Silent Treatment Appreciation – Part 3 (of 3-Pt Series)


To reiterate from Part 1 and Part 2 of this article series, the noise created by the narcissist is nothing more than a distraction meant to divert your attention from whatever his plans are immediately following the moment he goes silent. It’s a play of smoke and mirrors he feels is necessary probably because he knows that, deep down, you’re on to him. Again, it’s all part of the strategy in the narcissist’s pathological relationship agenda that I discuss in detail in When Love Is a Lie…..and the narcissist follows it to a tee.

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Like a prisoner in solitary confinement, we go nuts in the silence…pining for his contact, for his touch…that evil touch that wants nothing more than to hurt us. The narcissist, in his silence, says – in unspoken words, of course – that we are about as important as the shit on his shoe. He discards us as if we were nothing but a huge annoyance that he’s finally rid of….a piece of garbage….a nothing…and absolute nothing.  So, what do we do? How do we – and what can we – do to fix our emotions and move forward? The solution is simple: learn to appreciate and take full advantage of the silence. Once you do that, the rest takes care of itself. I can promise you that.

In my book, I discuss at length a series of mental shifts that began to occur out of nowhere as soon as I got a grip on the big picture and started relinquishing my grip on the narcissistic nonsense. I began to appreciate the silence even while suffering through the separation anxiety. Without the phone ringing (and me waiting to jump on it lest I – God forbid – miss his call)….without feeling homebound in the nervous anticipation that he might stop by and I wouldn’t be there…without feeling that my life, from moment to moment, depended solely upon the Puppeteer’s next narcissistic tactic…without all of that, I  could finally breath.

I realized the fact that if he considered himself disconnected from me, then anything that I wanted to do from that moment forward (or at least until he came back – which I knew he would) was none of his fucking business. I was – albeit temporarily – free to do whatever I pleased. And, at that point, anything that I did would serve to be a beautiful distraction from the pain and that’s exactly what I needed and what you need right now if you’re feeling that awful why-is-he-ignoring-me-I-love-him-so-much feeling.

Right now, if you’re still with this person and you know or think that he’ll be back (like he always does), then take this wonderful time he gives you in between to do whatever you want. You damn well know from experience that he’s going to keep doing what (or who) he’s doing right now until he’s good and ready to do otherwise (no matter what you do to try and stop it) so enjoy the time off! And if you feel that, this time, it really might be over or that you don’t want to want him back anyway, then this is your time and your time only going forward so take total action and wallow in the silence appreciation! The end result could potentially be the strength to pass on the need for closure (which we’ll never get anyway) and to go no-contact once and for all and, honestly, isn’t that what we really want?

