More than half of the marriages in the United States end in divorce.
That being the case, I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’ve been married to the same woman for more than 17 years.
One of the key reasons for the continuing success of our marriage is communication – specifically my keen ability at deciphering WifeSpeak.
What’s WifeSpeak you ask???
WifeSpeak is that mystically, arcane collection of sounds, tonations and vocal stylings that confound and confuse the male species.
This particular mode of speech tends to bud shortly after the engagement and wedding planning-stage of the relationship, but doesn’t fully onset until after the wedding night for some reason.
Some linguists believe WifeSpeak is an evolutionary advance of the more primitive form of communication known as TeenDaughterSpeak – which basically has the same unsolvable speech patterns as WifeSpeak; however, the teen-version is coupled with non-verbal eye rolling and un-explainable crying.
To help married men crack the communication code with their spouse, I humbly offer this brief lexicon of WifeSpeak phrases with their actual meanings:
We’ve Discussed This Already… – your wife is referencing some topic or issue that she mentioned to you while you were driving together or while you were falling asleep in bed more than six months ago. Be advised that there is no statute of limitations on just how far back the conversation might have occurred and been cataloged in her noggin.
We Just Talked About This… – this diabolical conversation dilemma did indeed occur within the past four weeks; however, it occurred while you were watching football, changing the oil in her car or replacing a fuse during a blackout. In her mind, the fact that she got a tool-torquing grunt or football yell is the verbal cue she needs to classify your expulsion of air as conversation.
I Mentioned This to You… - this is a particularly insidious form of WifeSpeak because “mentioned” is such a weak word. In most instances when your wife says she “mentioned” something to you, she actually only thought about “talking” or “discussing” it with you but never actually used spoken words.
I Told You About This… - if you’ve been “told” something encoded in WifeSpeak – be warned. This particular communication conundrum is reserved only for the most extreme marital interactions such as favorite restaurants to celebrate wedding anniversaries; the dizzying dishwasher machine calculus surrounding which Tupperware items and non-stick skillets go on which wash rack; as well as pending visits from your mother-in-law. Your best defense is to silently nod your head in agreement.
The unspoken reality of WifeSpeak is that it’s an ever-evolving dialect that no man will ever fully understand – especially given the fact that men are notoriously poor listeners.
The one bit of advice I can offer any husband struggling with WifeSpeak is to keep repeating this code-cracking mantra to yourself, “Happy Wife, Happy Life.”
Question: Any other WifeSpeak phrases that you’d like to share?