Is Not Talking Cruel

Morning friend,

I’d appreciate your prayers.  I’ll be speaking at the River Conference this weekend at Prestonwood Baptist Church near Dallas, TX. This is my first event since COVID and I’m sure it will feel a little weird.  Pray that people are met by God this weekend and find help to help others.

Question: My desires are to stay well, overcome evil with good, obey God, keep myself in the love of God, live out CORE. I have been seeing things as they are and have stepped back to observe rather than ‘try to fix' by explaining, defending, encouraging and inviting us to work together since the last few years. 

I have openly explained that he is free to be who he wants to be. No longer am I going to talk, talk, and talk to try to make things better when there is still not mutual respect, investment and care. I have slowly and lovingly said that I want the best for both of us and our marriage and that the best is God's way but it takes two people to walk God's way to make a marriage of God's design.

I explained that it is time for me to take care of myself and to stop using my energy trying to change someone else when it is not within my power. I explained that ‘letting go is not me no longer caring but it's me no longer trying to get him to'.

So I take care of myself. When he doesn't allow me to have a voice, I walk away. When he speaks disrespectfully, I walk away. When he says something derogatory about me, I say, ‘sorry you feel that way'.

As of late, I quit talking all together unless extremely necessary. i.e.: (where did you leave the car keys?) I go out for walks, visit friends, etc. and no longer say where I am going. I make something to eat for myself, etc. I speak respectfully when I do need to say anything at all.

My reasoning for what I have been doing as of late is because I considered these things:

  • Why would I converse with a person who controls when I can and cannot speak?  ( As long as it's superficial, I am free to speak all day. However when I confront him on a behavior that concerns me, he interrupts, gets loud, talks over me, blames, accuses, yells and says hurtful things )
  • Also, I tried just talking about the events of my day and he responds as if all is well though cruel words may have been said by him the evening before (no apology) and he likes it that way and acts like all is well. I used to chase behind him for an apology because I always believed in accountability but more hurtful words were said by him each time I initiated the need for a sincere apology ( I was trying to hold him responsible and not let the sun go down on wrath and start fresh and not be a doormat) I no longer do this.
  • He has often requested that I just let it go and move on but the things said and how they are spoken are harsh, uncaring, and mean (abusive) and not to be left unaddressed to destroy.
  •  I therefore stopped saying anything at all now. I don't want to do things to control an outcome but I feel if I just never confront him and talk about superficial things (now that I stopped trying to change him)… I believe he interprets that as all is well and it isn't.

So my question is this:

Is my not speaking except when absolutely necessary, living my own life basically, doing my own thing for now an unwise idea or a wise one? Should I handle ‘detaching' a better way?

Two years ago I talked to him about the fact that all the things that I had suggested to make a beautiful marriage were only honored by me and not him so I invited him to initiate what he would like to do. He has made no attempt.

Answer:   I’m sorry this has been so painful for you. Living with a spouse who does not desire to engage in anything more than superficial niceties can be tough. He interprets a lack of conflict coupled with superficial chit chat as “all is well”.  You don’t want him to look at it that way and therefore stopped talking except for necessary conversations. And is that to protect you from further pain or is that to continue to “show him all is not well?”

[Tweet “Detaching doesn’t necessarily require silence and no conversations.”] Detaching means you let go of your need/desire for him to get it. To change. To be different than he is right now. In other words, detaching means you live your own life, do your own work and accept he does not want to engage in personal or difficult conversations with you. He does not want you to tell him what he’s done wrong or expect him to apologize. You’ve told him that he’s free to be the person he wants to be yet you’re not okay with that person.

You’ve learned that things can be superficially peaceable between the two of you as long as you abide by his rules. When you transgress and want more, you pay. You know that. You’ve known that for years. Yet it’s hard for you to be at peace with this living arrangement. It seems like you still have hope or some expectations that he’ll get it and change.  

I wonder if subconsciously you are still trying to control him. For example, you wrote, “I therefore stopped saying anything at all now. I don't want to do things to control an outcome but I feel if I just never confront him and talk about superficial things (now that I stopped trying to change him)… I believe he interprets that as all is well and it isn't”.

