Communications guide — just in time for Valentine’s Day

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

A wife returned home from work and found her husband sitting in his favorite chair totally absorbed in the local newspaper. After rummaging around in the kitchen for awhile, she said, “Honey, I read today that men speak 2,000 words a day and women 4,000 words each day.”

In a low growl he muttered, “Uh-huh, I wonder why that is?” He continued to be preoccupied with the paper.

After a pause, she said, “I guess it’s due to the fact that women have to repeat everything twice to their husbands.”

Ouch! Husbands aren’t always the best listeners, and communication in marriage is often a challenge.

We husbands and wives need all the help we can get, don’t we? So, just in time for our valentine’s celebration, here’s a helpful guide to understanding a wife’s vocabulary that arrived via some anonymous email source. What did we ever do before junk email? Here are some key words wives use and their hidden meanings:

Fine: This word does not refer to the way you think she looks. The wife may use this word at the end of any argument that the wife feels she is right about but needs to cease discussion.

Five Minutes: This is really half an hour. This is how long it will be before she is ready to leave. It is equivalent to the five minutes that the husband’s football or basketball game is going to last before he takes out the trash.

Nothing: Usually means something is wrong, but you’ll never find out because you’re supposed to be a mind reader. “Nothing” usually signifies an argument that may last “five minutes” and may end with the word “fine.”

Go Ahead (with raised eyebrows): This is a dare, one that will result with wife getting upset over “nothing.”

Go Ahead (with normal eyebrows): This means “I give up” or “do what you want to do because I really don’t care and you’re probably going to do it anyway.”

Oh: This word followed by any statement is trouble.

That’s Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements that woman can say to a man. “That’s Okay” means that she wants to think long and hard before paying you retributions for whatever that you have done. “That’s okay” is often used with the word “Fine” and used in conjunction with a raised eyebrow “go ahead.”

Please do: The wife is giving you the chance to come up with whatever excuse or reason you have for doing whatever it is that you have done. This is your opportunity to tell the plain, honest truth.

Thanks: A woman is thanking you. Do not faint, just say “you’re welcome.” This usually comes when you are dating, and occasionally after you’re married.

Thanks a lot: This expression is a lot different from “thanks.” A wife will say “thanks a lot” when she is really ticked off at you. It means you have hurt her in some way. When you ask her “what’s wrong?” She’ll always respond “nothing!”

Happy Valentine’s Day: Take it at face value. It may really mean “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Words are important. How we use words is important, also. Here are some other words that are important to use pretty often, especially between husbands and wives:

• The five most important words are “I am proud of you.”

• The four most important words are “What is your opinion?”

• The three most important words are “I appreciate that.”

• The two most important words are “Thank you.”

• The one most important word is “you.”

All of these communicate “I love you!” As the writer of Proverbs penned, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Prov. 25:11).

Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. The church family meets at 352 McDonough Road and invites you to Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. each Sunday. Visit their website at

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