Naggy McNaggerson, Party of One…

Written by frequent contributor: Stacey Micklevitz
How easy it is to be critical! It’s human nature. Honestly, our spouses practically invite us to criticize, correct, and redirect.

Seriously speaking, when opportunities present themselves, I find myself struggling against the urge to let my husband, Bryan, know when he is wrong. My situation is not so much me being critical as it is me lending much-needed assistance—guidance, really—in areas where he seems to be lacking.  Mostly the areas of “lacking” are where he seems to need help remembering how to do things my way (a-hem) I mean, right.

Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • Reminders that he’s left something undone or unfinished (picking clothes off the floor, leaving lights on, forgetting to take trash out, the toilet seat!)
  • Pointers on driving (turn here to get there faster, watch for that car, BRAKES!)
  • Assistance on parenting our children (don’t feed them THAT, don’t play so hard with them, that is the WRONG outfit for them)

The list could go on and on…. but you get the point.

After repeatedly pointing out Bryan’s shortcomings and apparent memory lapses, this is what he begins to hear:
  • You need to do things my way
  • Your ways are inferior
  • You are not adequate
And, if I continue to badger – I mean remind – him, this is what he hears:
  • Blah, blah, blah
  • (silence……)

Well-intentioned guidance, if unwanted or unnecessary, becomes (gasp!) NAGGING! Who WANTS to be a nag????? We’ve all done it. Take this immediate opportunity to realize its destruction on a marriage.

A woman who nags, nit-picks, and criticizes her husband runs the risk of pushing him away, both figuratively and physically.

Among a man’s list of basic and uncomplicated needs is the desire to feel loved, secure, and generally relaxed at home. “A man’s home is his castle,” does not necessarily imply that home must be immaculately clean, opulent and extravagant, but a man should feel appreciated and respected for the effort he puts into providing for the family when he arrives home.The last thing he is looking for is more criticism from his wife that he might otherwise receive from work.

Nagging does nothing to make home a place he wants to be. Thus, he may begin to desire to spend time away from home, away from his wife, and surrounded with people who enjoy his company, allow him to be himself and relax. Certain individuals in this scenario might laugh a little too hard at his jokes, show a bit too much attention, and may actually be fun to be around.  See where I’m going here???

Note that I am NOT suggesting that chores left undone and differences in how they are completed be ignored.

Rather, consider picking your battles.

Choose the most important issues to address and do so with the utmost kindness and respect reserved for royalty. Let the rest go, at least for the time being.

There is a reason God says, “It is better to live on a corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife.”(Prov 21:9) He knows how destructive it is for a wife to slowly chip away at her husband’s self-esteem. If husbands prefer to spend time away from home, nagging wives might find themselves dining alone.

McNaggerson, party of one, your table is ready.

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