A Glossary of Literary Terms: What Your Wife Says and What She Actually Means

Communication is hard. Really hard. In fact, if people communicated well, then the majority of the issues we face on a daily basis would be solved. From work to home to politics and news, communicating well is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, it is not a perfect world, and communication can be very challenging. I can’t help you with work or politics or news, but I can offer you a glossary of words your wife uses and what she actually means. Now, if your wife works with you, is a politician, or a news reporter, then you may be able to use this in other aspects of your life, but for now, let’s focus on your home.
Some major tips, besides the ones below, are to look at her body language and listen to the tone of her voice. These can be very easy giveaways as to whether she is upset or not. You really just need to pay attention.

Let’s start with the big ones:

1. “Do I look OK?”

do i look ok

This is a BIG ONE. Your wife is playing down what she wants. She may ask if she looks pretty or good but probably won’t ask if she looks stunning or beautiful. YET she wants to hear that she looks stunning and beautiful. If she asks if she looks OK, here is what to do. Look at her, but DON’T HESITATE. You need to show that you are listening and heard her but not that you are actually analyzing what she looks like. Then give her a compliment. Good words to use are: wow, beautiful, stunning, gorgeous, etc. Even if she isn’t the type to fish for a compliment, it is possible that she isn’t as confident in what she is wearing as she wants to be, so she is looking to you to believe in her.

2. “Do what you want”

Do not take this comment at face value. If you are discussing something and she whips out this comment, that means you are in the danger zone. She is technically giving you permission to go ahead and do whatever you wanted to do, but clearly is not happy about it which could come back to bite you in the butt later. Figure out what she is upset about and possibly try to compromise.

3. “I just think it’s funny how..”

wife and husband relationship

Not going to lie, this is one I use quite a bit. And trust me, your wife is not amused. In fact, she is probably the exact opposite. She is probably furious. This should be a major red flag and you need to start paying attention very quickly and diffuse the situation ASAP. Mostly, it means you already did something wrong, so probably just apologize (and do it sincerely, without any sass or eye rolling).

4. “It doesn’t matter”

IT DEFINITELY MATTERS. Do not look over this one. This is a reverse psychology kind of statement. Clearly she wanted you to notice something or do something that you didn’t do. Great responses are “it does matter” and then continue to explain why it matters and what you are going to do about it.

5. “What did you say?”

what did you say

Use this to your advantage. This is your wife giving you a second chance. She most likely heard exactly what you said and is not happy about it but wants to give you the chance to redeem yourself. Use this second chance wisely as it probably doesn’t come often. HOWEVER, watch her body language and tone because it is completely possible she just didn’t hear what you said.

6. “I look so fat in this” or “I look ugly” or anything of that nature

She is having a bad self esteem day and wants you to make her feel better. Your response should not be “no you don’t, you look fine.” That will probably just make her feel worse. Maybe give her a hug and tell her she looks beautiful or give a direct compliment about how it makes X part of her body look good. At this point it isn’t about the outfit itself but her self-esteem.

Deciphering what your wife means can be hard. But remember these few tips.

1. Think before you speak. Seriously, this is a must. Try to put yourself in her shoes and how she might react. I mean you are MARRIED to her. You probably know her pretty well. Use that to your advantage to avoid misunderstandings as much as possible.
2. Keep your cool. Seriously, getting annoyed or upset will only make matters worse, and chances are you will lose the argument anyway, so why not make it swift and get it over with. Don’t meet sass with sass. Escalating the situation is just asking for trouble and even more anger.
3. Remember she loves you. Your wife loves you, more than anyone. So, working together is key. Miscommunications are sure to happen, but hopefully this guide will smooth things over!


Read over this list, memorize it, and become much more aware to what exactly your wife means when she says certain words. It can be a lifesaver and diffuse arguments or increase self-esteem much quicker. Knowing exactly what to do and say, especially when she is down on herself, is a great tool to have in your tool box. The most important tip is to use your words (and learn to use them effectively!). Vary you complements and be honest and sincere. Don’t just talk to talk or hand out complements like candy, even if you do, make sure it is obvious that you mean it!

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