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Until your partner no longer feels confident to raise concerns and your relationship withers? Do you close yourself off of people you love until one day they’re gone? This tactic is an unfortunate form of shaping an unhappy relationship.

What’s worse when you are in an argument with someone you love? When you lash out in anger and say hurtful things you
later regret or when you give them the silent treatment? If you’ve been ever given a silent cold shoulder by someone
you care about you know how painful that is. Most people don’t realize this or take it seriously, but:

The silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse.

There is a better way than just going silent. Going silent is a coping mechanism. You were probably trying to spare both of you from something worse like a big explosion, hoping the silent treatment was somehow more innocent - and the weird thing is, the silent treatment is just aggressive as yelling, it really hurts people, it can be crazymaking, when somebody wont talk to you.

It can be a reaction to real or perceived criticism. Taking criticism is not our strong suit. It can feel life and death when
s.o. has got a problem, it triggers old abandonement and rejection wounds, it gets very out of proportion, the monster
does come out. Early rejection might have caused CPTSD (complex Post traumatic stress disorder) and that might have resulted in you withdrawing as a coping strategy. This is a terrible strategy for being a husband or wife.


Couples need to talk to each other

That is how the connection stays alive. If you can’t talk because one person is gona flip out or go
silent, the other person becomes afraid to say how they really feel about things and yes the connection withers.
To be a good partner we’ve got to be somebody you can talk to even if the person has something critical for us.

My suggestions


Here is the task in front of you and it’s really quite finite. It’s to learn to tolerate the uncomfortable feeling of someone beeing
unhappy with you or you being unhappy with someone. I don’t mean to go silent or pretend it’s not happening, but to tolerate it without going to your coping mechanism /method that causes brake down of relationship. You want a coping mechanism that allows continued communication. If you manage to selfregulate, you will find the need for silence and punishing will go way down. Our worst behavior comes out when we are dysregulated. When you master reregulation, you rarely will see those traits again.

Observe yourself

Do you ever have an argument and you start to feel overwhelmed and that feeling comes up? You feel very angry
and hurt and you want to have control over what’s happening. Maybe your partner is raising her voice, or maybe you can see
on her face that she’s thinking about you, maybe she does’nt like something about you and it’s starting to give you adrenalin - that’s your signal that you are getting dysregulated. Start getting in touch with yourself through daily observation: When do you get dysregulated? What sets it off? What are the early signs that you are dysregulated? Because if you know it’s happening you can take emergency measures and you have the self control to do that like „I feel like I want to bail out, I want
to do that hurtful thing, but I’m gona stick around and I am gona use my tools:

The art of taking a break

step one: notice that you are dysregulated step two: get yourself a little bit of pause: usually that means taking a break. Sometimes 5 minutes is enough to calm back down. You might need half an hour. You might need even longer. But the important thing is to give yourself a break time that you actively use to reregulate without hurting the other person. Say that you need a break. I feel like I am getting dysregulated, can I have x-time to pull myself together? You are asking for a favor. You are beeing transparent. You are taking responsibility (you are not saying „you’ve got me all dysregulated“ - nobody
wants to hear that, even if its true). You give a time when you gonna come back If you are in the middle of a conflict, leaving for too long, can make the person feel abandoned - remember, we don’t want to make them feel abandoned, we want them to trust us, we want them to stay in communication with us, because that’s how we’re gona build closeness and intimacy.

Validate your Partner

If its five minutes, you can say „Could we come back together here in five minutes and continue this conversation“. Validate
them: „ I really want to have this conversation, I really want to hear what you have to say, but I need a couple of minutes
(hours) to pull myself back together so that I really can be present for you.“

Most people can say yes to this.

What can you do to help yourself calm down?

You can take a peace of paper and write down your resentments. It’s not about letting them read it, it’s about getting
it out to take the electricity out of it, you draining it of it’s monster power. Even if there are substantial reasons to be
annoyed or the outcome of your thought even will have the conclusion that it’s better for you to distance yourself from the
person, whatever you are going to say after that will be much cleaner and calmer and something that they can hear.

Don‘t ever punish people

No matter what CPTSD is telling you, like punishing them - I show them how that feels, now they gona be sorry for what
they said, I’m not gona talk to them. That’s the trauma talking.

Don’t listen to it. Don’t ever punish people. Try to stay straight forward and communicate where you are, doing the least harm
with your words. Hang in there during conflict and keep communication open.

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