Have you ever had a guy stop talking to you after you get into a disagreement? What do you do when a guy ignores you after an argument?
There's nothing more frustrating than getting the silent treatment. You feel ignored, minimized, and very small. It also feels like you're abandoned.
I'm pretty sure each of us has experienced it at some point. You might have even given somebody else the silent treatment. We sometimes even use this on our family.
Somehow we feel that going quiet is an appropriate punishment for the other person. Or an appropriate way to demonstrate our feelings.
But in the end it usually causes more damage than anything else.
Let's talk about the different reasons that a guy would ignore you after you fight. And then let's talk about what to do when he ignores you like this.
Why He Ignores You - 1: You're right and he's wrong
I think everyone who gets into a fight likes to assume that they are right. Inevitably we always figure out that even if we are "right," the victory lap we take doesn't feel very good. It feels hollow.
Like the old saying goes, would you rather be right or would you rather be happy? When we let our egos get us into the situations, sometimes we can't figure a way out. And sometimes we get so dug in that we can't let go.
Ultimately, if you need to be right, you probably shouldn't be in a relationship.
That's pretty strong talk, huh?
But if you've been in any long-term relationships, especially marriage, you know that being right always comes at the cost of the goodwill in the relationship.
In the truth of the matter is it's not really about who's right and who's wrong in the end. It's really about being heard.
Yes, sometimes his ego will get in the way of admitting that you were right. And yes, he may use the silent treatment to sulk a little bit.
But give him time and he will come back around.
One thing you definitely don't want to do is to rub it in his face. You won't get the satisfaction you might hope from this. And why would you want to?
Why He's Not Talking - 2: He's otherwise occupied
One of the more realistic reasons a man isn't getting back to you after a fight is that the rest of his life gives him the excuse he needs to step away for a while.
Sometimes the timing really isn't good. Men are notorious for not talking about every little thing that's going on in their life. Whereas women are often characterized as doing the opposite.
Meaning that it's much more likely that he hasn't told you about everything he's got going on. He's just juggling his busy-ness as best he can.
And if your conflict happened right when he was busy with a lot of other things, or just about to be, there's a good chance he's just preoccupied with everything else.
While you may feel this is personal, it's not. Well, it's mostly not.
When He Won't Reply - 3: He's flooded
One of the things that will trigger a man is too much emotional conversation. Guys simply do not engage in a lot of talk about emotions. It's not the way we are built.
Many women look at this as being a fault in men. Just as many men see women's preoccupation with emotions as a fault in them.
The truth is somewhere in between.
But when you have a very emotional discussion, sometimes known as an argument, a guy will rapidly tire from the conflict. He doesn't want to be angry at you, and yet the only way he can stay in the argument is to bring up negative feelings.
For a woman, it's very likely that you will tap into sadness as the fuel for your side of the argument - along with your own anger.
Keep in mind that this emotional content will flood his brain. A guy simply can't stay in emotional conversation for as long as a woman can. And when he's hit his ceiling, he will shut down. Just like a computer that has crashed.
The best thing you can do is to let him back off and recharge.
Unfortunately, most of the men I have talked to about the experience of arguing with their girlfriend or wife say that they often are pressed to keep going. Which is understandable, when you want to resolve this very emotional feeling that's going on.
However you have to give men a break from the argument so that he can regroup and recharge. And that may take some time.
When a man becomes flooded and is pressed to continue talking about something emotional, you may find that his emotions become very irrational and resistant. In fact it's almost guaranteed to happen.
Why Won't He Talk? - 4: He needs to reflect
Just as I mentioned in the previous reason, even if you don't flood him he still needs to be able to think about what you just argued about. The earlier that you can give him that break, the more likely a man will take the time to reflect on what he did or said that created the situation.
And it also gives you time to reflect as well.
- Was it just a misunderstanding?
- Is there a better way to express it?
- Do we really just want the same things?
The truth is that reflection is a necessary part of a relationship. And reflection quite honestly doesn't happen while you are in the middle of the argument, or even with the person you need to reflect upon.
You just need some time apart to figure some things out. And men do this as their standard operating procedure. Women tend to figure things out by discussing things together, men need time alone.
Give him time to reflect on things, and you'll be surprised that he may come back with an apology first. At the very least he will come back with better understanding.
What a man needs most in the situation is your trust that he can handle things alone for a little while, and he does not need to talk about it for the moment. He also needs to be trusted that he will come back in due time.
When He Won't Reply - 5: He's upset
The truth of the matter is that there's a good chance he's upset with you. He may in fact be angry with you.
