PART 1 OF 2 (Click here for Part 2)
If you are dreading the next seemingly inevitable segment of silent treatment from your partner, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do now, whilst you are indeed on speaking terms, to help avert it.
Rather than rely on walking on eggshells, you would do well to consider the Five Love Languages by author Gary Chapman, since improving the relationship in the "speaking times" could well impact passive aggressive silent treatment in a good way.
Rated 4.7 stars out of 5 based on over 2,000 reviewers - The Five Love Languages
A powerful combination?
Do not abandon the strategies in the other silent treatment articles which are aimed at helping you uplift and assert yourself when you are on the receiving end of silence as well as equipping you to stop inadvertently encouraging more silent treatment from your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend.
By additionally adopting the principles of the Five Love Languages when you are on speaking terms, you can edge towards making the good times even better. Combined, they can prove a very effective blend in defeating debilitating passive aggressive silences for the future.
Are you sick and tired of merely coasting along between periods of silent treatment?
If this is the case, it can be extremely beneficial if you and your spouse do things for one another that leave each of you feeling treasured and loved so that the overriding general atmosphere and barometer of the relationship is boosted/restored.
Using the principles of love languages can enhance the relationship when the silent treatment is not happening and in turn can lessen the frequency and duration of any potential future silence abuse.
Being aware of what each person needs to feel truly appreciated, valued and loved and conscientiously doing the necessary can help top up and fill the "love tanks" so that lines of communication are healthier and sustained. When this happens, protracted outbreaks of passive aggressive silent treatment are less likely.
Click here for an article detailing more about what the Five Love Languages are. (Incidentally, as well as assisting those who are experiencing ingrained relationship difficulties, couples without serious problems can reach new heights when they apply the advice given in the book.)
But what if your partner won't even read the book in the first place?
Frustratingly passive aggressive types will promise to do something like read a book, and then renage. You can lead a horse to water but, frustratingly, you cannot make it drink! An issue for many who may be considering trying to take advantage of the insight the book offers is that their partner is just not into reading self help books.
Thankfully there is a CD version available which you might listen to together, separately, at home or in the car for example. For gadget aficionados, electronic versions are available (Kindle).
There is a CD alternative to the book
But what if your partner reads the book/listens to the CD but still isn’t participating ?
A partner may initially give you the impression that they are in agreement with the principles of the Five Love Languages and promise to engage. However, if they are particularly stubborn, passive aggressive, lazy, or a “bury your head in the sand” type person, they may go on to renege on their promise.
As exasperating as this is, you can still choose to just be the bigger person and apply the advice yourself for a predetermined period of time. This is to say you can go ahead and speak your partner’s love language unilaterally.
Some people find a partner who is not on board at the start of the 5 Love Languages journey will change their attitude at a later stage and begin to spontaneously reciprocate. Of course there is no guarantee this will happen but at least you will know that you tried your utmost before making a decision about the future of your relationship.
Five Love Languages - The good, the bad and the ugly !
The “good” is that in addition to the strategies advocated in the coping with silent treatment articles which you can apply during a silent treatment episode, in between the bouts of silence speaking the love language of your partner is a good way of strengthening the relationship so that you can relate to your partner in the way they are most receptive to, and vice versa. With full love tanks and a closer relationship overall, bouts of silent treatment are likely to be diminished over time.
On what may be perceived as the “bad” side, the book contains some references to biblical content which some may find superfluous or simply not subscribe to. I did not find the book to be overly preachy or religious, and judging by the reviews, this standpoint is shared by vast majority of readers.
The “ugly”, but undeniable, reality is that you cannot force your passive aggressive silent partner to read the book or listen to the CD. Further you cannot force your partner to change their behaviour. The only person you can change is yourself. If you elect to actually speak your partner's love language unilaterally within a fixed timeframe you have set, at the very least you know you have done your best and can be more confident about deciding on the next phase in your relationship/life. Plus you will have learned a useful life skill which can be adapted and applied across other types of relationships.
Men's Edition of the Five Love Languages
- Are you a victim of the Silent Treatment Emotional A...
If you find yourself frequently apprehensive of being given the silent treatment, you are likely being manipulated, controlled, and emotionally abused!
- How to cope with the Silent Treatment Emotional Abus...
Here's what you can ACTUALLY DO to feel better when your partner gives you the silent treatment -rather than be miserable, angry or isolated.
- Specific Examples - How to cope with the Silent Trea...
Coping with, and breaking the cycle of, Silent Treatment abuse – examples of strategies in action to deal with this form of emotional abuse.
- Is the Silent Treatment Emotional Abuse affecting yo...
NEW! Examples of how prolonged silent treatment stress from a partner can have physical effects on your health and well being?
Some points worth noting ...
- If buying the CD format rather than the book, I would recommend you get the full/unabridged version. It costs a little more than the short/abridged version but is well worth that bit extra as it has substantially more content.
- Don't go purchasing say the men's edition and the original version of the Five Love Languages. Get one OR the other. The men's edition slants things more towards a man's perspective but is equally useful for both sexes. Importantly, it is not significantly different than the original to merit buying both versions.
- Although the 5 love languages books/CD’s etc do not focus on passive aggressive silent treatment per se, they can be of great value in promoting an atmosphere where silent treatment is less and less likely to occur. Thus there is the opportunity of avoiding the feelings of exasperation, depression, anger, unworthiness, and/or anguish that silent treatment can evoke in the person who is on the receiving end of it.
- I would say that engaging in applying the 5 love languages, alongside the strategies in the other silent treatment articles as necessary, is well worth consideration, outlay and effort.
By reading the reviews you can get a feeling of how applying the five love languages can benefit you. (At Jan 2014, based on more than 3,000 reviews, more than 2,500 are 5 stars!)
About the Author of the Five Love Languages
Dr Gary Chapman, a Christian, holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology, has decades of experience of pasturing and marriage counselling and has a long and successful marriage himself. You can read more about him here.
About the Physical Touch Love Language
More on the 5 Love Languages
- 5 Love Languages Quiz
Without asking your significant other to do anything, you can find out their Love Language here by reflecting on their past actions and behaviours.
- 5 Love Languages Quiz Alternatives
There are a number of methods for determining a partner's love language without either of you doing a quiz. Find out how here.
- Words of Affirmation – when you express this love ...
Why some people reject, question or suspect compliments & affirmations from a partner AND what to do about it. Essential reading for this love language.
- Words of Affirmation Examples and top tips for this ...
Unique examples, advice for those who cannot think of anything great to say about their partner! ways to convey words of affirmation, accept gracefully and why.
© 2013 Ebonny
Comments - The Five Love Languages in passive aggressive Silent Treatment Relationships
Ebonny (author) from UK on May 22, 2013:
Hello MsDora - many thanks for dropping by, and for your thoughtful comment and vote.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 21, 2013:
Yours is a very good presentation. I have read and recommended this book several times. I swear by it, but have had at least one person disagree with Chapman's needs assessment. I mention this because if a person has an agenda which is not promoted by the book, he or she can find reason to reject it. As you suggest, we recommend it and hope for the best. I agree that love languages can help in area of marital problems. Voted Up and Useful.