Watch the subtitled video above if you prefer to listen to my advice.
In this video we’re gonna talk about the silent treatment and forms of abuse in relationships. I’m sure a lot of you guys have dealt with the problem in the past, that one of your girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, wives, whatever, she is kind of mad and she won’t tell you what is going on. So they typically say, you ask “what’s wrong?” and they’ll say “nothing, it’s fine” and we all know, of course, when a woman says it’s fine, it’s absolutely not fine. And so what do you do in such a case, and what you do if a woman is doing this on purpose, if she is essentially trying to use this as a form of abuse to withdraw intimacy from you? So I have this idea in my book that I always talk about. You have to be dominant, not a doormat. And it’s very important to be assertive with your woman because you have to lead the relationship in the right direction as a man. So I got a message from a guy and let’s just get right into his problem and see what is my advice for him.
The Silent Treatment in Relationships: How to Deal with Silent Treatment In Marriage — Catch It Early!
Hi coach, I don’t know what to do about my wife who’s giving me the silent treatment. I’m 37 and she’s 35. We’ve been together for eight years now and we have a son of three. Her behavior of going silent and refusing to communicate has been an issue from the start and I’ve been telling her from the start that I’m not okay with this. Granted, over the years it has become a rare occurrence but it is still here.
So you’re both adults and you communicated already in the past that you don’t like it and apparently it has gotten better so I have to give his wife credit that she has improved, but she’s still doing it. So let’s see what’s going on.
Just a few days ago it happened again. This episode began last Tuesday. She was cold and distant towards me. She answered all my questions with ‘I’m fine, we’re fine, everything is great.’ Since then every day I have tried to see what’s going on. Three days ago, after she said that everything was great, I asked how is it possible when she is emotionally unavailable to me. She didn’t answer but it clearly angered her. The next hour she scolded me for several small issues about the house that weren’t done yet.
So there were a few things that she didn’t like but she didn’t communicate them with you and so what you’re trying to do is to keep on poking. And obviously, you’re probably doing it in a way that feels intrusive to her. So what I would do is, I would probably try humor instead. So be playful, tease her a little bit, and essentially, instead of mirroring back, her being angry and you showing her “hey, this affects me” I would not show this to her at all. I would act as if nothing happened because silent treatment is often a bit of a form of abuse, especially if it’s a chronic recurring thing. And so you don’t want to train a woman to allow you to mistreat you all the time and use the silent treatment to make you feel bad about yourself. Obviously, if you did something wrong then the woman is justified in not being happy about it but she needs to communicate it with you and she doesn’t get any plus points by emotionally withdrawing and not being willing to communicate about this, and saying what is her problem.
Two days ago we were watching a movie and I’ve tried to have a conversation to get back to being okay. Then I told her that it hurts feeling neglected. She offered sex. No warmth in the offer and maybe, a smudge of contempt. I refused and asked why she was cold. No answer.
So one thing that you have to be careful about if you are asking a woman what’s wrong. And if you’re poking, and you’re doing a good thing here, actually. You are trying to tell her that it hurts feeling neglected. But it’s of course important how you tell her. So if you for example tell her “You are neglecting me. You are not… you don’t care about my feelings.” Something like this. If the woman would say this to you, you would be immediately defensive and you would find an excuse why you are actually not being you know affectionate. You might say “I have work to do” or “I’ve been busy” or something like that because you just want to defend yourself. So I don’t know how you told her that you’re feeling neglected, but well, it’s good that you say you feel neglected. So a lot of people would say “hey you’re neglecting me. I don’t like this.” right? So “you’re not making time for me” or “you are emotionally withdrawing“…
So that would feel like an attack. If like you said it. I hope you did this, say I am feeling neglected. This is what I need from us. This is what I need us to do. Then it’s not so much an attack. So it’s more about asserting your needs, rather than demanding that she does something. So I can’t tell here from your message if you did this or not but it’s a good thing that you’re addressing it. Just make sure that you don’t demand that she gives you affection. You just need to tell her what you need from her.
