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The silent / cold treatment


LibbyD

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Hi,

I will try to keep this short. I am 25 and he is 26. We have been dating/ seeing each other for 9 months. I have known him my entire life and we have been friends for over 10 years.

He is and always has been a dream, we get along like a house on fire and in all honesty i am head over heels for him in love and he knows this.

However over the past couple of months as we have grown significantly closer i have noticed that when he gets annoyed or frustrated at me, he will result to the silent treatment or will turn very cold. He has done this previously and has refused to speak to me for at least 24 hours and then returns to his loving self. 

On Monday evening after having a lovely day together and getting along perfectly he mentioned that he was a little busy and was going to text me in a couple of hours or when he was free. I jokingly replied "oh i see how it is" but this genuinely was a joke and usually we are able to banter back and fourth with each other like this. On this occasion he responded and called me pathetic for saying something so childish, i immediately apologised and said it was intended as a joke but he refused to listen and didn't message me until the next morning. 

Its now been three days and although he is not giving me the silent treatment completely, he is sometimes leaving my messages on seen/ read and is still being very cold with me opposed to how he usually is. I have confronted him about this and he says he is not doing anything, so i asked if i should just leave him alone and not contact him anymore and he replied saying i dont really care what happens and that i should do what i want. As mentioned he is replying every now and then but is very blunt and cold and is giving the impression he does not want to talk to me.

Obviously this has left me very sad because we are very close and usually speak all day without any issues or bumps, we usually can joke/ flirt and get along perfectly. I have since tried to explain myself again and that it was genuinely a silly joke and i didn't mean it but he still just seems uninterested. I really dont want to lose what we have because we do have something great but it just seems he is done and there is nothing i can do.

What should i do?

Thank you,

Lib

 

 

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1 minute ago, LibbyD said:

i have noticed that when he gets annoyed or frustrated at me, he will result to the silent treatment or will turn very cold.

Red light flashing, Libby!

 

2 minutes ago, LibbyD said:

he replied saying i dont really care what happens and that i should do what i want.

Take him at his word, Libby and put and end to this.  He doesn't care about you. His behaviour says it all.

 

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2 minutes ago, LibbyD said:

I really dont want to lose what we have because we do have something great but it just seems he is done and there is nothing i can do

He clearly isn't very worried about that. In fact, he told you so with this: "i asked if i should just leave him alone and not contact him anymore and he replied saying i dont really care what happens"

I would re-evaluate whether you want to continue dating this guy. It's one thing to cool off after an argument, but to be intentionally cold and rude over something so slight? No. That's unhealthy and attempt to assert power over you. 

Sorry, but he's not a good boyfriend. I would stop reaching out and assess where my own standards are. 

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3 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

Red light flashing, Libby!

 

Take him at his word, Libby and put and end to this.  He doesn't care about you. His behaviour says it all.

 

Thank you for your reply, I did think this was a red flag. I feel really sad and hurt because we was fine on Monday until it happened, he really seemed like he cared.

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2 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

He clearly isn't very worried about that. In fact, he told you so with this: "i asked if i should just leave him alone and not contact him anymore and he replied saying i dont really care what happens"

I would re-evaluate whether you want to continue dating this guy. It's one thing to cool off after an argument, but to be intentionally cold and rude over something so slight? No. That's unhealthy and attempt to assert power over you. 

Sorry, but he's not a good boyfriend. I would stop reaching out and assess where my own standards are. 

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

This may be such a silly / naive thing to ask but when he is saying he doesnt care, does he really mean it?

I realise this is a really unhealthy way of dealing with things, i just dont understand how we can get along so perfectly one moment and then he can act like this with me.

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Just now, LibbyD said:

This may be such a silly / naive thing to ask but when he is saying he doesnt care, does he really mean it?

Only he can answer that. 

And really,it doesn't matter. It's a crappy thing to say to a partner whether he means it or not. He sounds like a jerk, Libby. 

