The Good Husbanding Guide to Women Speak

Throughout life there are different languages men must learn. From high school Spanish to automotive lingo, most guys learn enough to be proficient. “Women speak,” a convoluted mix of contradictory statements paired with demonstrative body language, is perhaps the most important of them all.

Test your knowledge against our women speak guide below. Print it and keep it handy. You never know. It just may save your life one day.

Women Speak Terms, Interpretations and Appropriate Responses

What does she mean?I’m fine/it’s fine: when your wife utters (or shouts) this phrase, she’s anything BUT fine, but doesn’t want to have to spoon feed the reason to you. So you’d better put on your detective’s hat and figure it out. The worst thing you can do is go on about your business. “I’m fine” is her way of saying “I’m mad as fire and you have exactly 14 seconds to figure out why before some facet of your well-being is irreparably damaged.” Some say that in women speak “fine” is an acronym for freaked-out, irritated, nervous and emotional.

We need to talk: This means “I need to talk,” more accurately “I need to complain about something that is either entirely your fault or you should be able to repair if it isn’t directly your fault. When would you like to talk about it? Now, or NOW???”

Go ahead/do what you want: If you idiotically choose to carry out whatever bad idea you’re contemplating, then you’ll have Hell to pay later. This is the wife’s equivalent of Clint Eastwood’s “Go ahead, make my day.” Eastwood wasn’t bluffing and neither is she.

Nothing: When used in response to “what’s wrong,” this one word answer almost always meansIf you weren’t such an imbecilic Neanderthal prick you’d know what’s wrong! Even the comatose deaf mute next door can figure it out. Why can’t you?!?”  **”Nothing” and “I’m fine” can be used interchangeably. Both mean trouble.

Whatever!: This is often used in conjunction with the throwing up of hands to end an argument. “Whatever” can be translated as meaning “I’m sick of fighting and it’s obvious that you’re too stupid to get my point or too stubborn to admit you’re wrong. I’m done with this discussion and will now either go shopping with your credit card, drink massive amounts of red wine, call my girlfriends to update them on your plummeting relationship IQ or all three simultaneously.

Yes: Means “yes” right now, but could be downgraded to a “no” or “maybe” at any time, for any reason.

Maybe: Most likely means “no,” but could become “yes” if you play your cards right and do the appropriate amount of kissing up.

No: Means “no.” Sorry, dude.

Loud Sigh: If done in direct response to something you say, this means the same as “whatever” or “words can’t express how completely exasperated I am right now.” If done after a long period of silence, after an argument or in bed, it means, “I’m still here and need your attention/affection, even if you’re asleep. If you don’t react, I’ll give you another, louder sigh as a warning that the fight will soon continue if you don’t react in the correct manner.”

Honey, are you asleep?: “I don’t care if you’re unconscious after a 17 hour work day, I wanna talk and/or cuddle. You may even be rewarded with sex.”

How do I look?: There’s only one way to respond. “You look beautiful! Today and everyday.”

Do I look fat/does my butt look big?: Means “I think I look fat, but I’m hoping that you’re so blinded by love for me that you don’t notice.” “No and “You look perfect to me” are the only appropriate answers. Any other response is dangerously unwise. Even if her posterior resembles that of a Sumatran rhino, don’t risk your life by saying something like “Honey, I LOVE how curvaceous you are.” She’s liable slap your face and then consume two bags of Double Stuff Oreos out of depression.

What are you thinking?: Translates as “you’re being suspiciously quiet and I want your attention.” Even if your brain is as vacant as Keanu Reeves’ do not respond with “nothing.” She won’t believe you. She just won’t. There is no possible way to make a woman believe that you’re thinking about nothing….because at any given moment our brains are handling more information and commands than Microsoft’s main data center.

It doesn’t matter to me what we do tonight. What do you wanna do?: Oh it matters alright. She knows what she wants to do, or at least knows what she doesn’t want to do, and she expects you to know too or she’s trying to appear unselfish. Maybe it’s time to play a covert game of 20 questions. You don’t want to get this wrong.

I’m not mad: This is an alternate way of saying “of freakin’ course I’m mad! And I cannot believe that you have to even ASK whether I’m mad or not. I mean, do you really think that I WOULDN’T be mad? Do you???” This is not really a question. And answering it just might make her bionically angry.

You never listen to me: “I want you to listen to me and if you’re smart you’ll start recording every word I say to use as reference for future fights and gift-giving occasions.”

Do you think that girl over there is pretty?: Means “I’m afraid you might think she’s prettier than I am. I’d really like it if you’d point out several reasons why she’s uglier than Medusa and I’m Cleopatra by comparison.”

I have a headache/It’s my time of the month/I’ve had a long day: What she means is “don’t you dare touch me. This is not up for negotiation. And if you try to come over to my side of the bed and start rubbing against me I just might thump you in the balls…HARD!

I’ll be ready in a few minutes: “You might as well find a baseball game on TV. We’ll probably be outta here by the seventh inning stretch. But I just might surprise you and be ready by the first commercial break. Either way, you have no say in the matter.”

Sure, I’d love to watch the game with you: While your wife seems suddenly interested in sports, she’s really just gathering ammo for the next time she wants you to go shopping with her. Of course there is the possibility that she just wants to be close to you and bond over something you enjoy. How sweet! You’ll want to buy her something extra special to recognize the effort.

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Filed Under: featuredHusband 101Wife Questions


About the Author: Angela is an award winning humor columnist, freelance writer and public speaker living in Middle Georgia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses her keen insight and clever wit to help husbands understand the complex mechanisms that are their wives. “I like to think of as an owner’s manual for the average wife. Of course results may vary, but we’re all fairly similar whether we admit it or not.” Angela uses her background in psychology, the myriad of learning experiences offered through her ten year marriage, and input from her “in the trenches” audience members across the country as input for her articles.

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  1. Jon LaBarge says:

    This is why the demasculinization of men exists. There are definitions in there that prove the point of why men are no longer allowed to be men. Maybe the equivalent women’s perspective should be to read a Dr. Laura book, specifically “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands”, which teaches wives to let their men be men and not to take that away from us.

    • Angela Weight says:

      Hi Jon, 
      I own Dr. Laura’s Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands and LOVE it!!! It’s been the one book I’ve referred to over and over for the 10 years I’ve been married. The women speak guide above, while it holds many truths, is sort of a tongue and cheek poke at women and their numerous complexities. Before you get too offended, take a look at the article “Why ‘yes, Dear’ isn’t always the right answer.’
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Andrew Klino says:

    list is only for the men who didn’t have the balls at the beginning of
    their relationship to tell their women how it really works. I told
    Steph on Day 1 that “I’m a dumb male. Don’t dare speak womanly
    code-talk to me. I will NEVER understand,
    and it’ll only piss you off even more if you try. Tell me EXACTLY what
    is on your mind, EXACTLY what it is that you want — in plain English!”
    She listened, and three years later, she’s my wife. Something worked.

  3. […] the house-cleaning process to heart, and your wife is very happy.  Or at least she *was*.  Now she expects you to do more than just dishes, putting laundry away, stacking paper, and cleaning the toilet. […]

  4. Waliali56 says:

    Sounds like G-D should be the only one with that kind of control to me. I think women should grow up and stop being an emotional powder keg all the time. After all she is not the only one in the relationship. It should be mutual……. “Women wonder why men cheat”!!!!