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  • sandra

    November 30, 2016 at 10:28 am Reply

    How do I know the narc is seriously done? I am struggling with this, and funny thing, every time we “break up” and I think..this is it!…we make up. However, all the other times in the past, I have texted or emailed lengthy explainations as to why everything happened, and requests for him to explain why he keeps hurting me, why doesnt he love me, etc. Then, I get the texts or calls days or weeks later, asking when we will return each others things. We have ended our relationship before, and over 5 years, exchanged clothes or personal things, and then weeks later, he has hoovered back in. This time, I have gone NC, it has been 3 1/2 weeks, and he has contacted me a few times, at 10 day intervals, only texting “Hello Sandra, are you working today? or “what do you want me to do with your stuff” or the email subject line “my stuff and your stuff”, with the same question. Two calls later to blocked numbers, no voicemail left because I keep it full, I have maintained NC successfully, but have seen him here and there from a distance at work. We work in a large place together, where people may not run into each other for years at a time. I believe he spies on me though through flying monkeys on FB, and knows exactly where I am at work. I purposely avoid going to an area I know he will be. I also think he saw me yesterday, and can only guess that he still believes I am just ignoring him because Im mad (which I have done before). I am torn between ending my NC, just to exchange personal belongings of some important value, or continuing the NC until I MAY be stronger, but worried about having to flip the “reset” button, and start NC all over again! I have gone NC before, over the summer, saw him once for 5 min, that was the halfway point of two months of silence. The day before we were to “end it all officially” in September, he started his hoover again by texting me he was sorry he mad me cry, and he wanted to ask me a question, but then said he forgot what it was an hour later! I fell for it, and actually ended up teling him he could come by to pick up his things. Big mistake. So once he hoovered back in, it only took a few weeks before the drama and small arguments started back up. Small excuses as to why he hadn’t called me all day at work for example, (12 hours later, really?! I should not have been surprised, but THIS time was different, he said he would not let me go again, and not yo-yo my heart again!), small silences that happened more frequently, and the third argument of course involved triangulation of his new best friend, a female coworker. I was not jealous, but it was all the excuse he needed, to go silent for a long stretch, before saying we should not be together because we argue too much. His “catch all phrase” that he always used, was that WE argue too much, and I am too much DRAMA. This all came to a head, the end of October, right up to three days before my birthday. That was when I went NC this last time, for good. Question is, do I avoid any communication at all, or just get my things and click the reset button, during the Holidays? I KNOW, I am not strong enough to physically see him, I have developed a strong reaction to seeing him, and shake with anger and fear and hurt and everything else all balled into the pit of my stomach. Last time I saw him, a few weeks ago, I ran into a bathroom and hid for 20min. I was shaling for an hour, nervous, and almost had two car accidents. He was not at all physically violent with me, but his mental hold on me is so strong, I now understand that I am very much trauma bonded to him, because of my divorce 5 years ago. He has been there with me through it all, first as a “friend”, then a lover, then a boyfriend. He has kept me on a perpetual abusive rollercoaster of yo-yoing and silent treatments- disguised as being “dumped” as he calls it, but basically they were all break ups, that lasted anywhere from a few days, to 1,2,3, or 4 weeks at a time. Each one slightly longer than the other, with this last summer technically being almost 2 months, minus the brief 5 min accidental encounter. I am stronger everyday, reading and educating myself, and with a few close friends that sympathize because they either know him personally, or have just witnessed my odd behavior for 5 years! I may be crazy and pathetic to him, but Ican only hope, that I will have some form of closure. Just asking what you would do in my shoes??? God, I miss him, and this will be the hardest thing I have ever had to do, second only to my divorce. I have two children with my ex husband, and this relationship with my Narc, is starting to be noticed now by my 12 yr old daughter, who adores my Narc, by the way. That, was my wake up call, and thats when I started reading about Narcs and joing FB page with women with similar stories. That was a month ago, and until then, I had NO IDEA I was being abused….very sad.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 6, 2016 at 7:56 pm Reply

      Hi Sandra,

      Please read through all the articles on this website. There are over eighty of them and I talk all about the hoovering (when you think it’s over and then they show back up) and how to get your head right so that YOU can end it. I also talk about blocking him from being able to contact you. You must do this to gain some peace in your life or else he will do this until the end of time. You CAN do this. To the narc, it is NEVER over. Only you have the power to truly end it and you simply must or he will waste your life forever. Read through the articles and the stories that others share here. My book When Love Is a Lie shares how I did it and I also have a workbook available. There is a whole lot of support when it comes to this and we’ll help in any way that we can.

      Stay Strong!