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3 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

Only he can answer that. 

And really,it doesn't matter. It's a crappy thing to say to a partner whether he means it or not. He sounds like a jerk, Libby. 

Yeah your right. 

What he is doing is super cruel but its also made me think I'm an idiot for saying what i said, even though it was purely a joke. Its just crazy, hes like two different people. 

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As Ms. Canuck says: he sounds like a jerk.

And you are not an idiot.

Subconsciously you've hit the nail on the head:

"..hes like two different people. " 

Not exactly, perhaps, except you are now seeing the real him.  Time to get rid of this one. 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, LibbyD said:

Its now been three days and although he is not giving me the silent treatment completely, he is sometimes leaving my messages on seen/ read and is still being very cold with me opposed to how he usually is.

i asked if i should just leave him alone and not contact him anymore and he replied saying i dont really care what happens and that i should do what i want.

Sorry this is happening.  He's pushing you away. You need to scale way  back. You're "in all honesty i am head over heels for him in love and he knows this". This is overwhelming, and clearly he simply does not share your feelings.

It sounds like he feels suffocated, and even your jokes may be a bit too much. All you can do is lower your investment, stop living and breathing for him or his texts.

Reconsider any relationship where you are madly in love, and he is just indifferent. You could end up with more headaches and heartaches than you already have.
 

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3 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Sorry this is happening.  He's pushing you away. You need to scale way  back. You're "in all honesty i am head over heels for him in love and he knows this". This is overwhelming, and clearly he simply does not share your feelings.

It sounds like he feels suffocated, and even your jokes may be a bit too much. All you can do is lower your investment, stop living and breathing for him or his texts.

Reconsider any relationship where you are madly in love, and he is just indifferent. You could end up with more headaches and heartaches than you already have.
 

Thank you for replying. 

I did think this also, but usually he seems just as infatuated, wants to talk all of the time and to be around me.

 Do you think that this is how he has always felt and this is an escape for him to express what he has truly wanted to say? 

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39 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

to be intentionally cold and rude over something so slight? No. That's unhealthy and attempt to assert power over you. 

Sorry, but he's not a good boyfriend. I would stop reaching out and assess where my own standards are. 

Libby, don't overthink the matter.  It isn't worth it.

And next time round, try to avoid the "head over heels" trap. 

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2 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

Libby, don't overthink the matter.  It isn't worth it.

And next time round, try to avoid the "head over heels" trap. 

Thank you for this. 

I know its not worth it, at the moment i have kind of let it consume me.

Should i just stop contacting him ect? 

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Not to excuse his behavior, but I'll play the devil's advocate, reading between the lines of what you've described. Could your comment (there's often truth in joking) be the straw that broke the camel's back? I'm going to guess that he likes a healthy balance of time together and time apart. In your case, you probably like more of a connection when apart. He was signaling you that he was taking his me-time space during the evening and you were jibing him for this, and he felt smothered because instead of respecting him and giving him that time, you intruded with your "joke." It likely wasn't the first time you balked at his need for alone time without a constant connection.

Perhaps he hasn't been good at communicating issues in a mature way, and resorts to punishment by silence. And therefore you two were not able to work on problems together without proper communication.

Sounds like he's checked out of the relationship. If you want to give it another go, I'd let him take the lead for a while in reaching out, if he even does.  And when things get to a good place, tell him you want the relationship to work, but the only way to make that happen is to learn good couples' communication. Get some books on that subject and take turns every time you're together, reading the chapters aloud.

No matter if the relationship ends or not, learn what you could've done better. If you're the type that makes a bf the sole center of universe, and puts your girlfriends and hobbies/interests on the back burner, make that change. Because any guy will feel smothered if you don't have a fulfilling life BESIDES him. Take care and let us know how it goes.

