131 thoughts on “The Silent Treatment And What You Can Do To Stop It Cold

  • April 2, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    My daughter has given the silent treatment to her brother for over a year now. He has asked her a lot what he did and she is just silent. He told her several times he is sorry if he has done something wrong and she won’t accept his apology. Now it is my turn , she doesn’t call or e mail me anymore and won’t even let me see my grandchildren. I told her she is using them as a pawn and she said she would never do that but she is and won’t admit it. The last time we talked was months ago and all she wanted to do is argue , which I wouldnt do and it frustrated her more that I wouldn’t argue. She kept it up so much I told her if we weren’t going to have a good conversation I was hanging up, which I ended up doing. She has always been a control freak and if its not her way it is the wrong way. Its been four months since I have heard from her. Mother’s day will be coming up and I doubt very much she will even call me. Have no idea, just like her brother, what is bothering her. I am slowly coming to terms I have lost my daughter. She argues with everyone from people driving and even the people she works with. She yells at her kids and her husband. I see her now as a toxic person who will never apologize for the way she has treated me or her brother. She hasn’t come to visit me going on a year and she lives a one hour drive away. I don’t like who she has become but maybe this is who she has been all along. I have always been there to listen to her complain about this or that and when she is done complaining she is ready to get off the phone. I love my daughter but I don’t like her

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    • April 6, 2017 at 4:43 am

      You are the parent regardless of her age. You can ask her why she is doing the silent treatment. There has to be a reason. She is a product of you and that is something you should think about. Did you hurt her feelings? You should take that step to continue to show her love and affection despite her giving it back to reassure her that as a mother you will always love her. She may just very well come around.

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      • December 24, 2017 at 9:13 am

        She SAID she has asked, tried to reach out etc. Im annoyed you are essentially telling her she needs to do better as she is the parent when she IS DOING all she can. The daughter has responsibility for HER actions here. A relationship cannot exist with one person refusing to engage.

        Read well before commenting please.

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    • May 16, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      HI,
      My son wont talk, answer me if I take the phone to ask him something, or even respond to any comment regarding me to his dad. This started with his gf. Everyone told us what would take place. They were right. She is a psycho. He lets her control him to the point he was recording us and she was indicating we were not good for him or our daughter. We had to put him out. He was cocky and did not seem to have a problem at all with that. We even had an officer talk to him first and he was like ok call them ill be in my room. He is out of the home and now wont speak or admit his behavior of betraying his family is wrong. Its ok if he wants to date her, its not ok to side with her when we have raised him. Hes a hard worker, no law issues, great personality. This is his first real girlfriend and man is she a piece of psychotic work. He has pulled away from everyone including his beautician that he grew up knowing. Is there any hope? He had a lot going on for him. Got his Eagle rank, was going to military until he hurt his knee. Now he is ok but we feel he will not persue anything now due to this girl he is dating.

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    • March 29, 2018 at 6:48 pm

      My sister is like this. She’s the oldest sibling and my parents have helped her the most financially, many times. She got mad at my mom once when she was living with my parents. She moved out and hasn’t spoken to them in 3 Years!
      My parents have sent her cards and texts, but nothing. She really doesn’t even talk to me or my brother.

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    • June 9, 2018 at 12:55 am

      I could have written this! We are in counseling, to no avail. Even the counselor tells her her reasons are not valid. So, now she refuses to go.

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  • April 14, 2017 at 6:50 am

    I have/had been dating a guy who goes silent on me with anything he dislikes me doing. Example is I aim to go away for 2days with one of my friends bearing in mind we were on month 5 of dating. He has decided to block me from communication via text/social media so we are unable to resolve anything. Reading this has gave me clarity

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    • June 4, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      if your ‘friend’ is male, i agree with him and would dump you.

      if your friend is female, he’s being unreasonable.

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      • September 15, 2017 at 12:51 am

        Omega Man…I agree. I had a boyfriend once who had his ex stay overnight from out of town. I raised an issue with it but backed down when he asked me why I didn’t trust him. Now I understand better that you do not position someone you love to sit in such a painful spot. It is disrespectful at best.

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  • April 16, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    My wife has taken off on me and I would send emails or try to text her for over a month how should I handle the situation here I love her so much and don’t wanna lose her could someone please help we’ve been married over six years and don’t know what to do?

