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Question
Posted by: Rose | 2012/07/17

Silent treatment

What is your opinion on getting given the silent treatment? And how do you handle it? For me it''s the worst kind of mental abuse a person can give you. It sends a message that you''re a nothing and not worthy of a response. I unwittedly pee-ed my boyfriend off on Friday (apparently I mentioned my financial problems once too often for his liking) and my punishment was to be given the silent treatment for the entire weekend. He didnt respond to my calls or messages. Just refused to answer his phone or reply in any shape or form. At that point I had no idea what I had done to warrent it so you can imagine what was going through my mind. Then I apologised for upsetting him (even though I still didnt know what I had done) and he eventually smsed me on Sunday night. Yesterday I was still annoyed at the silent treatment and I told him that I didnt like being treated like a child and punished and that it is not ok. His reply? It IS ok for him to do it because I nadly annoyed him and guess what? I am being given the silent treatment again. Can you believe it? I''d just finished telling him I don''t like it and he deliberately does it again. What am I doing with my life and with this a-hole? Why can''t I wake up and break free from this abusive man? I sit and ask myself what exactly am I hanging on for? We argue the whole time, he is verbally abusive and calls me names I''ve never even heard of, he treats me like shit, he hates my kids and friends, I can''t discuss any of my problems with him without them getting thrown back into my face, the sex is rubbish, he thinks everyone is out to get him, he''s vindictive and loves to play mind games and childish tit for tat games, he blames me for everything that goes wrong etc etc. I can go on for hours listing all the reasons we just don''t work. Positives? We both like to go places and do things. Thats about it. I know this relationship is bad for me and has changed me and yet no matter what I tell myself I just cant get to the point of walking away for good. Ive been to a psycologist who has adviced me to walk away but the advice is not sinking in. He says pyschologists are a waste of money and they only tell you what you want to hear to make you feel better. So I''m even having second thoughts about going back to see mine. What''s happened to me? I used to be a strong willed person who would never have tolerated this kind of treatment from someone and yet here I am getting made to feel that everything that has gone wrong is my fault and that I''m a terrible person and that I treat him so badly that I deserve what he gives. I really don''t know what to do because now I even doubt what the psycologist is telling me. It''s like I''m in some kind of psycho movie where he''s got inside my head and is controlling my every thought and feeling. It feels like I am the mad, abusive person. Perhaps I am? Perhaps this man has seen something in me that I wasnt aware of and has pointed it out to me. Am I the one who is abusive and has the mental problems?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I suppose it can indeed be very distressing to be stuck on the receiving end of "the silent treatment". But in a real sense, this only works if you insist to yourself that it is imperative that the other person talk to you about whatever it is that is in dispute. The more you try to get them to respond to you, or just sit around looking miserable, the more satisfaction they get from doing this.
On the other hand, the more you appear unconcerned, bored, and uninterested in what they might have to say, the more frustrating and unsatisfying the tactic is for the silent one.
But also, one must look at the broader picture. If your bf is really so easily upset, and so childish in "punishing" you for displeasing him, does he really deserve to continue being your bf at all ?
You seem to be asking appropriate questions, about why you choose to remain with him, but you don't report giving yourself good answers to your good questions.
Its hardly surprising that he scorns psychologists, who would too easily see right through him. But its not good enough for a psychologist to tell you to leave this Lump, but to discuss with you HOW you are going to leave and help you to follow through with your decisions. There's no "psycho movie" controlling you - you are choosing to allow an immature and selfish man to control you, and until you really genuinely change your mind about that, he will remain in charge. Of course you are not the abusive person, except in the sense that you are colluding in the abuse of yourself.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: Gracie | 2012/07/17

Leave his sorry a$$! He is supposed to be supportive of you and your problems and he clearly is not. Sometimes we all need someone to talk to and if he cannot be that someone, maybe you will be better off without him. As for the abuse - verbal, mental or otherwise, it''s abuse and no-one has to put up with it. You owe it to yourself to get out of this relationship before he destroys your self-esteem completely. Silent treatment is cruel and unnecessary - if he is not adult enough to discuss the problems in your relationship, best you call it quits!

Reply to Gracie
Posted by: Lilly | 2012/07/17

keep seeing the psychologist, they know human behaviour and how to handle difficult situations. I went to one for ages and she turned my life around, now i am married to the most amazing guy. Don''t sink into what he says all the time, stand with your own thoughts and remember your feelings dictate and warn you as to how you are being treated.
good luck (moving on could lead to greater happiness in the long run).

Reply to Lilly
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/07/17

I suppose it can indeed be very distressing to be stuck on the receiving end of "the silent treatment". But in a real sense, this only works if you insist to yourself that it is imperative that the other person talk to you about whatever it is that is in dispute. The more you try to get them to respond to you, or just sit around looking miserable, the more satisfaction they get from doing this.
On the other hand, the more you appear unconcerned, bored, and uninterested in what they might have to say, the more frustrating and unsatisfying the tactic is for the silent one.
But also, one must look at the broader picture. If your bf is really so easily upset, and so childish in "punishing" you for displeasing him, does he really deserve to continue being your bf at all ?
You seem to be asking appropriate questions, about why you choose to remain with him, but you don't report giving yourself good answers to your good questions.
Its hardly surprising that he scorns psychologists, who would too easily see right through him. But its not good enough for a psychologist to tell you to leave this Lump, but to discuss with you HOW you are going to leave and help you to follow through with your decisions. There's no "psycho movie" controlling you - you are choosing to allow an immature and selfish man to control you, and until you really genuinely change your mind about that, he will remain in charge. Of course you are not the abusive person, except in the sense that you are colluding in the abuse of yourself.

Reply to cybershrink

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