Facing the Silent Treatment: Responding to Silent Treatment — The Best Way is to Slowly Open Her Up
Yesterday I’ve tried to be a bit more forceful with my questions. I don’t know, maybe to provoke her into talking.
Now, if you would hear this, do you think provoking anyone into anything is ever going to achieve anything? Of course not. Have you ever had a political discussion with someone on the other aisle of your ideology and you tried provoking them? It’s not gonna go very far because you both have your own points of view and then you’re just gonna fight about it. And so her point of view is that right now she is pissed because of something. And you trying to force it and forcefully provoking her with questions will not do anything. What I would do is, I would ignore it if she does not give you the affection. Then she needs to feel the consequences. You can’t change that she does the silent treatment all the time. What you can do is you can change how you respond to that.
I don’t know. Maybe to provoke her into talking. It did the trick a few times a long time ago. The things I got from her were “yes I did something. No, she won’t tell me. I don’t deserve to know.
Whatever the fuck that even means. I don’t deserve to know? You don’t deserve to know?! What the hell do you mean? I mean I’m your partner?! And if I did something wrong why would I not deserve to know? I want to make it right!
We’re both supposed to ignore the issue and we should act normal and that it will pass.
So she’s basically playing the card “I’m mad. I’m really, really mad but I’m not gonna tell you what it is and you don’t deserve to know. We should just ignore it. I’m gonna treat you like shit but let’s ignore it. Let’s just act normal and it will eventually pass.” But the thing is she’s not acting normal. So she’s bullshitting you here and you have to be a bit more firm with what you want. I’m not saying that you should fight her about this but you shouldn’t be a doormat and let her walk all over you, because like I said at the beginning of the video: The silent treatment ultimately is a form of abuse.
Whether she does that on purpose, whether she just doesn’t know better, whether she grew up in a family where this was normal, whether she has malicious intent or it is a way, a sort of protest behavior and she’s actually trying to gain affection from you, we don’t know. I don’t know her. I don’t know your exact case but you can’t just let her walk all over you. Now, if she keeps on repeating this you have to show her some consequences and so the best consequence that you can do is don’t be upset about it. Don’t fight her. Don’t provoke her. Just go on with your life and obviously, that doesn’t sound optimal because you are in a relationship, and you are actually married with her. You have to live with this woman for the rest of your life but what other options do you have? Fighting her? No, she needs to realize that this behavior is not okay.
Is Silent Treatment Abuse: When you’re Facing the Silent Treatment it’s About Control in the Relationship
One more thing: The pill. Three times in the past she accused birth control pills for her emotions when our relationship was strained. Her doctor supported her and kept changing types, dosages, and 12 months ago this crisis lasted more than two months of her being an emotional mess.
So this happens quite often and she’s blaming it on the pills. Hmmm….
It was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. She stopped using them but over the last year she wanted continually to get back on them and me being absolutely against it.
Obviously, you are against it because she can easily use it as an excuse that it’s just the pills. “I’m just being moody because of the pills.” And people do this all the time. They will always find some bullshit excuse why they will find an opportunity to excuse why they abuse you. They’ll find a bullshit excuse why they’re not working out. They will find a bullshit excuse why they haven’t been honest with you. They will find a bullshit excuse why they are being lazy. But you know what a king does, is he doesn’t take any excuses. Kings don’t make excuses and kings don’t accept excuses. We only take things for what it is. We look at the results and actions that we see from people and if you are dating a queen, then you are going to get the actions that you wish to receive from her. But if you’re dating a woman, a despot, a female tyrant, who uses her behaviors and the lack of her actions to abuse you, well you’re always going to get something like this: A bad excuse.
She hates condoms and is scared of me getting a vasectomy.
So if you don’t know what a vasectomy is, it’s basically. It’s like sterilization kind of. Essentially, you can’t have children. You’re gonna cut the pipes for your sperm, so you basically can’t impregnate any woman. So you want a vasectomy, or you’re suggesting it. I would be careful with this because this is something that is not reversible. There are many, many other options what you could do. Obviously, the pill doesn’t work. Condoms also don’t seem to work. Well, what else is there? There are two more birth control methods… I forgot the names, well, that tells you I’m a guy. You know these rings that can be inserted. There are other ways how you can do birth control, basically, and so she’s just basically jumping around the issue, always saying “I don’t like vasectomies. I don’t like the pill. I don’t like condoms.”