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  • May 6, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    What is striking to me is how passive aggressive this behavior is. And intentional. Abusive ? Heck yeah !! This is different than when someone ‘takes time out’, or steps back so as not to argue. It is a deliberate control tactic, and can also be seen as a form of manipulation/punishment. How counter productive to real communication, and a healthy relationship. Right now, it is going on 3 days. He’ll walk right past me as if I’m not here. With a facial expression that is down right scary, to boot. If this was the first time, I’d probably be beside myself (it is crazy making behavior, after all)..But it’s not the first time. Add the explosive temper, blaming, name calling, belittling comments, threats, and accusations, etc., (which usually occurs before this game begins); only makes me wonder if there is a personality disorder manifesting it’s ugly head. The most trivial (and nothing) becomes the end of the world. As I said, this is far from the first time. While it is still difficult to deal with, I have at least become able to not allow it to affect me as much as he probably hopes it would. It is horrible. And he makes it seem like it’s my fault that he behaves this way. He is not responsible for anything. Nope. It’s all me. I deserve this. I don’t deserve respect. Nope.
    This is what is so ugly about this behavior. This is the message being sent. This is how this person regards me.

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    • May 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      I am right there with you. I am concerned about a personality disorder in my son. I am terrified for him. I will keep you in my prayers. I hope someone will keep us in prayers also. The walking by with out even looking at me and almost like a dare to get out of his way as if I am invisible. His gf got him on those video games that he never used to play. I wont allow the 2 he started playing with her in our home. I wonder if that is why its like he wants to literally walk over someone. The devil works hard on the young folks now days. The video games I hope will cease one day. I do feel they are numbing in a sense. We never let him play those then this girl came in the pic. I can only control what goes on in my home. I do not regret that we put him out. I hope your situation gets better. Make some kind of line in the sand that cant be crossed.

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    • September 3, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      That sounds a lot like my husband except for the belittling comments or accusations. At least he’s never done that. But he has been ignoring me for going on 6 wks. He has spoken to me a time or two, but for the most part, does not acknowledge my existence. Even does his own cooking and grocery shopping. I haven’t asked him what’s wrong because I think I know what it is – asking him to put his dish in the sink. And I said it very nicely. So, this is his problem and he will have to put an end to it. Does it annoy me? Sure, but life goes on. I’m doing things I want to do, I am not sulking, not afraid he’ll get mad at me because he already is! He’ll come around eventually. Actually. I have to feel sorry for a person who is so angry inside and immature that they can’t relate on an adult level.He needs to take responsibility for his actions, but I think he learned this from his mother.

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    • September 15, 2017 at 1:10 am

      Karly, I have a very similar situation, but it sounds like it is harder for me to move on than it is for you. I have noticed this is always the result of telling him I feel hurt by something he has done. We do not argue about a lot of things. It is the same stuff over and over. He wants to dismiss me and continue the behavior.(ie changing plans without telling me, planning vacations with his sister which exclude me, etc.) If he apologizes at all (and that is a big if) he can’t handle it. I will let it go but within three days, he loses his mind and turns everything around. If I am “registering a complaint” about feeling hurt, I am “criticizing” him and deserve to be punished. THIS is the call of the narcissist. The silent treatment follows, and can go on indefinitely because he knows I do not have the means to leave right now. It is truly punishing and demeaning to be ordered into submission. Sometimes it is embarrassing to witness such infantile behaviors.

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  • June 2, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    The problem I see in this is that there are individuals who say whatever suits them at the time as they interact with others. In my opinion once the bridge is burned and hurtful words are hurled the damage is done and the chosen words used by the offender/s can never be taken back ever. I see choosing to never speak to a person again unless it is a co-worker and you don’t have a choice because you need a paycheck as a way to keep a peaceful state of mind since their choice of words was about them and how they communicate with people. (hopefully paths don’t cross again to manage peace)

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  • June 26, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    This article, along with all other articles dealing with emotional abuse need to be more gender neutral. Women are just as capable of emotional abuse in a relationship as a man is.

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    • August 25, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Yes both genders are guilty of this sickening behaviour.

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  • October 19, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    My wife left me with my daughter, have been living alone with her for quite some time. Ii have a girlfriend after about 5 yrs now. This girlfriend is pretty straight forward and my daughter does not like this and finds everything she says is crap and don’t want to deal with my girlfriend and gives me the silent treatment.

