Getting ignored is known to make people panic and lose their ability to operate rationally and appropriately. It’s worse when you are being ignored by someone you love without even an explanation as to why. In this article, I’m going to share my thoughts on what to do when your partner ignores you.
Before doing that, I want to touch on what you shouldn’t do. It’s a terrible idea to act impulsively, make assumptions and lash out. This will only worsen the dynamic between you and your partner, possibly ruining any chance of reconciliation.
What you want to do is focus on eliciting the reason for why you’re being ignored by asking your partner or examining events and communication that took place before being ignored. Then, you want to apologize sincerely and genuinely. You want to actively make any changes needed to facilitate communication.
In some cases, you want to express displeasure for being ignored in a respectful manner. You also want to wait and give him or her some time to cool down and contact you.
Worst-case scenario, you may want to walk away altogether and just use this as a learning experience.
Now, let’s examine all of the possible reasons why your partner ignores you.
Related post: What to do if a girl blocks you
Reasons Why Your Partner Ignores You
1. They’re upset with you
The most obvious reason on this list would be that your partner is upset and they need space away from you.
Examine the extent of your actions towards making him or her upset and then spend some time examining whether you or others would react the way your partner is by ignoring you.
If you have been incredibly disrespectful, deceitful and everything in between, then it should come as no surprise to you when your partner ignores you.
Not everyone is good at vocalizing their feelings, especially if they’re being met with ongoing behavior that just hurts their feelings.
Related post: What to do when a woman goes silent on you
2. They’re passive-aggressive
If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it refers to a pattern of behavior that indirectly expresses negative emotions and feelings without actually communicating openly and honestly.
So, perhaps your partner is feeling hurt, lonely, ignored, annoyed and so on, it’s possible that he or she chooses to ignore you instead of opening up and explaining why they feel this way and how you may have contributed to it.
Typically, they’ll act as if they’ve done nothing wrong and nothing is wrong after you’ve chased them and that is what makes it passive-aggressive.
Related post: Why is my girlfriend so nasty to me?
3. They’re stonewalling you
In every relationship, you will experience conflict and stalemates. Disagreements are inevitable but two people who have a mutual desire to work things out fairly will prioritize communication.
A partner who is manipulative, narcissistic or self-centered may opt for a harsher approach in the form of stonewalling or ignoring you.
They’re not actually upset.
They just know that you will break eventually and so to get their way, they are willing to ignore you.
In my book, this is toxic behavior that indicates a massive red flag that you shouldn’t ignore.
4. They’re distancing themselves for bad reasons
Sometimes, when people have bad intentions like breaking a boundary, committing infidelity or disgustingly ghosting you to break up, they disappear.
You can try until you’re blue in the face but they will continue to ignore you.
There are times when this will be permanent and then there are times when they will come back and pretend like you’re crazy and they just needed some space to work through some things.
Later on, you find out that they were doing something that is not good or respectful to you and your relationship.
I would be very wary if your partner suddenly starts ignoring you and nothing you’ve said or done as of late triggered this behavior.
Tips On What To Do When Your Partner Ignores You
Sincerely apologize if you have hurt him or her
The first and most important step to making amends and resolving conflict is to apologize. Most of us just assume that uttering the words, “I’m sorry”, is enough but in reality, it isn’t.
A true and sincere apology is one that acknowledges how someone feelings due to your actions and takes accountability for that.
It also expresses a desire to make things right while also hoping to do better in the future.
That’s a great apology.
So, if you have actually done something to hurt your partner who is ignoring you, start with a sincere apology.
Related post: Should you text a guy if he doesn’t reply?
Give them some space before reaching out again
Is it possible that you are just assuming that your partner is ignoring you? If it’s only been a couple of hours, they could be busy with something, they could have lost their phone, they could be sleeping or they could actually be overwhelmed and taking some time to reset.
I’m not saying that this is absolutely the case but it’s a possibility, especially if you are unaware of why they haven’t replied to your messages as yet.
Give them some time to reply.
I’d say it’s reasonable to wait at least a handful of hours after your last text before thinking about reaching out again.
Now, if you see them online and they’re definitely ignoring you, then just wait until they do.
It’s not like they haven’t seen your texts or missed calls.
Perhaps they’re really angry right now and want to avoid doing or saying something they might regret.
