Perhaps you have heard an old quote that silence is golden. But marriage and relationship are completely different, but many experts say that it varies from relationship to relationship. If partners and couples are using the silent treatment to end a relationship, gaining control and power, manipulation, then it becomes abusive, unhealthy, and toxic. Today, we’ll discuss silent treatment to end a relationship; research studies, how to recognize it, and when it becomes abusive.
What is Silent Treatment?
Couples and partners become silent for various reasons in their relations. They exhibit silent treatment in different ways to gain power and control over the other partner;
- Becoming silent to put the other partner in their place
- Giving cold shoulder
- Refusing to text, call, talk, or make eye contacts
- Silencing when things aren’t going in their favor
- Do so in order to avoid the responsibility of their actions
- When you upset them, they punish you with silence
- Demanding you apologize and start talking
- Not acknowledging the things they have done
- Talk in a contemptuous manner in order to maintain silence
- Go back to hostility and anger in order to shut you up
- As a means to deal with conflicts and disagreements
Many research studies have shown that partners and couples (both males and females) employ silent treatment to finish the particular behavior and verbal statement rather than getting rid of the partner. Partners in abusive relationships use silence to manipulate the other person or gain power and control over them.
Some people employ silence as a weapon in terms of stopping the information to hurt the other partner. Research studies have shown that excluding and avoiding someone triggers the same part of the brain that causes physical pain.
Experts call the silence a demand-withdraw interaction in the non-abusive relationship. It means when one partner demands something and the other withdraws it, one of them becomes silent. However, such types of silence may seem like silent treatment, but its objectives are different.
In the demand-withdrawn interaction; the demanding partner adopts silence because he has unsatisfied emotions, and the withdrawing partner becomes silent because of his or her incapability to express their feelings and emotions and hurtfulness.
Studies have shown that couples and partners follow the demand-withdrawn approach when their satisfaction level is low with their relationship. They have got poor communication and limited intimacy and affection. It causes aggression and anxiety in the relationship.
Silent Treatment to End a Relationship
It’s significant to know the difference between just being silent and the intentional silent treatment to end a relationship with the partner.
Silence vs. Silent Treatment
Silence can be good and productive in the relationship. For instance, a couple or a partner becomes silent during heated arguments in order to recollect their thoughts or cool them down. What differentiates such type of silence from silent treatment is that the partner would revisit the topic and discuss things again.
There are examples when the victim of the abusive relationship adopts silence in order to be safe and avoid things from aggravating. In such a situation, the victim is aware of the fact that saying something to the demanding partner would aggravate the situation, and it would cause more abuse.
For instance, a partner is causing verbal abuse in the form of name-calling, and the receiving person is not responding to the abuser. It’s important to erect a wall or boundary in order to ignore the abusive situation. When a person remains silent during the abusive situation, then it is not silent treatment, rather it is self-preservation.
Recognizing Silent Treatment
Silent treatment could take the form of abuse and manipulation. It makes the other partner feels unimportant, angry, frustrated, baffled, hurtful, unloved, and feel worthlessness. When partners aren’t talking, they’re exerting a brutal influence on the relationship. However, it is not only shutting out the other partner, but it also implies that they don’t care enough to collaborate and communicate.
People employ silence to gain control and power over the situation. They also use it as a way not to accept their wrongdoings and to avoid responsibilities. For instance, if a partner comes home late at night often; the other partner shares his or her concerns about why it has become habitual.
A partner in the relationship doesn’t take responsibility for his or her actions; he or she doesn’t want to admit the change in their behavior. They would simply reply by saying “I don’t wanna talk about it” or they say “I don’t avoid you at all” when they clearly are.
Requesting to postpone the discussion and refusing to admit or talk about things are completely two different things. The silent treatment is a clear refusal ever to talk about things, not now or later.
In short, we can say that silence deflects the situation by suggesting that the particular situation is off limit and out of reach. When it happens, the person receiving the silence would have to deal with their disappointment and silence alone. It doesn’t focus on understanding the predicament of the other partner, compromising, or resolving the issue.
When couples and partners leave things undiscussed, then it would gradually eat away at the relationship, resulting in the form of breakup or divorce.
When Silent Treatment Becomes Abusive
Silence is not a healthy and positive emotion, and it would make your partner feel sad and upset. It limits couples’ capability to resolve their issues in the relationship. Sometimes, silent treatment could take the form of manipulation and destructive behavior. It becomes emotionally abusive and gains control and power over the other partner.
Becoming silent in the relationship takes away your capability to collaborate and talk with each other. The partner receiving the silent treatment would go to a great length to reverse the whole situation. It gives power and control to the silent person, and the person receiving silence would feel baffled and fearful of losing the partner and the relationship.
Conclusion: Silent Treatment To End a Relationship
After an in-depth study of silent treatment to end a relationship; we have realized that silence is good when you want to resolve conflicts. When silence becomes manipulative, controlling, and vindictive, then it would eat away the fabric of the relationship. Ultimately, partners and couples would have no choice but to dissolve the relationship.
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