Jerry Seinfeld has a very funny bit about the many tones of marriage. Basically, it boils down to where he is not supposed to use his normal speaking tone when communicating with his wife, as she considers it too harsh.
And he is not making that up.
Because sometimes it doesn't matter what you say to your spouse, but it does matter how you say it. Researchers interested in couples' communications have evidence to support that the success of your marriage may indeed rely on the tone of voice you use with your spouse. The researchers dissected recorded conversations between couples - pulling out every last warble and change in pitch - and tracked the data to discover that certain tones were associated with the changing state of a relationship.
I am not sure that they needed to do all that research, as I for one can recognize my spouse's tonal changes when he is in a state of high emotion. And I am sure that he can recognize mine. But, I digress...
So what's a couple to do with the researcher's information? Check your tone and check your partner's tone. It really seems like common sense, but if you are going to talk about an issue that may cause high emotion in you or your partner, it is best to start when you are both calm and have the ability to focus on the issue at hand. When you hear a change in tone and neither partner can come back to neutral, you may want to resurface the issue at a later time or seek a third party's assistance.
What issue do you need to change your tone on? Share with me in the comments.