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