The Silent Treatment – Any Time is a Good Time

The Silent Treatment – Any Time is a Good Time

silent-treatmentFrom  the first silent treatment, the narcissist gets the amazing results he had hoped for – the immense suffering of his partner at his own still voice. To the narcissist, this result is out-of-this-world amazing. The N gets to maintain total control by saying and doing absolutely nothing. This emotional abandonment is the perfect way for the narcissist to manage down our expectations of what we’ll accept to eventually take him back. And what a perfect narcissistic tactic is is! Think about it – the N doesn’t have to do a thing…I mean, literally, he does and says nothing and he has us running around in circles trying to make it all better.

Change Your Life!
Download When Love Is a Lie
from Amazon Today – Only $3.99!

Now, the effects on us, his or her partner, is, as we know, devastating. When my ex-narcissist pulled a silent treatment the first time, I was dumbfounded. It lasted six weeks and I was simply beside myself. I banged on the door, left letters and notes, voicemails – you name it – but he wouldn’t give. It was horrible. I had never experienced anything like it ever from anybody and I had never even thought about doing it to someone myself. The anxiety and the absolute sadness that I felt at the discard was incredible and not one that anyone at any time should ever have to experience – especially after doing nothing wrong which is par for the course when one partner is a narcissist.

Click Image to Order via Amazon

Yes, to a narcissist, anytime is a good time for a silent treatment. As the narcissist’s partner, this fact becomes all too clear so we are always anxious waiting for the axe to fall. This, too, is part of the pathological relationship agenda of the narcissist, sociopath, and psychopath. The silence could come at any time. in my case, from that first one forward, whenever the N did decide he needed to go silent to assert control, the silence would last exactly six weeks or just slightly longer. Then, he would come hoovering back as if nothing happened. And, of course, his appearance was such a relief to me that I basically let it go. Thirteen years later, however, when it was becoming increasingly clear that, upon his return, I was less and less forgiving, he decided that the game just wasn’t fun any more and never returned. But it took thirteen years. Up until that point, he was just having the time of his life watching me suffer from behind his iron curtain.

As I work on this website, I study the analytics that tell me what search terms visitors use most often to find my information. Without fail, every day, the most searched term or phrases include the words “silent treatment” (hence, my reason for writing another post on the topic). My findings sadden me greatly because it tells me just how rampant narcissistic abuse is running right now. While it would be easy for me give the “well, why don’t you just leave” advice, I know how it is. In my book, When Love Is a Lie, I share a little process for changing that I really feel can help. It’s not a magic solution by any means but it will give you the push you need to look at your situation without the same overwhelming anxiety.

For a Limited Time, Get 2-4-1:
When Love Is a Lie  & Stop Spinning, Start Breathing
for Only $5.99!

The bottom line is that the silent treatment sends an awful message to the recipient. It sends a message that we are pieces of garbage…that we aren’t worth the narcissist’s time of day no matter how much we love him or her. The Narcissist Puppeteer, with his silence, is creating your reality. You have to, at some point, ask yourself why anyone who would do that to you…who would enjoy knowing the very fact that you are suffering…is ever worth your time of day in this lifetime.

Subscribe to TheNarcissisticPersonality Update Feed

(Visited 24,402 times, 1 visits today)


