Silent treatment abuse can be painful beyond what any words can describe.
The abuser might not be physically hurting you, but they’re slowly killing you inside out.
The feeling of not knowing what you did wrong and how long your partner is going to keep on ignoring you is unbearable.
READ ALSO: 1 Simple tip that could save your marriage
Before we get to the strategies of dealing with silent treatment abuse, let’s have a look at some of the common questions you may have about it.
What is a silent treatment abuse in relationships?
It’s the nasty moment of airtime you get from your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband for something you have no idea about.
The abuser will ignore talking to you and pretend like you don’t even exist for as long as they wish.
But why though? What do they get out of it?
Here are some common reasons why your partner is giving you cold shoulders:
- He or she wants you to realize something you did or said wrong and apologized and make up for it.
- Random mood swings/stress and they’re taking it out on you.
- They need to fill up their regular dose of special attention from you using the silent treatment method.
- For the pure pleasure of seeing you anxious and messed up.
How long does silent treatment abuse usually last for?
For as long as you can tolerate the BS. Literally.
Silent treatment can last for anywhere between a few hours to months or even years for some people.
It’s unfortunate thinking about the fact some people will tolerate it for years hopelessly.
What does the abuser usually do?
- Simply avoids communication of any sort for as long as they wish.
- Expects you to suck up to them about what you did wrong and how you can make up.
- Leaves you clueless and worried.
- Gives you random mood swings and sarcastic comments/ or 1-word replies.
- Won’t tell you the exact reason why they’re mad at you.
- They find you annoying when you make a move and when you don’t.
- Avoiding to be in your presence.
- Avoiding any physical contact.
- Stubborn for no reason.
- Some use silent treatment as an escape from serious conversations.
- Would ignore you in front of other people too.
- They would go on about with their day to day activities while you stay stressed about what went wrong.
- They want you to feel guilty and stay guilty.
- Some give silent treatment until the victim works out what went wrong and makes it up to them for it.
How does the victim of silent treatment abuse feel about it?
Examples of how the victim feels:
- The victim of silent treatment abuse would instantly feel like “What did I do wrong this time?”.
- Their mind becomes trained to think as if they did something wrong to deserve the silent treatment.
- Tired and exhausted of asking for forgiveness for something they have no idea about.
- Tons of anxiety, fear, and stress.
- Sleepless nights.
- Feeling isolated.
- Depending on how long and how often the abuse is taking place, some victims will start growing anger and hatred towards their partner.
- Feels suffocated and starts looking for a desperate solution anywhere.
How do you know it’s silent treatment for sure?
If it happens once in a blue moon, it’s just your partner being upset about something you did or said.
If your partner has a constant habit of not talking to you for days or weeks every time something doesn’t go their way that is nothing other than silent treatment abuse.
You must not tolerate it whatsoever.
So what can you do to teach your partner a lesson and stop him or her from giving you the cold shoulders all the time?
10 Ways to Deal with Silent Treatment Abuse
NO 1: Stop giving him or her the pleasure of seeing you upset and torn apart.
When your partner gives you the silent treatment abuse for every single thing, his or her main aim is to see you upset.
The abuser gets tons of pleasure from seeing you all miserable about what might have gone wrong.
They want to see you be sleepless thinking about what YOU might have done wrong to upset your partner.
Don’t allow the abuser to feed on the pure pleasure of seeing you upset.
NO 2: Think of the silent treatment as a bit of YOU time your partner has given you.
That’s not what they have in mind, but you can train your mind to think of it like that.
Whenever your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend starts giving you the cold shoulder signals, go into your room or somewhere alone.
Sit down and take about ten deep breaths.
Now look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you and I’m not going to allow you to be hurt” 5 times.
Let those words sink into your heart and mind.
Once that’s done, go back in and go on about your day to day activities like nothing happened.
Always remember this, the silent treatment abuser’s primary goal is to see you upset.
Are you going to allow that to happen?
Of course, it’s not going to be a smooth ride to pretend you’re happy when you’re not.
But guess what?
It’s all in mind.
I’m telling you.
NO 3: Train your mind and your mind will train your heart.
I always say that to people who’re upset because it’s 100% true.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to your mind and what kind of thoughts you feed to it.
Yes, you do have control over what you think about.
If you’ve been going through silent treatment abuse for a while now, you must have some ideas about how long it’s likely to last right?
Even if you don’t, sit down for a moment and write down a list of things you can do every day to keep your mind focused on anything and everything other than your partner.
If you’re a sporty person, go out and spend some time on whatever sports activity you enjoy the most.
If you love cleaning and decorating the house, do that.
Dance like your partner doesn’t exist.
Do you enjoy writing?
Start writing a diary perhaps?
