Playing the silent treatment can be very harmful and damaging in our relationships. You know how it goes: your spouse offends you or does something to make you angry and you retaliate with the silent treatment. This can lead to a breakdown in communication and next thing you know, you’re not speaking to each other for days or weeks! This can erode trust and intimacy in our relationships.
We can find ourselves in this situation when we don’t speak up right away when our spouse offends us. Even though we don’t always have to call ‘foul’ on every little thing, there are times when we need to bring things to their attention. If not, that “little issue” can brew into a full blown offense: leading to hurt, bitterness, and resentment.
To resolve this, you first have to speak up! Don’t keep it bottled inside thinking that things will get better, because normally they don’t. This tactic usually back-fires since things eventually build up and later explode into something much bigger than when it began. Take the initiative to break the silence.
Secondly, practice smart offense. Schedule times to discuss each other’s hot buttons BEFORE there’s an issue to deal with. Having the knowledge of what hurts or offends your spouse in advance can head off many issues before they even begin. It’s important that both spouses are open and receptive during the sharing process as it’s a vulnerable time for both of you.
And finally, if an offense has already occurred be sure to practice smart defense. Try to schedule a time to discuss the issue or offense at a time when emotions aren’t running high and tempers aren’t boiling over. Keeping healthy lines of communication open are essential to getting your relationship back on track.
Taking these steps will re-build trust, restore harmony and reduce the silent treatment in your relationship.
Ginger Finney is a Certified Relationship Coach and President of Harmony Life Solutions. Harmony Life Solutions (HLS) provides professional coaching services and resources for women and families. Ginger brings more than twenty years of marriage and family experience to her practice, and embraces the opportunity to see her clients thrive in their relationships. www.harmonylifesolutions.org .© 2013, Ginger Finney. All rights reserved.