  • Morgan

    October 1, 2016 at 2:18 pm Reply

    So, when the Narc goes silent….what did you discover he was doing? Mine would go dark for a day or two and I’d cry out in pain, ask WHY, tell him that communication is essential to our relationship and sit with massive anxiety wondering and waiting. It happened month after month—and after having heart to heart talks and sharing my hurt and frustration in him not communicating it would happen all over again. It was bewildering. After a weekend spent together, looking in each others eyes and hearing him speak of LOYALTY (that was THE word he used the most in the year we were together) and how we need to protect our relationship….he went dark the VERY NEXT DAY. He was golfing with friends, as posted on FB…and having an 8am tee time, I called around 7pm and he didn’t answer. I called again at 8pm, and no answer. Got a text saying “Still out. Love you.” and little texts here or there to appease me. The next day I ate dinner with him and my gut was feeling weird so we had a conversation about me feeling things were “temporary”—and he reassured me that our relationship was “forever”. Usually had dinner with him on Wednesday nights….but, he said he “didn’t feel well and was tired”. I gave him space, like a good girlfriend. I was always, always, always forgiving and understanding when he’d disappear. The next day, not a single phone call, only texts. He once again said he “wasn’t feeling well”. Gave the bare minimum texts and I sent several saying my guy was really feeling weird. I went to his home that night after work and he wasn’t there—after telling me he didn’t feel well. The dogs were left locked up in a room so he was out and never came home, lights were out and he was nowhere to be found. Didn’t answer any of my calls and I went to bed with such a heavy heart. Got a text at 11pm saying “Night night baby”. No good morning text the next day….just a text around 10:30 saying he’s “been tied up and still not feeling well”. I sent texts all day and all went unanswered. I called multiple times and knowing his phone is sewn into his hand at all times he intentionally ignored every single cry for help in understanding why he wasn’t answering. My head was spinning at this time. After a massive amount of love and time together all I got was ignored. Around 11pm that night I went to his house. His son’s car was in the driveway. Walked in and saw his bedroom door shut and his dogs were outside the door–which was strange. Went to the garage and both of his cars were in it. Walked up the stairs and his 23 year old son came out of the hallway bathroom and his eyes were LARGE when he saw me. It makes me wonder if he knew and was shocked I showed up. We spent a lot of time with each others parents and our kids, showing massive amounts of love and affection in front of them. All of our friends knew we were together. I asked his son if he was home and he shrugged his shoulders. I walked to his bedroom door and knocked. Nothing. I called him name. Nothing. I tried to open the door and it was locked. I banged on the door harder and yelled out his name. This time I knew…my gut was spot on. I looked over the railing and saw a pair of black pumps next to his gym shoes and yelled to his son who made his way down the stairs “WHO’S SHOES ARE THOSE???” and he said he didn’t know…he grabbed things from the laundry room and left when he heard me screaming, crying and writhing in pain calling his father a COWARD. I saw her purse on the counter right where MY purse always was and her phone was in it and I looked at it to see who the hell she was—-I opened up the text messaging and was completely devastated to see their texts went back to August….and were very sexual. The first text was “Thanks for last night AND this morning”…..and I had NO idea he was cheating on me, none. I saw pictures of her in her underwear. I saw that he said the SAME EXACT THINGS to her that he did to me…”Morning sunshine”…”It’s gonna be a bright sunshiny day” and if it was raining and she or I pointed that out, he’d reply “the sun shines wherever you are”. I was sick to my stomach, screaming for him to come out, calling him a coward. I went back up the stairs and tried to bust the door down and I know he was standing on the other side holding it with his fucking balls all shriveled up and heart pounding. Neither one of them said a word. There were love notes I wrote him around his house. Pictures of us on his nightstand that I’m sure he conveniently tucked inside the drawer. Cards with heartfelt written notes inside on the counter RIGHT NEXT TO HER PURSE with a gift I had just given him days before. I left and he never called me. He actually called the police trying to nab me for “burglary”—found out his new victim is a states attorney. A cop called me and he lied to the police saying I was the “crazy ex-girlfriend” and we had been broken up for months. I had to send the cop screenshots of the “I love you’s” I got day before and the invite to dinner at his house. Cop called to let me know he confessed that he didn’t want to say we were still together in front of his new girlfriend/fuck buddy. Days later he sent a text saying he “apologized for how things ended”—I never had a voice in the ending at all. Everything just came to a screeching halt and I was left in complete SHOCK. Then I heard the LAMEST excuse ever…saying his friend, his friends wife and this girl “dropped by” and when the couple left he felt that since his son came home and he didn’t want to have to explain things to him they hid in his bedroom. Lying piece of shit. I didn’t buy it and I told him he was a manipulative liar. Days later he sends a text asking how I’m doing and if I want to sit and talk. Then he spun EVERYTHING around on me and blamed me for it all. Then after pouring my heart out for NOTHING because after reading about Narcs, he had NO empathy. NEVER apologized, never admitted he did a thing wrong and I’m left sick to my stomach and in a world of pain…wondering how long it was going on, if they used protection, if there was anyone else. He doesn’t like that people know. Anyone that asked me I told them I caught him cheating. He had taken a picture of me without my knowledge and sent it to me….it was a naughty pic of me going down on him and he said “pretend like this is in your mouth so you keep quiet”. Cruel and sick and still ignoring anything I send. Pour my grief out and ask WHY and get NOTHING. How in the world can they be THAT detached from feeling a thing??? HOW can everything be a lie?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    • Zari Ballard

