Is your angry, silent partner a challenge?

How do you react to hubby’s hostile silence?


He says nothing, but you know he is mad as hell. He is obviously sulking in front of you, and his attitude fills the room with a very negative vibe. For you, this silent anger is far more maddening and crazy than an overt attack…you would prefer to have him shouting his complains!

He is acting out the “angry blackmailer role,” a script that basically tells you without words: “Look how mad I am, because of what you did to me I have to be raving mad… all is your fault. Now figure out what you did wrong and how you’re going to make it up to me.”

So he sits in his magnificent silence, and you know you are being held hostage of his real or invented rage. You are forced now to guess what provoked his rage. How are you going to act without showing your own frustration? By being rational as hell, of course! When he says nothing, what can you say or do? Acting in a very cold way is your only way out:

Avoid getting to the conclusion that nothing can be done with this kind of blackmailer, and don’t walk away. Take a deep breath and think in this way:

  • It is useless to expect him to tell what is wrong;
  • It is worthless to ask them what is wrong, or tell him he needs to stop this childish behavior;
  • It is counterproductive to appeal to peace and understanding: he is having fun!
  • It is silly to take the blame and apologize for whatever he feels is wrong;
  • It is useless to search for his deeper motivations now;

Get another deep breath and remember that you are dealing with an immature person who feels inadequate or powerless and who uses silent control as a means of getting you attached to him.

When you are able to focus on the “scared child aspect”, say something like:

“It looks like you’re angry right now, and I’ll be willing to discuss this situation with you as soon as you’re ready to talk about it,”

Then leave the room, and him alone.

Is important that you stick to this calm attitude, accepting their anger, even recognizing its cause if you know it:

“I’m clear that you are upset because I need to travel around your birthday and will not be here exactly that date, but I’m certainly willing to plan for a second birthday party and do what makes you happy then.”

His behavior doesn’t give you a lot of room: you need to accept the fact that you will have to make the first move most, if not all, of the times. This person is now in your life, and you can’t change that now, so send him the message that they can tell you what they’re angry about and you offer to hear them out without escalating the conflict with your own complaints.

Keeping calm, and treating his behavior as a communication problem that can be solved when he decides to share are the best rational  techniques that can change this situation. You need to avoid showing your frustration, shouting or telling about the challenges you encounter in the relationship.

Now the only way out is to inform your hubby in a calm way that you are inviting him to talk in his own time, as if you are not surprised, disappointed or repulsed by his acting out his anger. He can’t express his anger in any other way, so bear with it in a calm way.
And have clarity in what you are going to say: “You can be silent, and I can try to understand what is going on with you, but to go to any conclusion, you need to share with me what is the issue. If you can’t talk now, I will ask you in two hours….See you”


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