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How to Stop and Avoid Being a Nagging Wife

Updated on August 14, 2013
Nobody likes to be a nag, and nobody likes to be nagged.
Nobody likes to be a nag, and nobody likes to be nagged. | Source

One of the most frustrating things about men is that they will promise to do something they have no intention of doing. He says that he will repair the pipe, but he doesn't get around to it. In the meantime, you have to wait, because you don't know how to do it, and he will get angry if you call a repair company.

Your only option, it seems, is to remind him. Again and again, you remind him, and he continues to ignore your request. He tunes you out and avoids being around you. You feel like you have to become the enforcer of his promises, and it turns you into a nag.

You don't like being a nag, and he certainly doesn't like being nagged, so what can you do to avoid being a nagging wife?

Show Appreciation

One thing women tend to do once one thing is done is to move on to the next thing that needs to be completed. What this means to the man, though, is that once he has done something for you, you simply give him something else to do. There is no reward for accomplishing a task; rather it is almost a punishment.

All people like to be thanked and appreciated for the work that they have done. Just like dogs and other animals are easier to train with positive reinforcement, so do humans. Be sure to say thank you, and express how having this item completed will affect your life in a positive way. In this way, he knows that his contribution is acknowledged, valued and important. Giving him a reward, like pie or sex will show him that good things happen when he does what you ask.

You may feel that your own work isn't appreciated and taken for granted, but the goal here is to get him to do the work without having to nag him. It isn't about whether he shows appreciation for your efforts. Besides, by showing your man how to properly show appreciation, you may find that he will learn how to show appreciation to you as well.

Note that this isn't simply about paying lip service to appreciation. Many of the women I talk to easily complain about the things their husbands don't do, and downplay the things that their husbands do for them. "Yeah, he filled up the gas tank, but he was driving by the gas station anyway. But he never ..." It might be helpful for you to make a list of the things he does that you appreciate and post it. This way, he will know that you appreciate what he does, and the list will serve as a reminder for you the next time you think he never does anything.

Fairness and Respect

Make sure that when you need something to be done, you ask your husband nicely to do it. Do not make it a demand or a command. Ask him if he is willing to do it and make sure you set a reasonable time frame for him to do it. Don't expect him to drop everything he is doing to do your bidding unless there is an emergency.

Since you have delegated the task, he should be able to do it the way he wants to do it. Do not micromanage and expect him to do it exactly the way you would have done it. One of the requirements of an independent contractor is that the employer tells the contractor what needs to be done, and gives them the time frames and other parameters. Then, the contractor is given the leeway to do the job according to these parameters. Think of your husband as an independent contractor instead of an employee. He is not your employee, and should not be treated as such.

Don't expect perfection from him. We have a tendency to forgive ourselves for our mistakes and imperfections, and get angry when our spouses make mistakes or are imperfect. There are times we leave things undone. We have to be forgiving when our spouses leave things undone as well. Be more forgiving.

Also, remember that he has other things he wants to do. Make sure that you allow him the time to do those things as well. If you ask him to do something, remember the other things you have asked him to do as well. Sometimes we forget that the reason he didn't do this thing for us, is because we asked him to do something else.

You want your husband to be your knight in shining armor, but he is standing around like a statue. How do you get him to fix something or do some work around the house without nagging?
You want your husband to be your knight in shining armor, but he is standing around like a statue. How do you get him to fix something or do some work around the house without nagging? | Source

Get his Agreement

Proper communication is a must in any marriage. You want to work things out for a lifetime so you do not have to fight these battles every day. Don't ask him to do something when he is busy watching a game or occupied.

Better yet, sit down with your husband and work out a game plan. Divide up the chores. Maybe there is a chore he does not like, and you are willing to switch with him. Maybe you can decide together to get a maid or get a repair company to fix something.

Putting things in writing is a great way to make sure you both agree on the terms. Put the chore on a written to-do list that is posted on the refrigerator. Alternatively, you may schedule it and put it on a calendar. That way, you can mark off some spaces that are free for him to spend as he wishes.

Come up with a schedule of when things will be done. If he promises to fix the sink by Sunday, don't say anything more about it until Monday. It is his responsibility, and you want to avoid being the enforcer. If doesn't do it by Monday and doesn't give you a new time frame, then on Tuesday you are free to call a repairman.

Don't Expect Him to Read Your Mind

If you ask him to go to the grocery store and buy milk, don't get mad because he bought 2% instead of skim milk. If you don't specify your preference, he has a right to make the choice. He shouldn't be required to remember, simply because you have been buying skim for the last twenty years. He simply isn't that observant. Tell him nicely that from now on he should buy skim. Just to be sure, make sure you write "skim milk" on the grocery list from now on.

Accept No for an Answer

If he doesn't want to do something, and tells you so, then accept no for an answer. You might get mad in the short run, but isn't that better than having the thing drag on and on undone? This doesn't mean he can push all his chores on you. Ask him to do something else while you take responsibility to get the thing done. You can do it yourself or hire someone to finish the task.

Getting Your Husband to Do Things Without Nagging

As a summary, here are some bullet points to remember so you can avoid nagging:

  • ask nicely
  • communicate clearly, and not when the game is on
  • write it down
  • let him do it his way
  • bribery and appreciation works

By treating your husband respectfully as another responsible adult in your household, you can avoid nagging him, and develop a closer relationship with him.

© 2012 Shasta Matova

Comments: "How to Stop and Avoid Being a Nagging Wife"

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    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks Sid. I will check out your hub.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thanks, this works. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, encourages us to stop nagging and to fill our partner's "love tank." See my hubs for more. Voted up and useful.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      Thank you Ruchi for your comment and vote. Respect, appreciation and politeness for all people will get you farther.

    • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

      Ruchi Urvashi 6 years ago from Singapore

      Excellent hub. I agree that we need to be nice and police while requesting some work from spouse. Appreciation is the key that helps to enforce the good work. Voted up.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      Thank you vocalcoach. Thanks for reading, commenting, voting, and providing additional insight. It does feel like you have to nag sometimes, but hopefully these tips will help reduce the nagging.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Well...coming from a lady who has been married 4 times...yes you heard right...I can second your entire hub. You are absolutely right on the money. And I'd like to add one more piece of advice. Do not take advantage of your man when he is laying down by asking him to do something. See, I used to do this, which is the reason I kept losing my husbands. (kidding of course, but is stands within reason.)

      Every single woman should read this hub BEFORE tying the knot, but it's good advice during anytime.

      Bless you dear Millionaire! But where were you when I needed you? :) Voted up and across.


    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      Thank you for reading and commenting Greensleeves. Diplomacy and psychology are good things to keep in mind to avoid nagging.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 6 years ago from Essex, UK

      Good advice I'm sure. It must be a constant dilemma - most of us males need nagging. but none of us males like being nagged. LOL

      I'm guessing degrees in diplomacy and psychology are probably the best way forward for both parties in the average relationship.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      Cogerson - I am glad you found a wife who makes the effort to avoid nagging. It sounds like you follow the blueprint to communicate and follow through on your promises so that she doesn't have to nag. Kudos to both of you. Thanks for your vote and comment.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Great advice, and luckily I have a wife that follows this blueprint...and hopefully she feels the same way about me....voted up and very useful.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      Thank you kikalina.

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      Will be checking it out and sharing this.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      LOL kikalina - it is good that you have a relationship where you can laugh. Did he agree with the tips? I bet he liked the bribery one the best. Just so you know, I also wrote a hub for the husbands on how to deal with a nagging wife. Maybe he should read that one to you!

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      When I read the title, my hubbie made me read the whole hub! I read it aloud and we had a good laugh.