I wonder if you still want to control the way he interprets your silence or lack of silence. You don’t want him to think everything is fine when it’s not fine for you. You want him to understand how that bothers you when he doesn’t acknowledge it or apologize for it. And the things you want are totally reasonable but with your spouse, history shows you they are unrealistic. Whether you continue to confront him, or you go dark with silence, you want him to get it. It’s a different strategy, but same outcome.   

What’s your goal in your own work right now? You said you want to stay well but for what purpose? Can you accept he’s not motivated to work on a better connection with you or a deeper relationship with God through repentance of his own sinfulness? Can he be pleasant enough or safe enough to live together as long as you stay on the surface of things and not require or expect him to change or get it? Can he care for you in a superficial way like financial stability, or helpfulness around the house and can you care for him in superficial ways like preparing meals or other support? Can you both experience the best parts of your life – financial stability, family holidays, grandkids, a nice home, some mutual help and/superficial support if nothing else changes?  Only you can decide that, but that is your work to do to stay well or leave well.  

It seems like your silence has two purposes. One is to protect yourself from continued disappointment. He’s not all that interested in a deeper friendship or changing himself. That’s understandable. But the other purpose is to communicate without words, “It’s still not okay with me that we live this way.”  If it’s not okay with you and he does not change, then what’s your next move? [Tweet “Continuing to knock your head against the wall hoping he’ll get it and change is the very definition of insanity.”] Silence is your way to tell him it’s not OK but what outcome are you waiting for? He’ll get it? He’ll finally give you an apology? Then it does seem like you are still waiting and hoping that he will change his ways. I think it would be healthier for you to believe him.  He’s not changing. 

Friend, what does detaching mean to you?  How did you do it and stay well?


  1. Stella on March 17, 2021 at 9:17 am

    I’m into year 5 of living my own life….I’ve stopped trying to change him.(he doesn’t want to change). I’ve stopped trying to show him his offenses to me. (cuz he just defends himself and points to me). He is a believer(still far from God-but I see some progress there)…we’ve been to counseling(that was helpful…it gave me a voice so he could see I’m not the one with ALL the issues)….I was where this wife is at…I stopped engaging him in conversation about unnecessary things (only family things)…..and you know what??? he came around and finally started believing our counselor that I’m actually his best friend (for numerous reasons)….quarentine was good for us. He finally saw me as his friend! I had to change how I responded to him. I have gotten much better at overlooking offenses and when he does offend me he seems to know cuz he is overly nice, but doesn’t readily apologize-which is a step in the right direction! When I offend him he gets short with me.(this is how I used to respond to him)… NOW I apologize after I realize it and he forgives me and we move on and go back to where we were. Praise God we have come a long way. I needed to change my dance by getting stronger through counseling, reading numerous marriage books(including Leslie!) and PRAYER. I thank my Heavenly Father for saving my marriage and family….but I needed to live my own life, step back,(both of those steps were initially VERY hard and full of fear of the unknown) and allow God to work. My marriage now is not perfect, but it is so much better.

    • Stella on March 17, 2021 at 9:24 am

      ALSO—I’ve seen all my tools (in my toolbox:) for my marriage that I’ve learned in counseling and from marriage books and blogs– these newly learned behaviors and speech actually rubbed off on him. I see him implementing these on how he treats me! EVEN THOUGH HE’S NEVER PICKED UP A MARRIAGE BOOK IN THE LAST 5 YEARS!

      • JoAnn on March 17, 2021 at 5:06 pm

        Stella, Well done! I thank and praise the Lord that He has worked in your husband to begin to change, and of course, you have changed too. That’s wonderful. Not all abusive or distant men would make those changes, but it is encouraging that yours has. I think a key part of your experience was that you got professional help for yourself. Thank you for your encouraging testimony.

        • Stella on March 19, 2021 at 9:05 am

          Thank you Joanne, it’s good to see that there are some women on here rooting for “staying well”, rather than rooting for divorce….Mine was a long hard 5 year journey and I couldn’t have stayed sane without JESUS. He surrounded me with good counseling (professional, friends, books and blogs.)