      October 4, 2016 at 2:23 am Reply

      Hi Morgan,

      OMG…I read your post with a big fat anxious knot in my stomach as if I was THERE in that house pounding on that door myself!! Girl, you could have been me. My ex pulled the same bullshit. He would “go dark” for days, then weeks, then every October through Jan 3rd, just enough to miss all the holidays. I was crazed but somehow always took him back because I never caught him red-handed UNTIL one time when he happened to answer the phone with the speaker on and a woman was screaming hysterically that he had just walked out and why?? He had been gone two weeks and reappeared without an excuse, saying he’d been at his dads, blah blah. It’s all the same girl. I would find his car at strange places or his car would be at his home but he wouldn’t answer…it went on and on for 13-years. He always had an illogical excuse…a ridiculous story that made no sense at all but he just had to throw it out there. THESE GUYS ARE PIECES OF SHIT. All of this…all of his stringing you along…is just to be sure that you are always in his queue. Everything, every day, is all about what they can get away with. He will keep this woman in the queue as well. It gives these creatures a thrill to cause chaos and pain and suffering. At the same time that they say they hate the drama, they CREATE IT AND LOVE IT.

      I am going to send you a copy of my book When Love Is a Lie in PDF…I know that you will see yourself on every page. It will help you understand what is happening and why this douchebag does what he does and how he can never ever be fixed (nor does he care to be). Look for it in your email and I will send to the email that you used to post here.

      I’m here to support you! Wow…what a story.

      Zari xo

  • Wattson

    June 26, 2016 at 3:11 am Reply

    Hi Zari, and thank you for the encouraging words. I understand that I have issues, and I truly hope that I can find out what triggers this type of behavior in me. What I have so far determined is that I have trauma from childhood buried deep inside and when I am confronted with certain stressors, my first reaction is ‘flight’. Through help gotten from conversations with the person who placed the original post and with a very good counselor I can now look back at this and other past events and recognize where I have done this and hurt others as a result. What I need help with now is recognizing these stressors (and my poor, damaging reactions) as they are happening and then cooling off -maybe something as simple as taking a deep breath or counting to ten – and then reacting as a mature, responsible, considerate adult should react. I am sorry that I have hurt this person and I would like to work on myself so that I do not hurt anyone else in any of my current or future relationships, whether it’s my children or other family members, coworkers or anyone else.

    • Zari Ballard

      June 26, 2016 at 11:23 pm Reply

      Hi Wattson,

      I’m very grateful for your willingness to change and I have much hope for you. Be careful not to label yourself or to allow others to label you. As I said, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here based on what you’ve shared. While I don’t necessarily believe you’re a full-blown narc (for the simple reason that you feel so bad about what you’ve done), I do think that there are obvious issues. We simply can’t go around hurting the people that love us. All you can do is try to the the core of the problem and try harder to do better next time.

