Speaking kindly to one's spouse


Is it wrong to ask one’s spouse to speak in a nicer tone? Or should we just ignore these moments in marriage? Sometimes, my husband can be sarcastic, even when I am asking a question sincerely. It has been hurting my feelings lately, and I told him this morning that he wouldn’t reply to me this way, if we were dating and was trying to impress me. So, why act this way now? I’m not overly sensitive, and sometimes, I just accept that he ‘can be that way,’ but my question is…is it wrong to ask one’s spouse to change a behavior that we find offensive? We since talked about it, and I told him that "we should love one another the way Christ so loved His Church.’’ He agreed.

But, it took a heated argument to get to that point…so, is it wrong to ask one’s spouse to be kinder in his/her tone?
Or does God expect us to ignore all behaviors for the sake of being a good wife/husband?

Just wondering…thanks for listening.



I always ask my husband to serve it on a different platter:D I respectfully tell him that his tone of voice is telling me something other than what he wants me to know. He usually does try to speak in a nicer tone.

I think it is ok to set up boundaries, as long as your tone is respectful.:thumbsup:

Awhile ago my husband said something awful about me in front of our daughter and I(in a mean tone)told him never to talk about me like that again especially in front of the kids.:mad: I was so shocked at what he said–the anger just came out. I mentioned it to my bible study ladies and they said it is perfectly appropriate to set boundaries on how someone should treat you(especially your husband/wife)I probably should have said it in a better tone though:o


I’ve found that the “Wifely Stare of Death” does the trick just fine. :thumbsup:


hee hee…sometimes, it works…sometimes it doesn’t…:mad: LOL

I will keep it in mind though…i looked up the definition today in websters online, and it says that sarcasm involves saying ‘something cutting, designed to wound.’:eek: that was my husband’s face, after he heard that.

we have a good relationship, but this is an area i’d like to see improve for us.


yes yes yes–sometimes, it is in front of our kids, and that is just not acceptable…not cool at all. so, i think this is an area where if we keep giving it to God…keep praying about it…we shall see it get better…thank you for your post.:slight_smile:


Not sure how to answer your question. Why would it be wrong to ask a spouse to speak kindly?


In some circumstances I’d let it pass. People sometimes go over the top and don’t mean it, and maybe it is kindest to fail to notice their temporary loss of composure. However, in other cases the person is either straying from the need at hand or is saying one thing with their mouth and another with their body language or tone. In that case I’d redirect or ask them to clarify their message. I see nothing wrong with that.

You’ll be able to think of a good way to bring it up. Maybe he doesn’t realize he is throwing out sarcasm or maybe he has some other issue with you that he will then bring up if you ask him about it. Give him the opportunity to be a good man and make it right. I’d expect the best from him, and he will most likely follow the que.


hi monicad…
it’s ok to ask someone to speak kindly…i think what i was trying to ask here is that…is it wrong to bring up something or should we just gloss over some things? Does God think we are nit picking? My husband is a good man…we have a blessed relationship–this area, we could stand some improvement…is it wrong to ‘try to improve’ a good relationship, if this is basically the one thing where you have issues with? I mean, no relationship is flawless…maybe that is what I meant.


i like your advice…that is good…thanks for helping me.:slight_smile:


Please speak up to your husband.

My husband has a sarcastic sense of humor and can be a bit sharp in his tone. When I practiced a more extreme form of submission this got much worse. I, like you seem to think, thought that I should gloss over this rudeness. He was very kind in other areas. But slowly I became resentful. Afterall, I spoke kindly to him. I began to doubt God. Was it his will that I begin to dislike my hubby?

I finally said, enough, and began to speak up in my own defense. No more door mat like behavior from me. Our marriage improved and my hubby became happier. I am still respectful to him but I demand equal respect returned to me. When he is disrespectful or sharp, I let him know that it angers me.

It says in Peter-if anyone knows the verse please write it out-that a man who does not honor his wife will have his prayers hindered from being heard in heaven! So, don’t hesitate to speak up, you are doing him a favor.:slight_smile:

The women in the bible were not pushovers. They spoke up when they needed to.

Also, be aware that your hubby might have a different sense of humor then yours. I had to learn to appreciate my husband’s sarcastic sense of humor.


I hear ya.! :frowning:


what a marvelous post!!! should i tell my husband this verse? :o :stuck_out_tongue: (seriously) i think he will take it the right way…thing is, he is pretty easy going, and is not a fighter…so, this very well could be his way of ‘getting a point across,’ without arguing…or feeling like he really showed anger…does that make sense?

ugh–your post is worth a million…as the italians say…GRAZIE!:thumbsup:


Of course it is okay to seek to improve your marriage. One of the greatest gifts you can give your children (present or future children) is their parents’ strong marriage. Also, one of the top goals for each spouse should be to get the other to heaven, so improving our characters can only help.