          • Aly on March 19, 2021 at 9:27 am

            To me it seems many people on here root for ‘being well’ over staying well and how that can be defined differently for many.
            For my situation, my husband got, surrendered to Christ to grow and did change (ALot)! praise God!
            There were many seasons of relapse in my opinion and from reading your posts it does seem a bit (small) in ways of change you have seen. Not saying it’s not a great thing but let’s remember wise teachings about ‘praising expected healthy behavior’
            I would encourage you to not settle (with a husband who can’t readily apologize or won’t invest in some healthy ways of being a better partner in books or continued prof help)
            It’s great that he’s adopted some better ways of communicating through even your changed behavior but realize that isn’t always true heart and character change if he isn’t doing deeper work of processing his own tendencies and the way he interacts with you.

  2. Suzanne on March 17, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    This question so clearly describes my current situation. However I do not have financial safety in that all our money is in his name and I have to ask him to fund our joint account so I can pay bills; the total of which is a month or two’s security at most. Aside from the financial insecurity, the superficiality of the relationship seems so disingenuious to me and suggests mutual caring and support which is false. He is like an island; content to be by himself and/or with me as long as I am willing to only speak about superficial safe topics. Any attempt to hold him to his word to change, recognize or be accountable to our marital relationship is met with pushback or shut down or dismissal. As a result, I am filing for divorce but still wonder if his benign neglect is something I should be strong enough to live with and tolerate? Outside of our home, I have a rich and rewarding life.

    You ask above, “Can you both experience the best parts of your life – financial stability, family holidays, grandkids, a nice home, some mutual help and/superficial support if nothing else changes? ” Is it weak to say “no” to the above because the best parts occur so rarely that 90% of my life is spent with an untrustworthy, uncaring, selfish person? To live with someone with whom I can only exchange pleasantries and to wonder if he’s going to walk out and leave me financially destitute because he has no sense of care or concern for my well-being seems unwise?

    • JoAnn on March 18, 2021 at 9:10 pm

      Suzanne (and others), it seems to me that the Lord just might want more than a superficial relationship for you. It sounds to me that what is being described here isn’t really a marriage, not in your eyes, and probably not in God’s eyes, either. He does care more for the person than He does for the institution of marriage. Yes, He hates divorce, because He hates what causes it: hardness of heart, reviling, treachery. I appreciate Malachi 2:14-16. Yes, He hates divorce, which is why He says “take heed to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth.” It’s one of the few places in the Bible that deals directly with spousal abuse, but it is pretty strong. When a man is “taking heed to his spirit,” that is, living a godly life by being one with Christ in his spirit, then divorce won’t be necessary, because he will care for and love his wife “as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her.” (Eph. 5:25)

      • Aly on March 19, 2021 at 7:22 am

        JoAnn, Suzanne,
        JoAnn well written! Suzanne your post is very sad but glad you have moved forward to free yourself from this dynamic! It’s not a marriage and you are divorcing this situation not a loving and caring partner. Your questions on tolerating and if your are weak etc. are clear signs you have been in this far too long to see the harm you have and are experiencing. Neglect is a form of abuse and abandonment. I would be curious how all of the money began in ‘his name’ and how this financial situation began?
        By the way, him being like an island is a product of many things but mostly because it’s tolerated! Many of the behaviors you described of your h reflect a underdeveloped emotionally (low) person. They are capable to grow but often they choose not to. Being a spouse (even superficially) to such a person violates your own commitment to marriage the way God designed it and also reinforces the destructive dynamics by going along with the ‘comforts’ of your h.

        • Cindy Gurney on May 17, 2021 at 9:30 pm

          Aly, I wonder if I could private message or email with you about having your husband change. My husband is doing several things to change and yet not all I anticipated in my confrontation of him. I want to keep the standard high as well as not be controlling. I think i am doing, well, but would appreciate an opportunity to share and receive feedback. Thank you for your comments on this post.

    • Autumn on March 19, 2021 at 6:26 am

      The best parts of your life pale in comparison to how wonderful life could be without him! Beat him at his own game. Leave first! Reclaim the other 90 percent of your life! What is holding you back? Life without abuse is fabulous. You deserve to live, let God deal with the spiritually dead and twisted mind of your abuser.

    • JoAnn on March 21, 2021 at 5:25 pm

      Suzanne, one of the main benefits of going through the process of a divorce (besides getting free from the abuse) is that now your h will have to support you financially according to the laws of the state you live in. He’s not going to like that, but it will happen. Go for it!