The space might be helpful, they may start to cool down and then you’ll get through to them because they’re feeling more receptive to you.
Express how intolerable this behavior is
Unless you have done something deplorable like cheating or actions along that line, being ignored isn’t really acceptable behavior.
Your partner should be able to express their feelings to you or at least attempt to.
At the very least, they should give you a heads up about taking some space to work through their thoughts and emotions.
If you’re just being ignored, then try to make amends but at a certain point, let it be known that you’ve made multiple attempts and you do not feel this behavior is appropriate so you’re going to just stop.
The last thing that you want to do is set a precedent for this terrible behavior for silly disagreements with your partner.
Walk away and let them be
After all of these things, if you are still being ignored and the reason for their feelings being hurt doesn’t warrant this backlash, then you need to walk away and not put up with this.
If 2 or 10 apologies are not enough, then you’re just doing yourself and them a disservice for reaching out because all they want is space from you.
Give it to them.
And if you really feel like this behavior is not warranted at all, walk away from the relationship and let them know.
It may sound extreme but what’s the point in spending weeks begging someone to stop ignoring you for a silly misunderstanding or disagreement?
What happens when there’s a serious issue that requires intense communication and willingness to fix things, are you going to be ignored for months?
Think about this!
Related post: How to give him space to miss you and come back
Seek out therapy and couples counseling
When the communication in a relationship has disintegrated over a long period of time, it’s difficult to navigate back to each other and open up.
Intimacy, closeness, trust and vulnerability have been lost.
But, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
If your partner is willing, seek out a couples counselor and have them guide the two of you back into a space of open dialogue.
I like to think that this is an important step to take, especially in a marriage that’s suffering.
Let your partner know that you’re aware that they may have felt so unheard and misunderstood for so long that they have closed up. But, you would love to understand how they feel and what they need with the help of a counselor to hold you accountable as well.
Try it out, it may just be what the two of you actually need to resolve some deep-seated issues that have been rotting the core of your relationship resulting in your partner ignoring you.
Other Questions You May Have
Should I block him or her for ignoring me?
Personally, I would not block my partner for ignoring me if their behavior is warranted and I have massively ruined the relationship or hurt them badly. But, if you’re being stonewalled, manipulated, ghosted and disrespected without cause, then I would block him or her for ignoring you. Especially if you feel like this relationship is toast and they’re just torturing you at this point.
Should you leave your partner for ignoring you?
It depends on the circumstances of your particular situation. Being ignored by your partner is unhealthy and disrespectful only if it’s not warranted. Let’s say that you have been blowing off your partner, not listening to them, being disrespectful and immature at their expense, then you created this situation. Essentially, you drove your partner to ignore you so the best way to approach the situation is to make amends and let them come back to you if there’s still genuine love involved. If your partner uses the cold shoulder as a means of manipulating you and punishing you over and over again to the point that you’re miserable and a shell of your old self, then you should leave your partner for ignoring you.
Is ignoring a form of emotional abuse?
In some cases, yes, it is a form of emotional abuse especially if your partner is ignoring you as a means of gaining power, control and dominance over you knowingly. It’s also a form of emotional abuse if your partner is discarding your feelings, wronging you, being disrespectful and then ignoring you to avoid taking responsibility for their actions because they know that you can’t handle being ignored. That’s emotional abuse and it is absolutely intolerable.
When you’re being ignored by your partner and you’re prone to anxiety, I’m sure that your logical or rational mind has shut down and you’re heading into fight or flight.
But, it’s best not to make any permanent decisions based on temporary emotions.
What you should do is follow the tips highlighted above in this article such as apologizing sincerely, reaching out a few times, giving them space, walking away, expressing displeasure respectfully for being ignored and/or seeking out counseling.
Just each situation on a case-by-case basis to determine whether your partner ignoring you is understandable or simply toxic behavior.
Based on that result, you can decide on whether you want to make an attempt or walk away.
What I will say is that it is definitely not in your best interest to chase your partner when they’re ignoring you for silly reasons or to be manipulative.
This will only encourage him or her to repeat this behavior in the future and that is not conducive for a healthy long-term relationship.
With that being said, I hope you found this article on what to do when your partner ignores you to be practical, eye-opening and a source of comfort. If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to let me know by leaving a comment below.