One of the most common definitions of nagging is “persistently annoying or finding fault with someone”, so a nagging wife would be a combination of the following:
– How many times have I told you not to put your socks under the bed?
– Out of all the things on the grocery list, you forgot to buy the most important one!
– Why am I always the one who has to take care and think of everything?
– You’re not doing it right!
– You said you would wash the dishes!
The list of popular nagging phrases goes on and on… Does this sound familiar to you? If you fit the definition of a nagging wife, then I bet it does.
Or if your wife’s nagging has become one of your top marriage problems, then it surely does.
Before diving deeper into the essence of married life and the signs of a nagging wife, first let’s look at why some people have the urge to nag. So, here’s a simple question with a not that simple answer:
Why (Some) Women Nag?
No, nagging is not an inborn trait and it’s not something women WANT to do. And yes, both women and men can be naggers, so it’s not something that only relates to women.
Women don’t wake up in the morning and just decide that today they will play the role of an angry wife or a quarrelsome wife for the sake of driving their own husbands insane.
They don’t want to deal with constant nagging and it’s not something they enjoy (and sometimes they’re not even aware they’re doing it).
Just like their husbands, they want to be in a happy marriage, but the lack of the following two things makes it difficult:
a) Lack of open communication
b) Lack of honest conversation.
Now, I have the urge to redefine the definition of a nagging wife to this: “persistently annoying or finding fault with someone due to a lack of open and honest conversation”.
Healthy communication is the root of a healthy and happy marriage, and is something married couples forget about or don’t pay attention to.
If you’re a husband to a nagging wife, you probably think the following: My wife nags because she wants to make me feel less worthy and incapable.
But, the truth is that your wife nags because she’s trying to tell you how she feels about certain things.
For example, this one sentence: Why am I always the one who has to take care and think of everything? would sound so much different if she told you: I’m sorry, but I’m really tired of always being the one who has to think of everything. I wish you were more engaging and supportive.
If she just changed her tone, the sentence would automatically sound more pleasant and non-judgemental.
Another reason why women tend to become naggers is because of their need to be in control.
This is best explained through the concept of the parent-child relationship. So, a nagging wife in this situation would be the parent and her husband would be her child.
Just compare it with your childhood and you’ll understand it better. How many times did your mother or father tell you to take out the trash or make your bed?
And when you forgot to do it, they would remind you again, but this time with a nagging tone and you would feel like you were being forced to meet their expectations.
The same thing goes with a nagging wife – the only difference is the things she’s nagging about. Usually they are the little things like socks, dishes, and forgetfulness.
Then husbands tell their friends something like this: My wife keeps nagging me about spending too much time with you / drinking too much / not helping her with chores.
A marriage that is based on nagging often results in marriage counseling, seeking marriage advice from professionals, or a divorce.
While there’s nothing wrong with seeking help from marriage counselors, a divorce is something you want to prevent if you still care about each other.
To help you with that, here is a list of signs you’re a nagging wife and how to stop being one!
9 Signs You’re A Nagging Wife And What You Can Do To Change
1. Always asking for something more than once
One of the biggest signs of a nagging wife is the need to repeat things not once, not twice, but multiple times.
When you ask your husband to do something and he doesn’t do it, you assume that he didn’t hear you the first time, so you repeat your request a few more times, just in case.
The more you repeat, the more you nag. Your husband gets totally confused about the real reason for your constant reminders.
He starts to feel like you don’t care whether he’s able to do it, if he has time, or if something else is bothering him. He becomes convinced that he’s not good enough and he never will be.
WHAT TO DO
Instead of repeating requests, it is always wiser to ask your husband what exactly the problem is (if there is one) and look for a way to fix it together.
If you don’t do that, your husband will only be able to think about the two following things:
Proverbs 21: 9 “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.”
Proverbs 27:15 “A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.”
It’s important to pay attention to the real reason why your husband hasn’t done something yet or why he refuses to do it.
Is it because he doesn’t have time or is it because he’s not sure how to do it? It could also be laziness or forgetfulness.
Whatever it is, nagging won’t help. What will help is dealing with the problem and trying to find an adequate solution for it.
2. Using statements that trigger blame and accusation
Remember those popular nagging wife statements we mentioned at the beginning? Well, those are perfect examples of statements that trigger blame and accusation.
Statements like You never wash the dishes! or You always leave your socks under the bed! are filled with accusations and the keyword is YOU.
When you begin your sentences with ’you’, you are directly criticizing and attacking your husband. Why is that bad?
Because if you do that, he won’t focus on the real problem of washing the dishes, but instead he’ll think about attacking him. He will feel rejected and resentful.
WHAT TO DO
Instead of using statements that trigger blame and accusation or deciding to take things into your own hands, it’s important to redefine your questions.
Instead of accusing him of never washing the dishes, try telling: I’d like you to wash the dishes.
This is a polite, nice way of saying what you expect from your husband.
By telling him this, you are letting him know that you would like him to do something instead of just criticizing him for not doing it.
One of the biggest mistakes many women make is thinking that their husbands will read between the lines when they tell them things like: You never wash the dishes!
Even though this is a wife’s subtle attempt to motivate him to wash the dishes, he will not see it the same way.
He will see it as something offensive and not productive. That’s why it is important to rephrase questions and think about the type of message you want to send to him.
3. Feeling helpless
People often think that their criticizing or nagging is justified because they’re doing it primarily because they’re worried about their partner.
For example, if your husband is an active smoker and you would like him to quit smoking.
So, you remind him of that every day even though it’s evident he’s not going to quit anytime soon. That is when you start feeling helpless and start nagging even more.
