Before my wife and I got married, we dated for about six years. Overall we had good communication, but we still had our issues here and there. After a few years of dating, we were hanging out at a little fair one night and our communication started to fail and the night started to get real sour, real quick.
As she shut down more and more, I wondered what in the world I was going to do. Do I shut down? Do we call it a night and try to forget about this night ever happened? What do I do?
It was late and the night was already at its end, but I wanted to make her feel better somehow. We sat down on a lonely bench and didn’t speak. I had won her a small, stuffed animal frog from a game earlier in the night; when things were going a little smoother, of course.
I’m not sure how it came to me, but I grabbed the frog and started speaking in a really cute, high pitched voice. I used the stuffed frog as the “decoy” and used this voice as my weapon of choice. After a few minutes of talking in this funny voice, she slowly started to smile. With a “win” in sight, I continued to pursue her. Within another few minutes she was laughing, the frog was a success and the voice became a favorite. God was truly looking out for me that night.
To this very day, almost 10 years later, I still use this voice as a way to make my wife laugh and win her over in “sketchy” situations. I’m not sure where the frog ended up though ...
The main point is that we all have a tone. There are various tones that we can use to make each other happy, sad or angry. As your marriage progresses in years, these tones and our attitudes should mature so that we know when to use certain ones and when not to use others. With this in mind, I thought I would break down a husband’s tone into five categories. Feel free to add your own type of tones that has worked or not worked in your marriage in the comments.
The Regular. We know this voice as our “regular” voice. This is the tone that most people know us best by, the one you use the most and the one your wife probably likes the best.
What do I mean “likes the best?” I can tell you that in any situation that requires a real discussion, my wife hates to hear me use any voice other then my regular tone. She doesn’t want me to be funny, she doesn’t need sarcasm, she wants the real me. Most of the time I will try the funny tone, but I will be quickly told, “I’m being serious”! I make the switch back quickly.
Remember that your regular tone is the best extension of who you are; it is the most sincere, it is the most honest and it is the most trustworthy. Since we tend to use it the most, we must make sure we use it properly and protect its rights. Would you agree that your “regular tone” is your wife’s favorite?
These are important points to remember as we start to explore the other tone options.
The Funny. This tone goes back to the story at the top of this post. I never planned on having this tone in my playbook, but God had other plans. I love to use this tone around my wife when we are messing around, having fun or if I get caught doing something stupid. This voice is a great way to get you out of sticky situations; at least it has been for me.
The real trick with this tone is confidence. Besides pulling this voice out for the occasional family member, this voice is specifically meant for my wife; although, I can see my four month old enjoying it in the near future. Don’t be embarrassed when using this tone around her. This tone is meant to lighten up situations, to create some laughter in the marriage and keep you and your wife happy. Happy wife, happy life—right gentlemen?
The Whisper. I call this the “whisper,” but this can also be your soft tone. This tone is most often seen and used when your wife is having a bad day, when you walk up behind her and tell her how much you love her and of course in “intimate” moments. This is another tone that may require some confidence and experience. This tone most likely will pass on the feelings of love to your wife. Expressing love to your wife in your tone is very important in your marriage relationship. She needs to hear this tone and the feelings that come from you along with it.
Men, don’t be afraid to use this! There are numerous opportunities to use this tone, with these being a few of them. Get home from work, walk in the door, wrap your arms around her and whisper how much you love her. She prepped dinner for you, you ate it, you walk up behind her and tell her softly how much you loved the food and appreciate the effort she put into it. These are just a few quick ideas; I’ll leave you to figure out more. ... The trick is softer than your regular tone, and more serious than your funny tone. Is the whisper tone in your arsenal?
The Angry. Yes, the angry tone. I would vouch to say that all men have this tone and are unfortunately quite good at using it. The question is do we know how to handle and maintain this tone? Upon first getting married, my wife and I found ourselves involved in a few heated battles. I had very little idea of how much damage my angry tone could affect her. The tone has a much deeper growl, usually followed up with intense eye and eyebrow action, and firm body language. This is far, far from the whisper tone and does not speak love.
This tone really doesn’t take much confidence to pull off; in fact it’s probably easy for you to do. Maybe it’s too easy. This one, on the other hand takes maturity and self-control. A man needs to learn what his trigger points are and discuss these points with his wife. It will also help if the wife doesn’t intentionally set off those points.
When these heavier emotions and tones are shifted into high hear, a man needs to quickly learn to gain control and tone down the situation. Realize that the regular tone may be better suited until the situation can get under control. Are you able to control your angry tone?
The Silent. I titled this last tone as the “silent” tone. It’s amazing that the worst tone a man could possibly use in marriage is, well, no tone at all. In a sense, this tone is a step above the “angry.” This tone tends to come into play when a husband feels ultimately disrespected and no longer thinks his words matter in the situation.
What tends to come from this? More silence. A husband could take this tone and go for days and days without speaking to his wife in any way or legitimate form. Sure hi’s and byes make it, but the depth is gone. This tone can be just damaging to a marriage, when just a real conversation in your regular tone could start the process of resolution.
I struggled with this tone a ton early in my marriage. I would do something wrong, my wife and I would go at it; I would bite my lip and listen. After my lip was sore and the conversation moved nowhere, I’d enter into silent mode and be stuck there for weeks. Men, this is not resolution and accomplishes nothing. Man up, speak up and lead your marriage to resolution. Can you relate to the silent tone?
Can you relate to each of these tones in your marriage? Share another tone or a situation in your own marriage in the comment section below.
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