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Why do couples buckle down in silence, and what are they saying through their silence? Sometimes it can be a mere personality trait, but it also can be a symptom of something far more ificant. We chatted with Dave Ortis, a registered counsellor at Focus on the Family Canada, to get some answers. Ortis describes several scenarios where silence can be highly destructive — both to the marital relationship and to the silent partner.

While the above examples have shown the negative aspects of silence in a relationship, Ortis shared five ways that you and your spouse can utilize silence to improve your marriage and your own well-being. Since silence can be used both constructively and destructively in a relationship, how do you decipher your own behaviour? Ortis says that communication can always be improved by having honest conversations and listening to one another.

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If you liked this article and would like to go deeper, we have some helpful resources below. Free advice on marriage, parenting and Christian living delivered straight to your inbox. Get Involved Pray for us Share your story Make a donation. Support Focus Help us reach families across Canada Reasons to give. We recommend. More from Focus.

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Silent storm: When your spouse won't talk Written by Todd Foley. Themes covered Marriage Conflict Communication Verbal and emotional abuse. Passive aggression.

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When any sort of abuse — verbal, social, emotional, physical, sexual or economical — is feared, silence can be used as a buffer for the victim. This can be related to passive aggression, but without the feelings of hostility. Peace at all costs. When you and your spouse busy yourselves with the noise of being hyper-connected — e.

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For example, the silent spouse gives their partner the cold shoulder and waits until their partner comes to sweet-talk them out of their mood. By dwelling on your unfortunate circumstances, Ortis cautions that your sole focus will be on what has gone wrong in your life.

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That can lead to bitterness, which is cancer of the soul. Rather than reacting to a situation, Ortis recommends you silently think things through so that you can see the circumstances more objectively.

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Reflection and empathy. Ortis says that there are three people in every marriage: you, me and us. Without taking time for solitude and keeping tabs on your emotional health, you run the risk of burnout, which can take a toll on your marriage.

Ortis cites Psalm — "Be still and know that I am God" — as a Biblical mandate for using silence as a means toward spiritual maturity.


How do you decipher between the two forms of silence? Todd Foley is on staff with Focus on the Family Canada.

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