      Zari xo

  • Katie Noel

    November 22, 2016 at 10:06 am Reply

    I think the one thing that did hit me funny in this article, was the part talking about taking the time he is giving you, it didnt feel very empowering. And i feel its because, we feel as you might’ve mentioned in a different article, that its always on their time. I felt very much a victim of his timing, and it was almost as destructive as anything else. Conveniently he runs off all the time, leaving circular conversations or unresolved questions of his incongruient behaviors. It caused emotional distress that kept me bonding. I seek harmony and calmness and this was tormenting. When i shouldve not let my life go to shambles and made it all about my time he ate up with chaos. Time i lost on holidays with my kids because of him causing distress, time i couldnt focus on my goals and responsibilities and health…it was my time and i allowed him to waste it. Im the only one living this life i was given, he discarded me again and again for ripping the mask off, and now i regret giving him my energy and time because i simply wanted and did believe he loved me and as he insisted, he never lied to me about anything. If he didnt lie, why is he living the lie, and lying to his wife still about his heart and doing this to me? Logic has to prevail, when the heart cant hear maybe. I heard a relationship coach say, that when we despise something in someone, its because we despise a weakness in ourselves unknowingly. I use to hate my step mom for what she did to my family and stealing my dad away, till my mom and i began to understand my dad was a N too. I truly believe now, N’s will seek out strong loving woman, to capture what they lack, maybe even conquer it. My N love bombed me hard enough i felt he honstly loved me and i believed every word, if for any reason i questioned it to make sure wr wete both on same page, i was punished and it became about me not trusting him…its not in my nature to not trust people easily, when i tried to call him out exhausted from the fights, i ended up apologizing and not being able to stay away from the intense closeness that just had to be real . In his words, “otherwise whats it all for”. His favorite, “if we talk and share we can get through anything, we have some bumps ahead, but nothing our love cant get through”. Followed by the discard and silent treatment. If one thing can be said, being the o.w. to a narcissist is like getting a buffet of karma and not needing to wait for the check to clear. I paid, and will. Looking back…if only…i had been strong enough to take back my time during the emotional abuse i mightve saw this all for what it was, one way or another, i believe if i took more seriously my time to myself providence wouldve revealed things. Bearing in mind though the normal push pull relationship stuff i mistaked his behavoirs for, are not the same as a N’s silent treatments. Taking time for yourself has nearly the same results though which confused me, the narc comes back, or the normal guy comes back…both wanting more of you it seems. I dont know how i couldve made the distinction, except the missing episodes of rage when asked why the withdrawing, punishing and silence, and being told things were about my issues taking the focus off his lying. Being told i deserved the abuse i was asking for more of it, or that i made him do things. Only later to be told i was right and he purpisefully causes chaos out of fear.

    • Zari Ballard

      November 24, 2016 at 8:16 pm Reply

      Hi Katie Noel,

      I am so sorry you are struggling with all of this. Girl, if you can, read my book When Love Is a Lie because you will see yourself on every page. It tells my story and how I mentally broke free. I was with him over 12 years and we have been apart 4 years now. In the book I talk about the time lost with my kid, my anxieties and behaviors in reaction to what he was doing or what I thought he was doing, the silent treatments and disappearances. All of it.

      Yes, they will waste out time – our life away – for as long as we allow it. Remember, even as he bitches and moans and says its you and he hates the “drama”, this is what they LOVE. It’s what makes them feel alive. So, consequently, the game continues because for the narcissist, the game just never gets old. There is nothing normal about any of it and the behaviors can be so mind-boggling that we just can’t wrap our heads around it. A narcissist lies even when the truth is a better story!

      YOU are not the problem, he is. However, as you know, the only one who can truly fix it is you and this is because he feels falsely entitled to do what he does and there’s nothing you are ever going to be able to say that will change it. If you ever want to talk, I do provide consultations and would be happy to brainstorm it with you. There are so many survivors who share there stories here…I promise you it can be done!

      Zari xo

  • Katie Noel

    November 22, 2016 at 8:49 am Reply

    Everything you say is exactly what i been going thru. And i have so much pain, i actually have to force myself to read because my mind races back to the rare small nice loving moments and tells me to keep believing him. I confronted him so many times about his cheating, lying, and to do right…he wanted us together he said. i got constantly punished when he would purposefully hurt me and caused chaos, silent treatment blamed discarded. i told his wife since he wouldnt, now im being threatened too aditionally. I cant reconcile in my heart the things i thought were true and the way he is being. He has done everything mean you talk of and i have had all the bad things that happen to the victim happen to me…i hurt and ache and im paralized, i dont want to feel this way anymore. I can not reconcile any of this in my heart, and free myself from this.

