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Silent Treatment

Posted by: Anonymous
Fri 16, Jun 2017 at 12:42am
Having a Child with Additional Needs, Mixed Families, Communications in relationships

I've been with my husband for 7 years, married for almost 4. It is the second marriage for both of us, and my 15 yo son has autism. Early on in our relationship, he would completely shut down for a week or longer at a time, giving me the silent treatment. I didn't react well, but when it was over, he explained it wasn't me, it was just how he coped sometimes, due to a really crappy childhood. He told me in the future I just needed to ignore him and he would eventually snap out of it. I married him knowing this would happen from time to time, and it was a pretty rare occurrence.

Over the years we've been married, it has indeed happened again, but the length of time has shortened considerably, most of the time to 2 or 3 days. Until now.

It's been eleven days and he has taken his wedding ring off. Most of the time this is triggered by an argument. This time, we were supposed to go the beach, my son had an issue, and when I told him on the phone, he hung up on me. He did try to call later that day, but I had my phone on silent and didn't realize. As soon as I did, I called back, but he wouldn't answer, and now here we are. Since then, he leaves before me in the morning, slamming the door, comes home after me, fends for himself for dinner, and goes to bed before me.

I told him last night I was ready to talk when he was, and he told me there was nothing to talk about. Tonight, I came home, and the air conditioner wasn't working. He built our house (with some help, but he's a handyman for a living), and won't lift a finger to fix it or even try.

My son doesn't understand what's going on (neither do I), and it's all I can do to explain to him that my husband is making a poor choice and this is not the best way to deal with your emotions.

I'm struggling. I don't think he's ever gone this long, and he's definitely never taken his ring off before. I've been ignoring him the whole time, which has worked in the past, but it doesn't seem to be working now. I can't fathom why he is so upset with me. We get along so well 99% of the time, and had a wonderful happy family day and date night the night prior to this.

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  • Cc jaybee (moderator) Flag

    Hi, I'm sorry you've had a long wait for a reply. How are things now? Even if things are back on track between you,you may be worrying about when it might happen again.
    Either way, it concerns me that you're experiencing a repeating pattern of this from your partner. You may not want to think of this this way, but it is a form of emotional abuse and must exert quite a lot of control over the way you feel and perhaps even over the way you behave in your own home.
    How do you feel about talking to someone about what's happening - a women's organisation or a counsellor perhaps? Maybe you know of a helpline in your area that you could contact?

    Mon 3, Jul 2017 at 2:13pm
  • User-anonymous Flootsmith Flag

    I started counseling two weeks ago. It is still going on unfortunately - starting week 5 now. I think the longer it goes, the harder it is and will be for him to extricate himself from the behavior. I struggle with the word "abuse" but I know that this is devastating to our relationship and extremely unhealthy. Unfortunately, there isn't much I can do. I am living my life to the best of my abilities and waiting.

    Mon 3, Jul 2017 at 3:04pm