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I'm utterly fed up with husband's silence and sulking; Life, love and angst... Anne Diamond answers your questions.

Byline: Ask Anne

Q My husband is a sulker and it's driving us apart. After the slightest row, he sulks for days and, after a big row, for weeks.

He won't speak to me and sometimes even goes silent on our kids.

I've tried everything - jollying him along, going silent on him, but nothing shakes him out of it.

Anne says: This is actually a form of bullying. By withdrawing himself from you in this way, he is asserting a crazy sort of control over you, and imposing on you what he knows is very real distress.

Don't make the mistake of thinking it may be your fault or that you should feel sorry for him.

What can you do to stop it? Well, you can only try to get him to acknowledge this behaviour, and agree to get help - once he is speaking to you again, that is.

Point out to him (perhaps even give him a letter) that it's not the row but the sulking that's driving you apart and that while all couples argue, they don't sulk for days. No matter what he says, it is NOT normal behaviour. And what sort of role model is he being to your children? For heaven's sake, they will grow up thinking this is how you resolve arguments.

Of course, confronting the issue may trigger another row, followed by silence. But at least he would have something to reflect upon.

Even if this happens, after the sulk, do the same thing again so that eventually you get all your points across. Then you've done all you can. Stick to your usual routines and ignore his stonewalling. When he decides to end each silence, that's when he wants things to return to normal.

While you may not want to rock the boat so soon, this is when you must ask him to acknowledge the problem - it's the only real moment that you have the upper hand.

Your aim is to try to get him to agree to go to couples' counselling or "argument resolution" therapy.

Rows and arguments are one thing - freezing your partner out is NOT normal, it is hugely damaging and will divide you in the end.

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Title Annotation:Editorial; Opinion; Leading articles
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jul 17, 2016
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