I agree with others that this is a form of abuse. However, since this is your marriage/long term relationship, I think addressing this thing head on is a good idea.
Counselling is great, but perhaps you should just go up to him, say "Look I know what you are doing and I just want to let you know I am not playing this game anymore" Hand him the information that you have on the abusive side of this "silent treatment game" and tell him to read it.
Tell him, if he wants to still have you in his life he will read it, and come to you, to talk about it.
Before you even get to a counsellor for the two of you, you do need a strong game plan of how to handle this situation. And some support and acknowledgement of where this is coming from.
This behaviour could be something he has learned, and perhaps he doesn't understand it either. (Not that there is an excuse) The behaviour is childish and very manipulative. But as far as abuse goes, this is probably one of the easier ones to address, if both partners are willing to do the work.
Also when he is ready to discuss what you have asked him to read (give him a time frame, and tell him straight, that he is disrespecting you), have the information for the marriage counsellor handy.
I hope he decides to do this for all of you.
I do have to agree with hooves it is a learnt behaviour and I have spoken to my mother in law about my husband. He used to do it to get his own way. Funny I mentioned your situation to him and he said duuh doesn't she get it he is just trying to get what he wants. How dumb? After it came out of his mouth he realized how stupid it sounds. He even looked embarrassed to b honest. I would not b humoring this behaviour.
I would do similar to hooves, get your power back and say I am going to get professional help about this silent treatment you abuse me with and if you don't sort it out I am out of here. I deserve better. I am not having children with you if you treat me so badly. I would tell him that he isn't caring for you in a husbandly way and there are others out there that will.
He needs to know that you are not powerless. He either sorts out the three year old tantrum or you leave. You are supported here. What does your family say about this? What is his family's position on it?
I would be saying over and over. I am not powerless to him.
Go get help. Even if he does you the courtesy of letting you back in. To b honest he doesn't know how to make it right once it happens. He needs to b upskilled in how to manage himself and his moods. Everyday he keeps it going he makes it harder to come back to normal. He is reverting back to childhood when someone would just give in to him and everyone tip toed around him so they didn't have this to contend with.
He is passive aggressive. He needs help. You need to decide if it's worth working through or is he willing to? Can you live with this forever?
Good luck. Keep us posted.
Everyone else has pretty much covered it so just here to say good luck and I hope you can both get things sorted out and work towards a healthy relationship you deserve so much more and hopefully now he will see what he is doing as wrong and things can be addressed.. xx
I think that too. He really hasn't learned how to say sorry or accept responsibility. I don't know, one of my sons kind of does this. Refuses point blank to ever apologise. It is frustrating, and we haven't broken it out of him yet, he takes all the time out, talking, listening, but refuses to say sorry. And is always quick to blame everyone else. He is still only 5, so I am absolutely hoping we can as he grows get him to understand that this isn't the way to deal with things.
I disagree that is is calculated. The fact that it goes on for so long, and it is always you approaching him, makes me think, he really doesn't know how to make it right once he starts this... he has never learned how to.
A good friend of ours does do this silent treatment thing as well, and I would agree it is cold and calculated with him, he will only make the first advance if he wants to be intimate. While ever his partner lets him get away with it, it will continue.
Glad you are going to see someone OP. Question for you, while he is ignoring you, do you cook for him? Do his washing or anything for him? If you do, my suggestion would be to stop. To pretend you live alone. If he's not going to talk to you, I would be pretending he isn't there either and play him at his own game!
Last edited by Californication; 25-08-2011 at 17:04.
Finally the silence has broken! I thought we might break our 11 day record, but we were 2 days short. I ended up caving in and sending the email I'd drafted. I said point blank that I considered it to be abusive behaviour and that I was feeling disgusted with him for repeatedly resorting to such cruel & twisted tactics. I put in some paragraphs from the internet articles too. Gave him til Sun night to talk to me. To my surprise he texted that afternoon and was willing to talk when I got home.
He said that he'd been cranky with me over lots of little things for the past few months & had been biting his tongue. Then when the fight started, he couldn't contain it anymore. He sees the silent treatment as nothing more than time out and thinks there's no harm it. He denies that he does it to manipulate me and figured I'd speak to him when I was ready.
I was expecting him to downplay the whole thing, and he did.
The end result is that we're talking again, and will work on it. We're keeping separate rooms for a bit longer and are going to practice being friends again and make an effort to treat each other better in general. I don't accept his reasoning that its just a time-out. I think he's in denial about how serious it is and I don't believe him when he says he won't do it next time (heard that before). Besides a time-out is a few hours, not 9 days.
He thinks the counselling will be a waste of time, but I'm going anyway. I have an appointment on Mon morning.
Daughteroftheforest- I really admire your courage and strength to walk out on your ex with kids in tow and one on the way. You seem to be coping so well and I'm glad you're happier now. Thanks for sharing your very personal story and thanks for pointing out the level of committment necessary to maintain the silent treatment for so long. I had never looked at it that way before!
IVFhopeful- lol at your DH putting his foot in it! I think you are right that this is all he knows and he doesn't have the skills to make amends. I haven't discussed it with my in-laws. My MIL is very protective of me and would give DH a very hard time if she knew about it. One time she witnessed him speak to me like crap and she was horrified, for months afterwards she would ask if he's still speaking to me that way & were things OK. I'm very lucky to have a MIL like her, not many women would side against their eldest child and only son! My family just think he's being a childish jerk.
Hooves- I loved your advice! Thanks so much. I ended up contacting him via email as the previous 2 nights he had already shut himself away in his room by the time I came home. Best of luck with your son, I hope that you succeed in modifying his behaviour while he's still so young.
Thanks to everyone else for sharing your views and giving me some much-needed support, I truly appreciate it .
Last edited by SimpsonDesert; 26-08-2011 at 11:59. Reason: typo
Thanks for the update. You did great. At least he knows you're not going to
put up with it. Let us know what the counsellor thinks.
Did you still have your fun today?
BigRedV- yes I did have my girly fun day! I got all done up (hair, make up, nails) and had glamour pics taken
Just an update incase anyone was wondering (I hate it when a thread starts and the OP doesn't tell us how things finished up ):
- My solo counselling session was great, definitely helped to have an unbiased viewpoint towards the situation. The counsellor wanted to see us both together, so I mentioned it to DH and to my absolute shock he readily agreed!
- We've had one couselling session together and that was also great. I was worried that DH would sit there like a stale bottle of p*ss, but he really opened up. He was given the opportunity to unload a heap of stuff about me that annoys him, I think he had a bit too much fun with that part
- He maintains the the 'silent treatment' was never intended to be manipulative and controlling. Like a PP said, he's just never learnt how to break it once it starts. He was waiting for me to end it the way I always do, and spent every night hoping I'd come into his room. Its never occurred to him that he should make the first move. I was pleased with the way the counsellor tackled this and I think the penny is dropping that its a very destructive thing to do.
- We'll be having weekly sessions til we think we've had enough help. I'm thinking 4-6 sessions ought to do it.
- Things have been like a honeymoon period since last Sat, like it was in the old days . Its so nice looking forward to getting home of an evening and wanting to spend time together.
Thanks again to everyone for helping me through those dark days, I couldn't have held it together without your support.
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