5 Examples Of Silent Treatment In Marriage Exposed Now

Silent, they say, is golden, but I am not sure Silent treatment in marriage is also that golden. If not, why does a partner feel bad when unconducive person uses that as a weapon to fight?

Yes, silent treatment is often used as a way to express displeasure, anger, frustration, and control tactics to display power, without dealing with the issues at hand.
Silence is acceptable in a marriage when it is used as a time to cool off or to think of a way to deal with your issues.

It becomes silent treatment when it is deliberately intended to suppress the other partner.
Silent treatment can deepen resentment or create further troubles. It can escalate conflict instead of resolving it and even create a cycle of avoidance.

In this post, we will look at what silent treatment in marriage means, the signs of silent treatment, Signs of silent treatment in marriage, and How to win the silent treatment.

Let’s dive In.

What Is Silent Treatment?

Silent treatment is a kind of emotional abuse where someone refuses to communicate or ignores others. A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships shows that 77% of people have admitted to using silent treatment, while 60% accepted being victims.

According to Harriet Lerner, a renowned Psychologist, “The silent treatment is a way to inflict pain on another person without physically bruising. This behavior causes serious issues in a person’s relationship, mental health, and life as a whole.

Generally, silent treatment can lead to feelings of isolation, lower self-esteem, and isolation

Effect Of Silent Treatment In Marriage:

Are you or your partner using silent treatment on the other? There are many ways to know if you or your partner are using silent treatment. Below are a few of them.

1. Withdraw From Each Other:

This is one of the most common signs of silent treatment in marriage. This is when a partner intentionally withdraws from communicating with the other. It is a strong, aggressive way employed to show anger, dissatisfaction, or resentment without talking about it.

You may find out that your partner has started distancing themselves physically and emotionally from having meaningful conversations or activities with you. This type of behavior normally leads to confusion, frustration, and feelings of isolation.

If this is not properly taken care of, it will exacerbate all the existing issues in your relationship and make it even harder to resolve or improve your communication.

2. Blame Game:

Blaming each other is also a great sign of silent treatment in marriage. This is where your communication with your partner becomes contentious and strained. Normally, this toxic behavior stems from all the underlying issues, like resentment and unmet needs.

The unmet needs and other underlying issues are what made partners resolve to blame games, finger-pointing, or avoid responsibility with each other. It creates toxic cycles where intimacy declines, trust dies, and emotional distance widens.

Blame games also create a culture of being defensive, which undermines the foundation of any relationship. It is important to recognize these signs and then work towards honest and open communication. That will foster mutual understanding as well as good resolution.

3. No Plans To Address Underlying Issues:

If your partner is not giving thought to how both of you can work and resolve your issues, that is a big sign of silent treatment in marriage, and it can destroy your marriage. First, it will corrode your trust in each other and create an atmosphere of resentment and tension.

This type of avoidance also destroys communication and emotional intimacy, and it ultimately weakens your marital bond. The silent treatment often stems from anger, fear, or a wish to be in control of a marriage; it somehow increases conflicts and prevents your solution plans.

To address these, you have to be open and respectful to each other.

4. Passive Aggressive Behaviour Will Show:

We can’t talk about silent treatment in marriage without talking about passive-aggressive behaviors, as those will be prevalent in your marriage as silent treatment.

Your silent treatment partner will resort to aggressive tactics such as using sarcastic words or slamming the door to convey their frustration and anger. Though these attitudes are not confrontational, they can overtly inflict emotional distress in a relationship.

They can also create an unfavorable atmosphere in your relationship.
As the recipient of this behavior, you’ll be left to feel hurt, and always struggle to understand your partner’s true intentions for the actions.

Over time, this behavior can erode your trust and intimacy, and then lead to destroying your relationship entirely.

5. Disciplinary Behaviors:

In addition to all other attitudes of the silent spouse, their punitive actions. This may manifest as a simple refusal to engage in tasks that are shared in your relationship, in including preparing meat, helping in household chores, etc.

The behaviour will intensify the sense of emotional distress the victim receives, cause isolation and discord and exacerbate tension and discord in a relationship.

Through these aggressive gestures, the silent treatment spouse want to assert control, exert power and receive silent treatment, resulting to inequality and resentment.