  3. Connie on March 17, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    I could have written this. Mostly, I appreciate the answer, yet…I do believe that God can do it. To not have any hope whatever? I’m pretty sure that the father of the prodigal son kept living his life, but don’t you think he had a corner of his eye always on the road, hoping? Just in case? Maybe there is a difference between hope and expectations. I do not expect h to change, but I do have that bit of hope that he will really know Jesus. I think I would have to be hard-hearted not to.

    I think of Corrie TenBoom. Even in a concentration camp, forgiving her guards meant that she hoped they would meet Jesus. I bet she didn’t really expect them to, but she knew that God is big enough for anyone. If I remember correctly, some did, even many years later. And she and her sister lived their lives in such a way that they would hopefully get hungry for God.

    This is why I keep praying and studying this dynamic. 2 Cor. 3:18 says that with uncovered faces we always reflect the glory of God. I want to do that, whatever it takes. I want to learn what real genuine love is. And no, I don’t want to control him. I now know that part of real love is to release that desire to God.

    • Autumn on March 19, 2021 at 6:19 am

      Connie, why have you picked one bible verse to live by? Who told you to compare your life to these passages. They seem delusional and our in the sky unrealistic. Your h had had plenty of opportunities to know jesus. He isn’t interested.

      Our spiritual life isn’t it a place to hide from reality. I doubt you would think like this if you weren’t married to a jerk. Do you know anyone in a good and thriving marriage? They think completely differently than we do. Too many years of fooling ourselves leads to a waste of our lives when we surrender our mind to thinking how we could help or fix our disturbed, fallen spouse.

      Nice trick on Satan’s part, he distracts us into thinking that if we hope hard enough, sin will be minimized someday. We dismiss the present as temporary, instead of realizing the present is real and is not changing. It is a form of denial we abused women use to cope.

      • Autumn on March 19, 2021 at 9:08 am

        Patrick Doyle calls this “hopeium.” Like a drug we get caught up in unrealistic hope.

        I think my reply was a bit too harsh. I am sorry for that. Reading it back, it seemed a bit too intense.

        I would also like suggest, that although Corrie and her sister are great examples of Godly women. They were not praying for their husbands. I am guessing that husbands like ours would have been rejected and dumped after their evil character revealed itself. Why do we think we have to live with an evil man just because we married him?

      • Connie on March 19, 2021 at 5:31 pm

        Thank you, Autumn, for your encouragement. Maybe, just maybe, God is not leading me in the same direction as some others. Maybe the timing is ‘not yet’. Maybe I’m dumb. Maybe not. Maybe I don’t have enough faith, or the ‘team’ needed for this is not yet assembled – or is not listening to the Spirit. Maybe, it really is possible to be free in the middle of tough situations. I do feel a lot of freedom, and get joy from many things, including learning to hold boundaries and observe people, and get my power back and get a voice. I’ve come to learn that there are many such people. Our church is in a similar place, with a strong controller at the helm. Sometimes God says run, sometimes, stand, sometimes wait. But always, ‘Keep your eyes on Me.”

        True, this is not a marriage. I don’t see it as one. So? I did leave for a while. over a year. My children didn’t even call and ask how I was – one of them called twice, I think. I didn’t have the means to go see them. At least I had a window of time with them. Now, of course, they are in a different country – oh right, 3 different countries, and the governments are treating us exactly like an abusive spouse and not allowing us to see each other – oh, right, for our safety – doesn’t that sound familiar? And there is no place to escape to, like our parents did from Germany. Have we learned anything yet?

    • CindyJane on May 17, 2021 at 9:22 pm

      Connie, I think your comments here are similar to mine. I admire your hope and your willingness to pursue real genuine love. I am finding that out too by doing tough love and expecting change in order to consider restarting a new marriage relationship with my husband. Hope is such a hugely strong force… I think it is a foundational aspect to love and faith and peace. May God continue to bless you to live with strength and dignity with uncovered faces reflecting God’s glory. Sounds like your heart’s desire matches God’s heart 😊

  4. Christine First on March 17, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    Will pray for you, and the conference you will be speaking at.

  5. Judy Vader on March 18, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    This is really thought provoking because this could have been written by me. Right now we are in a period of him being super loving, etc. and while it is a relief, without him doing some serious work, it won’t last. I have gone to the same strategy as this writer for similar reasons. For me, though, it is more trying to stay disengaged; when I distance he is less likely to have all sorts of expectations for physical affection, something hard for me to do because of the abuse throughout our marriage. Thank you for this blog!

