I’ve never been a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. Eat less, eat better, exercise more, work harder, relax more . . . yadda yadda. The onset of a new year has never motivated me to want to make changes in my life. I try to be a decent human year-round and to be kind to myself and others and crap like that. I’m a big believer in karma, although I struggle with that whole “kind to others” thing.

This year, I’m making an exception to my no-resolution rule: I’m going to try really hard to ditch my “bitch voice” when I’m speaking to my husband. I could be super ambitious and say I’m going to ditch (or at least limit) my bitch voice altogether . . . but nah. Baby steps, people.

All women have a bitch voice . . . it might be lying dormant, but if you have a vagina, you possess the ability to make “sit down and relax, sweet cheeks . . . I’ll get you a beer” sound like “shrivel up and die, evil troll.” You might not know you have this skill, but if the right conditions present themselves, all of us girls have a bitch voice.

My husband and I have been together for eight years, plenty long enough to drop the “best behavior” act. It is human nature to let the people who know us best see us at our worst, so daily interaction with my husband is pretty much unfiltered. If I’m annoyed with him (or just annoyed, period) I’m pretty quick to let that annoyance creep in to my tone of voice. Because my husband has to love me, right? You know, that whole for richer for poorer, in bitchiness and in health . . . wait, that wasn’t in your wedding vows?

I don’t use my bitch voice at work. It shows a lack of control and professionalism, and if I peppered my conversations with my boss with snarky sarcasm, well, that might end badly. Ditto in dealing with store clerks, waiters, the receptionist at the doctor’s office and anyone else I come in casual contact with. While sometimes keeping a civil tone is a challenge, I usually get more mileage out of being polite.

So why am I so quick to use my bitch voice with my husband, who is a good guy who generally tries to make my life easier and doesn’t give me much cause to complain?

It doesn’t really matter what I say if I say it using my bitch voice. It all sounds like “you’re a dumbass and I can’t believe I’m even talking to you.” Sometimes my bitch voice takes over on its own. Evil voices in my head and all. Sometimes my stress or frustration over life’s little annoyances – traffic, pet hair, cable outage, people who confuse leggings with pants – seep in to my voice and I find myself taking things out on my husband that really have nothing to do with him.

Sometimes I use my bitch voice on purpose, like when I tell him it’s totally fine for him to be surfing the web for new flux capacitors (or whatever the hell he does) while I get the kids ready for bed, when that’s really not fine with me at all. I freely admit that sometimes, using my bitch voice is a total passive-aggressive move.

Although I use the excuse that sometimes I just can’t help myself, I think my tone of voice is something within my control. I can think of a slew of reasons to ditch the bitch voice but I can’t really come up with one good one to keep on using it as liberally as I have been. So, I break my no-resolution rule and we’ll see how it all plays out.

Yes, my husband annoys the crap out of me almost daily. I give him the benefit of the doubt and say his annoying habits are usually not intentional, and as much as I loathe to admit it, there are probably a couple of things about me that aren’t peachy perfect, either. But just a couple. Ahem.

My marriage isn’t going to go in the crapper if I don’t ditch my bitch voice. I’m not sure if hearing other people’s ambitious New Year’s resolutions has caused me to jump on the self-improvement bandwagon, or wanting to make this change at the end of the year is just coincidence. I’m not even all that confident I’ll be successful. Despite all my good intentions, my bitch voice will probably resurface around the third week in January . . . or sooner if my husband forgets to put the toilet seat down, or something equally heinous.

Until then, I’ll give it my best shot.

Author

Jill writes about adoption, motherhood and midlife on her blog Ripped Jeans and Bifocals. She has a degree in social psychology that she uses to try and make sense out of the behavior of her husband and three children but it hasn't really helped so far. She enjoys dry humor and has a love/hate relationship with running. Her writing has also been featured on Huffington Post, Babble, Scary Mommy, In the Powder Room, and Mamalode. Jill is a BlogHer 2015 Voice of the Year and willingly answers any questions that end with “and would you like wine with that?” Hang out with Jill on Facebook. and Twitter.

20 Comments

  1. I have a bitch voice. It comes into play when there is any sport on television, when my husband drops crumbs of shit on the ground after i’ve just FUCKING MOPPED THE FLOOR, and lastly–AND MOST IMPORTANTLY–when he decides to eat sunflower seeds on the couch. There is nothing more annoying than the way that man eats sunflower seeds. **CRACK** POP**, it’s honestly like nails on a chalkboard relative to things that annoy the fuck out of me. Not to mention, he ‘tosses the shells into a bowl’….that all somehow end up embedded into the area rug carpet with 4″ shag. Every try vacuuming up sunflower seeds in those conditions? It’s easier to vacuum up a barbie shoe—or an entire Barbie. I really like this piece, Jill. Good luck with your bitch voice, sista.

  2. My bitch voice is on ongoing replay in my head. Not really. Ok, sometimes. But I try to keep her calm when I talk out loud. Doesn’t always work. I feel especially mature when I give the finger to a closed door or mutter under my breath like I have multiple personalities. Good post, good goal. Good luck and yes, baby steps. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it. I know mine does. I can think whatever the fuck I want, and guess what so can he, which is, I’m sure sometimes shit I’d rather not know! But, I’ll keep him.

  3. I think that is a great resolution!!! It is a tough one though, I try to speak nicely to my hubs, but sometimes bitch voice is unavoidable!

  4. Well shit. I needed to hear this. Why is it so easy to talk to our significant others in the bitch voice? Why does it go there so quickly? It’s not only women you know, men have the dick voice. Husband uses it sort of like I use the bitch voice. Thanks for bringing this to my attention- it’s much nicer to live with a person when your nice to each other.

  5. Guilty as charged. Great piece. I see my daughter emulating me with it sometimes as well. Best to switch out the ..bitch voice. Thanks Jill.

  6. That would be a very ambitious goal for me…plus I think my husband likes it on some level – ha! Good luck, I’ll be waiting for updates!

    • If I bottom out, that’s totally going to be my rationale – “you really like my bitch voice!”

  7. Guilty! Fairly certain that my bitch voice somehow has overflown into inappropriate aspects of my life. I too am trying to learn to bite my tongue. It really helps that my best friend is available 24/7 to let me take it out on her. She understands and we have a good laugh at the end of it. Good luck, hope you don’t draw any blood biting it too hard.

  8. My husband called it my “idiot voice.” A friend calls it my “Tone” (capital T). I try to control it – sometimes – but sometimes it just comes out. This is an enviable thing to work on, so thanks for the prompt!

  9. I so catch myself talking to my husband in my bitch voice all the time, and I realize I do it most of the time and wonder why I do it. I definitely need to work on it also!

  10. I know the voice. I use it way too much, and usually on the people who least deserve it (like my sweet, perfect, amazing husband). Like you, I’m not a big fan of resolutions, but this one seems worth a shot!

  11. I am also aspiring to tone down the bitch voice with my husband. In fact, I made it a goal to put him first more often, because I have made a bad habit of giving all of my attention to our son, and then not giving my husband enough. And I have seen it make a big difference already. I mean, he’s not perfect (nor am I) but it does help.

    • I put my kids first, too. I definitely can work on the way I prioritize stuff. For sure.

  12. It’s just amazing how we can ‘control’ ourselves with everyone else in the world, but come home to the safe sanctuary of our family and let it ROLL!! Especially hubs. I get this. 🙂

  13. I applaud your honesty! I wish my my wife would work on not using her b**** voice. Then I could stop having to use my alpha dickhead voice in retort. Unfortunately I think bitchiness is hardwired into women.

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