Married to a Mumbler (A Marriage Story)


Chris: Hey hon…where the ________________? (choose whatever)

Wifey: mmh meme muummgmn, mhm memem mhemmm.

C: Pardon me?

W: mdmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmmm

C: (To himself) …uh…umm…ooo-kay…I’ll just…dang…

Liam: Da-da-da-da (fart)!


This summarizes many of the conversations I have with Wifey on a daily basis. Now not all of them are like that. A lot of them are full-voiced and filled with beautiful syntax, structure and substance. Some end with laughter. Others, with meaningful pauses and lingering gazes. And still others with loud points made and the cries of “Ha! I win!” that follow.

But yeah, in a lot of them, I have no clue what Wifey is saying. Here’s a summary of why this is (or rather why I believe this is):

  1. Wifey has a naturally soft voice. I THINK I’ve only heard her yell at me once. She’s been justifiably mad a bunch  but yelling isn’t her thing. Which makes me very afraid for the day she breaks and yells out.
  2. Wifey has a naturally higher voice. Now when I say I don’t mean squeaky high or chalkboard high, just higher.
  3. Wifey is a “baby of the family”-last of three child. I think that all younger siblings develop that “Talk under your breath”-thing so they don’t get beaten up or something. I’m no clinical psychologist but that’s my opinion. It’s easy to say whatever you want (good, bad, nice, mean) in a lower grumble.
  4. I am naturally hard of hearing. This is both in being stubborn AND in what I hear. Years of big headphones and loud base filled tunes have wrecked my ears. As for being stubborn…I got nothing.

So you can imagine the frustration Wifey must feel when she asks something of me and I can’t respond because I’m not sure what she said. ALSO: She, like many people, hates repeating herself! So that’s never fun to say, “What?” (Ever notice that when people repeat themselves, the tone is much more “You’re a deaf dummy!!” Or is that just me?)

So with every mumbled statement made, I have different responses that I can make, with each have different results.

  1. Pretend Like Nothing Was Said (Times used: 25%. Fear of reveal: 80%. Percentage of wifey’s anger: 90%). So in this scenario, I just walk around FULLY knowing she said something but out of either fear of asking again OR being too lazy/tired at the time to re-ask the question, I say nothing. This then consists of me walking around or strategically playing with the kids, who are always loud and therefore blocking my ears. This always works by leaving the room.
  2. Guess what was being said (Times used: 15%. Amounts of times incorrect: 60%). This is a good one if you’re not worry about being wrong. My natural response is to often say, “I thought you said…” which is responded with a “Why would I say that?!” Which is always true.
  3. Stand, Pause and Wait for a Repeat (Times used: 30%. Frustrated glances from Wifey: 70%). How annoying would that be? Just having me stand around you, not doing anything waiting for you to say, “Did you HEAR me?!” Never a good one to choose. I really should change my approach here.
  4. Get sarcastic and mad (Times used: way more than I should). This is when I’m tired at my wits and I’m thinking “Just a bit louder, puleeze!” Any negative response I receive based on this when I’m called out on it is fully deserved. Plus, it’s a bad example for my kids to see, Wifey to feel and me to be. Trill
  5. Respond by saying “What?!” (Times used: It’s my default! Classic response: eyeroll and repetition). This one has  the right intentions but wrong delivery.
  6. Mumbling back. This is never a good one. This is when it get really immature on my part. I tend to do this more when I know Wifey may be saying something that she actually doesn’t want to say allowed.
  7. Just asking (Times used: 5 to 7%. Residual effect: Minimal). I get nervous about asking, which is dumb because she is my best friend but when I do, while there might be some annoyance, getting the task done is better than not. Plus, I know that she knows that she mumbles at times, so I should give her the fairness of simply asking. PLUS, I have MANY more hangups than that! I am talking many.

Being married to a mumbler is “tough“, and by tough I mean funny enough to blog about, but not as tough as other issues found in marriages. I think it’s fair to be real about stuff like this though. Just like she would be on how I didn’t help her find her keys, once. We, and by we I mean couples, never talk aloud about the little things, which often makes openings for the BIG things. And in  my doing so here, it’s not as a complaint (trust me, I told her about this post and she laughed at it and said okay, especially since I’m showing off my immaturity) but more in a “You know a funny thing Wifey does that I feel fine sharing with you is…”-type way. I do know that I am very fortunate to be with someone as funny, talented, forgiving and creative as her. In two weeks it’ll be seven years of her accepting and putting up with me, not the other way around. We do get on each other’s nerves at times (as other young couples do at times) but in the end, Chase loves Brown (maiden name) For Life.

