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What will speaking achieve?

Community Member

The past four days, apart from answering direct questions or using as few words as possible, I've stopped talking to my husband.

Before that, for months now, every time I speak, it's been the wrong thing to say. I'm either assuming something, asking the wrong question, asking the right question but in the wrong way, interrupting him or some other mistake.

Now, when I talk, I ask myself first "what will speaking achieve"? If there's nothing positive to be achieved, I stay quiet. It's much more peaceful at home.

Even something as seemingly simple as "when would you like dinner?" was causing a half hour long argument. Now, I just make dinner and if he's ready, he eats with me, and if he's not, we eat seperately. But there are no arguments which is great, four days with no arguments has to be a record.

I am naturally a combative personality - I enjoy a (healthy) debate, and can see both sides and play both sides for intellectual fun. I'm wondering if I've been bringing this part of my personality into my relationship too much - as my other half is not the type to see himself as ever incorrect about anything, in his mind it's not possible and there's always a way to explain his "right-ness".

Is this the secret? Stop running my mouth every opportunity and be more mindful of what I'm saying? Only saying what is necessary instead of everything that pops into my head? We've only been married two months.... I want to put the effort in to make it work.

2 Replies 2

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Zazu

Thank you for sharing your issue with regards to communicating with your husband. I have been married almost thirty years, so I am happy to share what I have learned along the way.

I don't think it's healthy for you to "stop speaking with your husband apart from answering direct questions or using as few words as possible". You will end up internalising too many feelings and that won't be healthy for you. I believe open and honest communication is important in any relationship and that it's a two way street. You both have to put in the effort to make it work.

I'd like to suggest that both of you kind of have to learn to read your partner's mood and figure out generally when it's a good time to talk about substantive or sensitive issues. For example, my husband works long hours and gets up early, so I never raise an important or tricky issue before bed because it could mean that he doesn't get enough sleep. I wait until we are both fresh and having our coffee in the morning. Similarly my husband knows that I am sometimes quick to anger and that if I do get angry it's best to leave the issue for the time being and he'll usually raise it again a few days later. He knows that I sometimes need time to process things before I can calmly discuss some issues.

Sometimes the way we say things can come out wrong, too. I call it the ABCs of communication in marriage. Too often the things we say may come across as "accusation, blame and criticism". Think about your words and your tone and try to move the conversation to "acceptance, blessing and compromise." Hope this makes sense.

Having said all that, I don't think that for months "everything you say" should be meet with a negative response. I'm wondering if something is going on in your husband's life that is putting him on edge? It could be that he doesn't enjoy the debates as you do, so you could try limiting these conversations and see if that has a positive impact. Or you could try ensuring that the debates don't get personal.

One other tip I put in practice: leave at least one unkind thing unsaid each day.

Kind thoughts to you

Community Champion
Community Champion

hi Zazu

Thanks for sharing your story honestly and being prepared to change your behaviour.

Summer Rose has helpful suggestions in her thoughtful and supportive reply.

i can relate to wanting to debate as my parents who were married for over 50 years used to discuss as they called but us children called it arguing every day. they loved each other so I assumed to show my love I should argue with my husband.

My husband came from a family where his parents would be in same house for hours and not say a word. I realised that having a debate when it was not needed made for a calmer place.

I agree with Summer Rose about picking the right time and using the right tone. I have been told I have a tonal problem as I think I am being sincere and others see me as sarcastic. so I have to work hard to make sure my tone matches my words.

If you try some of summers suggestions let us know how they work out.

I am sure many reading your post will be able to relate to.

Sometimes people have different conversational styles , Imlike you have been told I interrupt or ask too many questions or the wrong question, when I feel I am being eager and paying attention by asking questions.

thanks again for your post