That said, there is a difference between seeking to improve the relationship and seeking to change somebody fundamentally: “Now that we’re married, I can mold you into the man I WISH I had married!” The latter is bad. Your request that your husband speak to you in a more considerate tone sounds absolutely fine, that you’re seeking to improve the marriage. Also, you have to think of any children you have or will have: How your husband speaks to you is training those children, and do you have an obligation to train your children to speak kindly to loved ones?

I’m a newlywed of almost 9 months. I found upon marriage that there was a very long list of little (and some not so little) traits I wanted changed. Marriage is simply a world of difference from dating, no matter how seriously! Everything from how towels are hung on the rack (mere preference) to setting the rule that I’ll wash clothing that makes its way to the laundry basket, but not clothing strewn across the floor (a matter of basic respect). I continually ask myself how important any given issue is and often remind myself what a good man my husband is. I try not to ask for a change more than once or twice per month. I just don’t want to overwhelm my husband and figure we have a lifetime together. We just have to learn how to share a household together and I find there are a million small issues to be ironed out. I try to go at it very gently and slowly instead of by using a sledgehammer. Does that make any sense?


We must be careful of what we say. My friend used to suffer from terrible neck pain and soreness, and one day while she was praying she realized that she called everything unpleasant a “pain in the neck.” So she decided to stop saying that, and her neck never felt sore again (except when she slept on it wrong :p). She was basically authorizing a literal pain in the neck.

After that happened, she decided to experiment and see if not saying “I’m sorry” all the time would help her not to feel so depressed. Instead she started to say “excuse me” or “pardon me” and yep, the feeling of depression lifted from her shortly after that. She was replacing an expression of guilt with an expression of forgiveness.

I don’t know how this works and why these things can affect us, but I’m glad that my expression of choice is “Oh goodness!” :smiley:


You got some great advice. I just wanted to add that it may be best sometimes to wait for a neutral moment to bring it up, rather than addressing it in the heat of the moment because people don’t tend to listen very well when they are angry and they may feel as if what they are trying to convey is not important to you. The same applies to toddlers…:wink:


that is neat…thank you for your post…hmmm…i’ll think about this one.:slight_smile:





yes this does make perfect sense–thank you! I do weigh things out…is this necessary to bring up? Is it me? Is it him? Will my bringing this up…help us? My husband is very much a loyal, Godly man…so, these things, I often let slide…but, there are times when I think…'I don’t want my kids to talk like this to their spouses…and pass it off as ‘joking.’ But, I do understand your point–thank you.


Yes, it is appropriate to ask you husband not to be sarcastic.

Sarcasm with one’s spouse is poison to a marriage. Eventually it effects the sarcastic person’s perception. It is the opposite of positive speak. It is a proven psychological excercise that if you say positive things about yourself, you will have a positive image of your capabilities.

In the same way, making sarcastic comments about your spouse is emphasizing the negative about that person. Eventually you will tend to view your spouse in a negative light. I’ve seen the long term results of this in my wife’s aunt and uncle. They are very sarcastic with each other. While they remain married, they are very bitter people.

It is best to stop this behavior now. A few years ago there was a period where I was sarcastic with my wife. She put a stop to it. In hindsight I’m thankful. I realized I was being disrespectful to her - the woman who I made wedding vows to respect.

While I do have a sarcastic sense of humor, I now make sure that sarcasm is never directed at her. Striving to treat her only with respect has paid divdends far more than I would have thought. People compliment us for or strong marriage and people notice.

About a year ago I met a couple of my friends for dinner one night and my wife joined us later. When she got there she just asked what we had been talking about. One of my friends told her we were complaining about our wives. Then he said, “except Jason.” He paused for a second and then looked at me and said “you never complain about your wife.” I took that as a great compliment.


I agree with the earlier comment that it’s best to wait for a good time to bring these things up with a spouse. If hubby is tired, hungry, angry, or exasperated, put it off for while.

Once he’s fed, calm, and has time to really listen without distractions (maybe when he wants to be affectionate?) express your feelings in a non-condemning way. “Honey, it really hurts my feelings when you make those sarcastic comments. Is there some other way you could let me know what’s on your mind?”

Marriage Encounter teaches wonderful, non-confrontational communication techniques. My wife and I have always treated each other this way, 26 happy years of marriage and counting!

God bless… - Rob

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