Lost in Translation

February 19, 2009 at 10:15 am 10 comments

You all know how I feel about communication in a marriage. It’s not easy. To be honest, it stresses me out a bit. Men and women definitely speak different languages. Last night we went to a farewell party at a local bar/restaurant. As we were getting ready to leave I asked Stephen if he was ready. His answer was, “Yes. Maybe in a little bit.” What the heck does that mean?? Yes? Or maybe? Or in a little bit? Who even knows? I think we need a live-in interpreter.


At the bar, I was at a table with a bunch of guys. Two married, one engaged, two single. The conversation turned to girls, as I’m sure it normally does. I took a big swig of my beer and tried to blend in. This could be interesting! I’m not quite sure how the conversation started. But it was fascinating. Because I’ve been on the complete other side of the conversation many times.


One topic they covered was the “Is this a date?” confusion. It appears that if a date-like activity is involved, girls should know it’s a date. I whole-heartedly disagree. If it was never made clear, there is no reason we should assume this! As someone who was “tricked” into a date, I know that this assumption by men is a good way to annoy a good girl friend of yours. Men, if you normally hang out with this girl as a friend, she’s going to assume you are friends. This is not her fault. My question is this: If you know that women often misinterpret your dates as non-dates, why don’t you just make it clear to begin with??


Another interesting thing came up. One guy shared, “Okay, so if you ask a girl a yes or no question, we as guys assume that there are two possible answers. Yes. Or no. But oh how we are wrong! In a woman’s mind there is actually this middle non-answer. And we have no idea what to do with that. I really think that if you have that non-answer for over a week, you really should just take the ‘no’ and move on, because her answer will be much worse.” Okay, guilty. Women know that a yes or no question doesn’t have to be answered with a yes or no. There are millions of answers. And really, I feel for the guys on this one. Half the time we don’t know the answer, so how are they supposed to? So ladies, maybe we need to work on this.


I heard some stories from these guys about how nervous they were to ask girls out. (“I opened my mouth but nothing came out.”) How if they decide to ask a girl out, the time leading up to the actual question is pure torture. (“I couldn’t concentrate. And then there were too many people around. And they wouldn’t leave. Just leave!!!!”) I heard stories of guys getting dumped, left, and screwed over. (“Yeah, and after all of that, she dumped me after two weeks.”) I heard stories of awkward confrontations with girl’s dads. (“I was talking to her dad and she put her hand on my leg. I couldn’t think. I stopped in mid-sentence and had no idea what I was talking about. Or where I was. What did she think she was doing??”) And at the end of it all, I was stressed out. Being a guy is rough. Being a girl is rough too but mostly because of hormones. A guy’s life is rough because of us!


So to all of you single ladies out there, give him a break! Or use this as your soapbox and give him some hints. I haven’t changed my loyalties. I still wear pink and cheer for the girl’s team. I am still 100% against the “assumed date”… it’s deceiving and weak. But on many other topics, yeah, I can see how we are difficult. I can see why men think women are irrational and confusing. But I’d also challenge men to do what I did. Spend a couple hours at a table of women. Listen to their side of the story. You may also realize how ridiculous you are.


As the conversation was coming to a close and all them men were worn out and stressed from the discussion, Stephen and I looked at each other. With a heavy sigh he said, “Thanks for making sure that I never have to go through all of that again.” So yeah, we avoid some of that confusion, but we still have quite a bit of our own.


Now taking applications for an interpreter. Must be impartial and fluent in both male and female.

Entry filed under: Chelsea, Marriage, Stephen. Tags: , , .

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stephenie  |  February 19, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Let me know if you find an interpreter! I know there are times when one is needed in my marriage!

  • 2. Lindsay  |  February 19, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I agree, girls are rediculous…I’ve always thought so..we never have a concrete answer for anything..and if we do, it can change in a blink of an eye! …we are so hard to understand that we dont even understand ourselves..

    …poor guys.

  • 3. Ashley  |  February 19, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    LOL at this blog b/c it is so true. matt and i definitely have times where neither one of us understands what the other person is trying to get at. super frustrating for the both of us.

  • 4. jfowens  |  February 19, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Oh thank you thank you thank you for saying that our lives are rough because you confuse the heck out of us! This is a major victory for all us men. 🙂 Honestly, I have to say, women do confuse me, but a lot less so after reading “For Men Only.” I still however think you are all irrational. I do understand that you don’t always want men to problem solve… but I will NEVER understand why. It just makes sense! Solve the problem then the symptoms go away. Grrr. LOL

  • 5. Chelsea Hurst  |  February 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Love your comment John!!! A few things:
    -We don’t always know the problem, so you can’t always solve it. And even if you think you know the problem, you are probably way off. Most of the time the thing that seems like the problem is not actually the problem at all.
    -The book is awesome, isn’t it? Re-read it in about 6 months. You’ll find that you’ve forgotten everything already!
    -Do you think God laughs at us when we have mis-communication arguments? Because he clearly understands both sides.

  • 6. Matt  |  February 19, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Holy crap. Yeah. It’s true on both sides. I am confusing sometimes, she is others. It gets the worst when we are both tired and cranky and hungry. Then neither of us make sense, and then we squabble. Yuck.

  • 7. Mom  |  February 19, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    After 28+ years, it doesn’t get any “CLEARER” but you get used to it and things don’t stress you out as much. Face it, men will NEVER fully understand women….and vice versa. Keeps life a bit interesting, don’t you think? 🙂 At the very least, it makes for some wierd conversations!

  • 8. The Husband  |  February 20, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Also, just a story about arriving to the bar…

    So Andrew, Wes, Chelsea and I carpooled to the bar (I was driving). To get to the parking lot, I missed the turn and went down a street right next to the parking lot to where the dumptser gets picked up to turn around. 3 things happened

    1) I was perfectly planned with having pulled next to the dumpster, backing up and going back out to the street to go 5 ft to the parking lot.

    2) Chelsea, Wes and Andrew all thought I was going to park next to the dumpster to save time. I say “wait”(gruntingly) and Andrew and Wes quiet down to wait for my next move. But…

    3) Chelsea continues to think I’m parking at the dumpster and since I haven’t given a full detailed layout of my plan verbally, keeps trying to convince me not to park there… I continue to say “wait.”

    Lessons of the story: Women want you to answer in sentences if not paragraphs; men understand there is more logic that go into another man’s actions; and have other guys in the car to back you up in that giving simply one word, “wait,” is sufficient to explain what you’re saying.

  • 9. Chelsea Hurst  |  February 20, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Correction. He did not say “Wait.” He said “Guys guys guys guys.” Major difference. “Wait” is an actual answer. It gives us a response. It tells us to “Wait” because you have something planned. “Guys” says nothing. In fact, in the tone he said it in, it sounded more like a “shut up guys, my mind is made up.”

    This is why the most used phrase out of my mouth in our household is, “Stephen, use your words.”

    Girls need words.

  • 10. The Husband  |  February 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Actually, “Guys” means “shut-up everyone, my mind is made up and you obviously think it’s something other than what I’m doing now…so wait.”

    But like the following converstation indicated. All guys need to do really is give a vocal grunt and they understand.

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February 2009


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