Several years ago, I saw a television talk show featuring a woman who would use a baby voice and whine whenever she wanted her husband to do something. They showed a clip of her doing just that, and wow. It was downright annoying. The host spent some time trying to convince her to speak to her husband differently, but she was reluctant. After all, he did everything she wanted, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
Conversely, I’ve observed women take a harsh disciplinary tone with their husbands, sounding more like cranky mothers than life partners. I’ve seen women snap their fingers to get their husbands to move faster, and rely on mocking and ridicule to ensure their desired result.
While one is using baby talk and the other is using a stern mother approach, both are highly immature ways of communicating.
I really can’t speak as to why these wives have chosen these particular ways of speaking to their husbands. Maybe they were driven to it out of desperation, tried it, it worked, and so they thought that was the only way to get through to their husbands. Maybe they had really terrible childhoods and are emotionally scarred and I shouldn’t be judgmental. Whatever the reason, their behavior needs to be evaluated.
Marriage is a grown-up relationship. Two adults come together to form a union based on responsibility and commitment. This isn’t a child’s game, and it shouldn’t be treated like one. We shouldn’t use manipulation or intimidation when we talk to our spouse—we should act maturely and calmly discuss what we need and what we hope to achieve. It’s a partnership, one where there is no inequality in shareholding. Each person has equal stakes and should have equal say.
I encourage all of us to examine our communication habits and see if we can honor our spouse and our relationship by choosing mature, responsible, loving words as we speak to each other. Fit throwing, whining, demanding—none of these tactics really make a marriage work, but instead, build resentment and irritation.