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What I Really Mean When I Say These Things: Translation Guide for the Confused Husband

It is time to set the record straight.

I don’t enjoy handing out mom-equivalent versions of crime charges to my spouse. I am not here to display incriminating evidence against my husband.

Members of the jury, let it be noted that I am actually pleading guilty.

Many of the arguments that go on between my husband and I are often due to my own lack of communication, and my ability to over-complicate simple situations.

In fact, evidence points to the fact that often my husband doesn’t even know that I am upset, let alone why I am giving him the silent treatment.

I am not going to go into the differences between the chemical make-up of men and women; although, it is often the driving factor between why relationships are so complex.

I’ve talked to many friends over the years, and I realized something astonishing. We are all struggling with the exact same communication barriers.

Instead, of further confusing things, I decided to keep it simple. I created the below translation guide to really solve these 5 issues at hand – in hopes to avoid future trials.

When I Say This, I Mean That

There really are no guilty parties here.

My husband always means well. He simply doesn’t always understand that when I ask him certain things, I am looking for one particular answer. The only right answer.

I know that is not reasonable; however, I am busy mom and I don’t have time for discussing these things. To eliminate any confusion, I have decided to lay all the cards on the table, and tip off all husbands as to what your wife really means when she says these five things:

“Can you please do the dishes?”

Like, now.

If I am asking my husband specifically to help me out with something around the house, I mean I need help immediately.

I don’t need help after you watch a television show and cut your toe nails. I need it right now.

I can see my husband’s eye cloud with confusion when I ask him to do something then grunt “Fine, I’ll just do it myself” within minutes of asking.

Having a dynamic and packed to-do list kind of comes along with the territory of motherhood. If I am asking for help with something, such as the dishes, it is because I need the sink cleaned out to drain the dinner pasta and I don’t have time to do it because I am wiping a bum.

So, if your wife is asking for help with something, avoid her wrath by doing it instantly.

“I need help”

You can always hear me utter “I need help” minutes before my exhaustion-induced mommy freak-out moments.

Or, sometimes I say “I need a break” right before I emotionally break down.

It is a tiny cry for help.

I don’t really need help with anything in-particular. I just need you to tell me that I am doing a good job and take over for a moment until I regain my cool.

Sometimes, as mothers, we feel like we are responsible for carrying the world on our shoulders. We just need you to help us balance it.

Related: Why Mommy Temper Tantrums Are Actually Good for Your Kids

“Did you notice what I did today?”

It isn’t always visibly obvious the moment that you step foot in the house that I scrubbed the toilets. Or that I organized the kid’s closets. Or that I spent an hour sorting through a week’s worth of mail.

I get it.

That is why I am constantly explaining to my husband what I did that day at home or at work.

I consider myself a strong women, but sometimes I need a little encouragement and reward. I work hard and want to feel appreciated.

When your wife tells you what she has been working on, show your interest. Simple comments like the following will go along way:

  • This looks amazing!
  • How did you find time to do it all?
  • What would we do without you?

“How do I look?”

I’ve popped out three babies since I married my husband. I am not denying that my figure has changed.

However, us moms need a little confidence boost sometimes.

If I ask any questions about my appearance – my hair, my shape, heck my socks, then I am most likely fishing (or at least hoping) for a little attention.

I’m sure you’ve heard the classic wife on television her husband “Do I look fat in this dress?”

No, she does not. She looks radiant, and you need to tell her that.

“Can you help with the kids?”

The modern dad does a lot more around the home than their 1950’s forefathers. Typically they take on a larger role with their children and in the home.

Related: A Working Mom’s Thank You to the Modern Dad

Like myself, my husband doesn’t get a lot of chances to sit and relax. We both work hard and are very involved in our children’s lives.

From my experience, communication breaks down when the wife is not clear on what they are asking.

I know I am over-generalizing here, but men tend to take things literally. Women tend to not always say everything they mean.

If we ask you to brush the kid’s teeth before bed, don’t stop there. Put them in their pajamas and read a book. It doesn’t have to end with what we asked.

I talk to many other moms who get frustrated with their husbands. The wife asks the husband to do something. They do the duty and feel proud to have helped, while the wife seers with anger that the husband has their feet kicked up after completing the quick request.

Women don’t want to feel like nagging, prison guards; we simply want an equal division of work.

The Defense Rests

This simple translation guide should help each husband avoid being persecuted by their wife.

Times have changed. Women are not prancing around kitchens all day in aprons. Men are not coming home from work and kicking up their feet. We are to adjust our communication skills as our general lives become more complex.

If these common communication barriers are your biggest challenge, then your marriage is clearly on right path. Communication, though sometimes tricky, is key to a healthy relationship.

Discovering how to truly understand each other will eliminate a lot of the confusion that comes with normal family life.

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Ms. P

Friday 27th of March 2020

Absolutely Agree!! I need to share with YOU KNOW WHO!

Janay @

Friday 27th of March 2020

This was very informative and interesting! All parents should read this especially moms!


Friday 20th of March 2020

Thanks for putting this guide out... It's always difficult for a husband to understand what his wife wants.... Husbands can use this article as their cheatsheet next time :p

Friday 20th of March 2020

this is so true! I’m going to send this to my husband!

Trijit Mallick

Sunday 15th of March 2020

I am not married though, but this post will surely help me to understand the basic needs of my future wife. :P

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