When your spouse gives you the “silent treatment” there are always reasons; usually a historical reason, an emotional reason and a contemporary reason. The contemporary reason is that something has just happened that the spouse finds objectionable. For Mike, it was Jill’s announcement that she was going to spend the weekend at the beach with her girl friends.
The emotional reason was that Mike did not feel secure in Jill’s love. He reasoned, “If she loved me she would want to be with me.”
The historical reason was that Mike had learned the “silent treatment” in his childhood. His parents would not allow him to argue with them, so when he felt hurt or angry, he learned to be silent.
If you have been given the “silent treatment” by your spouse, here are the three questions you need to answer:
1. What have I done or failed to do that my spouse might have found objectionable?
2. Have I been speaking my spouse’s love language lately?
3. What do I know about my spouse’s childhood that might help me understand his silence?