      Thanks for checking back…Good luck to you…


  • Thirtyb

    June 7, 2016 at 3:07 pm Reply

    Over the last two days I have read many of the articles on your site. This morning I was convinced my ex was a narcopath. Tonight I think I was mistaken in a way. I guess that’s the very proof I am not, this whole ball of confusion.
    I happened upon your site on Sunday. A friend who had been a friend of my N came to see me for my birthday. She just popped in for a coffee. We hadn’t seen each for since our first meeting over a year ago but stayed in touch via Facebook. We had never discussed my N very much. He had requested privacy of our relationship until his divorce settlement had been settled and to protect his kids. He had told me this friend had propositioned him but he rejected her telling her about me and our relationship. The conversation with the friend showed him to be the liar I hadn’t previously thought he was. She told me that he used to text her late at night, even at 1am. While not being totally outright with his intentions she said the undertone was clear. When he spoke about my dogs he referred to me as a friend, never his partner. She didn’t even know if the dogs’ owner was male or female. He told me he was helping her with her final paper for her doctorate, she told me he volunteered to read it for her. She thought that it was totally strange (as did I) that after a 2 year relationship I hadn’t met his family or any of his other friends. That we hadn’t spent over the entire Christmas period, that he completely abandoned me on New Year’s Eve, not telling me until the day before that I wouldn’t be joining him and his family for their celebrations, thereby not enabling me to even make other plans as it was too late. On New Year’s Eve, I waited for the text to wish my happy new year. It was the last to arrive and was as cold as one which is sent to everyone in your phone book and it arrived at 9.30 on New Year’s morning. By this time, I was angry. When I text him to ask him if he had enjoyed his time and he replied in the positive I didn’t hold back letting him know that I wasn’t best pleased. “I’ve not been a very good partner” he replied. “You’ve not been a very good friend,” said I. With that, he discarded me. Told me we obviously weren’t happy and that it was time to stop.
    Going back to the present, to Sunday, I had recounted this to my friend. She had told me that she hadn’t heard from him in ages. I worked out it was probably around the time she and I became friends on Facebook and a little while after that he deleted his “open” Facebook account the one we were all connected on, but still had one on which his family were connected. As this friend left on Sunday I was very upset. I thought about his own admissions of compartmentalising his life and circles and decided to look it up. As I walked back to the house, my concentration awry and brimming with tears, I missed the last step and duffed up my ankle! I didn’t get to Google compartmentalisation until later that night when I was back from hospital and that’s what brought me here.
    So I expect from what you’ve read already you are screaming at me for being an idiot if I could possibly think for one minute this man is not a narcopath.
    My research even found that his best buddy in the US (he lives half the time in the US and half here, in the UK) of whom I had a bad feeling throughout the relationship but I believed him when he said they were just friends, lives at the same address as him. I believed him when he said on his return to the US after we first met and had a fabulous date, that he had told all his friends about me and how excited he was about it. This best buddy got very upset and left the table in tears while his other buddy (no.2) slapped him for being so insensitive. This same best buddy I found out shortly after our split was included on the family only Facebook page – I’d been stalking him after a spell of the silent treatment thinking maybe he was dead as he said he would call me on a specific day and two weeks had passed. When he did reappear he told me to let it go.
    There are so many times he said he phone or text and didn’t. These silent treatments didn’t feel like punishments were they just because he was living his double life with someone(s) else? When we split we said we’d be friends and stay in touch and then he did the silent treatment on me. That’s when I stalked him and found out more than I bargained for and he was angry, ignored me and while I begged him to talk to me told me it was over, that he was the happiest he had been for years and I should move on. It was quite clear that the initial break up he needed for sorting his sh*t out had turned into a very final f*ck off to me. He blocked me from even seeing that private Facebook page, he deleted all his tripadvisor reviews where I had found out he had been to a restaurant in a group and his PARTNER had bad service. I have never been to that restaurant in Washington DC. He owed me money which I continued to chase until I got it and there has been no contact since April. Every day has been a struggle for me. On Saturday it was my birthday and I could no longer resist the urge to call him. I dialled his UK number and it told me the number didn’t exist. It was too early in the morning to call his US number so I didn’t bother.
    We split on 1st January. Despite us never having a bad word, no arguments, no name calling he had made it very final. The silent treatment was never due to an argument. He just became unavailable for days, not weeks at a time. He never answered the phone when I called him. He always called me. Infuriating if you need someone in an emergency. Most of our relationship when not face to face was text. Yes, his phone was ALWAYS on silent but it didn’t ever seem that he hid his phone from me. Yes, it used to buzz all night long but so does mine with emails coming in. When we were together it seemed we were together, he didn’t respond to messages, other than his kids and then only in emergency and often by my side so if I wanted to look I could have seen, on my shift. He immersed himself in me and gave me 100%. The only reason I think that perhaps he doesn’t fit the bill is because he hasn’t tried to come back to me. Nearly 6 months have passed and it certainly feels as if I will never see him again. A week ago that depressed me and scared me. Today having read so much here and across the spectrum of articles, I am depressed and scared that maybe he will.
    I have tried to make contact with his ex-wife in the UK and the “best buddy he just so happens to be living with in the US. I don’t know why, I don’t know if it’s to warn them or to confirm what I feel I already know.
    Finally is it possible for a Narcopath to suffer depression. He was on anti-depressants 20mg of Citalapram until a couple months before we split. I don’t see how you can be a narcissist and depressed. Again, I have recently wondered if the reason he discarded me was due to this and that he would find it harder to maintain his cool, unmovable, always pleased to see me facade without the drugs.
    Unfortunately his treatment of me has ensure I have stayed firmly on my prescription of citalapram for the last two years which at times I thought were the best times of my life but in times of suffering the silent treatments and the bad gut feelings – the worst times of my life.

