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My husband has locked me out of the bedroom and refuses to talk to me

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Question - (31 March 2020) 15 Answers - (Newest, 4 April 2020)
A female United States age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Dear Cupid

My husband of 3 years is refusing to talk to me, i understand with pandemic and staying indoors all the time everyone are frustrated and depressed. But locking me out of master bedroom, is not solving any problem

Yesterday during lunch time, he complained that i did not clean dish properly, when actually i did not even clean that one. i got irritated and interrupted while he was trying to say something and said "he should check before saying something". That was it, he locked himself in bedroom and refused to open door and refused to talk. I slept in guest bedroom with no comforter and wearing winter clothes (it was cold).

Still he is refusing to talk to me or even allowing me inside the bedroom (he is still keeping it locked). i tried calling him, texting, knocking, nothing works. I do not know what to do anymore.

Side note - my husband hates it when i interrupt while he talks, i usually never do that, but sometimes without even thinking it comes out, i am human too. i cannot be perfect.

He often does this, locking the door thing and refusing to talk to me, but usually he gets over it in few hours, this time its taking longer and yesterday night i knocked on the door to get some comforter, he refused to give me one and slept with winter clothes on

I do not have anyone in this country, my family is in different country and i feel so alone and with him refusing to talk to me, i do not know what to do. He is not eating the food i cook also. Please help me, what should i do now. I am trying not to talk to him anymore and giving him space, but every time i hear him locking the doors, it hurts me so much. Sorry for the long post, please help

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 April 2020):

Hi OP,

You are probably going to need to tread lightly and wait this out for a few months while COVID is going on. Try to make contact with friends over videochat and stay in c ontact with your family, so that you have a support network established.

I have been in a similar situation to what you are experiencing, and I got out when it started getting worse. Believe me it will just get worse and worse. He too would go off about a dish being dirty, or any little thing. We had a shared condo and we also each had a separate places because of where we worked. One day I showed up to our shared condo, and he had locked me out and changed the code on me, literally because I did not have time to make the bed earlier that morning, and he had come in and found it unmade. I had to drive all the way back to my other place, and his explanation by phone was well I pissed him off.

I'm sure he has a "good side"- they ALL do. I'm sure at times he is very sorry. He may be passionate and loving at times. But it is mental manipulation. You will ALWAYS be walking on eggshells. Always unsure of what will set him off. It is NOT worth it to stay. These people have mental health issues. They have control issues. It is easy to feel sorry for them. I think that is why I stayed so long, I felt sorry that he couldn't control himself and was obviously struggling. But you need to put YOU first.

When COVID is over, you do need to take steps toward a divorce. This is a learning experience.

My thoughts are with you.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (4 April 2020):

Honeypie agony auntSo he knows that your father used "silent treatment" as punishment and a way to control you and your mother and he CHOOSES to do the same because he knows it will upset you.

WHAT kind of ASSHAT does that?!

He obviously ENJOYS this. Or it has worked well for him in the past. Otherwise he wouldn't do it.

And you, YOU are being a drama queen playing right into his hands.

Sorry, but the crying and negotiating at the bedroom door, it's just too much OP. And it's getting you NOWHERE.

YOU need to decide if this is OK or not in a marriage. If it's NOT OK, you need to tell him and LEAVE him. Because NOTHING you do will make him change.

This isn't a "we can negotiate" or "we can talk this through" or "we can compromise" because YOU are letting him hold ALL the cards and all the power. You really have nothing to bring to the table that HE wants.

All this wailing and gnashing of teeth will get you nowhere.

It's time to realize that your marriage is not a good one.

He punish you for not making food right, or interrupting him when he speaks. You are not his CHILD who he needs to discipline. You are supposed to be his equal partner.

Also I'm pretty sure you have more than one thermostat for your house than the one in the bedroom. It would be odd if you only have one. So find the other one and turn it up to a comfortable temperature. You really don't need to ASK his permission to crank it up a little.

Make sure you find ALL your important documents so you CAN leave with them if you so desire.

STOP catering to him. Don't cook for him, don't pick up after him, simply pretend that HE is away on business and you are home alone. Seriously. Watch TV, read a book, do some gardening (if you have a garden) organize the kitchen cabinets, whatever you want to do. Just NO more crying and begging at the bedroom door.

Why is your family telling you to stay with this guy? And why do YOU want to stay with him?

This isn't healthy for either of you. And it's NOT a good marriage either.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (3 April 2020):

I hate to say it, but your husband thinks he is the king of your humble home! He will not let you turn up the heat? Is the only thermostat in the master bedroom? If there is another thermostat, defy what he says about not increasing the temperature, and turn it up! If there is only one thermostat and it is in the master bedroom, dress warmly, find a flashlight, and turn off the main electric circuit breaker! That will take away all light, heat, television, radio, stereo, computers, and recharging capibilities! I bet that will flush out the drama king, from the bedroom! As soon as Covid 19 is behind us, you find a good FEMALE divorce lawyer, to fight for all of your legal rights! I am a man, but I know in my heart, that a good female lawyer, with be more sympathetic to your legal needs! Trust me please. A husband is a partner, not a king, and men like him, piss me off, because they give good men a bad name and reputation! There is no distance in prayer, so please know that I am praying for you OP! Blessings!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 April 2020):

You know that your husband is mimicking the behavior you told him that your father would exhibit when he wanted to upset you and your family. Not eating, ignoring you, the silent-treatment, and shutting himself away. He knows how it gets to you. If you know that's what he's doing; then stop acting like a helpless child! You're a grown-woman!!!

