A Good Marriage Does Not Include 'Silent Treatment'


It has been said that women's worst form of punishment -- the dreaded "silent treatment" -- is actually like heaven for the man. He spends days wishing his wife would just "shut up," so when she is angry and does so, he's all par-tay! What kinds of marriages are these people in?

One writer for the Daily Mail decided to try out these claims for herself and did the "silent treatment" on her husband for a week. While she learned a lot, in the end, what she learned most was that her husband wanted her to talk.

It makes sense. Men don't have to be everything to us. We can have our girlfriends and the people we talk to about our favorite TV show, but if you're married to a man who doesn't want to hear what you have to say, then you aren't in a happy marriage. Here is what writer Sharon Parsons found:

I've realised that we both play our male and female roles to the letter. My instinct is to observe, connect seemingly random ideas, and relay what's going on; he, on the other hand, wants to get straight to the point in as quick a way as possible.

I'm not sure we'll ever really understand one another's 'language', but we do agree that this week's experiment has been useful in many ways. I've been able to see, for instance, that working through problems in a logical way can be far less draining, and also that if I give him a bit of space, he's more likely to open up and talk to me.

She is dead right. Now, don't get me wrong. My marriage isn't perfect in this regard. My husband is often sick to death while I pick apart some minute conversation with a relative or friend. "Who CARES?" he might sigh and ask me with exasperation, and it's often just the jolt I need to stop whining.

"Stop being friends with her if you can't stand her," he has said before. And then you know what? I listened. See, that's the beauty of the male versus female difference. Often men are more action-oriented and want to solve a problem, while women are more apt to just talk about it. Both ways are valid and good to learn, so why not combine them?

My husband never tells me to be quiet, but he also lets me know when I am obsessing. Meanwhile I don't tell him he is being cold and unfeeling, and I encourage him at work to ask the people who report to him more about their lives and be more candid with them.

We balance each other out and it's only through our talks and communication that it works. Couples who don't talk and communicate don't stay together. So, the next time you're mad at your spouse, consider letting him know and being open rather than "punishing" him by not speaking.

Do you think the silent treatment works?


Image via the_toe_stubber/Flickr



To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

CStarr CStarr

My husband used to give me the silent treatment when he was mad. All it did was make me hostile towards him and 2-3 days later we'd have it out. All that did was waste time. Now if we are mad about something we just spit it out. It's so much easier to deal with!

Melis... Melissa042807

It drives my husband CRAZY when I give him the silent treatment. He keeps pursuing the issue until I either talk about it, or make it clear that I just need some space to cool off for a while. He tends to go silent when he's processing something, which drives me up the freakin' wall - we'll be in the midst of deep discussion and he just closes his eyes and goes silent. So we're working on that. It's okay if he needs a moment to think, but he can't just leave me hanging like that.

Sigh. The joys of marriage. :-)

Boobo... Boobookittt74

I thinks in some relationships it does and some it doesn't. The dynamics of people are all different. In my case yes. It drives my husband crazy but that's because we are basically together all the time with little outside stimuli. He tries to hive it to me sometimes but he never lasts. I just laugh an say oh ok well see who wants to talk to who first. It's not very serious but like a test of wills.

PonyC... PonyChaser

I think there's a big difference between "giving the silent treatment" and "having a silent week", like this writer did. The first is filled with malice, passive-aggression, and control issues. The second is a controlled experiment with both parties in on the deal, and nobody being angry.

That said, no, I don't believe that Silent Treatment works. I DO, however, believe that taking some time and being silent does work. Telling him, "I can't talk about this with you right now," will work wonders. It allows you both to 'go to your corners', regroup, breathe a little and assess your position (or, if you're like me, stew a little because you've realized that he's probably right. again. dammit).

But just shutting down solves nothing. It fuels the anger that wove through the argument in the first place, and spreads the "love" around because it likely involves cold shoulders, nasty looks, slamming doors, stomping up the stairs and any number of other childish behaviors. That, ultimately, solves nothing.

nonmember avatar Liz

I wouldn't consider my behavior during an argument to be the silent treatment, but maybe others would. Sometimes when I get worked up, I know that if I open my mouth I'll probably say something mean and unnecessary that I'll regret later, so I avoid the conversation until I can collect my thoughts. It's not that I want to ignore him when he asks what's wrong, it's that I don't trust myself to not blurt out, "YOU ARE WHAT'S WRONG" out of spite. Fortunately I'm able to collect my thoughts pretty quickly, so the lack of communication never lasts long.

My husband on the other hand finds it VERY hard to put words to his emotions. He will sit there in silence after I've said something, adding nothing to the conversation because he doesn't know exactly what to say. It can be very frustrating, but we are working on it. I'm working on my patience and he's working on opening up more.

CoolM... CoolMommy86

Ponychaser, well said. I have the problem of clamming up when things get too heated during the convo with the hubs. It drives him insane. I don't mean to do it, but I get so emotional that my body (the speaking part mostly) shuts down. I think mostly it's because I don't want to say the wrong thing again and have the argument spin outta control ya know? I say things sometimes that are hard for me to say properly. I am trying to work on it but don't know how.


Chop Doc

I love it when I get the silent treatment. Only time I can actually enjoy some peace and quiet without having to leave the house!

Marjc... Marjchaos

My husband and I don't play teenage drama games with each other. If we are upset, sometimes there will be some quiet while we think out how to say what we mean, but we do not use silence or game playing as punishments for each other.

Liz132 Liz132

If I give "the silent treatment" it's because I'm too upset and don't want to say things I'll later regret. It's not about getting revenge and it doesn't last days just a few hours. while I calm myself down to think about the situation reasonably, come up with possible solutions to our problem, and to find the right words that will make him understand what made me so upset in the first place. I think keeping your mouth shut for a while can be very helpful to a relationship

Liz132 Liz132

I forgot to add... Sometimes I give "the silent treatment" when my husband is being unreasonable and is very upset. I find that it's better to wait until the topic can be discussed calmly

1-10 of 10 comments