Husband Won't Talk To Me for Days: What Silent Treatment Tells You about Your Partner

Many marriage counselors identify communication as a major problem in marriage. Lack of communication has a devastating effect on the couple, leading to emotional isolation. Because communication nurtures the relationship, it is important that couples acquire this skill to strengthen the marital bond. It is a way of enabling spouses to meet each other's needs, while having their own needs met.

Men and women have different ways of communicating. Probably this is biologically determined. Social upbringing, culture and environment may influence the way people communicate. In certain cultures, women are shy and have difficulty expressing themselves. Men tend to focus on impersonal objective things. Women are more involved in the emotional and personal dimensions of life. Men have difficulty in talking and revealing their innermost thoughts. They fight shy of giving praise.

Communication has several dimensions. Merely talking constitutes only about 50% of all communication. Body language, facial expression, tone of voice can communicate anger, sadness, happiness and other emotions. Communication is not merely exchange of information. It may be sharing of feelings, details about daily events, discussion on matters affecting home and family. Unless there is free communication between spouses it is impossible to gauge what is going on in each other's minds. Presuming that they love each other and want to keep their partners happy, they must tell each other what makes them happy. One cannot rest on the surmise that the other is a mind reader. Communication should be at every level and every aspect of their lives. Many decisions have to be taken in the course of their marital journey. Unless they communicate and make decisions together, life will not be easy. Each may have their own ideas about how to tackle a particular issue. Only communication will enable decision making easier through understanding, negotiating and cooperation.

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Ways to Communicate:

Talking and listening are two aspects of communication. Conversation should be warm and loving, not loud and abrasive.

"Let your conversations be always full of grace." (Colossians 4:6.)

Hurtful words should be filtered out. Romantic and sexual needs if not conveyed properly will end up in frustration and lack of real intimacy. Intimate self disclosure and expressions of affection draw the couple closer. Sex is considered the highest level of communication.

During the early months of marriage, there is a lot of communication between couples. It is a time of discovery, of freshness and novelty. They communicate thoughts and feelings through physical intimacy. They focus on each other to the exclusion of everyone else. This is a time for open communication - the liberty to express thoughts, hopes, dreams or even failures.

"Partners have to express what they want, what they feel and more important, what they think the other wants," says Richard C. Richard, a Professor of Philosophy.

But as time passes, this openness disappears. Men usually begin to talk less. Expressing their love becomes difficult. They don't compliment the woman on her looks or her attire or her culinary skills. The woman begins to complain, "He never talks to me. We used to have so much to say to each other." Now conversation is on mundane matters, household requirements, money, budgets or children's school fees. If both have busy jobs and return home late in the evening, they are in no mood to talk. The woman finds it easier to SMS her husband that dinner is ready, even though he is in the next room reading the newspaper or watching TV.

On Being a Good Listener:

The one who is listening should give undivided attention to what the other is saying. Inattention can kill communication. Frequent interruptions or unsolicited advice can disturb the flow of communication. The whole message should be first listened to. If there are doubts, one can have them clarified later. If opinions differ, there should be room for discussion, so that they can arrive at a mutually satisfying solution.

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How to Quarrel Constructively:

It is important to bear in mind that spouses are not enemies. They are both batting on the same side. Arguments are part of every marriage. But couples should evolve a healthy communication technique and argue in a spirit of love. The idea is to recognize and understand the other's point of view. There should be no threatening gestures, no name calling or abusive language, no exaggeration and no blame. Words that give another pain leave ugly scars.

Bothersome issues should not be swept under the carpet. They should be discussed in an atmosphere of equanimity, with a view to resolution.

"Let not the sun go down upon your wrath," is a sound Biblical exhortation

Even while disagreeing, there should be mutual respect for the other's point of view. "Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger," and "speaking the truth in love," are important points to remember. If there is a bothersome issue, "Bringing the issue into the open may provoke a temporary crisis," says psychologist Neville Vines, "But if that crisis sparks frank talk, it helps the couple to develop skills and insights to deal with future conflicts. Each time a couple overcomes a problem, it strengthens their marriage - for they learn they can resolve differences."

If one is too vague about one's needs, there is no hope of them being met. A woman who feels neglected must bring this to the notice of her husband. "I'd like us to spend more time together."

A man who feels his wife is disinterested in his work could say, "I like it when you ask me about my day."

Silence creates a barrier between couples. It cuts off communication. A verbal deadlock leads to pent up anger, miscommunication, hurt feelings and drives a wedge between relationships.

There are times when communication needs no words. A husband and wife may be sitting close together on a sofa watching TV. Their mere proximity to each other may be a form of communicating that they love being together. There are times when there is no need for words. Body language speaks for itself. The comfort of physical closeness, a hug or holding hands assures the couple that they are one. Doing things together, listening to music, going for walks are also forms of communication.