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  • November 16, 2017 at 4:59 am

    Hi, my mother often gives me the silent treatment. Now you mentioned how to deal with it if I didn’t live with her but I recently moved back in due to monetary problems and she’s giving me the silent treatment at the moment because I said something wrong. How do I deal with her and get her to start talking to me again, she has terrible anger management issues by the way (however I don’t think she’s aware of it). Please help I’m sick of living with someone who treats me like this (that’s why I moved out in the first place) but I can’t afford to move out this time. Please, please help. I’m desperate!

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  • December 11, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I’m dealing with an issue with my mom, this isn’t the first time that she has done this to me, it’s been going on my entire life. For as long as I can remember when she didn’t like something I was doing she would give me the silent treatment. Even as a child she would criticize me and then not speak to me. She had a bad childhood growing up and always stated how she hated the way she was treated growing up and didn’t want to treat her children the same way, but I find that the older we get the worse her behavior becomes. When my siblings and I began dating it made our relationship with our mother even more difficult. As long as we were not with anyone and it was just us she was fine, but once either of us began dating someone then the silent treatment would begin, along with other passive aggressive behavior such as “you are grown I don’t care what you do”, but tells friends and relatives that things won’t work out they will be back. I am married and we have an adult son, she is happy when my husband is not around but once he is around she won’t talk to me and will call our son instead of talking to me. He goes out of his way to make sure she is taken care of and will do anything that she asks, but she still manages to find ways to be angry with me when I am not at her beckon call as I once was. I am trying to do the right thing by showing her respect as my parent but it is getting to the point where I am feeling as if I am doing something wrong and I don’t know how to fix it. I am happy with my husband, we have our ups and downs, but what marriage doesn’t. I feel as though she is only happy when my siblings and I are single and it can only be us. It is interfering with my marriage and I don’t know how to stop it without making her feel bad or upsetting her even more.

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  • January 21, 2018 at 11:17 am

    I volunteer in a group at my condo and the head of the group sent an email on behalf of the group without checking with all the members, I spoke up and now they are not talking to me. Help!

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  • February 2, 2018 at 12:05 am

    Hi, I am 35, and I have an older brother 37, who hasn’t spoken to me in about 4.5 years now. He will do the bare minimum and maybe say hi and bye, but thats about it, sometimes not even that. It all started with us getting into a motorcycle accident together (4.5 years ago). It was 100% his fault. It was a two lane street (two lanes for each side (so 4 lanes all together)). I was in one, and he was in the other, and it was a near perfect straight road, he took a hard right to go off roading (since he had a dirt bike), and I was obviously there and he hit me. He said he didn’t see me there.
    He for some reason didn’t want to pay for the damages, and I went to the insurance company, he ended up paying out of pocket $2000 for the damages, but hasn’t talked to me since.

    It’s been 4.5 years, I am tired, I sometimes have trouble sleeping at night, and he is very manipulative because my younger brother often seem to be on his side, and will treat me in similar ways. My mother doesn’t want to get in the middle of it, even though she knows full well that my older brother has lied about the accident to her and he lied to the insurance company claiming I hit him, and that most of the damage to the bike was already there (which in truth, NONE of it was).

    MY family will hang out together and go on day trips together, and I am never invited… Most likely because it is my older brother who makes the plans and gets everything together. Even for my mothers 60th Birthday party (just a few months ago), my older brother got it all put together, but never directly invited me. I found out the location and time from my uncle and just showed up.

    I can go on and on and on, about how many hurtful things he has said to me and done to me and even other times in my life where he has stopped speaking to me for literally no reason at all (simply because he started a new job or something). I will mention this, that 4 years ago when we last talked about the accident he told me he never wanted to see me again, hated me, thought I was a scumbag, and to get off his property and that I was never welcomed at his house ever again… to this day I have never stepped foot into that house, and to this day he has never shared any personal information about his life with me (I usually just find out things from my mother, like him buying a house, or selling one, or quitting a job, or what ever). I have directly spoken to him about major milestones in my life, like moving to a new house, or getting engaged and such, I have even invited him to my house multiple times, yet he has never came to my house.

