When there is something that irritates your partner, you don't get any inkling of his/her disgust. What you possible get is more silence than before. Have you noticed this response?
Here we will learn how to interpret more silence as anger, repressed anger from a partner.
There is no reason someone would fell suddenly silent, if she is not trying either to control a reaction or to show something that can't be conveyed in words. Here we have non-verbal behavior, and this behavior has a message: "I'm very angry at you, or at the situation, or at something"
You'd better pay attention now, because your loved one is swallowing his/her feelings, ignoring and denying that there is a conflict to be resolved, but with anger festering inside.
The result is that, with broken communication between both of you, there is a growing withdrawing of cooperation from shared daily life.
Without knowing the reason why, you can see yourself excluded from some projects or find that there is no follow-through to previous projects, and no explanation is given...
This is the time to ask yourself: could it be that my partner is angry as hell, and can't show it?
Scary as it can be, it's true that some angry reaction is brewing inside, and you are left with the task to bring it up to a level where it can be confronted and resolved.
NOTHING will happen, but more hidden anger, if you don't step up to the plate and do something. Whatever you plan to do, is better than ignoring the silent partner, because silence is a communication that you can't ignore.
The first task is not to feel invalidated or criticized by the silence; perhaps you can maintain your self-esteem thinking of the situation as produced by his/her non-existent skills at fair fighting in a marriage. It's not your fault, OK?
Refuse to match the denial and begin your talk about "our present concern" in terms of a shared responsibility.
Offer a supportive mood: "we'll talk about it as soon as you feel ready"
Keep being clear about the issue: "we both need to have a shared decision on this issue, because it's important to both of us."
And clarify your expectations: if this person has a way to discuss things with you, and this is a momentary situation, be encouraged and keep supporting. If he has not the disposition or habit to discuss things with you, and focus only on his hurt feelings, you can have a steeper battle in front of you.
Marriage is a shared endeavor, and we need talk to share opinions, ask questions, and decide issues. As much as your silent partner bails out from this task, and leaves you alone deciding things for the two of them, you don't have a husband but a dependent child. It's now the time for you to make that distinction?