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Communications guide just in time for summer vacation

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

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

Preoccupied with the paper, he muttered, “Uh-huh, I wonder why that is?”

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

The husband responded, predictably, “What did you say?”

We husbands are not always the best listeners, and communication in marriage is often a challenge.

Husbands and wives need all the help we can get, don’t we? Thanks to a junk email from who knows where, I have this helpful guide to understanding a wife’s vocabulary just in time for summer vacation. Here are some key words 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 or whatever mundane task he is asked to do.

Nothing: Usually means something is wrong, and you’re supposed to be smart enough to figure it out. However, most men I know are not mind readers. 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 the wife getting upset over nothing. You dare not go ahead if you know what’s good for you.

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 man. That’s Okay usually means that she wants to think long and hard before paying retributions for whatever you have done. That’s Okay is often used with fine and used in conjunction with the raised eyebrow go ahead and probably means it’s not okay.

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 done. This is your opportunity to tell the plain, honest truth the first time you’re asked.

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. Her tone doesn’t sound like she’s thankful. This usually means you’ve hurt her feelings in some way. When you ask her “What’s wrong?” she will always respond with nothing. Then you ask, “Are you okay?” and she’ll say, “I’m fine.”

Words are important and how we use words are critical. Here are some important words:

Five most important: I’m proud of you!

Four most important: What do you think?

Three most important: I appreciate that.

Two most important: Thank you!

One most important: You!

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


Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Ga. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road, just past the drivers’ services building, and invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at

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