    • Free on March 19, 2021 at 6:09 am

      What a torturous existence! Why do you live like this? Listen to your body. It is trying to protect itself. What could possibly be destroying your thinking to continue living with such a person? I don’t get it. Can you not see that you are being treated as an object, not a wife? Have you read about the concept of coercive control? Have you read the Irish writer and domestic abuse expert, Don Hennessey’s books?

      Thanks for your post. We hear you and know what you are going through. I hope you have a plan in place and get free. The time to leave is during the nice portion of his cycle. Rest assured, he is collecting imaginary I justices this very moment and will transition into reactive behaviors soon. You, my friend, are a prisoner, not a wife.

    • Lost on March 21, 2021 at 10:59 pm

      I am in this same spot! Super “loving husband” acting like nothing is wrong. He has asked for forgiveness and a second chance and his anger has subsided but I am so distant that I don’t really care. I find myself so detached without even consciously doing it. It almost makes me angry that he’s being so nice. I don’t know what to do from here. I don’t feel like trying, I’m exhausted. Is it wrong to leave even if he MAY be actually trying to change? It’s been 23 years, I feel like I’ve done my time.

      • Free on March 22, 2021 at 11:49 pm

        Lost, real change doesn’t happen because of an event. It happens with consistent conviction and confession of all manipulation which includes the entire duration of your relationship. You would need to see consistent behavioral change for years before any one could determine if he was truly changed.

        Twenty three years of abuse would take many years of counseling under the therapeutic plan of a licensed professional. He would need to retrain his behavior patterns. No one can do that without direction and assistance.

        Therefore, it is too soon for him to changed. It is more likely he is just in the love bomb portion of his cycle. You are the expert in this situation. No one know him like you do.

        • Lost on March 25, 2021 at 11:02 pm

          Thank you for your words Free. I wish there was a “how, to” manual. I’ve been searching for people in my position and seeking help and answers. It’s hard to find people ready to talk about this. I appreciate any insight. This is all new to me as I just realized not to long ago how abnormal my marriage was. I thought it was the usual ups and downs but read Leslie’s book and was so shocked that I had fallen into this trap of emotional abuse. I felt so stupid that I let it happen and didn’t even notice it! I also realized not to long ago that not caring is so much worse than being angry. Anger shows there is still some feeling left, I don’t have any of those left for my husband right now. Can this change? Is it possible to get that back or should I just move on? Like I said… Any insight from leslie’s readers would be appreciated. Like the name says… I’m just lost.

          • Free on March 26, 2021 at 3:12 pm

            Lost, I have just stumbled upon the most fabulous website. restored-ukorg/survivor_network

            Google this Christian support from the UK. I have found nothing like this is the USA. They give you a password to their site and offer a free support and educational group. Amazing people! Such great information.

  6. Moon Beam on March 18, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    I have been guilty of wanting my abusive spouse to be something he is not capable of being. He can’t or won’t get better. He has been disturbed since I met him, he just hid it. He hides it in public now. It is so heartbreaking to see people dismiss his past abuse and be groomed to his delusions.

    We all want a whole relationship, not a damaged messed up selfish person we are waiting and hoping gets better as a spouse. Life is so short. Let’s me good to ourselves and say, “Hey, we made a mistake, this partner isn’t who he pretended to be. He hurts me and others.”

    Talk or no talk, the truth is, you deserve better. Get out of the relationship. There are thousands of lonely people looking for kindness and love. Don’t waste your efforts on a fool. Stop throwing your pearls to swine.

    The sooner you leave, the sooner you can begin your journey to self respect and real love. I would say to myself, “Goodbye crazy, selfish person. You auditioned to me my husband, but you got cut from the life plan. Clean up your act if you want to, but I have you have haf plenty of chances and you have lost the privilege of having me in your world.”

    • Free on March 19, 2021 at 6:29 am

      ” but you have had plenty of chances and you have lost the privilege of having me in your world”


  7. Free on March 18, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    You know Jeff Bezo’s x- wife just married a science teacher. She might be America’s richest woman and guess what money couldn’t buy? A nice man. All she wanted was someone kind to spend spend the rest of her life with. Her new husband has character references through the roof. Person after person, young and old, will vouch for him.

