A mom writes in asking for advice about her husband. She says that her husband, who is a great father to their children, will often give her “the silent treatment” when he is upset with her and during arguments. He sometimes continues to give her said silent treatment for days or even weeks. It is deeply upsetting to this mom, who has tried everything she can to engage with him when it happens, but nothing seems to work.
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A member of the community asks:
“How can I cope with my husband giving me the silent treatment?
Does anyone have any experience coping with or dealing with a partner who gives “the silent treatment”. My husband is still active with the children and loving towards them, but when he gets upset with me, he will go days or weeks without speaking to me, touching me, or even coming to bed with me.
It is completely devastating and I don’t know how to cope with it. I am constantly in tears. I have tried to talk multiple times and he ignores me. I have sent text messages so he could respond that way instead, and he still ignores me. How do I help him through his anger and help him move past it so we can have a healthy conversation?”
Community Advice for This Mom Whose Husband Hurts Her by Giving Her the Silent Treatment
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“This is not a YOU issue. This is a HE issue. You are not the problem. He needs to grow up or leave him. That’s completely unacceptable behavior, especially for a grown man. I understand calming down before talking, but days to weeks without communication is absolutely ridiculous!”
“I go silent for at most a day, but not weeks, when I’m upset and it’s mostly because I feel like when I speak I’m not heard or that the person I’m talking with is only listening to respond, not listening to understand. My husband is a bandaid person, ‘let’s fix it as soon as it happens,’ and I’m the type to gather my thoughts. He said he has figured out that sometimes I need space and that’s okay.”
“Passive aggressive emotional abuse. She does/says what he doesn’t want, silent treatment till she gives in. He’s doing it because he thinks if he holds out long enough, she’ll be desperate for his attention and do whatever he wants. Manipulation…
… By behaving this way, and by her constantly trying to communicate and address whatever situation, he has the upper hand. Days and weeks of silent treatment? Being ignored? Avoided? Sleeping in separate rooms? Punishment. Classic narcissism. Hold your ground. Don’t give in, don’t grovel. Don’t put up with it. Someone like this will always treat you like this… if you let them.”
“That’s emotional abuse honestly. Unacceptable on every level I can imagine.”
“Act like it doesn’t bother you and ignore him too. If you don’t exist to him, he shouldn’t exist to you. Take care of your kids and make him fend for himself. He knows he is getting to you when you keep trying to communicate. He’s got all the power in this relationship and it’s abuse.”
“Do it back. Act like he isn’t there, take the kids to do something fun, get out of the house, don’t let it get to you. Just gives him more satisfaction when he knows it’s bugging you. It’s a grown child throwing a tantrum to get what he wants.”
“It’s called an emotional time out. Narcissists use this behavior as a punishment. Not necessarily mad at you… just punishing you. Kind of like rubbing a dog’s face in its mess. Don’t feed into it.”
“That’s very narcissistic behavior. Silent treatment for an extended period of time especially as long as that is abuse! You don’t deserve that and it’s not good for the kids to see that. They feel the tension. Tell him you need to work on communication and go to therapy. If he won’t then I would start making plans.”
“Communication is the only way to a healthy relationship. He is a grown man. If he isn’t willing to communicate and respect your feelings then you should leave. You deserve better than that. Your kids deserve to see you happy and they need to see what a healthy happy relationship is. They will only grow up to repeat the same behavior in their relationships. You can only try so long before you are honestly wasting your life away on someone who doesn’t deserve you. Try having a serious conversation and if that doesn’t go anywhere leave.”
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