Can We Please Move The Box?

I would like to apologize for skipping a week of blogging. I initially planned to post every Sunday; however, the holidays falling on Sundays this year threw me off. I decided to withhold my blog post for the past week and start fresh today and get myself back on a favorable posting schedule.

Now, for this week’s post:

“Can we move the box in the living room down to the basement?”
“Can you make the bed?”
“You need to take out the trash.”
“You need to follow up with Comcast about the service.”

I have become increasingly aware of the fact that I tend to nag. The above quotes are just a few examples of how I hound my husband, Bernard, on a regular basis. Last week, after I asked him to do something for what felt like the umpteenth time, I realized that my insistent badgering was starting to get on my nerves.

Have I always nagged? Or is this an annoying trait I picked up since we were married?

Bernard’s overall response to these questions was, yes I have always badgered to some extent. However, he feels that since we were married, it has increased. But, he feels this is to be somewhat expected since we now share more responsibilities.

Why do we nag?

In researching for this post, I found an article by Heather Hatfield on WebMD titled, “How to Stop Nagging” in which she provides two different theories as to why a spouse might nag. The first is the spouse who nags is most often not aware that what they are doing is nagging; they feel they are providing a friendly reminder about completing a task. The second reason, which focuses on wives, is many women struggle with voicing to their spouses exactly what they want and need and therefore resort to nagging to convey the message.

Specifically addressing my situation, I am aware that what I am doing is nagging; but, I also see these incidents as my furnishing reminders. I do not believe the second reason the article provided applies to me because I have never had difficulty expressing to Bernard my wants and needs. I feel the quotes I listed at the beginning of this post all convey my goals very clearly: a box moved to the basement, a bed needs to be made, the trash needs to be taken out, and Comcast needs to be called.

The reason I tend to nag has more to do with our individual interpretations of acceptable timelines and the differences between how he and I complete tasks. These are known issues, but as I wrote this post, we revisited how we could better address these areas in an effort to temper my nagging.

When Bernard is given a task to complete, he needs a deadline to help him prioritize it. If something is not given a time limit, it will likely fall by the wayside. Bernard and I differ in that I struggle with prioritizing tasks, I try to get as much accomplished as fast as I can so I don’t forget anything. Our differing approaches often clash, especially when it comes to completing household responsibilities.

For example: moving a box from the living room to the basement. When I asked this question, Bernard’s response was, “yes” and I was satisfied with it. However, I didn’t give or ask about a timeline, which is why the box sat there for an additional week, and I began to nag him about it. Once we began discussing this post, I asked Bernard what we could do to rectify these types of situations in the future. We decided that in the future we will attach a timeline to each task to avoid confusion. I also asked what he feels I should do if he doesn’t complete the task in the agreed upon time. He felt that I would be justified if I was to get upset, and at that point, he would then complete the task immediately. Ultimately, our hope is that by setting timelines that will happen far less frequently.

I will keep everyone informed on how this goes moving forward. I am using the wives section as a way to provide insights into what I am struggling with and what I am doing to effect change in my life. The Heather Hatfield article cited above provides good insight into how to stop nagging. I am interested to know if anyone has tried these techniques and found them to be successful – if you have any insight, please share!