And when your husband asks what it is that bothers you and why you are acting that way, you say something like: It doesn’t matter.
WHAT TO DO
First and foremost, you need to understand that you can’t change someone who is not willing to change themselves.
You need to learn to accept the things you cannot change because that is the essence of true happiness.
You could nag your husband for the rest of your life about something, but if he himself hasn’t decided to stop doing it or to improve things, there’s nothing you can do about it.
You could continue nagging, but by doing that you’ll make things even worse.
Whenever you’re feeling helpless about something you want to change (even though you know you can’t), always remind yourself that the only person who can do it is THEM (in this context – HIM).
(And sometimes moving on is inevitable).
See also: 12 Signs Of A Controlling Woman
4. Having the strong urge to control everything around you
This one is similar to the previous one.
Many spouses turn into control freaks (both men and women) and observe their partner’s every move, write down their every flaw, lack of effort, motivation and so on.
They get this strong urge to control everything around them because if they’re not in control, they feel helpless and like a passive character in marriage.
WHAT TO DO
Realize that you can’t control everything around you – the only thing you can is yourself.
As a matter of fact, the controlling urge stems from a deep desire to change yourself and not the things or people around you.
Whenever you’re nagging about something, ask yourself if it’s really what bothers you or if it is something else; something that is deeply rooted within you.
Perhaps you’re not satisfied with your career or your appearance, or maybe you’re having difficulties with your family.
All those things can be triggers to nagging behaviour and that’s why you need to pay close attention to them.
5. Feeling like a parent to your partner
Equality is something that is often overlooked in marriage and relationships and there is always that one partner who dominates more.
In this case, the nagging wife fits the role of a parent to her husband.
This role includes controlling, dominating, nagging, and following their every move.
A marriage or a relationship cannot function this way because one partner will always feel less-worthy and less capable than the other one.
WHAT TO DO
A nagging wife needs to absorb the fact that she’s not a parent to her partner and she’ll never be (and she’s not supposed to be).
If you feel like a parent to your partner, then there’s something more going on here.
Perhaps your personalities are completely different and you’re the one who is more grown-up and responsible, whereas your husband is less mature and therefore less dominant.
It’s important to understand that some people need more time to mature and treating them like a child won’t help. It will only drive them crazy.
6. Making your partner feel rejected or resentful
Constant nagging can make a partner feel rejected and resentful. It’s when they decide to withdraw to their man cave (in this particular case) and they no longer seem present.
They withdraw because they can’t stand constantly being criticized for something and never praised.
And when they pull away, women often continue nagging them about being ignorant and unwilling to cooperate and work on themselves.
WHAT TO DO
Pay attention to how many times in a day or a week you nag your partner. Is it literally every five minutes or every few hours?
Instead of only focusing on your feelings, focus on thinking about how this nagging will affect your relationship in the long run. Is it possible to live happily in such a toxic environment?
As you can see, this was a rhetorical question.
Ask yourself how you feel about making your partner feel rejected and resentful.
Is it something you want to improve and change? If yes, then it’s high time you replaced nagging with an open and honest conversation.
7. Being only focused on your partner
Being only focused on your partner results in constant bickering about trivial things, or worrying about whether he’s going to forget your wedding anniversary even though you’ve mentioned it thousand times so far.
All of which results in the ultimate NAGGING.
WHAT TO DO
When you’re only focused on your partner, you fail to see your own quirks and flaws.
Lord knows, no one is perfect. Because of that, we shouldn’t demand the impossible from our partners; we shouldn’t nag if we’re not ready to receive the same treatment in return.
Both partners should primarily focus on themselves so that they don’t get tempted into being the dominant one.
When you’re focused on yourself instead of only on your partner, you will distract yourself from potential nagging.
In other words, you will lack nagging material (which is a great thing, right?).
8. Lack of intimacy
Nagging is a serious libido killer and if you can’t remember the last time you and your partner were truly intimate, then you know whom you should blame for it.
Constantly reminding your partner that they’re not doing something right will result in discontent and a huge gap between the two of you.
There will no longer be warm hugs and kisses because nagging has literally killed all of it.
WHAT TO DO
Well, stop nagging and you’ll improve your intimacy! I know that it’s easier said than done, but the first step is being willing to stop nagging (especially about trivial things).
Start with hugging and kissing your partner when you wake up in the morning, because chances are you will not find anything to nag about so early.
Joking aside, try to shower your husband with warmth and comforting words from time to time, so that he sees you care about him and your “nagging personality” is not the real you.
The real you is the woman who loves and cares about her husband and who wants the best for him. Let him know that and you’ll significantly improve your intimacy.
9. Lack of trust and respect for your partner
Has your husband done something bad to you or hurt you one way or another so that you don’t trust him anymore?
Have you lost respect for him because he didn’t treat you the way you deserve?
If yes, nagging won’t help you with that either. Constantly demanding to know your partner’s whereabouts or nagging him about other things will only show how insecure you are.
In the long run, you and your partner will become even more miserable.
WHAT TO DO
If you have difficulties trusting your partner, then think about the reasons why. Focus on finding the root of your nagging and you’ll fix the problem.
Talk to your husband about it and tell him how you feel. Where there is no open and honest conversation, there is also a lack of trust and respect.
Once you improve the way you communicate with each other, you’ll also improve your marriage!
Learning how to stop being a nagging wife is not something one can master overnight. It is a process that requires lots of patience, understanding, and some more patience.
What’s important is that you’re aware of the problem and you’re willing to work on it. And remember: It takes two to make a marriage work.