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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!”

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.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission at no additional cost to you if you sign up and/or make a purchase. I only recommend products that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands. For more details, read my full disclosure.


Friday 21st of October 2016

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***

Donella Crigger

Monday 5th of December 2016

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!

50 Ways to Love Your Husband

Friday 16th of October 2015

[…] 27. Don’t nag. […]

Andrea @

Monday 30th of March 2015

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.

April Harris

Monday 15th of December 2014

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 :-)

Donella Crigger

Monday 15th of December 2014

Thanks so much for sharing and stopping by, April!

Pinterest Addicted

Thursday 11th of December 2014

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!