How The Silent Treatment Is Destroying Your Relationship


And, it's not looking good for your health either!

Whenever my husband and I get into an argument, my most preferred method of dealing with it is to walk out the room, slam the door behind me, and not talk to him for as long as possible. Even when he tries to make amends and suggest we talk it out, I keep my mouth shut, and turn my head the other way. I refuse to give him the satisfaction of caving. I refuse to admit that I may have been wrong, and if he's willing to concede that he was the wrong one, I still let him stew in it. That's just how I work.

But my technique is wrong, oh-so wrong. Guess I need to find another passive-aggressive way to deal with out disagreements, but I'm inflicting more damage than good.

A study led by Paul Schrodt at the Texas Christian University, has found that nothing good ever comes from giving your partner the silent treatment. You may think you’re proving some sort of point, but you're actually just messing up your relationship and damaging your own health.

From 1987 to 2011, researchers looked into the relationship patterns of 14,000 participants. While it’s no shock that the silent treatment just leads to more communication issues, it’s also to blame for lowered satisfaction within the relationship and dwindling intimacy. Because who wants to be intimate when they’re so much cold shoulder nonsense going on? Make up sex may be a blast, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it saves your intimacy with that quick romp.

In addition what the effects the silence treatment has on your relationship, it can also mean psychological issues for the one doling out the silence. Urinary, bowel, and erectile dysfunction aren’t that far away when you ignore your partner. Yes, you just might be able to blame your constipation on how your treat your partner after an argument. This is great news for the laxative business, but not so great news for your intestines.

As Dr. Schrodt told Salon, "It's the most common pattern of conflict in marriage or any committed, established romantic relationship. And it does tremendous damage." The more this way of dealing with disagreements becomes a pattern, then the more “one or both partners experience heightened levels of anxiety or may use more aggressive forms of behavior." Ultimately, it’s a vicious cycle, and one that must be stopped, if you want to save your relationship.

Schrodt suggests a way to battle this is for both partners to agree to a "timeout," so each person can calm down before getting back into it again. He also stresses avoiding accusatory language and trying your best to be understanding, seeing things from both perspectives. It might be hard in the heat of the moment, but if your relationship is important to you, you'll make the effort. Relationships aren't easy, but for all the trouble they can be, it's worth it for all the good stuff. If that isn't reason enough, then avoiding constipation should definitely convince you to try another method when it comes to dealing with relationship conflict.

Do you do the silent treatment in your relationship? Tell us in the comments below.

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