How to Deal With a Relationship That Ended With the Silent Treatment

Value yourself enough that your partner's withdrawal of approval doesn't hurt so much.
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You and your partner were dating for months, when you got into a huge argument. The night ended with her walking out on you and ignoring your calls and texts. It's been a couple weeks now and though you try to put it from your mind, you still can't believe the relationship ended like that. If she broke up with you by using the silent treatment, it's time to reclaim your strength.

1 Stop Contact

The silent treatment is a particularly toxic form of behavior that can lead to the breakdown of relationships. When a partner gives you the silent treatment, you might feel a crazy need to make him talk. His behavior reflects his need to gain control over the situation -- and by chasing him, you are rewarding his efforts, writes therapist Margaret Paul, in the "" article, "The Silent Treatment: A Harmful Way To Get What You Want." Instead, take a walk, read a book -- do anything that will get your mind off of the fact that you are being ignored.

2 Ask Questions

If you still have unanswered questions as to why you were given the silent treatment, you have a right to ask -- especially if it was unexpected, says evolutionary epistemologist Jeremy Sherman in the "Psychology Today" article, "The Silent Treatment: When People Leave You Guessing." Don't make the mistake of continuing to contact someone in the hopes that he will speak to you again, but do state your case. Send an email or text that says, "I am not sure why you are not speaking to me. If you would like to talk about it, please let me know."

3 Care for Yourself

Being given the silent treatment can leave you feeling lonely, anxious and scared. You might blame yourself or feel as though you did something wrong to cause your partner's reaction. The solution to this problem, is to take responsibility for your own feelings and take care of yourself, writes Paul. Tell yourself things like, "My partner has chosen to punish me for whatever reason. I can't control what he is doing and it is not a good way to handle things." Say things like, "I am a good person and I deserve love." Get active, go out with friends and immerse yourself in activities that take your mind off of your partner.

4 Manage Anger

As tempting as it is to become angry and resentful of your partner, try to minimize those feelings, writes Paul. Once you become stronger in your belief that you deserve to be treated well, it will be easier to have compassion for a partner who might be hurting inside. Don't tie your own value to another person -- and it won't be as hurtful when that person withdraws. The silent treatment is not really about the withdrawal of love, but rather approval, and you should only need approval from yourself.

Arlin Cuncic has been writing about mental health since 2007, specializing in social anxiety disorder and depression topics. She served as the managing editor of the "Journal of Attention Disorders" and has worked in a variety of research settings. Cuncic holds an M.A. in clinical psychology.