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5 minutes ago, Andrina said:

Not to excuse his behavior, but I'll play the devil's advocate, reading between the lines of what you've described. Could your comment (there's often truth in joking) be the straw that broke the camel's back? I'm going to guess that he likes a healthy balance of time together and time apart. In your case, you probably like more of a connection when apart. He was signaling you that he was taking his me-time space during the evening and you were jibing him for this, and he felt smothered because instead of respecting him and giving him that time, you intruded with your "joke." It likely wasn't the first time you balked at his need for alone time without a constant connection.

Perhaps he hasn't been good at communicating issues in a mature way, and resorts to punishment by silence. And therefore you two were not able to work on problems together without proper communication.

Sounds like he's checked out of the relationship. If you want to give it another go, I'd let him take the lead for a while in reaching out, if he even does.  And when things get to a good place, tell him you want the relationship to work, but the only way to make that happen is to learn good couples' communication. Get some books on that subject and take turns every time you're together, reading the chapters aloud.

No matter if the relationship ends or not, learn what you could've done better. If you're the type that makes a bf the sole center of universe, and puts your girlfriends and hobbies/interests on the back burner, make that change. Because any guy will feel smothered if you don't have a fulfilling life BESIDES him. Take care and let us know how it goes.

Hi Andrina,

I really appreciate you taking this stance and ill be honest to say i have gone over this in my head a few times to see if that was the case. I like to pride myself on being someone who also really likes there alone time so usually if i ever sense or know that he is busy i often tell him that space and taking his time is perfectly OK, he usually will tell me not to be silly and continues the conversation anyway. So i would really hate to think that he feels suffocated.

You are right in saying he is not a great communicator, which he has told me previously and advised he hates any form of confrontation so i think that is also partly to blame.

He has been texting me today in regards to his work and stuff but the conversation is still very much dry and blunt. Do you think i should just stop responding as a whole? as much as i want to bring it up again in an attempt to amend things i dont know what my best foot forward should be. 

Also, i do definitely think your on to something and i realise i need to take a deep re-look at how i am both in and out of a relationship as i do definitely make them the centre of my world.  

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Expect this behavior to escalate as the relationship moves further along.

He's seen you will accept his behavior.  You apologize and beg him to be nice to you again.  I bet you even tell him you love him when he's acting like that!  You are rewarding his bad behavior, so he concludes you like it.  Also, you stay which is giving your tacit approval to being treated that way.

One thing you may not know; people like him lose respect when their partner exhibits doormat behavior.  Once respect is lost it's usually replaced with contempt.  And once they've reached loss of respect and contempt the love is gone.  They may keep you around for their own purposes but they sure don't feel the way about you that they used to.  Sure, they'll act nice a lot of the time but the contempt comes back.  And it comes back more and more frequently.

I bet he's either doing this more often or he will soon do so.

You can't win because he's enjoying the way you react when he treats you this way.  He won't give up something that provides him with so much pleasure.

The only way I can see through this is either end it (my choice) or stop engaging when he acts like this.  Do not attempt to contact him, do not apologize, do not declare your love.  Just stop, cold, just like he does.  If he contacts you, let him know you're happy to communicate with him once he starts behaving like a mature adult and treats you with respect.  If he slaps back, go back to ignoring him.

See, if there are no consequences for his actions he will never stop them.  It's as simple as that.

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Can I ask a bit about his lifestyle and what's going on with him? There can be any number of issues going on. People who lash out or are hot/cold and flip flop generally aren't themselves even if they don't know it. The way he's treating you just tells me that he doesn't have his sh*t together and I don't mean this in a bad way, more like a circumstantial way. Why would you want to put up with someone who is on a short fuse or unkind towards you? 

He may have also thought that the silent treatment or going along whimsically according to his feelings is acceptable without any other thought or consideration for others. Upbringing probably has something to do with it.

If a person has lived alone and not in a community or learning to live/play/argue fairly with others OR learn to give others room or benefit of the doubt, these are all signs that he's probably mentally and emotionally stunted (sorry!). These things might not mean he is inherently BAD or EVIL, so to speak. He just isn't as with it as you are and I mean this in the sense where he's not as emotionally in tune, available or able to be finely tuned in a relationship. 

