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The silent treatment?

Posted by: Anonymous
Wed 5, Apr 2017 at 7:07pm
Getting on Better with my Partner, Communications in relationships
silent treatment,communication

I think my boyfriend is giving me the silent treatment.

He has days when he (seemingly out of the blue, or more likely when he is under more stress than normal) goes silent. He will answer questions with few words, and if absolutely necessary say something or ask a question, though missing out any 'pleasantries' or extra words such as 'can you'/'do you know'/'please'/'thank you'. Often he will also mumble whenever he says anything, and make me ask the same question several times (almost seemingly on purpose!). He will largely avoid eye contact, and not respond to any physical affection.

If I ask if he's okay, he says yes.

It makes me feel he has become indifferent to me, or is angry at me, and I wonder what I have done, and whether he still cares for me. I can't focus on anything else, but I try to give him space.

When he seems to be more his normal self a day or two later, I sometimes ask what was going on and whether I did something to upset him. He says he has been fine, and that it's all in my head, or that I should point the finger towards myself.

What should I do when he does this?
Is it possible that I'm paranoid and imagining all of this? And if not, how do we deal with a problem he doesn't think exists?

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  • Cc jaybee (moderator) Flag

    Hi, thanks for your post. Sorry you've had to wait a while for a response.
    When someone we're close to changes mood, we're very likely to think it's our fault. The reality is, it usually isn't.
    There may not be a lot you can do to change what he does but you can make a choice to do something different yourself. You say you try to allow him space. How about focussing on finding space for yourself while this is happening -either at home or outside it?
    I'm not advising that you use this to retaliate - just as a distraction and a way to help you to feel better; it may help both of you to feel that you're not completely dependent on each other for your emotional well being.
    I think you're right to wait until he's feeling better before you try and have a conversation with him about it and, if you can bear it, maybe even wait until he brings it up?

    Tue 11, Apr 2017 at 8:07am
  • User-anonymous bluedoor Flag

    Thank you! That's helpful, I'll try to keep in mind that it's not necessarily anything I've done but maybe just a bad day, and try to find my own space for a little while :)

    Tue 11, Apr 2017 at 8:19am