Communication is such a huge issue. Without it; there is no way for humans to have relationships. This is why it is so important to continue communication through times of conflict. Conflict in relationships either draws us closer through careful and intentional communication or it drives a wedge between a couple creating a coldness. It all depends on how we handle conflict.
There are some who use the silent treatment in situations of disagreement, instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to talk it out. When we talk out our differences in relationships, it shows that we really care about the other person because we are willing to listen to him and consider his point of view. We then come to a resolution and are made stronger for it.
The silent treatment can be offensive during conflict because it infers manipulation. The silent treatment in this type of a situation also infers punishment toward the other person involved. It infers that the other person is only important when they are in line with what the angry party wants, and that their thoughts and points of view are not important.