  • Wattson

    May 10, 2016 at 10:07 pm Reply

    I am the narcissistic husband in the original post. I was not aware how hurtful my behavior was in this instance. I had spent a lot of money and time preparing for what I had hoped would be a relaxing vacation, but I perceived my wife’s actions to be a disapproval of me and those efforts, and my first instinct was to run away. I too was hungry and had undergone an emergency root canal the day before. I do not mean for that to be an excuse for my poor choices. I am working on trying to recognize the things that trigger my emotions in real time so that I can avoid repeating this in the future. I cannot apologize to my partner enough for the damage I’ve done.

    • Zari Ballard

      May 11, 2016 at 2:24 pm Reply

      Hi Wattson,

      Thank you for writing and I’m curious to know how you happened to find her post about the cruise. LOL I’d also like to know if you’ve apologized to her in person…I hope so. You know, since you’ve written, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the fact that you feel any type of remorse and guilt (if it’s real) leans toward the possibility that perhaps you are less of a narcissist and more a guy who makes some very bad mistakes. Only your wife would truly know the answer to that. All I know is that her post struck a chord with me because I know that horrible feeling well of chasing after someone I loved…of being ignored for no reason or at least no GOOD reason…and it doesn’t feel good. In fact, it’s the worst feeling in the world…it’s so hurtful I can’t even describe it. Narcissists do it all the time but they simply don’t care. They, in fact, like it when we chase and beg and look anxious and pitiful. I hope you are truly sorry and, if so, there is hope for you.

      As I try to explain to people, although there’s a very fine line between a person (man or woman) who’s just a jerk and a person who’s a narcissist, the fact is that the line is there. In other words, every narcissist is a jerk but not every jerk is a narcissist. I can’t give you a pass based on one post but my hope is that you actually feel remorseful and will not do that again. Nobody expects perfection from another person in this life but there are things that are just too hurtful to ever be acceptable.

      I hope you’ve done the right thing…..