Lack of consideration is a definitely dealbreaker, imo.

You have a right to do what's best for yourself even if it means saying goodbye to someone who is okay as a person but not okay for you. Don't keep putting him on a high pedestal. You both are not getting along... best to call a spade a spade.

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31 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

One thing you may not know; people like him lose respect when their partner exhibits doormat behavior.  Once respect is lost it's usually replaced with contempt.  And once they've reached loss of respect and contempt the love is gone.  They may keep you around for their own purposes but they sure don't feel the way about you that they used to.  Sure, they'll act nice a lot of the time but the contempt comes back.  And it comes back more and more frequently.

Exactly.

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I think when a person treats you this way, its very telling of them and what level of a person they are.

It's immature. It's manipulative.  It's something that they may even get some kind of pleasure from. And all at your expense. He knows what he is doing and how it hurts you.  Or he's just a jerk that doesn't care about anyone but himself. 

And once you accept this behavior from them. you have proved to them their needs are more important than yours TO YOU.

Think about how hurtful it is to say to a person- I don't care if you you stick around or you don't.  

So the real question is why are you tolerating this? You guys are perfect and love each other so much and are so close?

Do you see how that just can not be true at the same time? Its kinda like a wet fire. 

If someone told me, they don't care what I do... they won't have to tell me twice. Good bye. Go emotionally abuse another person, because I'm not dealing with that. 

You deserve better!

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9 hours ago, LibbyD said:

usually he seems just as infatuated, wants to talk all of the time and to be around me.

 

Except when he's being passive aggressive.

He's showing you his real self. Or worse yet, the tip of the proverbial iceberg

 

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8 hours ago, LibbyD said:

 

He has been texting me today in regards to his work and stuff but the conversation is still very much dry and blunt. Do you think i should just stop responding as a whole? 

Also, i do definitely think your on to something and i realise i need to take a deep re-look at how i am both in and out of a relationship as i do definitely make them the centre of my world.  

He's been texting and you are responding.  Stop all together?  It depends.  You could just as easily being doing the same form of punishment he is.

He's conditioning you.  Everyone has to right to respectfully speak up about what is bothering them.  To not respond and shut you out everytime, he basically abandons the relationship.  Once he thinks you've learned your lesson, he returns.  It's an extremely unhealthy and toxic  way to handle conflicts.

I dated someone who did something similar.  He also pulled the 'break up card' with every conflict   The punishment never fit the crime and it was such an intensely passive aggressive way of handling things. 

I warned him if he did it again, either left the relationship (with silence) or threatened to break up I would hold him to it.  If he couldn't figure out how to tell me what was on his mind in a respectful mature way, we couldn't continue.  A few days after that talk he did it again and I ended it.  He was very upset and I wasn't surprise.  He never intending on ending the relationship.  He only wanted to use silence and threats to control it.

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12 hours ago, LibbyD said:

over the past couple of months as we have grown significantly closer i have noticed that when he gets annoyed or frustrated at me, he will result to the silent treatment or will turn very cold. He has done this previously and has refused to speak to me for at least 24 hours and then returns to his loving self. 

IMO, this is an act common with the males- Is called 'going to their mancave'.

They need to do this- so they work things out.  Whether it be issue's with work, family. OR just to have some 'real down time;, for themselves.  Yes, they can go quiet- but is nothing against their partners... UNLESS you keep dragging them down about it, instead of just leaving them be- and letting them sort their stuff out...

I read this in a book 'Men are from Mars, Women, Venus'.  ( How they differ from us.).

Like you said, he came back around after a day.

I am not going to say this is all- since I don't know.. but if he needs a day - or you know something may be bothering him or stressing him out, then he needs to do this.

 

I feel, as long as he does continue to communicate with you most of the time, let him have his 'quiet times'.

Communication is needed in a relationship.

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