June 08, 2009


I should probably say a few words about nagging, because it’s such an easy thing for wives to fall into. Let’s face it. Our husbands don’t always keep up their end of the bargain, and nagging seems to come naturally to us in those moments. Maybe your husband is sitting on the couch watching TV, even though the kids need their bath (the job he agreed to do). Maybe he hasn’t taken out the garbage yet, and tomorrow is trash day. You mention it once: “Honey, it’s almost time for the kids to go to bed, and they really need a bath first.” Or, “Sweetheart, did you remember that trash day is tomorrow?” But he hasn’t moved an inch.
You’re not going to nag, are you? Let’s identify nagging so you know what it looks like. How else can you guard against it?
Typically nagging shows up in one or a combination of the following, depending on the circumstances:

1. Repeating a command or demand more than once
2. Using a disrespectful or whiny tone
3. Huffing off when he doesn’t do what you want him to do
4. Grumbling and complaining aloud or under your breath
5. Standing over him with your arms crossed, tapping your big toe on the floor, or wagging your pointer finger in his face.
6. Giving the silent treatment

If you can’t nag, what can you do? Here are a few simple rules for getting your husband to do his part around the house.

Rule #1: Clearly communicate the details of what you expect.
Most nagging can be eliminated from the onset through good communication and realistic expectations. Often, nagging is the result of trying to get our husbands to do things they never agreed to do in the first place.
Be reasonable and realistic in your expectations of what “must be done” by your spouse. And recognize when you need to back off. Some things can wait, but for some unknown reason we want them done now. If the need isn’t immediate, relax a little and determine a reasonable time frame for finishing the task. The more you bring your husband in on the thinking process, the less imploring you’ll need to do.

Rule #2: Speak in a kind, soothing, and respectful voice.
A rude tone of voice can cause your husband to dig in his heels all the more. You can be firm, yet loving. Serious, yet kind. Use your voice and tone diplomatically to get the best results.

Rule #3: Explain the consequences.
Say, “If you don’t stop by the store on your way home from work, we won’t have any milk for your cereal in the morning.” Or, “If you don’t put out the trash tonight, our backyard will smell like rotten eggs until the next trash day.” It doesn’t hurt to set a humorous tone! For example: If the garage isn’t cleaned out by winter, you’re not going to have a place to put the car, and you’re going to get very cold scraping the ice off your windshield every morning.”

Rule #4: Be open for a good trade.
Instead of nagging, offer to trade one of your jobs for his. “Hey, honey, I’ll make a deal with you. If you can’t give the kids their bath now, I’ll take care of it tonight, and you can take care of writing the bills for me tomorrow night.” Guys love bargaining power!

Rule #5: If applicable, offer to pay someone else to do it.
Depending on what needs to be done, suggest paying someone else to do the task. This will accomplish one of two things: It will either shift him into high gear because he’s a miser and doesn’t want to pay money out of his pocket; or it will make him happy because the job’s off his shoulders and you’re off his back. Either way, the job gets done.


darkelcee said...

This makes sense... a whole load of sense.

thanks for the insight

Lady A said...

No problem! This is something I too need to work on. Girl, it's a process!