3 Ways Nagging Hurts Your Marriage (And How to Stop)

Do you nag your spouse too much? Most of us do it occasionally. Sometimes we do it out of love or concern. “You shouldn’t stay up so late. You know it makes you irritable.” Often, though, we do it because we’re unappreciative. “Did you really forget the carrots at the grocery store? They were on the list!”

Do you find yourself nagging your husband too much? Nagging can take its toll on a relationship. Here are some helpful tips to help you kick the nagging habit.

Lately, I’ve found myself in the second camp. Yes, I really did nag my husband for forgetting an item at the grocery store instead of being thankful that he went so I didn’t have to go out in the cold. I may have also mentioned that he doesn’t clean out the dishes well enough before he washes them. I have even complained about him sleeping during the day even though he works at night because I was so frustrated with our opposite schedules. And I’m embarrassed.

Nagging never helps a relationship. In fact, it can hurt your marriage in serious ways.

Nagging Fosters Negativity

Nagging hurts both people. It hurts your spouse because it makes him feel unappreciated. It hurts you because it means that you’re focusing on the negative things in your life rather than the positive things you’ve been blessed with.

Nagging is a Demotivator

Have you ever felt more motivated after someone has nagged you? I haven’t. In fact, I usually feel like there’s no point in trying at all because no matter what, nothing is good enough. And when your spouse doesn’t even want to try anymore out of fear of your criticism—you’re in big trouble.

Nagging Breeds Resentment

No man wants to be around a person who makes him feel bad about himself. The same goes for women. There’s only so much brow-beating a person can take before he starts resenting you for your negative attitude.

How to Stop Nagging

I don’t mean to nag you for nagging. As I said, I’m guilty of it, too. But you can jump off that nagging roller coaster and fix your marriage by approaching problems in positive ways.

1. Find Something Positive to Say
Instead of allowing yourself to get frustrated over the negative thing, focus on a positive aspect. In my example, instead of complaining that the dishes weren’t cleaned out properly, I should have thanked him for washing the dishes and allowing me to play with our son. Words of Affirmation is my husband’s love language. If you don’t know what that is, I highly recommend this book (affiliate link): The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lastsir?t=nannnell 20&l=as2&o=1&a=0802473156. By showing your appreciation, your spouse will be more likely to go above and beyond to help you out.

2. Write It Out
If the thing you’re nagging your spouse about is something that really needs to be done, write a list and put it in a prominent place. Ask your spouse to do the same for you, so that he knows it will work both ways.

3. Offer to Help
Sometimes, we all just need a little help getting started. Maybe he didn’t clean out the garage this weekend because he wanted to relax or spend time with you and the kids. Perhaps he didn’t know where to start. Ask your spouse what you can do to help. A helping hand can make dreadful jobs a little more pleasant.

How do you overcome the urge to nag?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like our post on 10 Ways to Make Your Marriage a Priority After Kids.


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19 thoughts on “3 Ways Nagging Hurts Your Marriage (And How to Stop)”

  1. I think everyone (men and women) nags sometimes and I agree that there are better ways to communicate. Finding something positive to say is a great idea. However, I also think it goes both ways. If the nagged party made more of an effort to respond to the communication the first time around, nagging would not occur because it would be unnecessary.

    • That’s true, my husband definitely nags at times, too, but I was writing it from my perspective. I also agree that responding to communication the first time around cuts down on the temptation to nag, but in my case, I often find that it’s not that he didn’t listen, but just that he’s not taking action according to MY timeline. I usually want things done right away because I’m impatient. 🙂

  2. I agree with Theresa that I think everyone is guilty of nagging sometimes. I like these ideas to help curb the nagging. It always helps being positive. I know I need to try harder sometimes.

  3. Your list of how to avoid nagging was spot on. For me, remembering to ask – nicely – goes a long way too. Why should he be expected to just notice that I need help with something! Thanks for this. Always a good reminder!

    • I’ve been guilty of thinking my husband should read my mind, especially with helping with our son when he was first born. When I finally communicated WHAT I needed, he was much more helpful. Good point about asking!

  4. I confess I nag every once in a while. I do try my hardest to keep it to a minimum though. Usually I bite my toungue, literally to stop those words from coming out. It works and honestly after I have stewed for about ten minutes, or a couple hours, I realize it wasn’t really as important as I thought it was.

  5. What a wonderful post. I am definitely guilty of nagging. I really enjoyed your tips on how to stop nagging. I tend to do it a lot more when I have been home all day thinking of things that need to get done around the house. Writing a to-do list will definitely help us both!

  6. It’s easy to nag without even thinking about it and you are right, it is never a good thing! Your tips are excellent. Thank you for sharing them with us at Hearth and Soul. Tweeted 🙂

  7. I am very guilty of nagging. I often say that I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t have something to complain about. Thanks for the tips on getting out of the habit.

  8. Pingback: 50 Ways to Love Your Husband
  9. Offer to help ???? offer to help. I hope this applies to a real marriage. With all the things to be done in he day especially when both spouses are working and one is putting in 150% while the other doesn’t give a f*** please offer to help my a***

    • Oh, I definitely think that both spouses should pitch in around the house, Jenna! My husband’s a good helper most of the time, so I can’t speak to what it’s like when one partner thinks that work is his/her only duty to the family. I hope you’re getting a little more help now!


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