You don't often have to look too far in public to identify one spouse nagging another. This behavior is unfortunately very common, and it's not something that bolsters a relationship. Women are often associated with nagging their husbands, but the truth is that men also nag their wives — this is a behavior that can definitely extend across genders. It's worthwhile to attempt to honestly assess whether you nag your spouse, and, if so, seek to correct this habit with the help of a marriage counselor. Here are some signs that your nagging may be a problem.
A Request Turns Into A Conflict
A sure sign that you're nagging your spouse is that when you make a request of him or her, a conflict often arises. This is because you're not technically making a balanced request — instead, you're nagging him or her. Because people don't naturally like being nagged, your spouse may respond to you with hostility. For example, when you ask your spouse to mow the lawn and remind him or her that this is the second time you've asked, your spouse can easily become defensive and perhaps point out a household duty that you haven't done. Now you're in a full-fledged conflict as a result of your nagging.
Requests Aren't Fulfilled
Some people will automatically want to drag their heels when they feel that their spouse has nagged them. For example, instead of outwardly telling their spouse that they don't appreciate being nagged, some people will take a passive-aggressive approach — perhaps performing the requested task, but doing so in a slow manner or even attempting to do the job poorly. Think about the things that you ask your spouse and question whether they're getting done. If many of your requests are seeming to fall on deaf ears, it could be a sign that you're nagging him or her.
Nagging Comes Back At You
It's common for spouses to start to mimic each other's behavior, which can definitely be a problem when nagging is present. For example, perhaps your partner has always been easygoing, but now you start to see signs that he or she is nagging you. It's possible that your spouse has picked up this behavior because he or she is simply copying your approach. Maybe the spouse thinks that this is the best way to get things done, given how much you rely on nagging. Should you notice any of these signs that nagging is present, a marriage therapist can help you.
For information on counseling services, contact a professional like Barbara Saban, LCSW.
After developing a chronic physical illness, I soon began realizing that the disease plagued my mind almost more than it did my body. While my illness is not life-threatening, it was very difficult accepting that I would have to take medication for the rest of my life and eat a strict diet. After a year of depression, I finally overcame my fear of "exposing" my feelings to others and made an appointment with a mental health counselor. With her help, I was able to see the "silver linings" in life that I had greatly taken for granted before I became ill. I now encourage anyone who is battling an illness of any type to seek the psychological help they need. I plan to post lots of little mental health tips and tricks on my new blog along with advice for choosing a good counselor. Please come back soon!