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In case you don’t know, nagging for a woman is nothing more than asking for something repeatedly. Most women believe that they would not nag if they were heard and listened to in the first place.

I know that guys hate being nagged on, and I also know that women don’t take any pleasure in nagging.

It may be surprising then that nagging is one of the primary complaints men have about women.

Nagging is there for two reasons:

  1. Women rely way too much on their partner to do things that do not really matter to men.
  2. It is a sign of miscommunication that worsens with time: the more she nags the less he listens to her the first time.

1. In my household nagging occurred over one thing: trip preparation. Being expatriate, it was a big deal in our lives. Planning and booking trips in advance would trigger tensions and arguments. My husband is on the procrastinating side when I am not. So there would be incessant “have you booked the flights?” My husband tired of the same question coming over and over again, would eventually book the flights out of exasperation! But then would follow the accommodation nag, car rental nag and so on… As we all know, nagging is never efficient and my husband would delay even more in taking action. As a result we would end up with the last minutes sorts of problems that would eventually start arguments.

For a long time, I thought his procrastination was the root cause of the problem. But that did not go well with my strong conviction that I am highly responsible for what happens to me. The immediate consequence was that the only way to change things in my life was to look into me first.

I then decided that the best way to solve this problem was either to do it myself or drop the nagging.

What would happen in ten months had no relevance for him until a couple months before. His energy was therefore elsewhere, when my own energy or should I say my own anxiety would be more and more into sorting out this trip.

Besides, I quickly found that, at stake, were not only my husband’s procrastination but also expenses management. After thinking about it, it appeared to me quite unreasonable to block a large sum of money on a trip ten months in advance. However, it did not harm to prepare everything so all we would need to do was book and pay when it was reasonable to do so, before the last minute.

What I do now is that I look for everything myself in advance and send my husband an email with all details to see what he thinks about my findings. Very often then, he would book everything within a few days.

So ladies, when you want something to happen, being “take the garbage out” or “please book a getaway”, make it happen: do it yourself, or prepare everything so it easy for him to do exactly what you want.

Be aware that most likely the garbage is the last thing he has in mind, and the getaway is just another expense…that can be spared.

You, ladies, know well why taking the garbage out in timely manner is critical to your home hygiene, or why a getaway is what you need both to stop the cumulative stress your daily lives imply.

So, as long as you are convinced it is important, make it happen!

He will be very happy with your decision… in the end.

2. Address the miscommunication.

Let’s come back to my personal experience stated above: not once my husband had told me that expense management was the first reason before procrastination took over, why he would wait so long before booking everything for a trip that was planned. He presumed it obvious to me.

The truth is that it was the last of my priorities: what mattered to me was to secure what I wanted first.

On my hand, I never mentioned how important it was for me to book this trip sooner rather than later because I knew that, as we waited, we would have fewer and fewer options available. I was assuming that anyone would find that reasonable, especially him.

We are not different than any other couple.

Our perspectives prove to be different everyday if we pay attention to it.

The good news is that this is the reason why we, as a couple, can’t argue forever: we don’t grasp on the same things. Check out women’s arguments with one another, it‘s a completely different story. No wonder why recurring arguments between mother and daughter are so difficult to understand for men!

Men and women perspectives are complementary. Learn to make use of them, you will both benefit.

So the best way to stop the nagging forever is to follow these rules:

  • Whenever possible, ladies, do what truly matters to you.
  • Explain what you want in writing via an email with as much details as possible, and explain how much it is important for you. And send that email in timely manner, not too early, not too late.
  • Gentlemen, explain why you are not doing something that your wife asks you to do, if it is something more than “I forget”. If not, please add a reminder on your calendar.
  • Discuss the issue before it heats up. You may find that you need to reassign the tasks. Don’t try to understand why your priorities differ, just act upon that.

Both nagging and frustration will miraculously stop.