Portrait of mixed raced couple having relationship difficulties against white background
I felt like screaming out my lungs as I was tired of reiterating the same thing again and again. Why can’t we just be on the same frequency, why do I have to go high pitch while he stays on the low pitch frequency. This is so exasperating, gosh!
Have you ever had this type of communication with your spouse, where you feel you and your spouse are not on the same wave length as regards various matters? Have you ever wondered why you need to ask yourself the question, “to Nag or not to Nag”, especially when you feel nagging gets a lot of things done just because they do not want to keep hearing your voice in their heads.
Nagging, that age-old art of bugging — er, gently reminding — someone to do something over and over again, insinuates itself into most relationships. “It’s more common than adultery and potentially as toxic, so why is it so hard to stop nagging?”
Good question. Psychologists say it boils down to faith. One person fears the other won’t follow through, and that compels her to keep asking her partner to complete the task. Her partner, in turn, gets annoyed, which doesn’t make him incredibly likely to want to cooperate… and the cycle begins.
I know it’s hard to stop nagging, but you can’t possibly keep this up. Your home is supposed to be a sanctuary for all who dwell therein. You come in with your fussing, arguing and fighting and it takes away the sanctity within your household and automatically turns your home into a chaotic mess.
The question is: have you ever sat down to analyze what it truly means to communicate and ensure the entire purpose of communicating is fulfilled without getting to the tipping point of nagging? Well, I think it is important to plan ahead when we ask ourselves “to nag or not to nag…”
Here are a few tips to letting go of the urge to nag and letting love bloom in our marriages.
1. Pray, meditate and become one with yourself
Being one with yourself means that you are clear about your intentions and the kind of home you wish to build. One of peace, relief, fun and love…not tension, fights, accusation and nagging.
You have to be spiritually aware of the chaos that you are causing within your home and your relationship. All of that fussing and fighting is giving the Devil a VIP invite into your home. That’s why you should say a prayer over your home, open your door and escort the Devil right out.
2. You’re not right; you’re just angry
‘Nagging isn’t smart; it’s an expression of negative emotion’, says psychologist Robert Meyers. Though anger may be justified and borne out of serious concern for your partner—you should know one thing: Nagging doesn’t work.
3. To the person being nagged: Just do it!
News flash for those being nagged: it takes two to tango. If you’re annoyed that your partner won’t quit bugging you about picking up your wet towels after you shower, then here’s a suggestion: “Just do it,” says Nike. “I mean, if it is only going to take five minutes then what’s the point of fighting and bringing disharmony to the house?”
4. To the nagger: Let it go
Rather than rant and rave to your spouse or beloved one more time about leaving their clothes on the room floor, why not just pick them up and get on with your day? Is the hassle of another supercharged argument really worth its weight of clothes on the floor? Nope.
5. Enjoy your relationship
Stop trying to look for something wrong. Just take the time to appreciate each other. Life is too short to worry about the future mistakes that are yet to happen and too complicated to worry about the past mistakes. Do things that make both of you happy now, so that you can have happy memories later.
It’s an investment in positive emotion that will pay off. Building up a bank of positive [emotion] is really important to relationships. We make the analogy to a bank account where if you’ve got a lot of money in the bank, pulling out some thousands isn’t going to hurt. But if you don’t, pulling out One Thousand Naira is really going to hurt.”
Whenever the unforeseen comes up, just take a deep breath. Your spouse didn’t take the trash out like you asked him to. Instead he’s lying in bed sleeping like a baby. Breathe and take the trash out yourself and don’t say anything. When he gets up looking for the overflowing garbage can, he finds a nice note instead. “Hey Babe, you were sleeping so well, I took the trash out for you. Get your rest. I’ll make dinner when I get home. Love You!”
Sit back and watch his reaction. If you change, then so will he. Just like Sir Isaac Newton said, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. You just may come home to a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a wonderfully made dinner.
7. Stay active
Keep yourself busy with fun activities you enjoy, family and friends. You do this so that you’re not at home worried about what he’s doing when the two of you are not together. An idle mind is the devil’s playground, so stay positively busy.
8. Have some fun, Mr. and Mrs. Smith!
If you and your partner are bickering and fighting more than laughing and talking, do something radical and productive: have fun together. Forget about crumbs, damp towels, not taking out the trash and reconnect with one another as loving partners in a relationship rather than as irritated roommates.
Wow, right?! There are couples who’ve been together for years and they don’t communicate. They talk and do fun things together, but they don’t communicate. The misconception is that talking and communicating is the same thing. Wrong! One has a deeper meaning than the other. To talk is to engage in speech. To communicate is to share or exchange information, views and ideas. I can talk to a dog, but the way we communicate is by actions. We need both in order to understand each other. If you’re in a relationship where you spend more time arguing than actually communicating, then this is a real problem that needs to get fixed immediately. You have to be open to receiving and understanding what the other person has to say.
Close your mouth, open your ears and listen. Seek to understand rather than to be understood. Don’t be on the defensive every time.
When next you get to a point of “to nag or not to nag”, take a deep breath and ask yourself if at the end of the day, the result from nagging is really worth it.
Writer – Olusola Amu