    I am obviously really hurt by how he treats and acts towards me… but also by how my family is handling it to. My younger brother will go on little trips with him, go out for a motorcycle ride with him or just hang out with him, but he never does anything with me. My mother has literally said to me that it’s her fault that she didn’t raise him right (which is why she can’t be upset with him treating me poorly) and which is why she also just hangs out with him and spends time with him, but often doesn’t have time for me.

    I guess I don’t know what to feel or even think anymore.
    I am at the point where I am DONE with the silent treatment and feel I have given it enough time for him to come around on his own. I feel so hurt because not only did he ruin my bike and hurt my in the accident, but also he is now hurting me emotionally as well… all for a mistake he has committed.
    My decision for him is to get him out of my life and set up a healthy very distant boundary, where basically I wont be in the same room or house that he is also in… I just don’t find it healthy anymore.

    BUT my BIG question is, what about the rest of my family
    I feel like my mother has also betrayed me, by not supporting me, and by looking away from his actions that she knows is just wrong.
    and hurt that my younger brother owns up to him more than me, (most likely because he is believing in some type of lie he most likely told him about me).

    I feel like because I am setting a boundary with my older brother, by default, I am also losing the rest of my family in the process.

    Is this normal?
    what should I do about it?

    and when I say I don’t want to be around my older brother, but my mother says things like (well if we have you’re birthday party at my house, I will still invite him, what then?)

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  • May 15, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    My dad used the silent treatment broadly. It was never evident who he was mad at. He would withdraw from talking to ALL of us – my mother, my sister, my brother and me. It could last for days or weeks.

    He would talk to us only if a neighbor stopped in for coffee. This is a common happenstance in rural farming communities. Neighbors stop in to chit chat over coffee and cookies or cake or pie. When a neighbor would stop in, he would talk to everyone. When the neighbor would leave, his voice would go with them. He would go silent again.

    He would just start talking to everyone when he would break his silence. It was if it had never happened. He wouldn’t say why he had been silent or what caused it. It was like it just didn’t happen.

    I was 8 or 9 and complained to my mother about one of these episodes. She responded that I should let it roll off my back. I just shut my mouth and never mentioned it again.

    I went through about 3 years of therapy in my late 40s. I just always felt it was normal for people to turn their backs on me – most people didn’t but it was something I expected from people. I remember telling a friend of mine that and he was shocked. He said what would that say about him if he did that. He was incredulous. I found myself in therapy not long after that.

    We were nice people as a family. Folks had no idea my dad was like that. It was hidden. It was really devastating, I didn’t have physical bruises and wasn’t yelled at. It really hurt.

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    • May 24, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      @Suz,
      We’re very sorry to hear about your pain. Hopefully therapy gave you the support you needed.

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    • August 30, 2018 at 10:29 pm

      My father has been using the silent treatment, along with other cruel tricks, on our immediate family for my whole life (I’m 51). He no longer breaks it up with yelling and being irrationally irate because my lovely husband (whom he likes but he also resents us being happy) told my father to his face that he was never to raise his voice around us. My father has repeatedly told my husband that he has no requirement to be kind to his own family (but isn’t like that to my husband out of deference and to rub it in to me).
      My sweet, kind Mum died fairly young of cancer (she was so proud of me for choosing a good man to marry, I’m glad she lived just long enough for that) – my dad pulled some mentally cruel tricks on her, even as she lay dying, and she didn’t speak to him for the last part of her life. Her regrets (and worries for us kids) were palpable. Of course, her dying and me battling cancer (unfortunately genetic) is all about him, if you listen to him. It makes me sad to think he just wore my mother down (in my gut, I believe that he bears some blame for her illness after all the stress of living with him). He hates that my siblings and I are close.
      Unlike many, there is an actual psychiatric diagnosis that has been given to him (my mother, when she still had energy to fight (her words) demanded that he get help) and he is apparently a sociopath. I’m not medical but my siblings, who are medical, have explained that this is hardwired, i.e. not going to change. My problem is that, while I am no longer terrified of him, as I was as a child, I still have such a hard time not being hurt and depressed dealing with him. I can feel my self-esteem draining away every time I visit (I moved overseas to get away from him).
      I don’t really know why I’m posting here, except to say, I hear ya and wish it were different. People say, “cut him off” but it’s not that simple. I get homesick, I miss the rest of my family and friends. It’s not worth the anger and repercussions (to others as well) to avoid him when I come home. It’s taken being with a kind spouse (ha! my revenge!), to realize just how shocking, psychologically cruel and abnormal some my father’s treatment of us has been.
      I still don’t know what healthy way to respond when being given the cold, silent treatment, as I’m getting literally as I write this. I wish I did – have been trying to google suggestions. He absolutely exhausts me. It’s sad to say but one of my key life goals is to outlive him, just to get to live with that relief. My siblings concur. I hate the power he still has to affect me so deeply. I know he won’t change, so I have to (and I have done some healthy things to limit my exposure) but I still fall for his mean, petty games. Which, in turn, makes me feel even worse about myself…

