Constant nitpicking is hard to endure and can drive a wedge between you and your partner. If he’s really not pulling his weight and regularly failing to do what he’s promised, then you have a right to step in and find out why. If you find yourself nagging for the sake of it, though, you might want to work on curbing the need to nag — for your sake and your partner’s.
Stop taking everything personally.
Failing to load the dishwasher in exactly the same way you would or improperly folding a fitted sheet should not be taken as a personal affront. As long as he’s helping out around the house, there shouldn’t be any rules about how certain chores are done. Try to avoid re-doing things you’ve asked him to do or telling him how something should be done after he’s already completed a task. Nagging him because he hasn’t done something to your standards isn’t fair and will just cause an unnecessary argument.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
All those little things that bother you — forgetting to put the cap back on the toothpaste, getting the wrong brand of orange juice — aren’t worth nagging him. Ask yourself why you’re letting the little things get you so worked up. Are there underlying issues that need to be resolved, such as being unhappy at work or stressed out about family concerns? If so, taking out your frustration on him through nagging isn’t going to help either of you. Rather than getting angry every 10 minutes, just relax and realize that being bothered by the little things isn’t worth your time or energy.
Nagging sounds very similar to demanding. Your request is much less likely to fall on deaf (and frustrated) ears if you say “please” and “thank you,” rather than just making demands. No adult enjoys being treated like a child. Treat him with respect, and he’ll be much more receptive to anything you ask of him.
Think before you nag
When you feel yourself itching to nag, stop and think about whether what you’re about to say is really necessary. Are you just nagging out of habit, because you’re tired and in a bad mood, or because he really did neglect to do something major? If there’s truly nothing worth pestering your partner about, keep your nitpicking to yourself. You’ll end up having a much more pleasant evening.