I’m tired of her silent treatment

When angry she goes quiet for a week. Malik T.

Dear Malik T., I realise that her unexplained silence does bother you, and you are wondering whether it is normal.
The “silent treatment” or “stonewalling” or “withdrawal” refers to someone who is letting you know that something is wrong without telling you why, what we may term as non – verbal communication accompanied by body language sometimes.
Too many people, within the context of their intimate relationship, seem to believe that their partner can read their mind. In other words, there is an incorrect notion that you should know why he or she is upset. People are not mind readers. Most often, the recipient of the silence is left with feelings of confusion and exasperation as they try to resolve the problem. However, how can someone resolve a problem when they do not know what is wrong? Or when the person who is angry has not told them that they are angry and what made them angry.
On a deeper level, there is really a power struggle going on for the partner who has lapsed into silence. The silent treatment is really the expression of lots of aggression. The ultimate goal of the strategy is to win. The silent partner is expressing rage in a way that is passive aggressive. This is designed to get attention and to provoke feelings of guilt. Winning means that the target person admits to having committed some type of offense for which they are now begging forgiveness.
This is called withdrawal and often happens in couples. At the same time it is another way some people copy, instead of expressing themselves or bursting out or using verbal artillery on you.
When we use a wall of silence, we render our partner helpless. They can’t repair, discuss or get tuned in to what’s going on for us. You cannot work on issues in your relationship if one or both of you refuse to discuss them. For all you silencers, know that you are OFF. It’s not okay to give anyone the cold shoulder for a couple of hours and certainly not for days. However, if it happens for your in-most peace it would be prudent to inform your partner to give you some time as you organize your thoughts to talk to him or her later. If the silence takes long then it becomes irritating and challenging and this seems to be your case. Let your partner know that her silence does hurt the relationship. If she fails to respond positively to your concerns then you may involve a third party or better still a professional counselor to help you out.

lifemagazine@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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