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  • May 18, 2018 at 3:18 am

    Please help! I don’t know what to do. I have been together with my husband for 18 years – married for 17 years after a year of engagement/dating. I didn’t see the red flags. Sorry for being long-winded but this is the history of those years.

    Anyway after marrying him not a day has gone by when he hasn’t picked on me and criticized me – seriously not a single good word of praise or encouragement has come from him. He has belittled me, even counting the number of times i makes mistakes in a single day such as dropping something accidentally. He calls me names and i feel like i am dealing with dynamite as i don’t know what i will do or say that will trigger him and ruin the day. When i asked him why, he just says that he must keep me in my place so i don’t grow proud and arrogant. I have told him that i can only look to him as my husband for affirmation but he refuses.

    He has publicly humiliated me on at least three occasions – once when i was a minute late, not kidding, meeting him at a shopping mall and he made a scene and left me stranded there, once for not taking the lift but walking to the escalator and once when i slipped and fell and he started laughing and making fun of me when all i wanted was him to ask if i was ok and help me up. He has forbidden me from crying because he calls it manipulation – i have never used it to manipulate him. I have only wept when i lost family or have been through some pain and was in need of a hug and some comfort but he has got abusive about it. So i stopped it and strengthened myself so i don’t weep in his presence.

    He has hit me – the last was in the late part of 2016 when i threatened to walk out on him. Before that he has hit me on at least four or five occasions. These included knocking me on my head and slapping my shoulder blade for accidentally rolling the wheely chair over his toes, flinging a wooden wall hanging at me, knocking me on my head for not picking up the phone when he called as i had put it on silent as i was working. He threatened to crash the car twice and kill both of us in it when our conversation went downstream mainly because i was asking him to treat his sister well and to not be upset with his boss. He threatens when i don’t comply and do things he wants me to do such as helping him lift the wardrobe and move it (i have back pain). So i force myself to help him to avoid hearing his hurtful words.

    I only meet my family once in five years or so (they live in another country) because he doesn’t like it when i meet them. When i get close to friends, he threatens me that they are not trust worthy and i will live to regret befriending them and not listening to him. When i want to go out to people’s homes because they have invited us – he will refuse to go and tell me he isn’t stopping me but i feel awkward to go as everyone will ask me where he is and they will be there as couples and families. He has not been intimate with me for the past 13+years and i have stayed faithful to him out of love for God and as i honor the marriage covenant.

    Last month i was under very severe stress and i made a foolish mistake. I started to play a match three bubble game on my phone to de-stress and just to get past the levels i stupidly paid and got bubbles. I was horrified at myself when i saw that the bill i got myself ran to $500++ dollars! That was the first time i ever did something as stupid and the last time. It was a hard lesson. But he was so mad at me that for the past one month he has moved to another room and is giving me the silent treatment. I even apologized to him. He asked me to go die and said he regretted marrying me. Then he compared me to his sister-in-law who left her husband in credit card loans. This was very hurtful. I have supported him financially for the past four years that he has been jobless. He took 70 grand of my savings and put it into household renovations even when i pleaded with him not to do it. I have never asked him for any gifts nor holidays or anything. I save and buy what i need and put away money for our future often buying things only when my footwear and clothes are beyond redemption. So the stupid mistake i made was a one time error that won’t be repeated but he just won’t accept my apology. Previously i would do all i can to make peace with him and get him to talk and eat before the sun went down. But now i have no energy, i am so tired. What he did this past month has felt like a part of my soul is forcefully being torn away and killed slowly. What can i do to get things right again?

