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A few weeks back I did a blog post entitled “Are You a Nagging Wife?” discussing my struggles of trying not to be a nagging wife. Well lately I have been seeing a lot of information about the topic floating around the net so I thought I would have round two on the topic.
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal reports that, “Nagging can be just as damaging to a marriage as adultery. It’s also one of the most common issues that married couples face.” That in itself says a lot, I think! To think that nagging, which some people think nothing of doing it, can be equivalent to an issue as serious as cheating, which some people can never forgive!
“Nagging—the interaction in which one person repeatedly makes a request, the other person repeatedly ignores it and both become increasingly annoyed—is an issue every couple will grapple with at some point.”
In the last post about nagging I explained how it would be easy for me to nag about organizational things or the to-do list because of my personality. I also talked about a few things that I had the urge to nag Ryan about; however I bit my tongue and waited it out. Low and behold he did the tasks without me saying a word!
I have continued to work on the nagging thing. A few weeks back Ryan got two new items. He took them out of the boxes, used them, and they seemed to be working out fine yet, the boxes were still sitting around. Here again Ryan and I have different personalities. I open a box and it goes in the trash within 24 hours once I see all is well. Ryan on the other hand has boxes for things that I would never have thought about keeping. So as the boxes sat there for a week I thought to myself, “I wonder how long he is going to keep those boxes?” Then, I had an urge to ask him. But I decided that would be condescending along with being considered nagging. I decided not to say anything. About two days later I come in and the boxes were by the trash! Whoa- it worked again! I didn’t say anything, yet he did it. Hmm. This might not be too bad. J Ryan later told me he was just waiting to make sure all worked well to make sure he didn’t need to return the items. Although that process is shorter for me than it is for Ryan there is no reason to nag him about it!
Although every couple will face this challenge of negative communications, the habit can be changed! If you think you might be a nagging wife check out the tips the article gave to help overcome this challenge below:
•Calm down—both of you. Recognize the pattern you are in and talk about how to address it as a team. You will both need to change your behavior, and ground rules can help.
•Look at it from the other person’s perspective. ‘Honey, when you ignore me I feel that you don’t love me.’ ‘I feel that you don’t appreciate what I am already doing when you nag me.’
•If you are the nagger, realize you are asking for something. Use an ‘I’ not a ‘you’ statement. Say ‘I would really like you to pay the Visa bill on time,’ instead of ‘You never pay the bill on time.’
•Explain why your request is important to you. ‘I worry about our finances when you pay the bill late. We can’t afford to pay late fees.’
•Manage your expectations. Make sure you are asking for something that is realistic and appropriate. Does the light bulb need to be changed immediately?
•Set a timeframe. Ask when your partner can expect to finish the task. (‘Can you change the car oil this weekend?’) Let him tell you when it works best for him to do it.
•If you are the naggee, give a clear response to your partner’s request. Tell her honestly if you can do what she asks and when. Then follow through. Do what you say you will do.
•Consider alternative solutions. Maybe it’s worth it to hire a handyman, rather than harm your relationship with arguing.
Choose one of these tips to start overcoming the challenge of being a nagging wife, but also to help you and your husband be a happier couple! Leave a comment below letting us know which tip you are going to start out with!
Check out: Are you a nagging wife? Round 3