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Silent Treatment Relationships and Speaking your Partner's Love Language

Updated on November 16, 2015
Strengthen your silent treatment relationship with the Five Love Languages.
Strengthen your silent treatment relationship with the Five Love Languages. | Source

How the Five Love Languages can Help those in Silent Treatment Relationships

Applying the principles in Gary Chapman's book entitled The Five Love Languages can help you turn around a relationship where you and your partner are drifting apart, plagued with overwhelming resentment and/or emotional disconnect.

In relationships such as these, silent treatment emotional abuse can easily thrive if one or other partner is passive aggressive. To limit the harm, it's worth looking into how the 5 Love Languages might help reawaken and/or advance closeness and compassion.

Based on more than 1,200 reviews, the Five Love Languages best seller has been rated 4.7 stars out of 5.

The Five Love Languages - Paperback - reviews and description

Diminishing Resentment can help curb Silent Treatment

If you want to diminish silent treatment and stop being so negatively affected by it, as well as employing the strategies suggested in these silent treatment articles, applying the principles of Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages when you and your partner are on good speaking terms can uplift the relationship generally and in turn this will help counter the cycle of mounting resentment.

Silent treatment is a way of passively expressing anger. For the silent one, it is a method of covertly exerting control and manipulation of their partner.

Although there may be no shouting, verbal insults or physical lashing out, a person on the receiving of recurring lengthy periods of silent treatment/stonewalling/not speaking/icing out/ostracism/exclusion can end up feeling confused, upset, and/or desperate to appease. At times they may feel irritated, defiant and/or angry. Over time they could end up feeling hopeless, wholly unworthy, even suicidal.

Routinely Feeling unappreciated and unloved exacerbates the Silent Treatment

If the relationship is on shaky ground even when you and your partner are on speaking terms, when the silent treatment does rear its ugly head it will be more prolonged, bitter and hurtful than it might have been had you formerly been on firm ground, so to speak.

People who feel detached from their partner are more likely to make mountains out of molehills. Relatively petty insignificant issues can lead to disconnection, withdrawal and/or silent treatment. Further, when one or other party wants to make amends and end a silent episode, it is more difficult to do so when even the good times were not that good!

In carrying out the advice given in the book when the two of you are on speaking terms, it helps pave the way for less resentment and can result in fewer silent episodes and a more harmonious loving relationship overall.

The 5 love languages helps you identify both your own and your partner's love language and gives many examples of how to apply them for the benefit of the relationship.

What are the Five Love Languages and how do you speak them?

A person's love language is defined by the way they feel most loved and cared for and it is recommended that we should "speak" our partners love language(s) in order to sustain and nurture the relationship. Chapman identifies 5 love languages - Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Gifts, Acts of Service and Quality Time.

The feeling that you are not getting your needs met can build resentment and detachment. Likewise, the feeling that you are being taken for granted and are not a priority in your spouse's life can build antagonism. Again, such resentment, coupled with passive aggression, can all too easily lead to high levels emotional distance and silent treatment.

Each of the Five Languages is broken down into Dialects

The book differentiates between different forms/dialects of a particular love language. For example a partner whose primary love language is physical touch may feel empty and starved if their partner seldom, if ever, gives them spontaneous physical affection such as hugs, holding hands, cuddles, tickles, a touch on the arm, a gentle stroke of their hair, a peck on the cheek etc. This is one dialect of the physical touch love language.

Others who have physical touch as their primary love language may be of a dialect more centred towards intimacy and touch in a sexual context.

Five Love Languages - Audio CD and Kindle - reviews and description

Is your "love tank" running on empty?

The Five Love Languages works on the principle that each person has an imaginary “love tank”. At the start of a relationship/honeymoon phase the love tank is generally full and enthusiastically replenished by your partner as necessary, leaving both people feeling loved up and fulfilled - i.e. each person feels sufficiently appreciated, loved, and valued and the full love tanks make for a smooth running, contented and happy union.

As times goes by however, complacency can set in and one or both people in the relationship start to take the other for granted and generally put in less effort than before in terms of generally making their significant other feel loved.

For example there may be a reduction or cessation of affection, appreciation, praise, intimacy, joint activities, compliments, and going out of one's way to contentedly do things for your partner. It may be that one partner feels that they do go out of their way to nurture their partner but their partner is unappreciative of their efforts.

Thus distance and resentment can start to take a hold and when one or both are passive aggressive, silent treatment can become a staple feature of the relationship.

About your partner doing the Love Languages Quiz

If your partner will do the official on-line quiz, that's fine but do be aware that there are some who will do the quiz and answer as they think they are expected to answer, rather than answer the quiz questions truthfully; thereby getting a false result.

Therefore, in addition, or as an alternative to your partner doing the official quiz, Click here for a quiz you can do yourself to ascertain your partner's primary love language(s).

Men's Edition - Audio CD as well as Paperback format available

What happens when you don't speak one another's primary language(s)

Quite simply you can end up feeling taken for granted, ignored, unworthy and despondent.

An exaggerated example - in preparing a celebratory meal to mark a special occasion, if one partner were to put effort into researching various recipes, spending hours shopping for the best quality ingredients, meticulously cooking a five course meal to perfection, plus laying a candle lit table with the best wines, spirits and liqueurs, using elaborate table linen, cutlery and flowers, they are still unlikely to get the appreciation and reception they feel they deserve from their partner if that partner is a tee-total vegetarian and they have prepared for them a most glorious meat feast!

Okay - the above is a somewhat far out example but in reality there are people who do things akin to this and expect their partner to feel appreciative. Some will thoughtlessly buy chocolates for their partner when they are on a diet!

By applying the principles of the five love languages you can keep one another’s love tanks topped up by consistently concentrating effort into the type of actions that your partner actually most appreciates/actions that make your spouse feel loved, complete, and at ease in the relationship.

In other words you speak their language. You don't simply relate to them in your own language by doing the things you would want them to do for you, such as in the meal example above! You don't relate to them in terms of what you think there love language should be. It's about taking the time and effort to find out what makes your partner tick and feel loved and consistently doing those things with contentment and love for the good health of the relationship.

The 5 love languages will help with identifying one another's primary and secondary love languages and gives multiple suggestions and examples of how you can meet one another's needs so that each of you is more emotionally fulfilled, receptive and giving.

NEXT ...

The Five Love Languages in Silent Treatment Relationships

Click the above link for more on silent treatment and the 5 love languages including what to do if your partner dislikes self help books or just isn’t willing to participate. Also frank observations on the good, the bad and the ugly of applying the 5 Love Languages approach in a relationship where silent treatment passive aggression is present with useful guidance about some of the different formats available for the resource.

Rated 4.7 stars out of 5 by over 1,200 reviewers

© 2013 Ebonny

Comments - Silent Treatment and the 5 Love Languages

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    • Ebonny profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from UK

      Hi Deborah

      I appreciate your comment and hope that, even thought you hate silent treatment, you have found or will find what works most effectively for you in dealing with it so that you have peace of mind, and do not fear it as many do.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 

      3 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      This was an interesting article. I hate the silent treatment. It is so hurtful to me. I'm not sure you can ever figure out the primary love language for someone who acts like that.



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