The point is, whatever it is that you enjoy the most, think of this time as your moment to do it to the fullest.
I’m telling you, every time you act happy and go on about your day to day activities like you don’t give a rat’s toe about him or her, your partner (or abuser) will go through all the symptoms they wanted you to go through.
NO 4: Don’t lose your sleep no matter what.
Don’t ever give your abuser the pleasure of seeing you sleepless.
It’s not going to be comfortable to sleep in peace when you have so much on your mind, but if you don’t, you will end up with more stress.
No sleep=more stress.
That’s the last thing you need right now.
Listen to your favorite songs or watch a movie and get your beauty sleep every day.
You need it, to help you function normally at times like this.
NO 5: Anything that positively affects you during this period…
Will negatively affect your partner.
Keep yourself active every day.
No, I’m not telling you to go for a 1-hour spring on the treadmill every day but keep yourself moving with even the simplest things you can do.
E.g. cleaning your room, Going for a five mins walk outside or running up and down your staircase a few times.
You do what suits you but get some exercise every day.
It will boost your blood circulation and keep your mind stress free.
Mild exercise every day can also help you to sleep better.
When you sleep better, your abuser will lose his or her sleep.
NO 6: Never apologize for something to please your abuser.
As you may have figured out by now, some of them will give you cold shoulders for the stupidest things ever.
You might not even have a clue what you did wrong, but he or she will expect you to figure out magically and apologize.
If you did something wrong to upset your partner truly, you shouldn’t think twice to go and apologize.
On the other hand, if you know in your heart you didn’t say or do anything wrong, pretend you don’t even know the word ‘Sorry’ exists.
Making you apologize and suck up for minor issues is another technique used by silent treatment abusers.
Don’t give it to them.
NO 7: Don’t allow yourself to get manipulated.
Some silent treatment abusers are big time manipulators.
They will give you air time when you don’t do something they want.
Could you remember a time when your partner was giving you the cold shoulders because you didn’t do something he or she wanted and you eventually ended up doing it to make him or her happy?
That is YOU allowing yourself to be manipulated.
Just don’t fall for it this time.
No matter how important it can be to your partner, he or she should strictly avoid this passive aggressive behavior to make you do what they want.
You can’t carry on like this for the rest of your life.
I won’t tell you how long you should wait before confronting but try not to tolerate for more than a month.
Go up to your partner and boldly ask him or her to spend a few minutes talking to you in private.
Explain to your partner how his or her behavior has affected you and how it cannot carry on like this forever.
Be straightforward with your words.
You don’t need to be rude, tell him or her politely how you feel about your situation.
Tell them how unfair it is for them to put you through silent treatment abuse every time something doesn’t go their way.
Open up your heart and express your feelings.
One of the three things below will happen:
1- Your partner might understand their wrongdoings and come up with some rational solution to deal with your situation.
2- He or she might continue to air you like they didn’t hear a single word that came out of your mouth.
3- Your partner might abuse you more with his or her words.
If it’s the first option, good for you.
You need to train your partner to sit down and talk things out rather than giving you cold shoulders for every little thing.
NO 9: If you’ve got the 2nd or 3rd result from above…
You need to ask yourself this question:
Am I willing to tolerate this for the rest of my life?
What’s your answer?
I hope your answer is a big fat NO.
Pack up and leave before the abuser eats up every bit of your soul.
Yes yes, easier said than done I know.
But it has to be done at some point right?
No one deserves to go through silent treatment abuse in the name of “saving a marriage or a relationship” for the rest of their lives.
You certainly don’t need to. So don’t beat yourself up anymore.
NO 10: It’s not going to be a smooth ride.
It’s not going to be easy to leave someone you love and move on but guess what?
It’s going to be like being in hell to be with someone who continually puts you through emotional abuse for every little thing.
Of course, the time you’ve invested in this person and how many sacrifices you’ve made might feel like it’s all gone to waste and it probably has, but it’s not the end of your life.
No matter how old you are, YOU don’t ever need to be with somebody who treats you like a possession than a person.
Respect and love yourself enough to say goodbye to your abuser.
Don’t expect everybody to understand your pain…
Ever heard the saying “Don’t judge me unless you’ve walked in my shoes”?
That applies to your situation.
Only those who’ve ever been through it will understand how it feels.
Others will often be quick to judge and say ignorant things like “But that’s how relationships are, you’ve gotta stick through the hard times blah blah”.
They wouldn’t have any idea how painful it is for the victim merely because they’ve never been through it.
You don’t need to explain yourself to people who’re only committed to proving their points.
Have you or someone you know ever been through silent treatment abuse?
Let us know your experience and tips in the comments below so others like you can also benefit from it.