How to Nag in a Way That Actually Helps Your Marriage

All wives nag their husbands to some degree. According to an article this week on the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel website, nagging is an historical practice. According to the experts that reporter James E. Sheridan sources, nagging can also help your marriage if you do it correctly.

As Sheridan says,

The Bible reports that 3,000 years ago Samson was nagged by his wife. ‘Ramayana,’ the Indian saga (1,000 BC), refers to a nagging wife. The Greek philosopher, Socrates, was nagged by his wife, Xanthippe. Indeed, every society throughout history speaks about nagging wives. And the nagging wife is always cast as the villain of the story. But is she?”

According to some experts, nagging can actually be beneficial.

Researcher Linda Waite says:

Men benefit from what social scientists call social support and husbands call nagging.”


She goes on to explain that some of the key areas that women nag about have to do with health and safety and that in those areas, nagging women may actually be doing their men a service.

Wives not only discourage drinking, smoking and speeding, but they cook low-fat or low-cholesterol meals, add more fruits and vegetables to the family diet, and encourage regular sleeping habits.”

Since heart disease is still the number one killer of men, and smoking, alcohol abuse, poor eating habits and lack of exercise are leading causes of heart disease, some women may actually be preventing heart disease in their husbands.

Also, researchers have found that married men are more likely to get quick medical attention for a heart attack and to get prostate screening, thanks to wives who insist on it.

But researchers also say that there are right ways and wrong ways to go about nagging, no matter how worthy the cause.

As Sheridan writes, if the nagging includes criticism or putdowns, it’s not likely to be effective or well received.

Personal attacks inevitably result in your spouse putting up walls or creating distance. Persistently saying, ‘I really need those light bulbs changed,’ is different than saying, ‘How many times do I have to remind you about the light bulbs? Are you deaf or just lazy?'”

As he says, health and safety issues are well worth nagging about, as are relationship needs and issues that affect you as a couple. Just be sure that your motives are right and then that you approach your husband with words that reflect that motive!

One Response to How to Nag in a Way That Actually Helps Your Marriage

  1. Cathy Lorient May 21, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    Do you agree that nagging may help improve your marriage? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you.

    – Cathy Lorient

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