Thou Shalt Not Nag

Kate says . . .

I know that some of you didn’t like the word nagging and wife going together in Brad’s last post, The Nagging Wife Syndrome.  Yet, if we are honest with ourselves wives-all of us have been there.  We have all pushed at times and pushing can very much seem like nagging.  So, I’m taking on this bad habit but, remember when I say this that our husband’s have things they struggle with as well.

Communication is so important to a marriage and therefore it can be a major stumbling block too.  How we listen, talk to and respond to each other both verbally and non-verbally tells our hubby a great deal.

“Thou Shalt Not Nag”  feels like one of the Ten Commandments for wives.  Do you ever feel like you are nagging?  I know that I struggle with it here and there.  I also know that I don’t like it!  I don’t like to feel like I am nagging my hubby.  So how can we battle the nagging feeling of wanting to nag?

Identify what you really need/want

What is the message you trying to get across to your hubby?  If you keep telling him to clean up the living room, are you telling him that you are having guests and would like things cleaned up?  Are you telling him that the house is always a mess and you are sick of it?  Are you telling him that you are frustrated?  Are you telling him that the kids spilled Cheerios all over and it needs to be vacuumed?  Telling him that the living room needs to be cleaned up over and over again can mean so many different things.  Help your hubby to understand where you are coming from and what you need him to help with.

Be specific about the timeline

No one likes to be treated like a child, especially your hubby!  He is not one of the kids and you need to fight thinking of him that way.  He is the God ordained head of your family and that should earn your love and respect.  Even if you feel as though he has not stepped up to being head of the family.  When you need his help, ask!  Don’t expect him to just know what you need.  Share with him your needs and also the timeline in which you would like to have your projects done.

I used to just mention things that Brad could do to help and he would say ok, but make no effort to do them.  Then he would look at me and say “oh, you wanted me to do that now?”  I never gave him a timeline so how was he to know.  Now Brad will ask me a timeline if I forget to mention.  Speaking these requests with grace is sometimes hard, but so needed.  Think about how you ask for help.  Pray and ask God to help you speak with kindness and respect for your hubby.

Be willing to let some things go

I know that I tend to have a list of things that need done and I want them all DONE!  Yet I have learned to relax and be realistic about what really needs done and what can wait.  So I try to mention that when I am asking, “You know, I would love for us to get that done today but if not, that is ok.”  We women tend to be driven and determined-can I get an amen?  Sometimes our determination steamroll right on over our hubby.  Look at your list of things that need done and evaluate what truly needs done.

Share your feelings

No this is not a counseling session, but many times when we nag at our hubby we are really just wanting them to take an interest and be a comfort to us.  Find a quiet time and share your feelings with him.  Share your joys and stresses, your thoughts and ideas.  As much as it would be nice to have your husband know your feelings and thoughts without asking, that would not be very intimate.  God designed for us to engage one another so that we can have a personal relationship with our spouse.

For the Non-Nagging Wife

If this is you, I commend you!  I do not think that I am overly nagging (you will have to ask Brad), yet there have been times I do struggle with expressing what I need or want in a way that is respectful and grace filled.  Keep loving on your man and serving him in the ways God has designed you to do.

What do you think wives, is the nagging wife syndrome a myth or is there so real validity to it?  Do you struggle with nagging?  Share ways you have worked to overcome this!  I would love to hear them so we can all learn from one another.


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6 Responses to Thou Shalt Not Nag

  1. Hmm. Robert and I are sitting drinking coffee & discussing this post. Rob thinks it’s not an either/or about nagging but rather a ‘scale’. We decided that we both nag to some point. It’s crossing the line from reminder to annoyance that’s dangerous. (he just reminded me about a glass of milk that’s been in the fridge for 2 days – LOL)

    My definition about nagging is that nagging is all about “you”. It has your needs in mind, not your spouse’s. It’s expressed when you feel you want to let it out – not when your spouse is most likely to receive the idea well.

    Great ‘fodder’ for discussion! Thanks. 😉

    • Hey Lori! Love the milk comment! I think you are have hit a great point, it is a scale of sorts. And yes, both wife and husband can be naggers at times.

      I love what you said about nagging be all about you! When I feel as though I am nagging, I try to stop and ask myself-what is this all about. Many times I come to that very conclusion-it is all about my own selfishness! Yuck!

      Glad it was a great fodder for discussion! Blessing to you and Robert and your wonderful ministry! Kate

  2. I really dislike the word “nagging.” I think that it can be used to make women’s legitimate needs seem like they aren’t important. So if a woman keeps asking her husband for something that is important to her, that’s nagging. But if a man keeps asking his wife for something that is important to him, that’s requesting that his legitimate needs be met. I just think that the word can be used as a way to ignore things that are important to a woman. Clearly though, if either a wife or a husband keeps asking for something (communication, help around the house, sex or whatever) and that need isn’t met, the couple needs to work on communication. My own tendency is not to “nag” but to “shut down” if I have expressed a need several times and feel like my husband isn’t paying attention. Of course, “shutting down” isn’t a very healthy communication method either!

    • Hi Gaye! Thanks for writing and sharing, I really appreciate it! To be completely honest I dislike to word nagging as well, very much. Yet I felt it was the best word that the worlds tends to use in terms of this issue. And you are right, words can be used that are ignoring the importance of something to a wife. Brad was addressing that very issue in his last post! You know it is funny that you should mention shutting down, I tend to go more of that way as well. I was hoping to shed some light on ways that we can communicate better and express our needs and wants without getting into the nagging bit. It makes me very sad when a husband complains about his nagging wife. I hurt for both of them, because nagging does not just happen, it is a pattern that is established by both spouses. Thanks again for commenting. Blessings to you and your hubby! Kate

  3. I’m tired if my bf calling me a nag when to ME I’m just trying to communicate! A NAGGER is so offensive. He doesn’t understand that I just wanna understand what’s going on…with nagging I’m called pushy and bossy which are also hurtful. I’ve tried to do it HIS way but then nothing is discussed because to him its unimportant. Questions seem like arguments when that has never been my intention. I’m lost as to how to handle this because both of us are at our breaking point.

    • Ocie,
      Thanks for writing. I see two issues here. First, there is a HUGE difference between nagging and communicating. If you are just simply trying to get information, asking questions and are honestly open to listening then this isn’t nagging. On the other hand if it is more then that, as in continually reminding him of a responsibility or something like that it could be. I would encourage you to ask him “I really want to know _____, how can I ask you about this without having you feel like I’m nagging?” If his answer is “you can’t” then it leads into my second concern. If your boyfriend is not communicating with you now, it will not improve if you get married. This should make you seriously question where the relationship is headed. I know that probably isn’t good news, but it is honest. Dating is a million times easier then marriage. Marriage is a million times BETTER then dating, but it is harder too.
      God Bless!