Why Nagging Doesn't Work? How to stop nagging your spouse?

Published on by CMe




Why Nagging Doesn't Work? How to stop nagging your spouse

If you are at your wit's end because your spouse leaves the bathroom in chaos, never cleans out the bathtub or shower, lets things slide, throws clothes on the floor, conveniently forgets to take out the trash, doesn't follow through with promises to do household chores, ignores reasonable requests to pick things up, refuses to quit smoking or lose weight, watches too much television, is on the computer a tremendous amount of time, and on, and on, and on... you may find yourself nagging or being demanding.

Face it. Nagging doesn't work!!

What is Nagging?
Have you ever thought about what nagging is? Here are some related terms for nagging:
  • faultfinding, continually complaining, criticism, catty, carping, coaxing, 
  • cynical, demanding, dunning, hairsplitting, insistent, nit-picking, overcritical, 
  • peevish, persistent, pestering, pettish, pressing, quibble, recurring, 
  • relentless, shrewish, slam, swipe, unrelenting, urging, and wheedling.

The Vicious Cycle of Nagging
Nagging can become a vicious cycle. The more you nag, the more your mate avoids you or withdraws both emotionally and physically from you, so the more you nag. Is this really how you want to live?

Why Nagging Doesn't Work

  1.  Even though your gripes may be valid, nagging makes your spouse resentful.
  2. Nagging makes your spouse defensive.
  3. Nagging puts you in the parent role, and your spouse in the child role. This isn't healthy for your marriage relationship.
  4. Nagging is disrespectful.
  5. Nagging is often perceived as criticism, so your spouse may tune out making what you are saying ineffective.
  6. When your spouse is being nagged, he/she probably feels attacked personally.
  7. Nagging can make your spouse feel inadequate.

Ways to Avoid Being a Nag

  • Don't blame. 
  • Don't demean. 
  • Don't attack. 
  •  Don't criticize. 
  • Avoid making your spouse feel stupid. 
  •  Don't give in to your frustration and do your spouse's chores. Your mate needs to learn to deal with the logical consequences of being messy.

Instead of Nagging, Try Positive Approaches

  • Share your feelings.
  • Stick to the issue at hand.
  • Keep your statements brief so they don't turn into long lectures.
  • Don't make ultimatums.
  • Avoid using the phrases, "You always..." and "You never..."
  •  Consider saying "would you" or "will you" rather than "could you" or "can you". 

There's a subtle difference in the way the request will be heard by your spouse.

  • Set a good example in picking up after yourself, putting your clothes away or in the hamper, leaving the bathroom is good shape after your shower or bath, eating healthy foods, exercising, etc.
  • Try to brainstorm solutions with your spouse.
  • Acknowledge your different perspectives regarding chores and housekeeping expectations.
  • Show your appreciation when your spouse does put dishes in the dishwasher, or picks up a towel, turns off the television to take a walk with you, or when dirty clothes end up in the hamper.
  • See what happens if you stop nagging.  If you are the One Being Nagged
  • Accept your responsibility in helping to create a home environment that has triggered a nagging response in your spouse.
  • Honestly evaluate your attitude about chores, picking up after yourself, annoying habits, and more.
  • Ask yourself if you have a pattern of avoidance when it comes to chores or other issues. 
  • If you ignore your mate's requests or refuse to even acknowledge that you heard what your spouse has said to you, stop this behavior. Really try to listen and to respond to your spouse. It is okay to say no. At least your spouse will know you heard what was said.


How to stop nagging your spouse

Nagging your partner can become an unconscious habit that you have and might not realize it. The bible says its better to live on the rooftop than with a nagging wife. Nagging causes allot of damage in relationships and families as well. Here are some simple tips to help you kick the habit.


  1. When you come into the house always evaluate your first words to your partner. If your first words are negative it can set a negative tone for the day. Be careful of everything you say and choose your words wisely. When we speak nagging and negative words we attract those words to us and often make your partner not look forward to your arrival.
  2. Give lots of praise and notice the things that are rights. There are always going to be wrong things and things you don't like. But if you can live with them why say anything about it. Always remember there is a time and a place for everything. Timing is crucial when criticisms occur. There should be a time where you and your partner are both open to it and ready to change. Perhaps a family meeting is a good time to bring up things you are concerned with. Things like bringing up money in the bedroom is absolutely bad timing. If your partner tells you that you don't let them talk beware.
  3. You have to realize there is a process to stop nagging. This process didn't happen in a day so it will take time to completely stop nagging. Just be constantly aware of the things that you say. You shouldn't use words like never and always because these words do more harm than good. Take these two little words never and always completely out of your vocabulary becuase these words are not true. Look for the good in your partner. When you come home and walk through the door look for the good in your home close your eyes to the bad in the home.

This will only work if you want it to work. You got to have the desire and willpower to want to change. Trust me if you are able to stop nagging your relationship will draw closer than it ever were before. If you do these thing your spouse will come down from the roof.

Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at  MetroSexual LA


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