It is never normal to be subjected to the silent treatment, which is a form of emotional abuse.
However, don't confuse this with periods of 'cooling off' or taking 'time out.' It is perfectly natural for couples to disagree and need some time alone to reflect and gather their thoughts. This is used to resolve problems in a relationship, whereas the silent treatment is used as a form of punishment.
I calmly told my husband I am upset because he called me a "bitch" in public and hadn't apologized. I also raised the issue of him refusing to discuss any major issues with me. He is now giving me the silent treatment, which is so typical of him. I used to get so upset with him I would start yelling. However, that only led him to say I was "mentally ill." So now I just don't engage. Last time, it took three days for his "silent retreat" to end. Is this abusive?
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