    Something to think about.

  8. Barbara B on March 22, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Detaching is such a broad term. I guess it looks different in every circumstance. Some of the recent comments seem to infer that the only right way to detach is to physically leave by separation or divorce. I’m not against divorce, but I have known plenty of divorced people who are not really detached. They still have mental and emotional ties to their ex. This leads me to believe that some of the work of detachment is internal and can probably be accomplished even when staying married (Side note: I don’t think it’s a good idea to pressure women to go or stay. Isn’t that exactly what we speak out against – husbands using pressure to impose their opinions? It’s not our job to tell women what to do any more than it is an overbearing husband’s job to tell his wife what to do).

    To answer the question how do I detach and stay well? I think it is important to build a support system before detaching. I think it would be hard or maybe impossible to disconnect from one relationship without having some other good relationships in place. Everyone needs social, emotional, and spiritual connections. The book Boundaries talks about this, too. First build a support system, then put boundaries in place.

    • Free on March 23, 2021 at 12:25 am

      Barbara, I agree with the importance of detaching from destructive relationships, both emotionally and physically.

      I am thinking a little more about the thought of refraining from suggesting that someone should flee harm. How is that suggestion different than telling someone how they might benefit from a Bible verse? Advice is advice. I don’t see any difference. I do think we have a moral obligation to offer aide to those in peril.

      I don’t like people plasterimg a Bible verse on a situation that God meant for them, not me. I find God speaks to me loud and clear, I don’t need someone else’s message. If I did, God would call it to my attention. So, although it might seem controversial in our contemporary Christian culture, I find scriptural advice a bit condescending to victimized women. It borders too closely to the spiritualization of abuse, which perpetuates danger

      Many people ( and their children) who post of this site, are in extremely dangerous relationships. We will never know why some stop blogging here. It would be interesting to know what percentage of women who stayed in their destructive relationships were killed, maimed or disabled due to their choice. CORE or no CORE, sometimes the risk is just too great to stay “well.”

      • Barbara B on March 23, 2021 at 12:46 pm

        Hi Free,

        Thank you for commenting on my reply. What I had in mind was pressuring people. That is different from suggestions, offering aid, advice, or even Bible verses (which I agree are often misapplied and cringeworthy).

        An example of what, to me, comes across as pressuring: “You should do/not do XYZ” or “Why are you doing/not doing XYZ?”

        An example of suggestions or advice: “My heart hurts for your suffering. It seems like in this situation you could consider XYZ. I’m praying for you.”

        I’m looking more at the way the statement is presented rather than the content of the statement. Maybe Leslie could write on this topic from a therapeutic perspective. I’m sure a lot has to do with personality and culture.

        • Free on March 23, 2021 at 9:58 pm

          Personality, culture and trauma history. Those of us with PTSD often get right to the point, weed out the fluff and communicate directly and abruptly. Think survivor, war zone, abbreviated and condensed speech….no time or use for padding comments with niceties. Our brain no longer operates in a world of peace or safety. Trauma makes you learn to consolidate thoughts and be direct.

          That is why so many of us do not do well in traditional settings and feel disconnected from society. Warfare does that to one’s brain, even after a person is safe, survival skills don’t go away. Packaging comments in gentle “sandwich” communication style, is unnatural to those with PTSD, and has to be learned. It is an uphill battle to change styles as it is often perceived as disingenuous.

          • Nancy on March 24, 2021 at 3:21 pm

            Hi Free,

            Does having a diagnosis make it okay?

            We call out husbands who use their diagnosis as an excuse, and yet it’s ok for us to treat people abruptly because of PTSD?

          • Nancy on March 24, 2021 at 3:30 pm

            Hi Free,

            So a diagnosis makes it ok to be abrupt with others?

            No need to take responsibility for that?

