We all do it, whether we like to admit it or not. Nagging is one of marriage’s dirty little secrets. No one likes to talk about it, but it happens more often than you think. To help you curb this bad relationship habit, we put together some simple tips and better ways to get your point across to your partner.
While it may seem like whatever it is you’re nagging your husband about has nothing to do with you, take a closer look and own your part of the problem. We contribute to most of the problems that arise in a relationship whether we realize it or not. Figure out how you are contributing to the thing you’re nagging about. For example, if you ask your husband to clean up after dinner but end up taking on the task yourself and then nagging him for never helping out, something needs to change. Your need to have it done right away means you wind up doing it — and then nagging him. Instead of nagging, leave the kitchen and let him clean up in his own time.
Make it a conversation
No one likes to be told what to do or feel as if they’re being belittled, which is the effect nagging has and why it can slowly erode a relationship. Creating a discussion is a much better option for both of you. Engage your partner in a conversation rather than constantly bugging him. Ask him what’s getting in the way of him doing whatever you want him to do, be it clean, drive slower or be more romantic. Getting your partner involved in a conversation about what needs to be done and how best to do it works far better than nagging.
Step up first
If you and your partner are constantly nagging each other, one way to break the pattern is for one of you to step up and make a change. Why? Because stepping up is contagious and someone has to get the ball rolling. Make a list of the things your partner nags you about and start making a change. After a few days, ask if they’ve noticed and request feedback. Ideally, he will reciprocate and address some of the things you’ve been nagging him about. Nothing will get someone to step up and take responsibility faster than someone else going first.
Make a note
Save your concerns for the bigger issues like him never helping with housework or always breaking plans with you to hang out with the guys. No one is perfect, so you will have to accept some small annoyances in every relationship.