You married the man, so stop acting like you don't know who the hell he is!

You fight back by letting him do whatever he wants! Stop crying, over-emotionalizing, and being a drama queen. You are doing everything he expects you to do.

Now how about reversing the behavior, and showing him how calm you can be? Even if it's nothing but an act! Suddenly, you're just fine. He's out of your hair, locked in the bedroom, and out of your way! GOOD! Watch TV, Netflix, read a book!

You are not an abused little-girl anymore, all the memories and actions of your father are long past! You survived it! He's your husband...not your father!

Can't you see that he's just doing his own evil-impression of "the abusive-father act;" that seems to get a huge reaction from his audience of one! That's YOU! You're a captive-audience at the moment; so it makes his evil-performance all the more effective.

You are feeding into his behavior; and the worse you react, the longer he will continue. The worse he will get!!! Don't you see the direct correlation between you becoming emotionally-undone and his locking you out? Now it's a matter of you getting a grip on yourself and stop all your emotional-dramatizing! The more you give-in to it, the more he turns-up the psychological-torture.

I'm sorry sweetheart, but when you just fall-apart about someone not talking to you; you've got your own mental-health issues (maybe PTSD), long in need of professional-therapy. If his behavior so easily turns you into such an emotional-mess, our advice is useless to you. It's useful only if you're listening to us, and become proactive.

No matter what anybody says, he wins; because you are so overwrought about his not speaking to you. So what? He has nothing to say! It's better than yelling or screaming obscenities at you!

Pull yourself together!!! Ignore him! Talk to your family and keep-up your spirits. Tuck some blankets away where you can get them when you need them. Whatever you need from the bedroom, get them.

If he doesn't eat...fine! He'll weaken, become sick, and he may not get the medical-attention he needs; because hospitals are overwhelmed dealing with triage for patients infected with the Covid-19 virus, and emergency-cases that require priority-care.

Starved-out narcissists may fall at the bottom of the list.

If he's dehydrated, they'll put him on an IV, and lock him in a psyche ward! That is, if it's not being used for patients being treated for the virus or other illnesses. Hospitals do not have time for foolishness like your husband. He needs a visit from the local police!!! If you'd stop falling apart long enough to use some commonsense.

Now is the time to be firm and talk some sense into you! We can only advise and reassure you so much; but our advice is useless if you're completely distraught and hysterical. The behavior you're describing is somewhat more dramatic than his actions should provoke. You can bring it on triggers, but when this is all over. You need to get yourself into therapy and see an immigration lawyer about your rights as a citizen and the ramifications if you must seek a divorce. We can't tell you what to do. You have to use your own commonsense.

Make sure you eat well, get some fresh air, talk to your family, and neighbors when you're lonely. Read and pray!

It's time to bring God into the midst of this. No matter how much advice we give, you're not listening; because you're emotionalizing and falling apart. GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF AND JUST STOP IT!!! I'm not there to give you a good hug and stroke your hand to help you get a hold of yourself. You need to go take a long shower, wash your hair, and compose yourself. If you've got some herbal tea and honey; make some tea, and take several deep-breaths every-time you feel anxious. Keep cold-water in the fridge, and take a few sips every-time you feel anxious or upset.

If you are starting to feel threatened and panicked; then it's about time to call 911!!! He's doing his best to drive you crazy. Stop helping him to do it!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 April 2020):

Why are you staying with him? Is your visa depends on staying married to him? I don't know the immigration laws in America but you should see what the law says. If you can stay in the Country after divorce then you should seriously consider divorcing him. He is immature and irresponsible and he is not going to get any better. Listen to all the good advice the aunts and the uncles have already given you regarding money, living arrangements, pregnancy, and help lines. Be tough and resolute.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2020):

Call the police.This is not normal behavior.So if he was locked in the room for two days did he not eat or drink? If not be is for sure not only a danger to you but a danger to himself because is is starving and dehydrating himself.He needs to be put on a 72 hour hold on the psych ward of the hospital.You might say no but look you must eat and drink to stay alive.He is not.So he is a danger to himself.Maybe after he is locked in a psych ward a few times he will stop acting like a two year old and learn how to handle conflict and behave like a grownup....or maybe with very much therapy and meds he could improve but I would not wait to see that happen.He sounds very selfish.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2020):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you all for the responses, i am the op. He has opened the bed room door but when I even enter near it, he shuts the door again. Its been 3 days , i do not what to do now, he won't talk or tell me how to fix this. I am crying non stop, tried calling my friend here and also my family back home , all are saying to stay calm and not to provoke him and wait till this weekend. I even asked my husband if I should stay in hotel, he said no, but I cannot be in the same house and not talk to him, its hurting me a lot. My dad growing up used to do this (non talk) to us if he is mad at me or my mom, sometimes he will not talk for days and refuses to eat and give mean looks at us, my husband knows this and he also knows this is something which triggers from childhood trauma. I know it's wrong to say it but this is huring me more than a physical pain. i do not know how to cope.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2020):

Your husband is abusive, and it seems he may have some mental-health issues. Don't you have a thermostat in your home? You can't turn-up the heat?

