The silent treatment plays well into the gas lighting technique.
It was very easy for him to insist that I misinterpreted his actions, over-reacted to the situation, remembered the event wrong, or my favorite- that I created the drama by starting a fight and accusing him of saying and doing things he never said or did.
Well, of course it would seem as though I started the fight, since he wasn’t speaking to me, but that discounts the fact that his non-communication was instigating an argument.
And let’s not underestimate the effect of non-verbal communication- another of my ex-husband’s favorite forms of communication.
And that is exactly how the abuser wants it; in fact, that is exactly the situation he or she has worked so hard to create.After listening to us and asking questions for nearly an hour, she did just as I knew she would and laid it all out as plain as could be.To my surprise, shock, and dismay, however, she explained that my experience in arguing with my ex-husband had left me little in the way of skills needed to argue or disagree in a healthy relationship.In other words, in situations when a normal person would stand and face the music for his mis-behavior and wrong doings, the sociopathic spouse turns into the perpetual child, responding with the equivalent of: You can’t be mad at me, because I’m mad at you.Harmful Intent Why is the silent treatment so harmful? This isn’t the normal time-out from an argument that couples may agree upon; it’s one person isolating the other, withholding emotion, approval, and acceptance.