Well, what the fuck do you want?! What the fuck is acceptable to you? Right? And you can’t just continuously avoid the issue! So I wouldn’t accept this and I also wouldn’t necessarily get a vasectomy because first of all, what if you change your mind in the future. What if it doesn’t work out with this woman because well, let’s face it: Things are not going that great and she has a repetitive pattern of doing the silent treatment. Not saying you’re going to have a divorce in the future but to cripple yourself for the rest of your life if you already have a lot of red flags in the relationship. This is something that I would consider probably not doing. There are other options that are reversible, like condoms. Like the pill. So don’t let yourself be treated like a doormat. There are many, many options that you could resort to but she is just probably using this as a way of continuously abusing you.
Last month I gave in during sex. So she is on a pill again. The most likely scenario is that she’ll accuse the pills once again. I’m such an idiot for agreeing in the first place.
Yeah, she knows that she can basically manipulate you and play you. And you’re always gonna give in to her demands. So she has a pattern of, she sees the pattern of whatever she wants, she’s gonna get it. If she’s not happy, she’s gonna pout, she’s gonna stonewall, she’s gonna be doing the silent treatment until she gets what she wants: Your validation. Your attention. And it’s a power play. She wants to feel good about herself and she can keep on doing this over and over and you acknowledge it yourself: You are an idiot for agreeing to it in the first place.
Because you’re positioning yourself once again as a doormat and if a woman can deceive, she’s probably gonna leave. What that means is if she can tell that she can manipulate you, well she’s gonna probably use you until she’s done with you. And who knows, maybe in the future she is gonna possibly… obviously, that’s a hypothetical but what if she at some point realizes “well, I’m done using this guy. I’m done walking all over him. I’m done abusing him. It’s time to find another man.” I’m not saying that’s going to happen, right? This is a bit of a red pill or men going their own talking point. But there are women that just don’t respect men and just use them, just saying. It’s something to be really concerned about. It’s a red flag.
Red Flags in a Relationship: Silent Treatment Abuse Can’t Become the Norm of “Communication”
So my question is: I can’t change her. I can only change myself but I’m stumped on what is the appropriate response here how to communicate that this is unacceptable behavior. What am I doing wrong here? Words are obviously not enough. She knows that I hate this but it leads nowhere. I’m still there for her, still trying to be kind and respectful, but she just shows no affection.
So your problem is, you mentioned this here, you are still there for her. That is your problem. Obviously, she’s your wife. Obviously, you have a three-year-old son, so you can’t abandon your wife and you shouldn’t. But you don’t have to give her everything that she wants. If she wants to play this power play and use these abusive methods, silent treatment, withdrawing affection, not giving you sex, well she can do that, fine! But then you’re gonna occupy yourself with healthier things. With your son, for example. I mean think about your son. He’s three years old, right? Now, do you want him to grow up with this? You want to grow him up… do you want to have him grow up with a mother who continuously manipulates her husband? Your son is going to see this and he’s going to model this. He’s going to believe that he is always going to be pushed around. And he will probably have himself be pushed around.
So to give you a bit of an anecdote, or example about my own life. I grew up in a fairly narcissistic and unhealthy household. My mom was always critical about my father and my father never asserted his needs and so I grew up being very non-assertive and I was bullied like crazy in school. And it took me a long long time to realize that there’s a king within me. And this is why my book is called “Unleash The King Within” because there’s a lot of men who don’t see their worth. Don’t realize that they’re kings. And do you want your son to grow up like this? I’m assuming you don’t want your son to grow up like this. So what should you do? You should stop being there and accommodating her needs all the time. You don’t need to be disrespectful. You don’t need to be not kind. But you don’t need to give her attention all the time, because this is clearly a method how she’s trying to gain your attention. Because all she has to do is be mad at something and… she can be mad at stuff, it’s not a problem. But she needs to communicate about them.
