“If you treat your wife like a thoroughbred, you’ll never end up with a nag.” ~ Zig Ziglar
Here are the top things wives nag about. Do these sound familiar to you?
Undone chores… Your method of driving… Not listening to her… Being late… Leaving the toilet seat up… Having bad manners… Not treating her family and friends well… Being sloppy… Your appearance… Working too much… Being late… Forgetting important dates like birthdays and anniversaries… Spending too much time watching or engaging in sports… Not being given enough attention… and last but not least…Taking out the trash.
If you want to decrease the amount of nagging around your house, here are 12 strategies to help:
1) Zoning Out Makes Things Worse. Most men have mastered the ability to block out their woman’s incessant nagging. Unfortunately, this ability only works against him. If your woman doesn’t feel like you are listening, she is forced to repeat herself. Now he gets to hear the complaint again and possibly again and again.
2) Some Nagging Is Innocent. The number one need of a woman is certainty. Sometimes what appears to be nagging is really just a reminder of something that needs to be done. It may be an annoying reminder but if you start to view it as a reminder, it will take the annoyance out of the equation.
3) Nagging Is A Learned Behavior. Nagging is a ritual of socialization. Young girls grow up watching older women complain about the shortcomings of their husbands. They witness this in beauty parlors and family gatherings. They come to realize this is just what women do. I’m not saying this right but maybe her nagging shouldn’t be taken personally.
4) Does She Talk In Riddles? Some wives sound like “The Riddler” from the Batman comics. Does your wife say things like, “Would you like to try and guess why the bills didn’t get paid this month?” You don’t know what she’s talking about and she knows it, otherwise why would she be asking in the first place? Rather than get upset with her quizzing, humorously play along. Frustration never promotes connection but humor does.
5) Change Your Channel. If you notice that she is huffing or making a frustrated expression; that is a signal that you need to stop what you are doing and give her your undivided attention. Nagging is often a reflection that you aren’t doing your part around the house or that you aren’t being respectful towards her.
6) Don’t Make Unnecessary Commentary. You will only make matters worse if you say foolish things like “You sound just like your mother.” or “Nag, nag, nag.” under your breath as she walks out of the room. Use a respectful tone of voice and avoid heavy sighing when you talk to her.
7) Think Ahead. If you make unnecessary comments or put her off; the rest of the evening or the weekend could go terribly bad.
8) Be Prepared To Listen. The longer you fight this process, the worse it gets. Train yourself to listen. And I mean fully listen and then respond to what she is saying. If she asks you to take out the trash, don’t say “I’ll get to it in a minute!” if you know your minutes are really hours or days.
9) Take Responsibility. The faster you acknowledge her complaint, the better. Don’t get caught up with trying to give her an explanation. You may have good reasons and excuses but I suggest that you start off with admitting what you did or didn’t do. Then you can possibly give your explanation. Wives respond best to you taking responsibility. This is very disarming and can prevent many unnecessary arguments.
10) Is There An Underlying Issue? Some wives are more indirect in their nagging so what they are saying isn’t always the point they are trying to make. If what she is saying doesn’t make sense to you or you have a gut feeling that something else is really bothering her; listen even more carefully.
11) Timing Is Everything. If you come home really tired from work and your wife wants you to clean out the garage, remind yourself before speaking that your goal is to stay connected to her and to prevent an argument. Kindly say, “I just had a really tough day, please give me an hour to relax. I promise that I will clean out the garage after I’ve rested up from work.”
12) Keep Your Promises. Be proactive instead of being reactive. If you say you will do something then do it. If you know something needs to be done, do it. Don’t wait for your wife to tell you what should be done. She is your wife; not your mother. Your marriage will significantly improve if your treat your wife like your wife and not like a mothe
“People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be, not what you nag them to be.” ~ Unknown
“Women always worry about the things that men forget; men always worry about the things women remember.” ~ Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Mark Webb is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center in Valdosta. He is the author of How To Be A Great Partner. Mark has been in the field of helping individuals and couples since 1986. He has a vast amount of experience and he can have a very positive impact on your life and your relationship. If you are looking for individual or marriage counseling, please call his office in Valdosta, Georgia and his staff will help you set up an appointment.
South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center
2704 N. Oak St. Blg B-3
Valdosta, Georgia 31602