4 tricks to make your wife think you actually know what she's talking about

It's time to understand what your wife is really telling you. Here are some tips for decoding what your wife is really saying (and a cheat sheet that tells you what the right answers are).

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  • This article is sponsored by The Imitation Game. Click here for tickets and show times.

  • Does it ever feel like you and your wife speak different languages, or that you're having two conversations at the same time, only you have no idea what she is talking about?

  • It's true, wives do leave hidden messages for their husbands to find. Sometimes it's like trying to crack an unbreakable German code. The trick is knowing how to decode those messages. Making the effort will make your life easier and your wife much happier, Here are some insider tips to help you get started.

  • 1. When she asks you, "Are you listening to me?" ..

  • You'd better think back over the last five minutes of conversation, and do it quick. If you can recite back the main points of what she's been saying, you're probably in the clear. If you did happen to tune her out, however, prepare for a hurt look and a cold shoulder. Here's why:

  • When your wife shares her thoughts, she's being vulnerable. And if you're not listening, she'll be hurt and she'll back away. "The final way wives react when their husbands don't listen is by shifting their focus onto other relationships in their lives," says Mark Merrill, president of Family First.

  • This is not to say she'll immediately start looking for companionship in the arms of another man, but it does mean you lose your spot as her No. 1 confidante and she'll begin turning to friends, other family members or co-workers, rather than you, for her listening ear.

  • 2. When she tells you she needs some alone time ..

  • Don't take any offense. It isn't that she hates you or is tired of staring at your face; she just needs some time. Alone. With no expectations, no need for conversation, no pressing appointments. If she has been at home with the kids all day, a single moment alone with her thoughts is as relaxing as a day spent at the spa.

  • Do your wife a favor and when she asks for some alone time, tell her to take as much time as she needs. You will both be thankful later.

  • 3. When she asks, "What you want to do?"…

  • It means she has had a long day making decisions or dealing with household matters and needs someone else to make the decisions. If your response is, "I don't know, what do you want to do?" expect a quiet sigh of disappointment as she automatically starts trying to make the plans. Again.

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  • You don't have to come up with the ideas every time. She likes providing input. But sometimes she wants you to do the asking and planning, like you did when you two were dating.

  • 4. When she asks you, "What do you think of this dress on me?" ..

  • Always lead with a positive answer, even if the dress isn't flattering at all. She doeswant an honest answer to this question. If you lie and tell her she looks beautiful only to have her sister or friend tell her later the dress doesn't suit her, it will be all your fault. But remember to temper that honesty with something good.

  • For instance, "I think that color really matches your eyes, but it isn't my favorite one you've tried on," would be a great answer. It points out you noticed what color the dress is (and remembered what color her eyes are) and indicates there are other dresses she's tried on that you did like.

  • This question might also be code for something deeper, and after answering it you might want to think about when the last time was you told your wife she looks beautiful. She might be asking for a little validation, and wishing you would give it to her more often.

  • Marriage therapist Gary Lundberg and his wife, Joy, explain that "Giving her [a] compliment will make her feel it's all worth it and that you're noticing."

  • Your takeaways

  • These hints only scratch the surface of the hidden messages your wife might be sending you, but they do address some major principles you can build on.

  • Remember:

    • Listen and show her you're listening

    • Give her space when she asks for it

    • Initiate the plans once in a while, and

    • Don't forget to tell her she's beautiful, especially when she probably thinks she isn't

  • _Why not plan your next date night. Take her to see "The Imitation Game", the remarkable story of Alan Turing who cracked the unbreakable code and saved millions of lives. Click here for tickets and show times.

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Katie Nielsen received her bachelor's in English with an emphasis in technical writing. She has taught English and is a published writer.

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