You've allowed yourself to be isolated and offset from connections to the outside. You've made no close-friends and have no support-system. While being so isolated from family and people on the outside of your marriage; you have empowered this man with life or death over you. Nobody gets that emboldened and cruel unless there is something wrong with them. You can't blame being shut-in or the coronavirus for his cruelty and mistreatment.

We get posts from women all too often telling us that their abusive partners were never like this before. I'm sorry, that man was always like he is now. You just dismissed it, and surrendered to his cruelty and abuse; because you've gotten used to it. You feel helpless and too afraid to seek help from anybody.

There is a point that you have to call for help. You cannot get him to cooperate, because his behavior isn't normal.

I recommend you call the helpline that Tisha-1 provided, or go online for help. Locking you out in your own home is crazy and mean. He feels he has unchallenged authority and he's on a power-trip!

I recommend you start opening-up to your neighbors and try and get yourself a circle of friends when all this is over. You need to also consider seeking a legal-consultation with a divorce-attorney. This behavior is going to get much worse; and at some point he could become violent. Mental-cruelty and psychological abuse are just as bad as hitting someone.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (1 April 2020):

N91 agony auntThis is an abusive relationship.

What a childish ‘man’ you chose to marry. Who acts like this as a grown adult? He’s locked you out of your bedroom because instead of deciding to keep his mouth shut and clean a plate that was dirty he decided that you did it wrong and then went into shutdown mode. So, so petty.

How long has this been going on? How can you have any kind of relationship that can’t talk things out like a mature adult? Could you see yourself still going through this in 10 years time? How do we know it’s not going to progress into other kinds of abuse?

Personally I’d be recommending you find a way out of this relationship ASAP.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2020):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you all,I'm the OP. I slipped in bathroom yesterday night and hurt my arm. Since he will not talk to me or pick up the call, though we are in same house i can't ask him for help during these emergencies. I was able to pick myself up after 10 mins of lying there and took some pain killer and went to bed. It hurts that though he is my husband and in same house, he refuses to even acknowledge me, i cannot go anywhere because of this pandemic, else I would atleast go and stay in motel or airbnb. Stupid me, i still love him and want him back. Don't know if we work out after this fight. He holds all the cards now. Sorry about my rant, don't know whom else to talk to. Don't have close friends here and I cannot tell my family back home, they are conservative and i already had one failed marriage

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States +, writes (1 April 2020):

Tisha-1 agony auntGo to the phone and call 1-800-799-7233 immediately. Or go to https://www.thehotline.org/ for help.

You are in an abusive relationship and need help.

Call that number or message a counselor on that website TODAY.

Let us know when you have done that.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia +, writes (1 April 2020):

Aunty BimBim agony auntThe Corona Virus is making life difficult for everybody, and even MORE difficult for some.

Your husband is not treating you right. You cant change his behaviour, however, you can use your time wisely to research counsellors in your area, and organisations who might be able to help you if you decide to leave.

If you are still working start putting a little of your money in a secret place in case you need to leave in a hurry. Also if you have somewhere safe where you can leave things like your passport and other important documents consider doing it.

I hope it works out for you.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2020):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you, i am the OP, i work and i have money and this is not the first time he did it and it will not be the last time. He does it when he is ngey at me, mostly because I interrupted him while talking or asked him to repeat himself when I do not understand what he talks, english os not my first language and he does my understand the language i speak growing up. All these were not issues before marriage , but now these are all problems. I try not to interrupt him or listen carefully when he talks, sometimes i make a mistake and then this starts all over again. Usually its over night and then next day he will be ok, but it's been 2 days, do not know what to do anymore.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia +, writes (1 April 2020):

Aunty BimBim agony auntAt the moment you are very dependant on your husband, because you have no family to talk to.

When you husband refuses to talk and locks himself in the bedroom and lets you sleep cold without blankets he is attempting to isolate you even more. It is very cruel of him to do this to you.

You need to build a safety network for yourself. This is going to be difficult if you are currently isolating for Corona Virus, however once this emergency is over there are things you can try and do to make your life better.

See if there is an organisation for people from the same country as you where you can join and meet. Also look at maybe seeing if your library or local government offer activities you can join, so that you can meet local people and gain some friends.

If your husband doesn't allow you to do these things consider getting out of the marriage. There are websites and telephone counselling lines that will be able to advise or help.

As for him not eating the food you cook simple. Stop cooking for him. I would, if you feel brave enough, get to the bedroom first a few times and lock him out. Make sure the guest room has no blankets or sheets first.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2020):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hi

I'm the OP, he still have not talked to me or let me inside the bedroom and will not allow to increase the home temp, I'm cold with no blanket and sleeping with winter clothes on

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