My girlfriend and I have been together almost 8 years. One thing that is bothering me more and more is that if she gets mad at me (such as if we’re arguing about something) she will ignore me, sometimes for days.
Last night we went for dinner and, as always, we sat at the bar of a local restaurant. A man we see there quite often (every time we go, he’s a regular) sat down next to my girlfriend. We chatted with him a bit and then we were talking about something between us and I pulled up an article and was reading it to her. We were both laughing and engaged in our own conversation when the man suddenly interrupted and then monopolized the conversation for about 20 minutes. I couldn’t really hear him and I began watching the basketball game that was on TV. After a while their conversation concluded and she was visibly annoyed with me. I asked her why and, long story short, we got in an argument because she perceived I was mad at her for not giving me her full attention and rejected all efforts I made to say that was not true – that I was annoyed that he rudely interrupted and monopolized her attention, and that I really couldn’t hear him anyway so I couldn’t participate in the conversation.As we walked out she said, very sternly, “Goodnight” and walked away. I said, “Come on, are we really going to fight over that?” to which she said louder, “Goodnight!” So I went home (we live separately due to her having teenage children). I haven’t heard from her since. I called this morning but she didn’t answer and I left a message just saying I didn’t want to fight so please call me. We have a Christmas party to attend tonight but, based on past experience, she will ignore me for days. Once we do talk, it will all be my fault.I don’t know what I’m asking for, I’m just frustrated. It really upsets me when this happens and I don’t think it will ever change. Please don’t tell me to just break up with her, I can’t. But any other advice would be appreciated.
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A female reader, Honeypie + ♥, writes (8 December 2018):
If this is a pattern of behavior from her, YOU have to decide if that is something you NEED to discuss with her, or if it’s a deal-breaker or something you can live with.The likelihood of her “changing” her behavior is pretty slim. Obviously, this “silent treatment” works for her. It makes YOU think you did something wrong and I BET you would apologize and try and smooth things over EVERY time she does this, am I right?It’s a manipulation/control move.Manipulation; Instead of having a discussion WHY your behavior upset her, you her behavior upset you… SHE shuts everything down and ignores it. Because SHE KNOWS it affects you. You don’t like silent treatment. (no one really does). But she feels it gives her the upper hand.Control; when she pulls THAT switch you become a tad clingy with constant contact, trying to fix whatever made her mad.YOU aren’t ALLOWED to be upset that some OTHER DUDE budge into your dinner date and monopolize her time? Seriously?So she would be TOTALLY OK if this had been a female wanting to have a long chat with you? Honestly? My advice would be to STOP contacting her. When she can get over herself and call you, HAVE a discussion about how you two need to handle disagreements and honesty. The fact that she PRESUMED you were mad at her (which I kinda understand if you were, as SHE could have shut down this tête-à-tête with that dude saying it’s nice talking to you but we are actually out on a dinner date.) But regardless, SHE PRESUMED (without knowing) that you MUST have been mad at her and thus YOU deserve the “silent treatment” for feeling that way.Unless you made it VERY clear that you were unhappy with them having a chat, I really don’t see WHAT you did wrong. I have been out to dinner with my husband/family and him running into co-workers/ acquaintances and chatting up a storm in conversation where I really wasn’t included. And while I personally find it a little rude, I can accept that they have a chat and I will occupy myself. Just like you did.Do what she is doing to you, once or twice. See HOW she handles it.It’s sounds rather immature, but sometime people don’t really know how their actions affect their partner until they are in those same shoes.
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