    A few of my very close friends know this. But i fear if my the rest of my family or church people find out it is going to be too painful and shameful. I don’t want to hurt his reputation as people know both of us. They will be stumbled because i have been a strong person and even spoken against wrong but in my own case i have been way too patient and silent. I can’t leave him as he has heart issues and i am the only family he has left as he cut away from his siblings who cheated him of his inheritance. I don’t want him to suffer in misery and loneliness in his old age. Please help!

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    • May 21, 2018 at 6:25 am

      Divorce him. He deserves to be alone. You are better than that and deserve better. No one should be treated like that, no one. I would bring him up on assault charges as well

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    • May 24, 2018 at 12:16 pm

      Dear Soulstar,
      Please get help right away. You can find a support group online to start but if computer/phone privacy is an issue, then try to find a support group or therapist in person. Living with abuse can be a soul-destroying, life-destroying situation as you already are aware.
      Here is the Psychcentral page for support groups to start,https://forums.psychcentral.com/ if you can’t find a group here, please try your local community services and ask them for advice.
      Wishing you success,
      C.R. Zwolinski

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  • May 21, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Great article! I have had the silent treatment done on me for the past 18 months by someone I care about. While I forgive the act, this took a toll on me as I truly was not expecting it. I was actually hoping to have a conversation and attempted to get to know her better as I had not seen her for nearly 40 years. I came to the conclusion that she must truly be messed up mentally and ermotionally. I did feel frustrated, invisible, and angry. It saddened me to think that someone could be this way. After reading your article, it affirmed my feelings and what I thought. It also helped me gain some insight on the situation. It truly is like dealing with a child. In my case an adult child where I was never told what the issue was. While I truly think the world of my friend, I cant help but think what must going on in her life for her to act this way especially since we are both seniors. Life is so short especially at our age that I often wonder if I don’t see her as something she’s not and never was. I know many of her friends are narcissistic always trying to control and manipulate. It never occurred to me that birds of a feather flock together. While I choose to think positively of her and keep my memories pleasant, I truly hope that at some point she will figure out how silly what she is doing is and how much richer her life could be by simply dropping a line or a phone call once in awhile. Thanks for doing this and validating me in the process. I like to look for the good in people but sonetimes am let down when I dont find it.

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  • May 27, 2018 at 6:24 am

    I think I’m in love with an emotional abuser. He gives me the silent treatment for days. He never wants to talk about what’s upsetting him (I would give him space if I legitimately knew why he was upset) but no, instead he just ignores me for days.
    While he’s ignoring me, I feel worthless, lonely and everything wrong in the world is my Fault.
    And to all of you who say “just leave him, he’s no good for you” it’s honestly not that easy to leave someone like this. Your self worth is diminished to nothing. And it’s not bad 100% of the time, you pray for the good days and hope the bad days go by quickly.

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  • July 31, 2018 at 10:52 am

    I am 57 years old and when I was 31 and left being a Jehovah Wittness my mother silenced me for over 10 years. Even removing herself from her grandchildren. I now have a 35 year old daughter who is married with 3 little kids and they have both silenced both sides of the family. We are going on 2 years. The article was right one and very helpful to see what you are actually dealing with.
    Lisa

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  • September 23, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    I’m in the same boat as most of you guys. I’ve been married 25yrs to my high sweet heart “John”. All was good till a few years ago where he got into this ugly habit of giving me the silent treatment. At 1st it would be a few days and it was super difficult to deal with because I’ve never had that happened. I would try and try to get John to talk. I would beg and plead with him till he would eventually give in and all would be ok.
    I never know what will cause these silent treatment but I’m currently I’m in one now. It’s been since July 29th that I last spoke or seen him. It’s gotten so bad that now he’s turn our guest room into a mini apartment. John buys his own food and enters/exit the house through the back door. He does everything in his power to avoid me. We have 3 teenage kids and they pretty much are use to his “games”. They’ve even suggested I do the same to him.
    I don’t work and never finished college so I have no career or any source of income to allow me to live on my own. I always felt helpless and at his mercy.
    The last silent treatment we went through was in 2015 so I thought this phase of his was done and over with it but I see that’s not the case. At this point all I can do is live my life. I no longer feel the need to continue to beg him to talk to me. I need to learn to love myself 1st and focus on bettering myself. I pray for everyone going through this and hope you all find your strengths and peace.

