Bickering because of a harsh tone?

posted 2 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
1621 posts
Bumble bee

I’m really confused why your response is “I’m gonna be twice as bitchy as you were to see how you like it” instead of stopping the conversation for a beat and saying “I feel upset by your tone there” or “I’m interpreting your tone to be harsh, is that what you intended?”  Yes, maybe being more mindful of tone is something he needs to do (or not –  maybe you’re being too sensitive or automatically assuming the worst).  But you don’t get to control him – you only get to control you and you are choosing to exacerbate the problem by being reacting in kind instead of actually addressing your feelings in the moment and clarifying what he intends.

For what it’s worth, if I can’t figure out the tone (say in a text message) or I immediately interpret the tone to be negative, I just flat out ask.  By this time we have it shortened to just “tone?” And then we clarify.  We’d rather just ask the other one first instead of stewing about it and assuming the worst.  99 times out of 100 it was misinterpretation or general frustration at a situation crept in there and had has nothing to do with the other person. 

Post # 3
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

If your therapist told you “you feel things too much” you should get a new therapist. 

Post # 5
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I feel you on this one! I am very “tone sensitive” myself. I get my feelings hurt way too easily. A lot of the time I think someone is making fun of me or belittling me because of their tone, but I’ve come to realize in recent years that it’s all in my head! I now try my best to do a quick breath-in / breath-out exercise and remind myself that not everyone is out to get me or hurt my feelings. (Usually people don’t even realize I’m pausing a second to re-center myself.)

That being said, I know that tone is important to me, so I purposely chose to date someone with a soothing voice when I was single. It was just that big of a deal to me. My current SO has a soothing and gentle voice, and I find myself responding very well to it, even when he’s saying something I don’t like.

Hang in there, Bee! Hopefully a combination of you learning to “let the tone go” and your SO modulating his tone more will help.

Post # 6
1218 posts
Bumble bee

Your second paragraph bothers me. Please give an example or two so I can better give an opinion. I had this issue with my ex, but I don’t want to jump to whether your issue is the same as mine without some detail.

Post # 9
812 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

ellafitzgerald :  I think it’s both of you at fault.  You seem to be glossing over any part you have in these situations and laying the blame all on him.  In your second example your comment “Ok, I guess we’re gonna be late, I hate to be late!” (in a light tone though) doesn’t sound light, it sounds provocative and passive aggressive.  Then to blame him alone for making everyone late is ridiculous, he was playing a game with your mother, if she needs to go and get ready she’s perfectly capable of ending the game and doing it.  

To which I started a tirade against the fact that my mom wouldnt have had time to get ready, and that we always do things in a hurry because of him (which is true, by the way).

It doesn’t seem true, your SO and your mom were late. 

Post # 10
8640 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

It does sounds like a bit of passive aggressive behavior going around on both ends. Certainly you don’t help your case by overreacting yourself. Unless your therapist has seen SO in action I don’t know how she is equipped to tell you that you are overly sensitive to some of the situations you describe. 

But if SO’s tone is frequently angry or annoyed for no reason that is not acceptable. It’s a slippery slope. It doesn’t sound like you are making it up since his own mother tells you to ignore it. I disagree. Would he consider couples counseling? Sounds like both of you could use some better strategies. 

Post # 11
7106 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I mean… Example 2, it sounds like you were being quite passive aggressive in my opinion. If this is how most of the exchanges go, I think this is something you both need to work on.

I am the one with a tone in my relationship and I honestly don’t realize it when it happens. 99% of the time I’m not angry or upset or trying to convey any hidden feelings and can’t explain why it happens (and to be honest, I would argue that I absolutely don’t even have a tone lol). DH used to respond the way you do and we would usually end up fighting because I didn’t even realize I did anything “wrong.” Now, he’ll point it out and I’ll let him know I didn’t mean anything by it and we just keep moving along. I do try to be more mindful of it but it helps my DH to remember that I’m not trying to talk down to him and most of the time I’m not angry at all.

Post # 12
8016 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

honestly, it sounds like you both have communication issues you need to work on.

Post # 13
3004 posts
Sugar bee

Ok this is not the end of the world. My husband and I do this to each other sometimes too – we just get irrationally annoyed at some comment the other makes and lash out in a nasty tone. When this happens, the other person will simply say “THE TONE!” and then the gulty party laughs it off and we resume life.

So if I were you, I’d just work on not escalating the situation. Instead of replying in an even nastier tone when he does this, just be like “dude watch your tone!” and see how that goes. It sounds like he’s not even that angry, he just has a habit of being testy, which is not ok but is also not cause for blowout fights I don’t think.

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