        • Ang on April 23, 2021 at 12:04 am

          I pretty much can relate to this Barbara. Def personality and culture. I’m totally experiencing the whole
          Topic of when not speaking is cruel
          As I often resorted to this – I don’t know if it’s a form of manipulation or just simply guarding my heart. I’ve been hurt too long bec I didn’t know how to set boundaries . In other words , I was too loving and compassionate and having lived with a domineering mom ( not taking it against her ), I have allowed my husband to treat me disrespectfully . I’ve been crushed. Tears of self pity . I had to stay strong and stood my ground but I still am quiet and wouldn’t say anything to protect myself from being treated with criticism or harshly. I realized he was hot tempered and verbally and emotionally abusive when we finally stayed in one roof. Still waiting and praying for any progress to take place. I don’t think I’ll ever change his personality . As long as he doesn’t test me harshly I guess but true repentance has not really taken place yet..

    • Nancy on March 23, 2021 at 4:20 pm

      Amen Barbara

  9. Deborah Collins on April 15, 2021 at 3:15 am

    My narcissistic husband does the silent treatment to me actually a few times a week out of no where and I really don’t care that he does this since then he isn’t ranting and raving and spouting off ugly things at me!
    He is 69 years old now and absolutely just getting worse. When he does the silent treatment I just go about my business throughout the day. If I would ask him why the silent treatment he usually just stares at me. Many times with his dumbfounded look or then there is the evil eye look he gives me quite a bit.

  10. Kay Brinkman on April 21, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    This is me too! Thank you for this question and answer. I go round and round crazy between beating myself up for expecting different and feeling resentment of constant disappointment and “fakiness” although he keeps talking about authenticity. Often, I just take a walk or do my exercises instead. Thank you for your answer, Leslie

  11. Diane v on May 25, 2021 at 10:07 am

    This is so my life! I’ve sought many scenarios on Leslie’s site but this one I’m currently in the “hoping he’ll change, but doubt it” mode.
    He has become someone I just don’t like. He’s very “flip/floppy” , he’s so different to other people than his family. Kinda like he takes us for granted. He’s verbally said he’s replaced me with his friends that don’t have issues with him.
    I can’t figure out when he changed or why( slow fade) but my inner most soul knows it isn’t right. 38 yrs married, 20 military, self ordained pastor ( ordination taken twice from church because of his choices). I supported him, backed him, helped him for the last 30 or so but this new “who he is” I just can’t agree with or be part of.
    I’m so lost indivually, I’ve allowed him to steal me and I’m not sure how to resurface. Our friends are no more, they are tired of our crap & I don’t blame them. I’m alone when we are together and when we’re not. His biggest argument with me is lack of intimacy…I hate he sums our marriage on our sex life ( which I don’t enjoy). Then uses God to defend it. He currently left the church where our family worships to attend another because they showed interest in supporting him. ( street ministry) So “everything is about me” makes me sick!

  12. RJ on March 16, 2024 at 8:16 am

    My husband gives me the silent treatment when he doesn’t like something I’ve done or something he THINKS I’ve done., even if I haven’t. He knows how much it hurts me, but keeps doing it. He seems to justify it by saying that I just keep doing the same wrong things over & over again & he just can’t take it anymore. After days (or weeks) of coldness he just starts acting normal again out of nowhere, but there’s never any explanation for his coldness or apology. I can’t manufacture warm feelings for him after he’s been so uncaring for days without acknowledgement of the hurt of causes or apology. Yet I’m the one who “tolerates” it by continuously accepting it. Other than telling him afterwards how much that hurts me, what else can I do with the silent treatment?

Leave a Comment

Ask Your Question

Have a blog question you'd like to submit?

Read More

The Glorious Unbecoming Part I [Guest Post]

Morning friends, I’m in Chicago this week helping out my parents as my dad recovers from surgery. We would appreciate your prayers for his recovery. It’s taken much longer than usual and at 86 years old, he’s doing great, but it has been much harder than he planned. One of my personal goals this year…


Acceptance And Letting Go

Morning friends, I’ve relocated to our summer cabin. Since all my May speaking/travel schedule has been postponed until Fall, there was no reason not to move up to the mountains now. Phoenix heat has been near or at 100 degrees over the last ten days. It’s wonderful to enjoy 80 degrees, sunny, dry, beautiful days….


I Need Specific Steps On Separation

Morning friend, The temperature in Prescott dipped below freezing so I packed myself up and moved back to Sun City West yesterday. As lovely as it is in the mountains, my body likes to be in the warm not the cold. I may drive up there for some snow with my granddaughters and Thanksgiving, but…