How To Get Your Ex To Talk To You When He’s Giving You The Silent Treatment

You broke up with your boyfriend over something petty and now he’s giving you the silent treatment. This may very well be the end of your relationship for good, and perhaps that’s for the best. However, communication is still important. If you share a house or kids or just need to get your stuff out of their apartment to move on, you need to be able to talk. Here are some ways to get your ex to respond.

  1. Think about your part of the breakup. It’s important to do a little self-reflection. He might have been the biggest creep in the world, but is there something you did and/or said that’d lead him to want to give you the silent treatment? Maybe you were a little harsh. It’s not easy to admit you may have been wrong, but it’s the key in getting him to talk to you again. If you have no plans on getting back together with him, your apology can be very simple. Maybe something like, “I respect this breakup, but don’t like how things ended. I’m really sorry if I hurt your feelings” to get started.
  2. Take accountability but stand by it. If he doesn’t get back to you right away, don’t fire back an insult. That proves you’re not actually sorry about what went down. Even if you despise this guy, it’s possible you were out of line during that last argument. Be the bigger person here. You can be sorry that it hurt his feelings to this level but not sorry for stating what you believe. Depending on the nature of the breakup, it’s possible this guy just needs a little bit of time. If you were together for a long time, the split may be a lot to process.
  3. Try to ask about him through mutual friends. If a mutual friend knows what happened, they may be a good resource. They might naturally take on the role of moderator, but try not to outwardly ask them to do it. Not everyone wants to have a key involvement in a messy relationship. What you can say is, “Next time you talk to my ex, please wish them my best.” That’s all you need to try to mend the fence.
  4. Slide him a note. If you’re still living together and he’s awkwardly avoiding you as you pack up your bags, a small, kind note might do the trick. Write something like, “I would love to talk to you more, and I promise this won’t end in another argument.” Then, make sure you stand by it. Listen to what he says without interrupting. Take time to formulate a response. Don’t try to one-up him. If the relationship is over, don’t waste energy on a fight that’ll prove nothing but the fact that you’re truly incompatible.
  5. Or, send him an email. Email is great since you can sit down and really think about what you want to say. Unless he’s at a level where he completely despises you, he’ll read it. If you think there’s a chance he’ll delete, add a subject like “Please read” with a heart. In that email, lay it all out, but treat him like a human. If it’s an email that tells him what a terrible partner he was, that can be seen as abusive and will get back to you eventually. This may be your real method of closure, so tell him what you liked about him and the relationship. Talk to him about the parts of it you’ll never regret or forget about.
  6. Understand it’ll be harder if you cheated. Cheating is the ultimate betrayal. From that point, your partner will have a hard time trusting you. Some relationships rebound, but many don’t. If your ex just found out you cheated, the silent treatment makes sense. He probably has no clue what to say. If you’re trying to salvage the relationship, he’ll need to see you deleting contacts and dating apps on your phone. Actions speak louder than words.
  7. Flowers aren’t just for women. They’re a gesture everyone appreciates, especially if your ex had his own place and was good with keeping it together. Flowers are a good apology gift and they don’t stick around long enough to turn into something awkward if the two of you never speak again. You know he’ll read the note in the card. A simple “Would love to talk this out, hope you’re doing well” will work fine. It’s not too much but it’s something.
  8. Give him space. It may seem a little counter-productive, but he needs some time to think right now. Even if he was the one completely in the wrong, he likely needs a few days to wrap his head around the breakup. Don’t stalk his social media or text him late at night. Wait for him to come to you. If a week or two passes, try reaching out. Just makes sure you ease into it.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.