It’s More Common Than Adultery and Potentially As Toxic, So Why Is It So Hard To Stop Nagging?

Nagging- the interaction in which one person repeatedly makes as request, the other person repeatedly ignores it and both become increasingly annoyed.  This is an issue every couple will grapple with at some point.  Experts say it is exactly the type of toxic communication that will eventually sink the relationship. It is a vicious cycle: The naggee tries badgering and starts to withhold, which makes the nagger nag more.

Nagging can become a prime contributor to divorce the couple starts fighting about the nagging rather than talking about the issue at the root of the nagging.  Couples who learn to reduce this type of negative communication will substantially increase their odds of staying together and keeping the love alive.  Couples who don’t learn often fall out of love and split up.  Couples can learn to stop nagging.  The first step in curbing the nagging cycle is to admit that you are stuck in a bad pattern.  You are fighting about the fighting.  You need to work to understand what makes the other person tick.  Rather than lazy and unloving, is your husband tired and overworked.  Is your wife really suggesting that she doesn’t trust you?  Or is she just trying to keep track of too many chores. 

Is nagging the problem in your relationship?  Here are some tips for both partners.

  • Calm down- both of you.  Recognize the pattern you are in and talk about it.
  • Look at it from the other person’s perspective.  “Honey when you ignore me I don’t feel loved.”  Or “I feel unappreciated when you nag me when I am already doing what you ask.”
  • If you are the nagger, realize you are asking for something. Use “I “statements.
  • Explain why your request is important to you.
  • Manage your expectations.  Make sure you are asking for something realistic.
  • Set a timeframe.  Ask when your partner can finish the request.
  • If you are the naggee, give a clear response to your partner’s request.  Tell then honestly if you can do it.
  • Consider alternative solutions. Maybe it’s worth hiring a handyman, rather than harm your relationship with arguing.

If you are interested in growing and the maintenance of your relationship, please give me a call at 631.692.9689, or send me an email at [email protected].

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