  • Dale

    November 7, 2016 at 6:59 pm Reply

    You don’t know what you are talking about. Go fuck yourself….

    • Zari Ballard

      November 8, 2016 at 2:07 pm Reply

      Again, Dale, all I did was ask questions such as why the police would take your wife to a shelter for abused women if they didn’t believe that you hit her and why the shelter would ensure she had a place to stay for a month if they didn’t believe she was a victim. Did you really expect me to just take your story at face value? All you had to do was explain. Instead, you choose to get angry and defensive.

  • Dale Alexander

    October 11, 2016 at 3:01 am Reply

    My wife of 30 years ran off again. Each time this happens the away time gets longer, the last time was 3 months. This time she ran off and called the police and lied about being assalted. The police didn’t believe her but put her in a shelter anyway. I have made up my mind to file charges for making a false police report. They don’t want to charge her because she is mentally ill. What about my rights? I still think that she will still want to return to me. My love is fading away. I hope her evil karma pays her a visit.

    • Zari Ballard

      October 12, 2016 at 12:21 pm Reply

      Hi Dale,

      Please elaborate on why you (or the police) think she’s “mentally ill”. Narcissism is not a mental illness, it is a personality disorder which is very, very different. People who have mental illnesses would give anything NOT to be ill and, moreover, there are medications and therapies that can mange the issues and symptoms. In other words, there is hope. A narcissist thinks he/she is fine just the way that they are …they are UN-FIXABLE. They have no conscience whatsoever and, even though they know right from wrong, they don’t give a shit.

      So, I believe you should go for the charge. Why would the police believe she is “mentally ill”? I am curious about that…what are her behaviors?


      • Dale Alexander

        November 1, 2016 at 2:00 am Reply

        I showed the police evadince (statements she wrote herself) of her inflicting selfharm to herself on five different occasions. The police have transported her to the mental hospital 3 times. I have been seeing her on the weekends. We have even had sex a few times. Last weekend she stayed all night with me.She tells me that she loves me and enjoys our new found friendship. Narcissist don’t hit and beat themselves do they ? Bipolars do engage in selfharming behavior.

        • Dale Alexander

          November 1, 2016 at 2:07 am Reply

          My wife of 30 years was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 6 years ago. Her doctor also thought that she has a personality disorder because lying is one of her biggest habits. So when she ran off again and lied to the police and said I hit her, they saw though her lie and are going to charge her with making a false police report. She has done this before and I don’t press charges against her. She is living in a shelter for now and her exit date is in a few weeks. Last week end I picked her up and she spent the night with me and said she wanted to get back together. The next day, I drove her back to the domestic violence shelter so she could get her belongings. She never came back out of the shelter. I left after waiting for an hour. The next day she she texted me two times, saying that I must hate her and want her dead. She also gave me her phone number and sent me a facebook friend request after unfriending me and blocking me. What does all of this mean ? Seems like she has lost her mind. Please help me to understand. Dale

          • Zari Ballard

            November 7, 2016 at 4:22 pm

            Hi Dale,

            I’m not sure I understand your story and I’m doubting that your wife’s behavior has anything to with narcissism. There’s too many pieces missing. I used to volunteer in a shelter for DV and the women weren’t allowed to just check out for the night with the “abuser”, know what I mean? That seems odd to me. I’m not saying you’re the abuser but what does the shelter think she is there for? I’m guessing she sneaked out to see you and when she went back in to get her stuff they told her if she leaves again, she’ll lose her spot for good so she stayed. Either that or she wanted to go back and lied to you so that you’d take her there. If the police didn’t believe her story, why would they bring her there? They wouldn’t. Cops don’t do that just for the hell of it because they know it takes up a bed for someone else who might really need it. Moreover, the cops have to explain to the people at the shelter why they are bringing this person in so what did they say? And I can’t imagine the shelter giving her a lengthy stay, let alone one night, if they didn’t believe she was a victim. AND if she indeed has a severe mental illness, at the very least they would have sent her to a mental health hospital and there’s no way she’d be allowed to just leave for the night. It doesn’t work that way.

