When are you going to pick up your socks?
You bought all these groceries but didn’t pick up the one thing I wanted.
Why am I the one who is always helping the kids with their homework?
That’s not how it’s done.
Blah, blah, blah, blah.
Does this sound like you?
Oh, it sounded like me, alright. Even though I desired to be a loving wife, I didn’t realize somewhere along the way I became the nag.
Every day I woke up decided today I would be loving, I would be kind, and I would NOT fuss. I would make up my mind not to pressure my hubby about the pile of uniforms tucked in the corner or move his things because they were not neatly put away as I would like. Every day I would remind myself I will be a helpmeet instead of a hindrance.
Of course when I read Proverbs 21:9 “[It is] better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.”, I knew I needed a change. This Bible verse spoke to the depths of my heart.
How could I communicate my needs to my husband without nagging?
I needed a change.
Let’s be honest ladies, at the heart of our nagging is our need to be in control.
My husband didn’t clean up on my timetable. My husband did not help my way. My nagging had little to do with him and everything to do with the condition of my heart.
Instead of being the nagging wife trying to control my husband, I decided to allow the Holy Spirit to help me learn how to control myself.
Taking these three steps helped me make the shift from a wife who nags to a wife who loves.
Keep the right perspective
One of the subtle ways nagging creeps into our relationship with our spouses is through a complaining spirit. Instead of cultivating a heart of gratitude and thankfulness for our spouses, our eyes begin to see all of the lack. We see what our spouses did not do. The clothes they did not pick up. The way they did not help with the kids. The dirty dishes they did not clean.
Oh yes, our eyes begin to zoom in on the faults and failures of our husbands.
The next thing you know, you are silently keeping score in your heart of all the work you contribute in your home and all the ways your husband is not. You tally up your hard word then punish your husband for falling short. When he wants to be intimate, you are too tired. You use phrases like, “If I didn’t have to . . .”, “I was the only one who. . .” or “Had you just . . .”. My friend complaint has penetrated your heart, corrupting your actions, making you the nagging wife.
No worries. You can turn this around today.
Cultivating a heart of appreciation and gratitude will help to tenderize your heart and help season your words with love. Instead of seeing all your husband is not doing, start recognizing what he does contribute.
Say the words out loud.
When he helps with the dishes, compliment him. When he picks up your favorite food, thank him. When he gets up to help (even if you did ask), show your appreciation. These words of gratitude are reminders you are one team. Over time, you will stop feeling like you need to be in control and align yourself with being a helpmeet.
Just remember less nagging more bragging.
Be aware of your emotion
Nagging is simply the symptom of an angry heart. You are mad you are the one cleaning, cooking, or taking the kids to practice.
Just know, nagging doesn’t work.
When you start to nag, take note of your emotions. Why are you angry, frustrated, or irritated? Are you hungry? Are you tired? Is your period about to start?
I cannot tell you how many times I became a nagging wifezilla only because I was tired. Instead of my communicating this need to my husband, I expected him to magically know my need and do something about it. When he didn’t, I became upset about that too.
Just taking a moment to be silent and reflect on your emotions will help you and your marriage tremendously. Taking time to concentrate more on, you will help you to respond in a healthy way to your spouse.
Remember he is your spouse, not a child
Now, this one statement hit home. Nagging your spouse only results in talking and treating him as a child. Instead of being in a marriage of mutual respect, your nagging puts you in an authoritative role where only you knows what’s best for your home. You undermine your husband’s help and input without you even realizing it.
I know you don’t mean to treat him like a child. You don’t mean to make him feel as if his voice doesn’t matter. I get it.
But we must always remember to choose our marriage.
You are a team. Take time to discuss expectations together for how you will handle the daily routines of your home and give each other grace. Some days your spouse is going to the husband of the year. He will be helpful, understand your needs before you communicate them, and be loving. Then other days, he is going to drop the ball. He’s human after all, just like YOU.
Before we are so quick to nag, let’s be ready to give grace. See your husband as the man of your home, not another child. When you do, your words, your heart, and your actions change.
Above all, ladies, pray.
These three steps are helpful, practical recommendations, but are not meant to be used in place of seeking God’s direction on how to love and support your husband. If you find you are struggling with nagging, start with going to God in prayer to reveal the root of why you feel you must be in control and what needs to change. Seeking God about the changes that needed to happen in me created changes in my marriage.
Listening to the Holy Spirit only made it easier for me to say good-bye to being the nagging wife and hello to being a loving one.
Cheering you on,