Good communication skills ensure that marriage partners nurture each other's self-esteem.

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Marriage counseling isn't necessarily the best thing you can do to improve your marriage. Having an affair is not the very worst you can do to improve your marriage. The good news is that there are lots of ways to improve your marriage. The bad news is that there are some terrible mistakes you can make that can hurt your marriage.

The following is my humble attempt to give you some of the best and worst ways you can improve your marriage.

The Best

Put your spouses' needs and interest ahead of yours - It's easy to subconsciously think that by improving your own situation or happiness it will benefit your spouse and improve your marriage. For example, working long hours and building a successful career can be making you happy but making your spouse miserable. So consider your spouses' needs first and it will help you build a strong marriage and relationship.

Meet your spouse in the middle - In most good marriages it requires both spouses to compromise on many issues. It doesn't mean that every matter is a negotiation but on some fronts you should be able to go with your spouses' ideas, plans etc., and in other matters you should be able to lead.

Carry your spouse's burdens - If you want to improve your marriage tremendously make sure you are there for your spouse. It's one thing to say "I've got your back" but another thing to show it. If your spouse is struggling with work or family issues be supportive in ways that show you care.

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The Worst

Holding things over your spouses' head - If you are struggling in your marriage and looking to improve it you shouldn't try to get changes out of fear. It's OK to be honest and direct with your spouse but threatening to make life a living nightmare or exposing some former indiscretions will probably hurt instead of help your situation.

Trying to make your spouse jealous - This could make your spouse pay a little bit more attention to you but in all likelihood it will make him or her resent you. It can also cause your spouse to come to an irrational conclusion that you are being unfaithful, and provoke your spouse to want to do the same.

Getting even with your spouse - It's difficult to improve your marriage when both spouses feel the need to get even. Although marriage is for adults at times couples seem to revert back to the pre-teen days when it was "whatever you do to me I will do to you". So in the marriage if one couple is mean and spiteful the other spouse starts acting the same. If one spouse has an affair it's a green light to do the same. If you want to improve your marriage you can't have both spouses doing destructive things to harm the relationship.

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Thousands of couples around the world turn to relationship therapy to help them save their relationship and work on their problems. Couples who have children, married couples and those who are still in love and want to work through their issues find this type of counselling effective and can help them in so many ways, working on their relationship well into the future.

Relationship therapy isn't only for married couples. Those who are living together and have built a home and family without actually tying the knot can also benefit from this type of counselling.

One of the benefits that relationship therapy can provide is identifying patterns within the relationship that causes problems. This can be that you are stuck in a rut and every day is the same, it can be that going out and having a few drinks after work causes arguments and anger towards each other or it could be that you both treat the children differently, causing unnecessary arguments that could be worked through effectively and calmly.

You will also learn how your reactions affect the other person. Being in a neutral environment makes it easier to discuss how you feel and how your partner's reactions affect you on an emotional level. Often getting your partner to understand how their shouting and verbal abuse affects you can help them change. Without understanding how their reaction affects you, makes it very difficult to understand. Reactions can also be how you react to the other when you do something the other doesn't like.

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Through relationship therapy you can identify each other's intentions for the relationship. If you are a couple who isn't married yet, the anger and frustration may be that you haven't tied the knot, one of you may fear commitment or not believe in marriage. Making your intentions known can help you work through everything to identify the best path to help keep the relationship happy and healthy.

In many instances, your therapist will provide you with tools, techniques and ideas to help you work through your problems, usually things you haven't thought of. Taking advantage of these tools and techniques can help you become open in your communication, take each other's feelings into consideration and think before you act.

In addition to this, relationship therapy helps you understand the consequences of your actions. If you go out with your work friends every night after work and come home after drinking too much night after night, you need to understand how this affects the entire family. You may become snappy or argumentative once you've had a few drinks, which can have a negative effect on the children and make you exceptionally difficult to live with for your partner.

The good thing about this type of therapy is that you identify if your expectations of the relationship and your partner are unrealistic. Many partners have high expectations for the relationship and how they expect their partner to act. During the therapy sessions you may find that your expectations are unrealistic and you can learn to work through that and decide if you are happy carrying on with the way things are. It also helps your partner understand what you expect from them and they can also make an effort to help you realise some, or all, of your expectations moving forward.

The final benefit to relationship therapy is that you learn and can improve on all your relationship skills. This can help you understand what is important in your relationship; areas you need to work on and help you think before you act, reducing the risk of unnecessary arguments and contempt within the relationship.

Do you want to reawaken a committed and loving relationship in your marriage? There are proven steps that are amazingly powerful that will help you overcome conflicts and breathe life back into your marriage. This is a plan you do not want to pass by. Click here to see the proven steps on how to save your marriage.

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