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Breakup and Relationship Issues

by Tigress Luv, The Breakup Guru & by Glass Slipper Publishing

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Advice on Relationship, Breakup, Commitmentphobia, Abuse, Codependency, Narcissist and Narcissism, Breaking Up, Poetry, Poems, articles, blogs, newsletters, books and more...

Love, break up grief, and relationship issue advice for breaking up and mending a broken heart


Sometimes Even 'Nothing at All' Can
Be Used as Abuse & Punishment

The 'Silent Treatment' is a Form of Abuse...

by Tigress Luv

The Silent Treatment - A Form of Abuse
by Tigress Luv

(parts of this article have been gathered from message boards and forum comments)

I believe the silent treatment (feigned apathy; cold-shoulder; silence; distance, and ignoring you) is the worst form of emotional abuse. It is a punishment used by abusers to make you feel unimportant, not valued, not cared about and completely absent from the abuser's thoughts. It is used as a form of non-physical punishment and control because the abuser mistakenly thinks that if they don't physically harm you then they are not abusers. The truth is, they are far worse at doling out abuse than the physical abuser.

Silent treatment is a form of banishing someone from the abuser's existence without the benefit of closure or a good bye or a chance at reconciliation. In a's meant to torture someone you profess to love.

I had been the victim of 'silence' in my last relationship, and should I meet someone again who uses this tactic just once he will not get another chance! Why? Because the silent treatment is something that the abuser repeats over and over again. The silent treatment is CONTROL, and a safe means for them to avoid any 'uncomfortable' topics, issues in the relationship, or issues within himself (or herself).

The silent treatment is a method the abuser uses to 'kill' you for something you have done. In a sense, you have been psychologically 'murdered' by them, but your physical life goes on.

In my last relationship I had spent more days getting the 'silent treatment' than not. Yes - I believe it is the 'worst' of the emotional abuse tactics - and this was where I had been most harmed and damaged, and where I needed most of my healing from. At my age I definitely didn't need that! Relationships aren't supposed to be about pain and hurt. Why in goodness name I had allowed myself to suffer through all his forms of power, control, and abuse for years will be a forever question mark in my mind.

I used to love him, even when I was angry with him, or hurt by him. My love stopped during the last episode of abuse - or maybe the one before. I really can't remember when my heart shut off the love valve. Maybe it was a gradual thing. However, the love was gone, truly gone - and all his continued abusive 'episodes' just made me commit to not going back into the relationship ever.

Truth be told, at that time in my life I was so fed up with the abuse that had I walked in on him and found he had died from a heart attack or something, I think I would have just felt relief, and not had experienced any grief or sadness at all. I know that sounds inhuman and evil, but what abused partner hasn't wished for the abuser to just stop abusing, even if it's by death?

As with most abusers, the 'silent abuser' is in denial over their own abuse. They may use the excuses:

* I needed to have some space
* I thought you needed some space
* I was feeling depressed and didn't want to drag you down with me
* I thought we both need a cooling off period
* I felt threatened/insulted/hurt and reacted with fear and isolation
* I just needed some time alone to think
* I didn't want to fight
* You told me to leave you alone
* Problems from my past came up and I needed to sort them out

Of course these excuses are just one more way for the abusers to blame somebody or something else for his or her abuse.

Some victims of the Silent Treatment have said:

"He uses it to punish me on a regular basis"

"I've had times where my husband used this tactic on me so bad, that I ended up wishing that he would just hit me and get it over with-why? Because at least then I would know I existed, and that I wasn't a ghost or invisible."

"I've learned to love the silent treatment. For years, it devastated me and I felt that it was the worst of the abuse...but it's least not for me....and yes, I felt that it was a punishment. It made me feel not important, I didn't even exist."

"That's all it took & he wouldn't speak for days sometimes. Then he would start talking like nothing was ever wrong. Ignore your problems & keep up a front. I couldn't live like that anymore."

"There was no rhyme or reason, it could happen at any time, go on for days and usually erupted into an outburst of rage. Trying to figure it out, was mind boggling and yes, punishment!"

The reality is (in most cases) that the more someone ignores you the more you actually want to resolve the problem. It's almost an involuntary need on the part of the person being ignored. And that's the whole point to the ignorer. It puts them in control AND it gets them attention. However, that's in most cases - in my case the more he pulled the silent treatment, the more I saw him as a very emotionally-sick and an immature, abusive person and the LESS I wanted to resolve our problems.

I would just pray for him to leave, or sometimes I would fantasize that I was in another healthy, loving relationship, and that he and I didn't even exist as a couple, or I would pack up some clothes and try to leave myself. Of course, part of his 'control' was in knowing the fact that I couldn't leave my children or my job...which I would have had to do to leave my home. This gave him all the authority and power over me as he so chose.

But that 'authority' and 'control' truly isn't love - that controlling power and abuse is an insecure person's way of trying to not be abandoned - by abandoning you, and probably when you needed them the most. This way they feel that they had a psychological and emotional hold on you. That you can't abandon them. The problem is, are they too stupid to realize that being abandoned is exactly the result that they will eventually get? To be abandoned by their victim? Maybe not always physically abandoned, as abused people can take abuse for years and years. But they abandon their abusers mentally and emotionally, closing their hearts and souls to them, and killing any love at all they may have once felt for the abuser.

Isn't that leaving? I should think so!

Abuse is abuse. And abuse is never ok. In one way though, the silent treatment is far worse than other forms of abuse, because it indirectly says to you that you are not a person, you are an object, you are invisible because they choose to make you so because you are not worthy of their time. THAT is one of the most hurtful and abusive things to do in my book. It is a horrible feeling, being ignored and denied affection.

For me personally the silent treatment was dished out when I did something he didn't like, when I was wrong, or when I showed him he was wrong. The link was as clear as flipping a switch and seeing the light go out. POW, KABOOM! I got punished and he wouldn't speak with me for days on end, including choosing to not even be in the same physical area with me. He would hide away or disappear for hours, and even sleep sitting upright in a desk chair every night for up to a week (or more) just to avoid being in the same room with me. He was almost childlike in his behavior. I finally said, "screw this". I couldn't live like that anymore.

NOTE: In my case, my ex was THE definition of a 'narcissist', and The Silent Treatment is an abuse tactic often used by narcissists. To read up about narcissist and the silent treatment - plus their other 'subtle' abuse tactics, please visit Breaking Up With Your Narcissist at

For more please read my other article, "Ostracizing and the Ex", at

Section 2

Today's Inspiration, Poem or Quote:

"The silent treatment is a method people use to 'murder' someone without leaving a visible corpse behind." ~Tigress Luv, The Breakup Guru

Today's Prayer or Thought:

"Today I'll start 'seeing' by inner reflection. Today I will fully see all my bad habits and negative attitudes, and search hard within myself for a way to understand and 'fix' what I don't like. I will acknowledge that my negativities are merely signs of unseen difficulties inside me. By changing myself, I change those around me.

Today I will see that the only true time I can change another is when I have created change within myself.
" ~Tigress Luv 

R.I.P. Rue McClanahan - you will be sadly missed soooo much. Your beauty, grace and charm were truly blessings to the thousands of lives you have touched, and will continue to be for many years to come. Go be a Golden Angel.

Just a reminder that our Breakup Support Forums & Community has room for you! Membership is only $19 to YOU at !

Thank you for reading this week's newsletter! As always, we welcome feedback and new ideas for future newsletters.

Have a great week everyone!

Article published by Tigress Luv & Glass Slipper Publishing, the Breakup Gurus. For more breakup advice and forums please join us at the Lifted Hearts Breakup Support Forums & Community at

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