Contrary to a popular stereotype about women nagging men to death, the opposite is true in my union. "The heat's on! Shut the door!" Rex is prone to needling. "Turn off the lights!" and "Shut the fridge" are other common phrases.
His constant "do this" and "do that" used to irritate to me to no end. But lately, not so much. I have two simple reasons for this:
1. I've actually started listening. That ends the nagging. It's a miracle! After looking at our electric and heating bills, it simply didn't make cents (pun intended) for me to ignore such obvious cost savers. It might not be sexy to walk through the house with a tank top on in fifty degree weather, but as long as he still likes what's under my bulky old sweater, who cares! Besides, the savings gives us plenty of opportunity to grab a nice restaurant meal out. I can save the cute outfit for someone else's heating bill!
2. Rex has really gone above and beyond to accommodate what makes me happiest: Having people in the house, a surprise coffee just because, and a general lighter attitude. When he puts in the time to make me feel special, accommodating him feels more like an act of love and less like one more check on an overcrowded to-do list.
I'd like to make a final comment about the positive side of nagging. Take my skin cancer scare last month. I knew I wouldn't die from it, but there's no reason I should be walking around with a tiny tumor in my chest. Rex reminded me over and over to make that appointment and get it taken care of. I can't tell you how much relief I felt when the dermatology nurse called to say that the final biopsy came back negative.
While my skin cancer remained relatively harmless, some cancers aren't so kind. Many older people say that if it weren't for their spouses constantly bugging them, they wouldn't be alive to hold their grandchildren today.
I wonder if instead of seeing nagging as a negative, we'd all do a bit better at seeing the benefits of it? Or perhaps we need to rephrase how we talk to our spouses about things that are important to us? More on that in my next post.
Meanwhile, I'd love to hear about something your spouse nags you about that you actually appreciate. And hey - don't forget to thank them for it occasionally! It goes a long a way! (That was my nice way of nagging you. How'd I do?)
Have something to say? Leave a comment or write me at Andrea@Goodhousekeeping.com. Would love to hear from you!
* Photo from 8 Marriage Busters to Give Up Today
Posted by Andrea Frazer
Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.