The Two Things You HAVE To Do When Your Man Gives You The Silent Treatment

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Getting the cold shoulder sucks, but you can do something about it.

Figuring out what to do when a guy ignores you after an argument isn’t easy, especially if you want to preserve the relationship. So what should you do when you’re being given the silent treatment?

First of all, you have to know that the silent treatment isn’t a healthy way of communicating. Psychologist and relationship guru Dr. John Gottman names stonewalling (or giving the silent treatment) as one of the four signs of relationship failure. The Gottman Relationship Blog defines stonewalling as “build[ing] a wall between them and their partner.”

Here’s what you should do when a guy ignores you after an argument.

1. Acknowledge it — kindly.

Being on the receiving end of the silent treatment is never a great feeling, and while it might be tempting to accuse your partner of being immature, going on the offense won’t do you any favors. Just simply acknowledging their behavior by saying something like “hey, I see that you’ve been unusually quiet” can be all you need to get the ball rolling again.

Communicate to your partner that you want to understand where he’s coming from, and that you’re not out to “get” him. Establishing trust is not only needed for them to open up to you once again, but is also a prerequisite to letting them hear your side — that silent treatment hurts you.

The Two Things You HAVE To Do When Your Man Gives You The Silent Treatment

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2. Find a solution — together.

First, you should both be on the same page and agree that stonewalling is unhealthy behavior and that you should avoid doing it to each other. But that’s easier said than done — sometimes, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you just need to check out and have some time to sort yourself out.

Instead of suddenly giving each other the silent treatment after an argument, you could communicate your boundaries to each other to give each other space.

If you’re the one who needs time to yourself, you could say something like: “I need space to understand my feelings, and will talk to you when I’m ready to talk.” 

And if you’re the one being given the silent treatment, you could say something like: “I’ve noticed that you’re not responding to me. I understand that you need space, but please let me know when you’re ready to talk.”

The Two Things You HAVE To Do When Your Man Gives You The Silent Treatment

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Relationships are hard, and getting over unhealthy behaviors like stonewalling isn’t easy. But pinpointing these unhealthy behaviors and working on them until they stop poisoning your relationship is worth it.

READ: 8 Stupid Reasons Girls Choose To Stay And Suffer In A Toxic Relationship