The people who always resort to silent treatment are mostly the ones who find it hard to express their emotions, or directly resolve their conflicts. They may lack communication skills or be afraid of confrontations, that’s why resolve to silence as a way of punishment or control.

This lifestyle can be as a result of past experiences, where their communication turns negative, which make them believe that silence is better.

Additionally, people who use silent treatment also struggle with empathy and find it easier to withdraw than to engage with other people’s feelings. Ultimately, unmet emotional needs and unresolved issues are the chief reasons why people rely on silent treatment as their coping mechanism.

Examples Of Silent Treatment In Marriage:

There are many examples of silent treatment in life, but I will discuss just five of them in this post. Each of these examples serves as a barrier to good communication and conflict resolution in a relationship. It destroys intimacy, trust, and mutual respect and finally leads to loneliness, resentment, and frustration.

It is good that you know them one by one so you can avoid them entirely in your relationship. They can manifest in many ways, and each has it’s consequences and implications.

Here are 5 of them:

Long Period Of Silence:

This is the type of silent treatment where one of the partners deliberately shuts down the communication channel. This extended period of silence can be emotionally taxing. The intentional shutting down can last for minutes, hours, months, and years, and it creates emotional tension and detachment.

Lack of interaction exacerbates the feeling of frustration, and isolation makes it hard to deal with underlying issues. The result is that it can cause a deep sense of disconnect.

Such protracted silences often show that there are underlying conflicts or unresolved issues in a relationship. Open communication and more efforts to reconcile are the best ways to deal with this issue.

Selective Ignoring:

This is the form of silent treatment where one partner selects things to ignore, such as questions, topics, or expressions from the other.

They may decide to respond to practical or mundane matters, but remain mute when it is a conflict or emotional issue. That will equally shut down every means of resolving the issues or connection.

Withholding Affection:

This is when one partner withdraws intimacy, attention, or affection from the other as punishment or manipulation. This could include refusing to take part in any physical activities, or avoiding physical contact entirely.

They may also want to neglect to express their appreciation or their love for each other.

Passive-Aggressive Behaviors:

Instead of expressing their concerns or feelings openly, the silent treatment spouse will resolve to passive aggressive behaviors such as giving shorts, rolling their eyes, or heavy sighing to do so.

These behaviors will indirectly tell the victim that the spouse is dissatisfied, or disapproved of everything. That also makes it uneasy for the other partner to deal with the underlying issues.

Complete Emotional Shutdown:

In extreme cases of silent treatment, the silent partner will shut down emotionally and become unresponsive to or emotionally numb to the other partner.

They may look distant, indifferent, or disengaged from the partner’s attempts to connect or communicate emotionally. This can be particularly destructive, as it fosters a sense of abandonment or isolation from their partner.

They may appear distant, disengaged, or indifferent to each other’s attempts to communicate or connect on an emotional level. This can be particularly damaging, as it creates a sense of isolation and abandonment for the other partner.

In each of these examples, the silent treatment serves as a barrier to healthy communication and conflict resolution in the marriage. It erodes trust, intimacy, and mutual respect, leading to feelings of loneliness, frustration, and resentment.

Addressing the underlying issues and finding constructive ways to communicate and resolve conflicts is crucial to overcoming the damaging effects of the silent treatment and fostering a strong, healthy marriage.


In conclusion, silent treatment in marriage can be deeply damaging, leading to feelings of isolation, resentment, and frustration. It’s a form of emotional abuse that erodes trust and intimacy.

Recognizing the signs of silent treatment, such as withdrawal, blame games, and passive-aggressive behavior, is essential.

To know how to cope with silent treatment in marriage, it’s crucial to prioritize open and respectful communication. Both of you should be willing to address underlying issues and work towards resolution.

Building empathy and understanding can help break the cycle of silent treatment and foster a healthier relationship.

Dealing with silent treatment involves creating a safe space for honest dialogue and expressing emotions. It’s important to seek professional help if a communication breakdown persists.

Ultimately, by nurturing communication and empathy, couples can overcome silent treatment and build a stronger, more resilient marriage.

My next article will be on how to deal with silent treatment in marriage, so be ready for it.

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