            Female narcissists have been known to self-inflict to get their partner’s attention (if he is threatening to leave or packing his stuff) and, sure, they block and unblock the FB, but I’m not seeing this in your story. Are you legally separated? Are you living in a home that you own together?? If she’s on FB, then how are friends and family reacting to all this and why haven’t you mentioned that? Are you looking for a label for this person that somehow wouldn’t make you accountable as her husband? You speak of your wife of thirty years as if she’s a crazy one-night-stand and I’m not buying it. Please write again to elaborate and I will better be able to answer your questions. Something just seems “off” to me and if you don’t write again, then I’ll assume that I was right.


          • Dale

            November 7, 2016 at 7:02 pm

            ZairYou are a fake, with a god complex.

          • Zari Ballard

            November 8, 2016 at 2:01 pm

            Oh I don’t think so, Dale. All I did was ask you perfectly legitimate questions about your situation so that I could better understand it. Your story wasn’t logical and I was giving you a chance to fill in the blanks. I stated very clearly that I wasn’t saying you were the abuser. Obviously, by your reaction, I can only assume I was onto something. If that meets your definition of a God Complex, then so be it. For the record, I certainly don’t feel any better about it because the bottom line is that your wife may still be suffering. My hope is that, no matter what the story is, she is getting the support she needs in the shelter.


  • Marie

    March 21, 2016 at 7:36 am Reply

    I feel so sick reading this . This is exactly the relationship I have been in for nine months . My friends all warned me but I just thought he was over emotional , taking time to trust etc . I was constantly making excuses for him and everytime he came back after the silent treatment he admitted he was doing it purposely . I feel sick to my stomach that I can relate to all this but I think it’s the reality I needed to face . I was a strong person before I met him and I know I can be again .

  • Justine Clark

    November 2, 2015 at 8:30 am Reply

    Hi Zari

    I feel as though I am drowning. Your book has really helped me. My husband has disappeared again. I have managed NC for 6 days and he then reverted and it was worse. I really need to find out about your blog and other mechanisms to help me cope. I feel worthless and he is getting off on this. I am back on the wagon day two of NC. I am worried for my children my finances and worse myself. I am a mess and feel suicidal. My attention seeking from him is out of control. I need to get a job but my emotional state is so bad I am unemployable at the moment. I do not know what to do for the best. I am not on anything and I refuse to stoop that low and for him to win. I would really appreciate some advice from you. He is not in the house at the moment I have asked him to leave. I now regret this as I don’t know where he is or what he is doing????? He earns a good salary so he can afford to vanish. I am in a shitty part time job because I need to be there for my kids when they come home from school. As the days go by I feel worse. Please tell me this will get better.

    • Zari Ballard

      November 11, 2015 at 8:31 pm Reply

      Hi Justine,

      What a narcissistic bastard! I hate, hate, hate disappearing husbands. Look, as long as you have unnecessary contact with him, NOTHING is going to get better. I know that you have children but the truth is that he’s NO father if he’s disappearing AT ALL and you don’t have to treat him as such. GET THEE TO A LAWYER AND GET PAPERS FOR SUPPORT DRAWN UP. I am so sick of hearing how these assholes are getting away with not having to care for the family that they’re blowing off.

      Don’t even think about suicide over this douchebag, girl. You have children and they need you. Get up, dust yourself off, and think about what to do. He needs to be held accountable whether he likes it or not. If you would like to speak, do remember that I offer phone consultations at affordable rates and would be happy to brainstorm it with you. Speaking one-on-one with someone who GETS IT can have an amazing impact on the soul, girl, so think about.

      Until then, stay strong and know that you are not alone in the fight! I’m here to support you…

      Zari xo

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