In spite of what many people seem to think, there are very significant differences between no contact & the silent treatment.
The silent treatment is a frequently used punishment for either a real or more commonly perceived wrong. No contact has a long list of grievances that have happened over a long period of time. It isn’t done because someone did one little thing wrong, unlike the silent treatment. It also is never used as a punishment.
The silent treatment will end when the person who initiated it feels their victim has been sufficiently punished for their sins. Once it is done, the one who implemented the silent treatment often contacts the victim & acts as if nothing happened. No contact is meant to be permanent, & nothing will make the person who initiated it talk to the abuser.
There is absolutely no honor in the silent treatment. It is simply a passive/aggressive way to punish someone. No contact is honorable. There is also no honor in enabling bad & even abusive behavior.
The silent treatment is immature. Young children use it to get their way but most of them grow out of it eventually. Not everyone does, unfortunately, so they use this childish behavior to get what they want. No contact is mature, well considered & a very viable option in toxic relationships.
Virtually no thought goes into the silent treatment. Narcissists will use the silent treatment for any reason at any time, without forethought. No contact is much different in this area as well. By the time a person has gone no contact with an abuser, a great deal of time, consideration & prayer have gone into the action.
The silent treatment creates conflict. Other people are involved, & picking sides. They tell the person on the receiving end of the silent treatment to fix the relationship, or apologize to the person who initiated the silent treatment. No contact is an attempt to minimize conflict. People who initiate it don’t try to get other people involved or force the abusive person to apologize.
The silent treatment is a power trip. If a victim is unaware of what the person giving the silent treatment is up to, they will do their best to make the abuser talk to them again & to please this person. They will apologize & sometimes even beg the abuser to forgive them. No contact is not a power trip. People who implement it aren’t interested in anything their abuser does or says. They are simply done with the relationship at that point.
The silent treatment is disrespectful. A person won’t treat someone they respect in such a way. Instead they will try to work out their problems. Someone who uses no contact has tried many times to work out the problems, & gotten nowhere. This person eventually realizes there is no other solution, & they end the relationship. They respect themselves enough to walk away from a toxic relationship.
The silent treatment isn’t Godly. It’s so many bad things like I mentioned previously. No contact, however, is very Godly. You are removing this person’s opportunity to sin by abusing you. You are giving this person consequences for bad behavior, which opens the door for them to change. Whether or not they do is up to them of course, but you give them that opportunity.
Sadly, some relationships are simply beyond repair. It takes two to make a relationship work, & when one isn’t willing to do any work, that relationship is doomed. Sometimes the best thing a person can do is to walk away in order to protect their own peace & mental health. It’s an extremely difficult & painful decision to make, but there are times it must be done.