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My husband gives me the silent treatment - is this emotional abuse?
Married Life / 11:40 PM - Sunday January 17, 2010

My husband gives me the silent treatment - is this emotional abuse?

Whenever my husband and I have a fight, he has a tendancy to go into our bedroom and not speak to me. At times I have tried to go in after him to resolve the problem but he just ignores me or says he doesn't want to talk about it. I thought this was just a man thing, he needs his "cooling off" time so he doesn't do or say something he'll regret, but usually after he has done having his alone time, he is STILL angry. He will join me in our living room but still have a filthy look on his face and just keep his eyes on the tv. I feel like everything is my fault. He makes me feel like I am not allowed to be upset about anything. If I ever work up the guts to speak to him about this, somehow it ends up being my fault again:
Me: "Honey, you make me feel as though I can't be honest with you about my feelings, I have held a lot in over the years because I was afraid of the repercussions"
Him: "Held a lot in? So you have been lying to me?"
I don't know what to do.

- Asked by A Trendsetter, Female, 29-35, Las Vegas

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I don't know how to hold a relationship together, longterm, without good communication and that means BOTH ways.

You have to make up your mind how important this is. Many people suffer with a person like this forever and stay miserable forever.

You cannot fix anything because he is closed off to you. You either tolerate or leave. That is your choice.

What you are saying in essence, is that you fear him. You fear the temper that you FEEL might be lurking there. That is emotional abuse. He knows what he is doing and apparently it has worked for him his entire life. Perhaps he learned it from his father.

YOU must decide what to do about this. Nobody can tell you. I will just tell you that it is not acceptable and not the way that most people live.

- Response by randyl, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Los Angeles, Who Cares?

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The tactic he is using is called "Stonewalling". It is more frequently employed by men than women and it is meant to end their being in the hotseat. It is not an effective means of problem resolution and it creates much deep seated resentment in partners across time. If continued it usually will lead to contempt in a partner...one of four criteria that signal the end of the relationship because it makes people feel disregarded and dismissed.
Anyone who tells you differently is patently wrong about how damaging stonewalling can be. Stonewalling is in fact more damaging then arguing itself.

- Response by joybird, A Hippie Chick, Female, 46-55, Who Cares?

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Community Rating: Community Star

Come on how do you expect him to react when he's angry? that he opens up his arms to hold you and sings to you?? I mean you know perfectly well men and women react differently to most things... that they aren't as communicative, open or emotional as we do.. so please do yourself a favor and stop victimizing yourself because that is the only thing I hear from you...

- Response by divalicious, A Trendsetter, Female, 22-25, Who Cares?

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Give him the same equivalent ass treatment. Stop kissing his butt and tell him to kiss yours. Men love that shit. He'll be crawling back with his tail between his legs.

- Response by A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45

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Another narcissist who thinks he rules the world!

These self-absorbed people think they are the only ones whose opinions matter, and if you don't go along with WHATEVER their idea or agenda is, they will ignore you until you give in. This is, in fact, emotional abuse. The first step.

If you are not married, decide if you can live with what comes next, before you tie the knot. If you are married, this is what you can expect:

If you don't give in, expect refusal of sex, next.

After that, they take your "problem" public. Everyone will know that you are the problem.

If you still don't cave, expect first, verbal abuse, name calling, and mind games, then in-your-face loud verbal abuse, then pushing and shoving, and next, striking. They will throw you out of your house. You will be afraid to go home. And you won't. This is called "separation". Write down the date. Agencies and divorce attorneys want to know it later.

Eventually, they will file for divorce, after, of course, the whole town knows that you are a shrew. Believe me, they will make sure that everything goes their way, eventually! Even judges and authority figures believe them, that it is all your fault, and that you just wouldn't cooperate in (whatever).

The solution: TALK, TALK, TALK it out. Don't stop talking until you resolve it. Do not yell. Do not fight. Calmly let them know how you FEEL about it. Make yourself vulnerable to him, that it is affecting how you two feel about each other and how you hate how this feels when you disagree. Whatever, it is, resolve it. Make sure he understands that the thing, the issue, is not what is important, that the love you two have for each other is the most important thing of all. Because after he moves out, and moves in with another woman, and the two of them have learned this lesson, from the failure of both of their first two marriages, you will miss him.

And wish that the first time, the very first time, you couldn't talk about an issue to the point you had to get a counselor involved, you would have made the biggest issue the two of you, and how much you loved each other, and how this thing, this tiny little thing that split you up, could have been resolved if you had actually established that your relationship comes first, no matter what, and talked about (whatever) before it got to the point that he ignored you and abused you. And now someone else has listened and talked to him instead, and you are splitting up 25 years of stuff.

It happens EVERY DAY. Wanna be next? Do you?






- Response by naiveladyquestions, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Other Profession

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i would call it emotional abuse, my ex used to pull that crap. i couldn't stand it, very immature if u ask me. he would just not talk to me for days! and yes, over time it did cause a lot of resentment from me. its a control thing, i won't talk to her to make her know she was wrong and i was right. after a while, u learn to just kiss his ass so he won't pull the silent treatment on u because it makes u feel like shit. and im sure ur man is doing more emotional things to u than just this crap. and i guarantee that if u do it back to him he calls u names and says how immature u are for doing that. very hypocritcal men.

