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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Silent treatment  (Read 122792 times)
ForeverDad
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You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #120 on: May 26, 2016, 07:59:18 AM »

What you have done is therapeutic, not manipulation, retaliation, glowering or angry stomping of feet.  Although unhealthy passive aggressive may appear similar on the surface, your reasons for pulling back are entirely different and healthy.

Oh, and this is probably also distorted/biased perceptions and Blaming or Blame Shifting.
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rendezvous04

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« Reply #121 on: June 12, 2016, 05:56:58 PM »

     I so agree that the silent treatment hurts more then the abusive rages I have experienced. I know that he is acting out because of past failed relationships. We talked at length about his last ex and now he has said I've taken her place and am so much worse. Not at all true. It definitely is a coping mechanism. It has been 2 weeks since he texted me and still holds resentment toward me for being a cheater.( All in his mind) I know things will get better. Just need to tell myself it's OK to feel down once in awhile. The anger is a different thing! The saying " What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" applies here.
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daisydragonfly

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« Reply #122 on: June 17, 2016, 08:35:11 PM »

Ok.  What do you do about a BPD hubby who habitually employs the silent treatment defence?  I want to keep my marriage intact, we have children.  I want my husband to know this is unacceptable (I have told him numerous times and tried to speak about it's effect on me and ask him his reasons for doing it) and I want to model a different way for my children to communicate.  Anyone know how to do this without throwing an ultimatum at him? 
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Naughty Nibbler
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« Reply #123 on: June 17, 2016, 09:02:50 PM »

daisydragonfly:

Did you go through all 13 pages?  Just mentioning it, because I've missed the extra pages on an article before.  There is some more info. at the link below:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=70004.0

Growing up, my Dad used to practice the "silent treatment".  One problem is that children can think that this is normal behavior and later subject their SO to it.

I don't think there is a standard approach to get your husband to stop.  I read recently where someone just went on talking to their spouse, went about their business, asked the spouse to join them in going somewhere, etc.  They went on with business as usual until the SO/spouse stopped the behavior.


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daisydragonfly

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« Reply #124 on: June 17, 2016, 09:30:08 PM »

Thank you Naughty Nibbler, No I didn't read the rest of the post till just now.  Still new...  Lots of helpful things  - some I've tried with various degrees of success.  It's hard to ignore something that hurts so much.  I find myself the last couple of weeks just giving him the silent treatment.  Not because I'm necessarily angry about anything - just because I have no energy left to try and tiptoe around to figure out what kind of day it's going to be.  There are more silent days than not so I'm just defaulting to that.  Sad.
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Torched
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« Reply #125 on: October 13, 2017, 09:18:00 PM »

I'm curious.  My exBPDw used this tactic constantly and extremely effectively.  It made me feel so humiliated, low, and cowed.  It usually preceded and followed a dysregulation, but her emotional dysregulations were fairly rare.  Its almost like this behavior was the constant.  It made me feel so stressed out, she knew it, but she would lay it on even thicker.  It was the hallmark of my toxic relationship with her for 18 years.  It destroyed me as a person.

Is this a hallmark of BPD or is it a tool used knowingly by really bad people?  Or both?  My ex was never diagnosed with BPD but showed all the signs.  In some ways I feel she would appear to be a better person if she actually had an uncontrollable personality disorder instead of just being an absolute witch.
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pallavirajsinghani
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« Reply #126 on: October 13, 2017, 09:38:17 PM »

I have slightly different perspective on the issue of "cold shouldering" and "silent treatment".  This perspective is based on personal experiences which I am projecting on to the BPD sufferer.

My husband and I battled with infertility issues for 5 years.   Repeated miscarriages with and without IVF treatments left me on the verge of a full fledged clinical breakdown.  There were a few times when I felt that I almost had psychotic breaks from reality.  I would see the walls bulging at odd places and thought water was getting into them and the roof was going to fall on our heads.  Since my husband was suffering in his own way, rightly or wrongly...perhaps out of guilt I kept all the miscarriages and the resulting effect on my mind to myself.

During certain periods, I would not talk to him, not even look at him despite his continual attempts at engagement.  My grief and isolation was so extreme that I felt like a hot live wire that should not be touched.  I am sure he felt insulted, invalidated and that I was being hostile.

Truth is that the "silent treatment" and "cold shouldering" was my way of putting the pieces of my mind back together again.  It was an internal process.  It was NOT hostility to him at all, nor neglect of him.  It was as though my mind needed this space to mend itself.

From this personal experience, I believe "silent treatments" to be actually an internally healing period.  I think that the BPD sufferer should be given loving space to let him/her bring mind back together to a better place.

As a post script:  We have two lovely adopted children...and we could really not have better children. They are healthy, beautiful, loving...our cup of happiness runneth over...

Hope this helps.
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Humanity is a stream my friend, and each of us individual drops.  How can you then distinguish one from the other?
Torched
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« Reply #127 on: October 13, 2017, 11:05:36 PM »

It doesn't sound like your cold shouldering was done with intent or malice.  What I experienced involved intention and extreme malice as well as very obvious body language and facial expressions of contempt.
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valet
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« Reply #128 on: October 15, 2017, 02:10:01 AM »

It's been a while since I thought about this, but here's my take.

The cold-shouldering and silent treatment that I got from my ex was the main source of my anxiety within the relationship, and also the thing that caused the most lasting damage to me (I still deal with it today, and sometimes cope by shutting down or over-appeasing when confronted with conflict). To frame the first half of my relationship for you, there was constant communication. My ex and I were open and saw each other all of the time. We basically lived together for the first year, then actually did for another, and even went so far as to move to a foreign country with each other.

When things started to mysteriously go wrong... it really made me question myself. Thus began the internal cycle of wondering if I was good enough, if I was doing enough, or what I could have been doing wrong. Eventually in my own confusion I internalized this so much that there wasn't much of a light at the end of the tunnel. I wasn't even thinking about myself, only about the relationship and what I needed to do to save it, through appeasement and self-sacrifice.

Like pallavirajsinghani, I did a metric ton of projecting then. But it was more due to my inability to see possibilities for my life outside of the relationship. The relationship was it for me. That said, I'm a lot different right now, and I'm glad that I had the support necessary to learn from such experiences.

The skinny is this: your ex got anxious and didn't see a solution to ease their feelings, so they shut down—it was just an unproductive coping style. In reality it probably had very little to do with you and more to do with their inability to manage internal conflict and communicate their feelings while being open to productive solutions. It is not about personality disorders per se, just understanding that the behavior was driven by circumstances beyond your control.

Hope that helps.
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ForeverDad
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You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #129 on: October 17, 2017, 08:35:37 PM »

Toward the end of my marriage my then-spouse would refuse to talk and snubbed me while stalking around the house fuming in rage.  So I tend to agree that while some "silent treatment" can be recuperative and a way to process some bad times, it can also be used negatively to extend a 'mad' as a type of blaming and punishment.  So I'd agree with Torched that a close look can determine whether it is with — or without — malicious intent.

It doesn't sound like your cold shouldering was done with intent or malice.  What I experienced involved intention and extreme malice as well as very obvious body language and facial expressions of contempt.
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