The bottom line is relationships are about communication and the ironic part of this story here is that women are typically much, much, much better at communication than men. It’s just not really in our biology and also, based on how we grow up, we don’t really learn communication that much compared to women, and we don’t have that many social interactions as women do when they grow up, and especially in their teenage years when they get older and a lot of men hit on them. So men in general are much worse at communication and I mean you have to call her out on this to some extent. And then if you call her out on this that you want your partner to be able to communicate what she needs, and if she’s not willing to give you that, well then you have to withdraw your own attention.
Doesn’t mean that you need to be cold. You can be friendly but I wouldn’t chase her tail if something is wrong. And you told her, well you need to let me know what is wrong, otherwise I can’t do anything. And then she keeps on repeating this, because she wants you to keep on poking until she eventually tells you. And then, when she tells you, she doesn’t tell you in a loving way, she actually gets upset, and blames you for a lot of things, well fine! That’s fine in the beginning when you don’t know what both of you need from each other, and how to treat each other, but you’ve been in a relationship… was it eight years I believe? So she should know by now how the rules work and if she’s not happy with something, small things here and there, she needs to tell you. And you are both adults.
So I would tell her “honey, babe you have to tell me what is it that you need, or what did I do wrong. I can’t read your mind. And I’m sorry if I did something wrong, but please just let me know and then I’ll try to rectify it.” and obviously you’ll rectify it only if it is reasonable. Otherwise, she’s just gonna use you and manipulate you again. So there are a lot of red flags and for anyone who’s watching this, it’s a bit of a warning, because he, he’s in this relationship now. It’s marriage. They’re married eight years, have a son, it’s very hard to distance yourself from this situation now. But a lot of you who meet a woman like this, maybe you should think twice of dating a woman like this because you can see he’s running into a lot of trouble and he sounds quite reasonable.
He actually does sound like he is a really good communicator on average but it also sounds that she is just not willing to make any compromises. So my assumption is no matter how good you try to communicate with her, probably, it will never lead to anything. So what I would suggest is like I said express your feelings what you need. What you need, what both of you need in the relationship. Don’t be demanding. Don’t be assertive. Don’t push for it. Then you tell her when she doesn’t give you what you want, you tell her that you want her to communicate properly and then if she doesn’t give you that, well then you have to essentially withdraw as well and not just give her more attention, because that’s exactly what she wants.
Give your attention to your son, for example, or also your friends, or hobbies. You don’t need to be neglectful of your family but that’s probably as far as you can take it. And ultimately, probably, if you are able to talk about this in a calm manner, I would probably suggest going to a therapist and not in a demanding way. “Let’s just realize that there are some problems and you think it would be good if maybe we start seeing a therapist because we keep on fighting” and you don’t want to fight and you don’t have to blame her for it. It’s just that you think that the family isn’t at the level of happiness and contentment as you would like to be, because there is apparently a lot of contempt. So that’s about my advice.
Let’s just see he wraps it up: “She refuses to say what I did wrong. I’m not sure what is the appropriate response to this. It’s not the first time this happened.” Try some humor. Try to keep it light. If that doesn’t work, like I said, everything that I already suggested and that’s everything that I can suggest to you. And worst case you have to avoid the conflict because the conflict seems like that’s what she wants. So don’t let yourself being walked all over. Become dominant and assert your needs. And she needs to feel the consequences, all right?
That is my final advice. Let me know in the comments below what you think. Do you agree with this take maybe you don’t? Give me a thumbs up, of course, if you like this video and subscribe to my YouTube channel. If you need some more help there are some ways how I can help you. Of course, so like I mentioned earlier, I come from a fairly codependent background and so my book “Unleash The King Within” will help you definitely to become more assertive and to find healthy communication patterns and how to tell your woman “hey this is what I need from you, and this is how I feel like. I’m not being appreciated” and anyone who can relate to this, who is in a similar situation… Think about your son, for example. You don’t want this for your own children in the future. So get my book from Amazon.
You can also get my “Confidence King” training program or my “Financial Freedom King” training program and of course, you can always book a coaching session with me. And with that I will see all of you kings in the next video.