The Art of the Silent Treatment

I'll be honest: When I'm mad at my husband, my punishment of choice is the silent treatment. I'll be honest: The last time the silent treatment worked on my husband was never.

I'm crazy about my husband. Everybody knows that. We agree on 95%of things and don't argue much. But watch out for that 5%. I don't mean dumb things that aren't so dumb and really steam me like during hockey season when I root for the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders are my second team but he'll root for the New York Islanders and AGAINST the New York Rangers even when they're not playing each other. I'm not talking about that. Or that when we play Jeopardy!, he just blurts out answers before Alex Trebek finishes reading the clue, and never puts his response in the form of a question. (Not to mention, he pays no attention to the category so half of the time his answers make no sense whatsoever...Try living with that.)

What I'm really talking about is: Every so often, say every few months or so... he'll just be exasperated about something and yell at me and make a comment to me that makes me think he thinks I'm a lot younger than I am. I mean if it was a remark that made me feel, say, 28 like: "Wow, look how smooth your skin is", I'd be fine with it. But no, it's more like: "Look how you left the sink. How many times do I have to tell you, you have to rinse it out?!" I mean, I'm pretty small... (another couple of years I should fit nicely onto a charm bracelet.) And I like to tell myself that I look younger than I am. And I'll gladly order off the kids' menu if you let me... & I have a handful of shows I hate to miss on Nick Jr. & one or two on PBS Kids. But the point is: No person over the age of five likes to be talked to like they're five. (I need to take a poll of five year olds. They're probably not that thrilled about it either.)

So usually when my darling hubby addresses me as such, I turn around, and huff away... and stop speaking to him. In return, he goes into the bedroom, gets into bed and turns on one of his shows on TV. Yeah, I'm winning! This punishment is going great!

I could say he doesn't even notice I'm not talking to him but that's not the case. He knows I'm mad. But in the past after the "punishment" has been lifted and we're speaking again, he's claimed that he never knows what to say. (Somehow: "I'm sorry" never seems to occur to him.) So here's how this scenario usually plays out:

For two days or for as long as I choose to "torture" him, I silently cook everything, clean everything and wash everything and he withdraws/retreats-- never leaves-- the bedroom. His busy schedule for the duration alternates between multi-tasking napping and expelling noxious fumes and watching Family Guy and Pawn Stars.

So what's wrong with me? What will it take for it to truly sink in that my silent treatment isn't effective and I need to find some other way? I'm thinking maybe one day when I have to get off my knees from scrubbing the toilet to answer the door to escort a pizza delivery guy and a stripper to my bedroom.

I think this is why I always think it's bullshit when someone gets "house arrest" as their punishment.  No matter what crime the person's committed, I always take the punishment personally.