He might not want to hear your voice for a little bit.
If you are in this situation right now, those words you just read probably stung a little bit. But the truth of the matter is that sometimes you don't get along. And he may need some space again to get over his feelings of hurt.
When it seems like he's ignoring you, remember that men work their emotions out internally most of the time.
Which means he will need a lot of time to figure things out. Or maybe just a day or two.
You have to be patient and trust that he will return to you. If you sincerely doubt that he will, perhaps that's the part about the argument that is most important. That you don't have the trust to bring you back together for the repair.
It's not that you need to suffer, but you do have to respect that he may need to heal in his own way.
What's Up With The Silent Treatment? - 6: Deer In The Headlights
Another common situation for guys is when they are completely clueless about how to fix the situation. He may realize that the argument is legitimate, but he doesn't understand or know what to do about it.
He might ignore you because he doesn't know how to make it up to you.
It could just be these frozen where he is because he's afraid he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Men often feel like they are in a no-win situation when it comes to negotiating in relationships.
There's a lot of jokes about men arguing with women, and that's for reason. And we wouldn't find them nearly as funny if there wasn't an element of truth to them.
He may need your help to get unstuck from where he is.
Also, a lot of men are afraid of making things worse. He's afraid to say anything because he doesn't know what to say, or how you might react to it. Men don't like causing any pain to the woman they love.
If you're harboring feelings of resentment, you have to let those go long enough to pull him back into conversation. And if you suspect that he is feeling resentment toward you, you may have to do the same. Otherwise you're locked in a stalemate.
And we all know the saying that pride goeth before a fall. That simply means that you can hold onto your foolish sense of dignity, at the expense of a loving relationship.
Don't throw away your love just because you weren't willing to take the step of opening up conversation again.
Why He's Avoiding You - 7: Trivial Pursuit
If you really think about it, most arguments really aren't all that important in the grand scheme of things. Very often we find ourselves fighting over things simply because we wanted to be heard, or we had an emotional slight against us, or we wanted to get defensive.
- Looking back on your own experience of relationships, how many arguments you think you been?
- How many of those fights were about something important?
- How many of those fights were actually about what you were fighting about?
In the end I'm sure you'll find that many of your conflicts didn't actually have to happen. And I won't even ask you to look back at all the arguments that went way out of control and got blown out of proportion.
The fact is that most of our fights are really pretty trivial. In the grand scheme, they just don't mean anything.
This isn't to diminish you or the issues you may have brought up in those arguments. What I'm really saying is that it sometimes takes a small spark to create a forest fire.
We have to stop and take a look at why there was so much flammable wood lying around inside our relationship. Just waiting to erupt into flames.
Most men consider most of the things in the arguments to be pretty small. Even if they are important to you in an emotional way. He's not trying to disrespect or ignore your needs. He's just ignorant about what those needs actually are.
Most guys simply don't feel the same emotions you do about the same things that you do. And it's very important to understand this or you might mistake him for being cold and uncaring. Again, it's ignorance.
Ignorance isn't stupidity; it's simply NOT knowing.
Of course your feelings are valid. Sometimes he doesn't understand those feelings. Or why this little thing blew up the way it did.
So you might find that he pulls away because he feels like he's stumbled into a minefield - and any step could create a huge explosion.
When A Guy Ignores You After An Argument - What Do You Do?
So now you know most of the reasons why a guy might ignore you after a fight.
But what should you do about it now? How do you get him to pay attention again and stop ignoring you?
TIP #1: Be patient with him
If there's one thing that would help almost every relationship it's adding a generous helping of patience.
He might take some time to warm back up to the relationship again. Just because he isn't texting you doesn't mean he isn't thinking about you. In fact it probably means he is thinking about you now more than ever.
TIP #2: Have an honest, transparent conversation with him
When you let down your guard and your need to be right, you'd be surprised how much love you can bring to the relationship. But if you're caught in a cycle of trying to protect yourself and avoid being wrong, don't be surprised if he's not attracted to that.
Any more than you would be attracted to him for being cold and distant.
TIP #3: Don't pretend the argument didn't happen
Whatever you do don't pretend that you didn't have the argument. You have to have an honest talk to make sure that there's nothing he's holding onto - or you're holding onto.
There are a lot of couples that fall into a pattern of ignoring their disagreements. Mostly because they have similar introverted personalities. So sometimes talking about emotional stuff can be difficult.
Some arguments can be swept under the rug and they will just blow away eventually. But they usually have to be pretty small. And you have to have a very strong, trusting relationship already.
