I can totally relate to this. I hate the idea of blanking someone but if the alternative is a) verbal abuse and being told how awful you are or b) having to accept the status quo and nothing ever changing, then sometimes you can't see a way past it and communication becomes moot.

1moreRep Wed 18-Jun-14 06:18:50

My DP does this to me on occasion and it really gets to me- it ends up with me following him around and saying things I don't mean just to get him to speak to me again- it is a major problem in our relationship. HE is working on it- it he will text and apologise when he is at work but I am caring less and less

KoalaDownUnder Wed 18-Jun-14 06:27:47

I think the intent and the time period makes a big difference.

If an argument gets so bitter that I'm in danger of saying something irreversible, or losing my temper, I sometimes withdraw until I'm under control. The same if my partner insists on thrashing something out then and there, when I need time to be alone and process. I've been in arguments where I've begged my partner to leave me alone for a few hours, so I can retreat and regroup.

That's completely different (IMO) to withdrawing for days and refusing to acknowledge the other person. Stonewalling someone with silence (which I what I'd call 'the silent treatment') is abusive and cruel.

KoalaDownUnder Wed 18-Jun-14 06:28:27

Sorry, meant to add: it becomes abusive when someone is giving the silent treatment as a form of punishment.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Wed 18-Jun-14 10:46:11

*For me, retreating into silence was my response to his verbal abuse. If I tried to break the ice, or discuss, I would get another dose of "my faultitis". God knows I tried, and tried again....but eventually I gave up.
So my silence was not designed to manipulate him, it was to protect me.*

This was me. Thankfully we are separated now, but now it's morphed into "no contact" so I suspect he would accuse me of giving him the silent treatment, however, it's more "not reacting to his harassment and inappropriate questions." hmm

NotACinderella Wed 18-Jun-14 17:21:07

Thank you.

I can relate to what you said lovemenot. My intention is to save myself and to regroup, and to analyse the situation from various angles. In my view dh will not want to talk about the issues raised in a heated argument, his technique is to pretend it never happened and move on.

However after reading about how it feels being at the receiving end I thought I should question it.

I feel my intention is not to punish but to distance and protect myself, but who knows... i might also want to hurt me in the same way he hurts me with his words or actions etc.

Hmmm. I have cone to realise that we are not in a mature and healthy relationship tbh, as alongside this we have the following: walking on eggshell, scared to say what we think/want, belittling, rolling eyes, verbal aggression, control. Not in front of children and not always but enough to think "this is too much."

NotACinderella Wed 18-Jun-14 17:21:59

Can relate completely to "my faultitis" ... Tiring and draining.

wafflyversatile Wed 18-Jun-14 17:24:31

My DP does this to me on occasion and it really gets to me- it ends up with me following him around and saying things I don't mean just to get him to speak to me again- it is a major problem in our relationship. HE is working on it- it he will text and apologise when he is at work but I am caring less and less

Do you apologise and are you working on your bit?

brokenhearted55a Wed 18-Jun-14 17:27:39

It depends on the intent. To punish a partner it is passive aggression at its extreme.

Sometimes though I wish I had stayed silent to consider my response before shooting my mouth off.

wafflyversatile Wed 18-Jun-14 17:30:12

I think as one thing it can be 'ok' as long as there's not loads of other stuff too.

'the silent treatment' suggests manipulation and punishment and sometimes it can be that. But as said, sometimes you need a bit of time to yourself to regroup, calm down etc. Depends I suppose.

Tinks42 Wed 18-Jun-14 17:32:53

I can sort of see it being maybe ok if something has become very heated and you or the other person needs to walk away to the other room for a bit to calm down before they say something they may regret.

Other than that I feel its cruel and a form of emotional abuse.

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