- Response by nicky711, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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My husband gives me the same silent treatment. Since I am from a household with five sisters and a brother, I can't stand the silence. I told him a couple of times that if there is anything I hate is the silent treatment, yet he does it again when things go wrong.
He doesn't think I ever have the right to be upset about anything. I can never talk to him about the things i feel without him saying "I feel the same way." I feel as though no matter what he thinks his feelings come first and he should be respected.
Honestly, at this point I would rather have him yell and scream than just stay quiet. I don't know how to fix it. I don't know what to do, he always feels as though he is right and his feelings should be respected when I am hurting more than him because his silence is driving me insane. He thinks the fight is over when I come and apologize to him... I can't always keep doing that for the rest of my life.

- Response by A Married Girl, Female, 26-28

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My husband gives me the same silent treatment. Since I am from a household with five sisters and a brother, I can't stand the silence. I told him a couple of times that if there is anything I hate is the silent treatment, yet he does it again when things go wrong.
He doesn't think I ever have the right to be upset about anything. I can never talk to him about the things i feel without him saying "I feel the same way." I feel as though no matter what he thinks his feelings come first and he should be respected.
Honestly, at this point I would rather have him yell and scream than just stay quiet. I don't know how to fix it. I don't know what to do, he always feels as though he is right and his feelings should be respected when I am hurting more than him because his silence is driving me insane. He thinks the fight is over when I come and apologize to him... I can't always keep doing that for the rest of my life.


- Response by A Married Girl, Female, 26-28

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My husband gives me the same silent treatment. Since I am from a household with five sisters and a brother, I can't stand the silence. I told him a couple of times that if there is anything I hate is the silent treatment, yet he does it again when things go wrong.
He doesn't think I ever have the right to be upset about anything. I can never talk to him about the things i feel without him saying "I feel the same way." I feel as though no matter what he thinks his feelings come first and he should be respected.
Honestly, at this point I would rather have him yell and scream than just stay quiet. I don't know how to fix it. I don't know what to do, he always feels as though he is right and his feelings should be respected when I am hurting more than him because his silence is driving me insane. He thinks the fight is over when I come and apologize to him... I can't always keep doing that for the rest of my life.

- Response by A Married Girl, Female, 26-28

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it depends on how long it goes on for, if its weeks at a time then yes, if its just for a moment it should be a relief for you

- Response by fritsberends, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 22-25, Fitness

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Guy's a bitch. No offense, lady. I think the obvious answer is that to solve the problem would make a happy household. Instead, he chooses to let it go silent and fester and build into something bigger. To me that equates to a bitch.

My advice: if he doesn't want to talk about it, go hang out with friends. Don't play into his spineless games. Live life so that you don't lose your identity.

- Response by zerotohero2, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 36-45, Los Angeles, Who Cares?

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the silent treatment is discribed as an abusive behavior

buffer has a valid point

it the silent treatment causes you to feel less than ,

if you alter your behavior to accomidate and avoid his that is

not healthy and abuse.

You may want to ask him to work with a mediator so that you

can learn to communicate with each other.


- Response by morningdust, A Creative, Female, 56-65, Self-Employed

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I wouldn't say that it was exactly emotional abuse but it's certainly not healthy. Some arguments are healthy and if you can't tell him what is on your mind without him throwing a tantrum then it's going to tear you guys apart. If you need to get something off your chest, he should be adult enough to listen to what you have to say without going to a corner and pouting. What you have to say is important and if your willing to listen to him when he has a problem then you should get the same respect. All i have to say is when you do have something important to say to him, don't get over emotional or visibly upset. Just tell him what is on your mind and leave your emotions out of it. If he continues to close himself off to you, It may be something that he's unwilling to fix and counseling may be in order because it's flat out unhealthy and not fair to you. Whoever that was who said "Who wants to argue? Unfortunately not him" is a moron who's never had a healthy relationship. You don't want to fight all the time but discussions and civil arguments are good for a relationship.

- Response by kristenmarie211, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Indianapolis, Student

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you should "pout" at him and say, awwww baby gonna cry! sorry, jk. no just tell him flat out that you just want to work things out with him. try and grab his hands and look into his eyes. tell him you love him and are afraid you're drifting apart or something. tell him you don't want any more miscommunications and you both need to be 100% open and honest with each other about your hurt feelings and what not. try and agree to let each other express what you're feeling and make a promise to each other that you won't get all bent out of shape over what they're saying, but that you will put in a maximum effort to work out the problems. it takes constant work on both sides of a relationship to make it work. good luck to you!

- Response by dudemcguy, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 36-45, Detroit, Student

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I am guessing you are one of those people who seek out partners so they have someone to hold in contempt, vent their emotional bile in and blame their failures on. I don't think you are complaining that you got the type of relationship you were looking for but that this is part of the dysfunction - Telling other people the guy you chose to be with is a monster so you get sympathy.

Passion can be had from things other than conflict. Affection and kind treatment can be derived from things other than sympathy. Other ways of being and treating other people can get you what you want.

So what should you do? For starters you should recognize that you are where your choices and who you are have lead you to and that making different choices and becoming a different person can lead you to different outcomes. You should recognize you have the power to change your life into something different.

- Response by bailarenfuego, A Guy Critical, Male, 46-55, Technical

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