5 Ways that Silence Kills a Relationship


iStock_000017535606XSmall[1] He never truly listens to me and shuts me out so what’s the use in talking?

I know that their mind is made up, so there’s no point bringing up that problem again.

Let’s just get through this upsetting day…weekend…season…. and deal with stuff later.

Has silence become a way of life in your relationship? Despite the ease that lack of confrontation and slipping into silence can bring, long standing patterns of silence eventually burn through the energy force leaving blackened, charred remains after the untamed fire finally burns itself out

  1. Silence chokes off your expressive needs- often leading to frustration, misunderstandings and contributing to the lack of verbal and emotional intimacy- creating even more distance between two people despite the outward appearance that they are getting along
  2. Unexpressed problems don’t just go away- silence and lack of communication pushes them underneath the surface for some period of time, yet weeks or months later they often flare up again as painful insults and allegations that have now become more exaggerated and extreme
  3. Silence is controlling-some people use silence as a powerful means to withdraw from the relationship, eliminating the opportunity for meaningful communication and resolution of problems- while also refusing to validate the other person’s perception of what is really going on
  4. Silence can be used to punish- when the other person reaches out to the silent partner, they are given no opportunity to try to more clearly understand or resolve issues that divide them
  5. Silence leads to depression, despair and giving up- when silence becomes the default mode within the relationship, distance continues to widen and those who are struggling may try to cope by turning to addictive substances, secretive activities or taking part in risky behaviors

What can you do when Silence becomes a way of life in your relationship?

Recognize the fact that Silence kills relationships—but even though you may be there now, you don’t have to stay there.

Invest in yourself by getting help and guidance to move forward and find your true voice.




Please let me know your thoughts in the Comments Section below.


  1. this article was so helpful. I can see now how such a subtle action as silence can be a red flag. I wish I knew this a long time ago and had addressed the issue, it could have made my life a lot better. Keep the good information coming : )

  2. Such a thought provoking article, Nancy, and a very important topic!! Silence in a relationship really does weaken it over time, especially if the other partner prefers to “sweep it under the rug” and not talk about it. It’s hard when you want to talk it out to find a resolution or even just share feelings about what the issue is and that person says they don’t want to talk about it anymore or just cut themselves off from the conversation. I have some people in my life like this and it makes it tough to have authentic relationships. I agree that it is a huge red flag and you can come back from it if both people are willing to really leave their defenses and reactions and just open their hearts to one another to hear it. And if not….then sometimes you just need to walk away because you can’t change someone of make them do anything they don’t want to do and just realize its their issue/their stuff and you don’t have to own it. thank you for writing about this!

  3. Thanks for sharing this wonderful info with us Nancy!

    Neatly written and straight to the point. Cheers for a good post!

  4. This is so true. My ex-husband used silence to punish me for anything and everything. I’m guessing that the last 8 years we spent together, the majority of that time he was giving me the silent treatment. Finally I told him how much it tortured me and was destroying our marriage and if he ever did it again I was going to divorce him. He did, and I did. Those last years of my marriage were the loneliest and most painful times of my life. I’m SO thankful and happy that those times have come to an end. The past 4 years that I have been divorced have been such a great relief. I will never, ever let anyone treat me like that again.