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How effective is silent treatment?

A friend once told a joke about a man and his wife who had marital problems and decided to apply the silent treatment. Towards evening,…

A friend once told a joke about a man and his wife who had marital problems and decided to apply the silent treatment. Towards evening, the man realized he would need his wife’s assistance to wake him at 5 am the next morning to catch a business flight.
Not wanting to be the first to break the silence existing in his home, he wrote the following on a piece of paper: ‘Please wake me at 5:00 am’ and left it in a strategic place, where he knew his wife would find it.
The next morning, the man over slept uptill 9 am and was furious that he missed his flight. He was about to accost his wife to find out why she didn’t wake him and sighted a piece of paper by his bedside that read: ‘Its 5 am, wake up’.
The moral lesson from the story is simple and should tell people that ‘silent treatment’ doesn’t take them anywhere or make them benefit anything.
A survey conducted on people at Abuja shows that majority of them were of the opinion that men should break the silence during such mêlée.
Adamu Hamid, an Abuja resident, said men should always break the jinx either directly or otherwise because they are the head of the home and are involving themselves in a game women are good at.
“He is a man and should not allow himself to be drawn into a game women are best in and they sure know how to do the silent treatment well.
They will always win, so why drag on with the silent treatment in the first instance,” he said.
He advised men to cut the whole silence issue by maintaining a peaceful treatment “The man should just swallow his pride and approach his wife as it doesn’t take anything away from him but gives him more respect and dignity,” he added.
Another man blamed women as the initiators of silent treatment that if not curtailed could be very dangerous.
Hafeez Imran Adelere says he doesn’t allow silent treatment to start or go on longer than expected in his home. “It is common amongst women to deploy at every slightest provocation such practice. “My wife uses that most times against me, especially if she is really angry with me. Most times when we go out, she will not speak to me at all. At times when she does this and in my heart, I tell myself I’m in trouble but hope tension eases out even before we get home.
“When we get home and she is still angry, she goes into the kitchen to make my food and drops it on the table, instead of sitting as well as eating with me,” he said.
Adelere said he decided to take the necessary step by first breaking the silence and telling his wife there would be ‘Tahajud’ that night.
“She immediately smiled because she couldn’t say no to something relating to God and my mind was settled,” he said.
Issues that gives room for silent treatment are marriage problems, which start when one or both spouses are not being nice to themselves and do not understand each other. When this is lacking, then the silent treatment game comes to play in the relationship.
When one of the spouses is mean to the other, there are three possible things that can happen. The offended spouse could decide to be equally mean in order to revenge, he/she could decide to just look away and continue to be nice or ignore themselves by employing the silent treatment tactics.
Maryam Tanko Ismail believes option three is the best bet for any marriage. “Option three is the best but most times, women take it too far by extending the silent treatment tactics beyond what it is suppose to be,” she said.
She criticized option one and said if one is mean, his/her partner will respond in like manner.
The woman described the second option as being tricky in the sense that the suffering partner will make his/her partners assume they are doing the right thing. “If the partner acts nice back, this is worse and a mistake because if you do so, you will be rewarding bad behavior. If you reward bad behavior the bad behavior will persist and you will be helping to nurture bad attitude,” she said.
She described option three as the best approach, adding that if the partner withdraws niceness, it creates a vacuum that will make him realize he has faults somewhere, which will make him/her apologize.
“If he/she doesn’t apologize, the offended person must tell the other that what he/she did was wrong and hurtful. This should be said nicely with a straight face and by this way, the silent treatment approach will pays off,” he added.
Conversation during misunderstandings of spouses should be motivated by their sincere desire to understand the real reason behind their action instead of just running into executing the silent treatment.
If the silent treatment has to be deployed to settle misunderstanding, it should be an effective one.

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