  • budinger cats

    February 17, 2016 at 7:55 pm Reply

    The Cruise

    A man and woman are newly married and venture off to their honeymoon cruise. The husband had been on a cruise before so the wife is thankful to have someone with experience to “show her the ropes” and a good time. Husband had made all of the plans so wife was so thankful for this gift. The wife has long dreamed of taking a cruise by researching online. She had seen beautiful images of nicely appointed rooms with queen sized beds and sliding glass doors leading to a small balcony. The rooms seemed very much like those in a 4 star hotel in which she has had the luxury of experiencing a few times in her life. She had also seen the movie Titanic a number of times but was unaware that any thoughts of that movie were anywhere in her subconscious. She harbored only happy thoughts of new love, basking in the Mexican sun and having a great time with her husband.
    The couple has to drive a long way to get to the cruise ship port. When they are finally in the parking structure and on their way, they both seemed happy and loving. Ahhh new love! Once in the doors to the cruise terminal they wait patiently through the long and winding line that feels like an extended version of a Disney ride line. There is no food or drinks here except what is in the junk food machine so the wife drinks a bottle of water during the hour and a half wait. It has now been hours since breakfast. “No big deal,” she thinks to herself there will be all the food and beverages –“ to my heart’s desire”- as the wife was under the impression that a cruise was “all inclusive” like the honeymoon resort where her sister and brother in-law had honeymooned.
    Once finally on the ship the husband and wife descended numerous flights of stairs, further and further, down into the belly of the ship. Possibly 3-4 decks below they walk and by the time husband and wife arrived at their cabin the wife is tired, hungry, thirsty and feeling a little Closter phobic and possibly fearful, though she did not know this at the time. The fear was hidden from her conscious mind but she did feel out of sorts due to the discomfort of hunger and thirst. When husband opened the cabin door and the wife walked in she was disappointed that there were two twin beds and only a porthole as a window. The room was very small and the wife said, “what, I think we have the wrong room, that’s two twin beds!” The wife was ready to go talk to someone about the mix-up when she reached for the liter bottle of water on the dressing table. “Wait, that will probably cost ten bucks,” the husband says sarcastically, just before the wife twists off the top. “Oh, she says a bit sheepishly,” and puts it back on the dresser. Confused not only by the possible cost but also the kind of shocked feeling by the way husband had scolded her about the water. It is then that the cruise veteran husband explained how the card key worked as a kind of “tab” for anything not eaten or drank from the dining rooms on the ship especially bottled water and alcoholic beverages. They would pay the tab at the end of the cruise. As the husband is showing her that the twin beds slide together to form a queen bed, “see, no problem,” the wife complains that she is hungry and thirsty.
    At this time the husband turns on his heels, exits the room with no further explanation, door closing behind him. The wife is a bit confused and starts to follow him. He is already a ways down the hallway when she closes the cabin door behind her and checks that she has a room key. By the time she thinks that something must REALLY be wrong here she almost runs to catch up to him. Husband climbs all of those switchback stairs, up and up he goes with the wife trailing behind begging him to acknowledge her. “What is wrong, what is happening here,” she says, “talk to me please, I don’t understand. Please just stop walking and talk to me.” On and on it goes. Up to the very top deck that circles the back half of the ship. The wind is blowing and people are standing at the railings looking out at the world. To everyone else, life was going on as normal as they were setting off on a voyage. A wattson They seemed happy and excited. The wife did not care or even think that others would see her and hear her desperate pleas for her husband’s response. The ship is not yet underway, but it would be soon. The wife is confused and scared. The husband continues to ignore her pleas for connection and explanation.
    Once down the staircase on the other side of the top deck the husband finds a fast food area with hotdogs and chicken strips, budinger He grabs a tray and gets some food. There is still no verbal response from husband. The wife follows him and eats something that she is allergic to as that is all there is until the dining rooms open a few hours later. There was still no connection. Husband appears angry and aloof. The wife is hurt and confused. All that is offered is small talk about the food. No apology, no explanation, not even an acknowledgment that what had just happened was even real. Wife was lost in anxiety and discomfort about what had just transpired. Husband seemed completely unaware. Later that night as the small talk transitioned to self-conscious conversation the incident seemed “all but forgotten.” Wife wondered if it had even happened at all.

    • Zari Ballard

      February 19, 2016 at 6:19 pm Reply

      Hi Budinger Cats…..ahhhhh….this is a cruise that thousands have been on with the very same new husband. It’s a sad story that puts anxiety in my stomach just reading it. A book could be written on narcissism from a diary of the days on that cruise trip alone, right? In fact, take out “the cruise” as the location and add any place at all…another vacation venue, a holiday, the wedding itself, you name it…..the same behaviors repeat everywhere.
      Yikes! Thanks for sharing…..

      Zari xo

Share your thoughts & get advice! Only first post is moderated.

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE
Get Zari's Book
Read more:
Debunking the Narcissist’s Smear Campaign

When we dump a narcissist or a narcissist dumps us, one of the first things that they do (to make themselves feel better) is embark on a smear campaign. Somehow,...