Save Your Relationship

Why "Nagging" is the Silent Relationship Killer

If you have ever been the target of someone's incessant nagging, you would probably agree that it is not only annoying, it has about the same effect as nails on a chalkboard!

Although most people do not know this, nagging is actually a relationship killer that works in silence.

Sadly, many couples fall into the destructive pattern of "nagger" and "naggee" (okay, those are probably not technical terms, but you get the gist!).

And what is so ironic is that the more the nagger nags, the less likely the naggee is to give in.

When I think of nagging, this old saying comes to mind: "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is a sign of insanity." So, based on that, nagging as a means to get what you want is, well, nuts!

Unfortunately, you may have learned nagging from your parents. Even if you swore you would never treat your spouse that way, here you are, 20, 30 or 40 years later doing the exact same thing! (This is not an excuse to blame your parents for your bad habits!)

There are many other words for nagging...such as: harping, carping, nit-picking, pestering, pressuring, as well as constantly reminding, criticizing, griping, faultfinding, demanding, and insisting. Get the picture? In a nutshell, all are destructive behaviors that rarely, if ever, bring about good results!

So what does nagging really accomplish (besides slowly putting a knife into your relationship and twisting it until it dies...)?

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Let's see...

* It pushes your partner away.

* It makes your partner resent you, or even worse, loathe you.

* It makes your partner feel disrespected.

* It causes your partner to tune you out.

* It can backfire and cause your spouse to do the very opposite of whatever it is you want him to do.

* It demeans your spouse and makes him or her feel inadequate and unappreciated.

* It puts your spouse on the defense and increases his or her resistance to your requests and demands.

* It changes the relationship dynamics from two equal partners to a parent - child interaction, with your spouse in the role of child.

* It can feel like a personal attack.

* It can make your partner feel as if he or she is in a no-win situation. If your partner resists, your nagging persists, and if he or she gives in, then that serves to reinforce the pattern.

* It can ultimately destroy your relationship and cause your partner to leave for good.

 Still want to nag....?

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Here are some tips to help you break the nagging cycle:

1. When you find yourself starting to nag, stop yourself and think about times when your partner willingly and even happily did something you asked. What did you do differently then? Were you kinder, more appreciative, etc?

2. Be careful to avoid statements directed at your partner that contain black and white terms such as "always" or "never". As soon as those words are said, you can expect your partner to start tuning you out. They are critical and blaming, not to mention, inaccurate as "always" and "never" are extremes, not reality.

For example, "You never want to have sex any more." Really? Never? Or just when you are nagging, which may be happening more and more frequently so sex is becoming more and more infrequent. Would you want to make love to someone who is constantly nagging you? Time for a reality check when those statements slip out...

3. Be sure to give or do in return whatever it is you are wanting from your spouse (and nagging him about). For example, if you are nagging your spouse about never showing appreciation for the things you do, stop and ask yourself when the last time you showed appreciation for something your spouse did.

4. Always be sure to express gratitude and appreciation for the helpful or kind things your partner does. Maybe it is just picking up his clothes, or starting the coffee in the morning. No matter how small, acknowledge it with appreciation. Your partner will be much more inclined to do nice things for you or respond to your requests as a result.

If nagging has become a pattern in your relationship, now is the time to change this destructive behavior! Communicate your desire to change the pattern with your partner, and start working together to create a happier, more harmonious relationship today!

Recommended Reading:

If you are a nagger, you will probably be suffering from low self- confidence.

To win back your confidence and quit nagging for good, I recommend that you have a read over:

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