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    • September 24, 2018 at 9:06 am

      WOW, that sounds really tough! I am sorry to hear this… that is never good.
      May I ask what started this silent treatment?
      I absolutely know it is really tough to try and not have financial choices affect your life decisions, but obviously, it’s easier said than done. It sounds to hard to give up everything in your life and move out at this point (although if you can find a way, maybe it would be for the best). And if the kids are older teens… like 15 or 16 and above, I wouldn’t feel bad to move out and have them on their own if need be. At that age they should be okay, especially if you talk to them about it.
      But if moving out isn’t an option, then living within it will be tough.
      But I suppose keeping to yourself and bettering yourself (possibly even trying to get a job or finding something you’re passionate about would be best).

      It sounds like he is either going through some type of mid-life crises or (and I’d hate to say it) that he is cheating on you and is with someone else… or is there drugs and/or alcohol involved? maybe he is addicted and can’t see past it…
      to totally break away like that and disconnect with someone who you’ve loved since high school seems very traumatic, There is more here than meets the eye.
      Best of luck to you and your future.
      -Matt B.

      Reply
  • April 7, 2019 at 4:33 am

    I’ve written down my story of experiencing the silent treatment.

    It’s got a bit of what worked, and what didn’t.

    Reply
  • September 11, 2019 at 11:23 am

    This is what I did to not only stop my mother-in-law’s silent treatment but ultimately expose her for the manipulative liar she is and push her out of our lives completely.

    My sneaky mother-in-law would only give me the silent treatment IN FRONT OF OTHERS in order to try to humiliate me in front of relatives.

    This way she got plenty of attention and she felt powerful.

    She would invite my husband and I to dinner. Laughter, easy convo. All good. See you at Easter!

    Boom! I get the cold shoulder from her at Easter. She loved seeing my reaction! Her son (my husband) would just shrug and say yes, my mother is crazy. Ignore her.

    Now to be most effective. Sometimes my mother-in-law would acknowledge my existence at some holidays.

    Bring it up to her? What a juicy gift to her. She got to me. Don’t you know I am too sensitive, always causing other problems?

    Finally I had enough. She did it one too many times. I refused to let her gaslight me that I am the unstable one. Her silent treatment in front of my husband and children to humiliate me will never. Happen. Again.

    She whined that I dropped a bomb on her, that I was bullying her with accusations, that I’m crazy, that I’m alienating her from her grandchildren.

    By this time I had my husband and my parents who witnessed this favorite trick of hers many times and so no it is not my sensitivity.

    In a huff, my mother-in-law thought I was hurt by her ignoring me.

    Truth be told, I was not hurt by her silent treatment.

    I was just annoyed at her attempt to denigrate me in front of my children and husband, MY family and ruin our holidays.

    I was sick of her and tired of her taking advantage of my patience and kindness. She saw it as weakness.

    Because I was doing my mil a favor.

    I don’t need her in my life.

    I don’t want her in my life.

    So mil tried to punish me by giving me a permanent silent treatment.

    Which is what I wanted all along!!

    Bc by giving me the permanent silent treatment, I exposed her.

    And I let her cut herself off from MY family.

    My husband, her son, feels zero guilt bc his mother decided to punish me for speaking up about her silent treatment and he loves that he doesn’t have to deal with her pathetic acting out!!

    My mil overplayed her hand bc now she doesn’t get to see my reaction when giving me the silent treatment.

    And since she refuses to talk to us (awww so sad), she has essentially did the work for us.

    We have not seen her or spoken to her in over 7 years!!!!!!

    So mil keeps holding her breath, ignoring us, hoping that we are gonna be so hurt and upset and beg her to talk to us again.

    Hahahahaha. Sorry mil. You just keep on showing us who is boss and don’t let up on that silent treatment while you celebrate your birthdays, holidays, Mother’s Day alllllll alone.

    I’m sure you have other people who appreciate a scheming, smug, controlling 74-year-old like yourself who plays the victim.

    Me? This dil just can’t believe how easy it was to turn the tables on a manipulative bully like yourself.

    Reply
  • October 15, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    My son has not spoken to me in on about 4 months before this silent treatment we would talk at least once a week. I have not seen our grand daughters for 6 months. He does not have a relationship with his only brother. I have been trying to get them together. I have tried to open communications with him but the silent treatment. My being upset is now turning to anger. I am at a loss as to what to do.

    Reply

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