Be careful about pretending that you didn't just have an argument that has strong emotional currents in it. When hurts go unaddressed, they can become malignant to your relationship.
But also keep in mind that you don't need to apologize for something you didn't do. That's never required.
You can - and probably should - apologize for any hurt or hurtful words that may have been exchanged. Don't hold out on this. There's no trophy for the one who is the last to share their love with their partner.
TIP #4: Own up to your part of the argument
Sometimes pride will stop you from doing the right thing which is to admit your part in the fight.
But you'd be surprised just how much it opens his heart to hear you admit your fault in the argument.
You don't want to get into the toxic cycle of blame that often destroys relationships.
If you can apologize for your part, do it - as I mentioned in #3. And you may be surprised by how fast he will let down his shields and own up to his part.
If he doesn't, then don't start another argument. Instead, ask yourself why he's feeling the way he is. It may come down to him being immature and unable to handle the responsibility of a loving relationship.
But it's up to you to kick things off by being the mature steward of the relationship.
TIP #5: Get back to romance
When you run into an emotional obstacle like an argument, the first thing to do is to make sure you handle the argument. And the next thing to do is to pick up where you left off by getting romantic again.
Sometimes having an argument can leave a residue of negativity. Our emotions are a little stunned.
The best thing you can do is to compensate by swinging back over into romantic mode.
- Get back out there and have a few dates...
- Buy each other a gift...
- Celebrate your feelings for each other...
As the saying goes quality time is the most important in a loving relationship.
TIP #6: Make it up to him
If the argument was partly your fault, it couldn't hurt to make a little extra effort for him.
Maybe cook him something that he really enjoys. Give him a little neck rub.
Or make him a sandwich...
I'm just saying it couldn't hurt to throw some goodwill in the bank account, right?
(Please, I know that this is going to activate a bunch of people because I didn't say anything about him making it up to you. Please keep in mind that this article was written for women on a women's site. There are no men reading it. Wait, there might be men reading it. If you're a man, please make it up to her.)
TIP #7: Remember that you can do both
I'm always shocked to find out how many people find it difficult to manage both anger and love in the same emotional space.
What I mean by this is, when someone is mad at another person they often find it difficult to still keep love in their heart for them. As a culture, we tend to be very binary with our emotions. Off/on.
Just remember that you are capable of holding two emotions in you at the same time.
And I really believe that one of the emotions you hold should always be love.
TIP #8: Reach out and restart your romance...
A really good way to break the ice is to simply send him a quick text to let him know how you feel. It can be as simple as:
"Hey you... I hope we can talk soon and put all this behind us... just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you..."
Something as simple as that can do wonders for inspiring goodwill within the relationship.
Don't hesitate to reach out, but also be careful about needing a response. He may need more time. And you have to still be patient.
Most often, the problem that starts to really create more problems is when we communicate with an unspoken agenda.
Very often women will send a text to a guy in the hopes of getting a text back from him. It's okay to think about when he will reach out to you again. The truth is, though, that you can't predict when he will. Don't set yourself up for failure by having expectations that can't necessarily be met right away.
Don't worry, he will respond. But if you don't get a response back, and then proceed to ramp up your emotional state over it, it's not really his fault. So only reach out when you can do so without needing an immediate response from him.
TIP #9: Now let's fix the problem...
The last step is really pretty simple. Go back to the situation that created the argument and fix it.
You may have to wait until emotions are cooled off before you do it, but it's the essential step that many people forget to do.
Be proactive not passive. Don't wait for things to get better on their own.
Waiting and hoping put you in a place where you have no control. And that's where uncertainty and depression can jump in to make things even worse.
- You time a conversation poorly? That should be easy to fix.
- You guys have a heated discussion without setting some ground rules? Again, easy to fix.
Whatever the problem may be, there's an easy solution for it:
Learn more about how men work.
This is something that most women want, but very few ever really do.
I really mean it when I say that men are very simple to understand. All it takes is a willingness to believe that he doesn't have to think like you do to make your relationship an incredible romance.
And it's also very easy to understand guys if you have the right information.
Most magazines will never teach you the really important stuff.
Why? Because they're in the business of selling you the next magazine.
I'm here to show you exactly how men work because my mission is to give you what you need to succeed with men. And that simply is the Truth.
When you're armed with the truth you can overcome any obstacle in a relationship.
What's the Truth, you ask?
The truth is you can get any man to commit to you and work through any communication problems. All you have to do is understand how the Cupid Effect works.