Silent Treatment is a Relationship Wrecker


Silent Treatment is a Relationship Wrecker

Every couple who are in a relationship whether married or not has disagreements and conflicts. The silent treatment is one of the responses of a person when in conflict or disagree however there are people who say that this is an unhealthy and probably the most destructive way of arguing. How they argue can sometimes make or break their relationship.

If your way of arguing is silent treatment perhaps this is the time to change your strategy.

The silent treatment is within the “demand-withdrawal patter” wherein one person puts pressure in the relationship by seeking for affection, attention or anything but the other partner refuses to respond by shutting off or avoiding any form of communication. The other partner treats her partner in the form of silence.

Researches have shown that couples who treat their disagreements with silent treatment are not satisfied with their relationship, communication between them is worse and intimacy declines. Most often, silent treatment is the usual precedent that the relationship is on the brink of destruction.

What makes this more interesting is that this was the result studies of marital clinicians and therapist since 1930. Thorough studies were made since then. They concentrated their studies on the impact of silent treatment in a relationship and they called the behavior as one form of demand-withdrawal pattern. Likewise, according to Paul Schrodt, a professor at Texas Christian University, silent treatment is common and becomes a persistent battle for people who are in a relationship, married or not.

Collectively, silent treatment leads to an unsatisfactory relationship and may cause a divorce. This is said to be the smartest way to end a relationship if you want a way out of it and this is the most commonly used method to make a disagreement in a romantic  relationship.

This is considered a wrong move that must be discarded if you want your relationship to survive.

Why do we practice silent-treatment?

When we are hurt and you don’t want to talk and face the problem, we often resort to being silent. Another reason is when one of us is very demanding and acts that he wants to be in control of the relationship. You, on the other hand will want to take the control.  Both of you are battling for power and without knowing it, you are already resorting to silent treatment.

According to the studies made by Schrodt in more than 14,000 people that are in a romantic relationship, it was revealed that women though not often are the demanders whereas the men withdraw or treat their partners with silence.

Couples must be responsible if they value their relationship. They should know the consequence of the silent treatment. Most often, they tend to put the blame to their partners which will not resolve the disagreement rather it will make the matter worse.

Giving a person a cold shoulder or silent treatment is very frustrating which will somehow make the person to withdraw further from the partner.

Ignoring your partner or refusing to express what you feel and think will not break you free from the conflict that you are experiencing.  Relationship professionals suggest that it is important to address the conflict by talking to your partner only when both of you are calm and not arguing.

How to break from the bad habit of demand-withdrawal pattern

Silent treatment won’t do any good to a relationship. This is a bad habit that couples must avoid from practicing because it gives too much stress in terms of physical and emotional to the couple.

The studies made by Schrodt and his team on people who had experienced or currently experiencing silent treatment mostly suffer from depression or anxiety, resort to drug abuse, show signs of mental as well as physical changes.

The following are the Schrodt advice on breaking from demand withdrawal pattern such as silent treatment:

  • When you feel like giving your partner a silent treatment or your partner is on the brink of giving you the same cold shoulder, approach your partner and talk it over.

  • Do not use abusive or rude languages when you are trying to fix the issue.

  • Do not resolve the issue when both of you are hot tempered. Tell your partner that both of you need to cool down first and then come back when you are both sane and willing to face each other and talk about the problem.

  • Admit whatever your role in the silent treatment and accept how your behavior result in negative actions from your partner.

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