Even if many-a-times I have NO clue what she’s saying.

More than likely, she’s talking about the beard.

PS. Ellie is a lil Mumbler too, which makes for fun moments too!

If you have a similar story, I’d love to have some dialogue with you on it. Leave a comment OR email me at We’ve all got a story, so let’s share them. Also, feel free to subscribe to this blog by clicking the “subscribe me” button. Thanks – Chase

We all need someone sometimes…

I hate asking for help.

Call me prideful or shy or dumb or whatever but when I am in a jam I hate admitting my need for someone else. Most people are like that. No one likes to put all their dependance on someone else who. We all have a desire to take care of things ourselves…and if you say that you’re not that type, then I think you’re a liar:)

This week has been one of those weeks where I had to swallow my pride and reach out to others. Crazy thing happened when I did: People wanted to help. In fact, they went way beyond what I thought they’d be willing to do. Should I explain? Okay, I will.

So in Toronto this past Tuesday, it finally snowed. EXCEPT that it wasn’t that nice ‘Silver Bells/White Christmas/Stick your tongue out to catch a flake-type snow fall, where you stay home and look our your back window with a sigh of ‘This is beautiful’ while holding your spouse in one arm and your hot cocoa in the other hand. No. This snow looked like crap. It was slushy, wet and tough to drive through. While I was driving, my alternator belt (or something to that effect. I know that if you put key in ignition, car moves…that’s about it.) broke and my car broke down 10 mins from the church. I tried to turn my car over but then our alarm system kicked in…and I didn’t have my remote with me. So much fun. I cry for 10 seconds (I let the fear and sadness in for only that long…I am SO Jack Shepherd from LOST season 1.) and then get out and walk to a tow truck and pay 50 bucks to get the car towed for three blocks to the church. Sad.

Here’s where the kindness comes in. I get to the church, not really saying much (As loud and as talkative as I am, I try not to say too much if that makes sense) about what happened but people being to come to my office to offer their help. Now there are two types of people in the world and you’re either one or the other: 1) You say you’ll help but you’re hoping the person in need won’t call your bluff (‘dude, call me if you need anything…please don’t call) and then 2) there are people who genuinely will help no matter what. I met a lot of 2s! People offering their cars (one of our APC pastors cars in sitting in my driveway until mine is ready…), rides for food, to the garage, etc. Even my boss called his own personal mechanic to have him look at my car so that I wouldn’t get screwed over at a Canadian Tire-type deal. It was so nice. I remember sitting in my office thinking…I have no choice…I gotta ask around. And I’m thankful I did. If not, I don’t know how I would have gotten home, explained to my wife why I had to sleep at work…all downhill stuff:(

Then yesterday I got my car towed to the mechanic (another stupid 60 bucks) and spent 10 mins driving with a guy who decided to tell me his entire life’s story. He had been twice married, get compensation cheques from the government due to a back injury he received on the job in 1981, couldn’t walk for 3 years due to said back injury, had a falling out with his business partner, used to own a bunch of trucks and pay drivers to tow but fired them and kept his own and he hates his job. He told me all that in 10 mins. And he didn’t talk fast. I guess he likes talking or maybe, just maybe, he needed someone to talk to for a while…he needed to know that someone was willing to listen to his story and for those 10 mins, i was.

I guess this blog entry has two points (and I’m not one of those teaching blog people…this will not happen often):

1) I can’t be afraid of admitting I need assistance at times and if you’re like me, neither can you. The value of letting someone in is huge. Not just for receiving help but also to learn more about someone and to see real care. And while there are limits to asking, if you need help, just ask.

2) Be willing to help someone else…who knows how their day is brightened because of your desire to be a ‘blessing’ of sorts. I was glad to help that guy out by simply listening…at least I hope I was. If not, then that was a long ride and I want my 60 bucks back.