Have you ever gotten the cold shoulder, the silent treatment? If withdrawal and isolation are your go to when you’re upset or angry you’re not alone. This is a common reaction for a lot of people, especially those in a love relationship where they are struggling, but at the same time still trying to avoid conflict with their partner. This lack of communication should be a red flag warning that the relationship is heading for trouble.
There’s nothing wrong with a time out or a separation from the triggering episode to cool down and get your emotions under control. In fact, as a counselor, I recommend it. Stepping away from the conflict when you’re triggered is not the same as the lack of communication when one or both of you isolates yourself from your partner because you are avoiding dealing with the real issues behind what has you triggered in that moment.
Lack of communication can do far more damage to the relationship than an argument. At least when you’re verbally sparring, you’re expressing yourselves and you’re getting the issues out on the table for resolution. You can hash things out and get to the meat of what’s bothering you more quickly this way.
Avoid the tendency to pull away. Try to remember that what you’re disagreeing about, what you’re upset about, is something that can be solved. It cannot be solved by a lack of communication. You and your partner need to discuss these issues. It may help to realize that you and your partner are really on the same side, and whatever is bothering you can actually serve to strengthen your relationship if you’ll work to communicate and resolve it. Don’t let lack of communication be a wedge between you so you become stuck in a cycle of becoming ever more distant from each other. Come together, work it out and move forward.