Love is hard. It takes a lot of effort from both parties to make a relationship work.
A clear line of communication is essential for a relationship to soar through all the hardships it comes with.
However, issues in interpersonal relationships may hinder communication attempts.
One such factor is nagging. What most people do not realize is that nagging is a form of harassment, where one person is always pestering and pushing the other one to do something repetitively.
It’s interesting that even after something is done, the nagger will still complain that it wasn’t done right.
In short, there is no pleasing them. And regardless of what you do, a nagger will hardly notice your effort and appreciate you.
Rather, he/she will always spot what you didn’t do right.
A practical scenario is where you get home before your wife, so you decide to surprise her by making dinner.
The moment she walks in and smells something nice cooking, instead of going, “Aw, honey. Thanks for making dinner, I highly appreciate your assistance. What are we making?” the first statement will go, “Did you remember to simmer first?” “How much spice did you put in?” “I had planned to make something else instead.”
Although it is often dismissed as a minor annoyance, nagging can have very serious effects on a relationship.
Here are some of the damages it can cause:
1. Takes Away The Other Person’s Independence
Nagging partners can be quite controlling. This takes away their freedom to make decisions, afraid they might make the wrong choices and land themselves into trouble.
2. Your Partner Becomes Resentful
The nagged partner feels pinned to a corner with no way out. This leads them to harbor resentful feelings in their heart.
They may be bitter, frustrated, and disappointed, which eventually leads to the end of relationships due to lack of love.
3. Your Partner Feels Incompetent
Nagging results in fighting almost all the time.
A nagging partner will nag you for not returning an item back to its designated place after use.
When you return it, he will say that you only did it because he asked.
If you don’t return it, he says you’ve turned a deaf ear to everything he says.
4. Takes Away Trust From A Relationship
When you nag your partner about things they are not doing, it simply means you do not trust them enough to understand that they are capable of handling things on their own.
And as we well know, trust works two ways; you have to trust in order to be trusted.
So, if you show your partner that you do not trust them, then they simply will stop trusting you as well.
5. Results In Strained Communication
Growing up, we would opt to stay in our rooms because we didn’t want to be nagged all the time.
Even holding a conversation becomes impossible because you never know when you will mention something and have it used against you.
A partner who gets nagged all the time will never come home early, and even when he/she is around, they will keep to themselves because they want to maintain peace.
6. Uneven Power Dynamic
Being in a relationship with a nagger is hard. The relationship easily turns from being two mature people, both having equal roles to play in the relationship, to being a boss‐employee or parent‐child.
This forms a dysfunctional relationship where one is always trying to control the other and bossing them around.
In a boss‐employee relationship, the employee could quit or get fired.
In a parent‐child relationship, the parent might punish or ground the child.
But in a relationship, you can only do so much. You have no authority over the other person allowing you to punish them, so the nagging will remain to be pure talk.
7. Takes Away The Intimacy
I mentioned earlier that nagging makes the nagged partner feel incompetent.
It is sad that this easily follows into intimacy.
What if I’m not good enough in bed? What if I don’t cuddle her the way she wants to be cuddled? What if tomorrow I am nagged about our intimacy, something that is so sacred to us?
These will always be the kind of thoughts your partner carries around.
Besides, when a relationship feels like it’s hanging on intimacy alone, it washes off quite easily, to a point where the nagged partner doesn’t want to engage in a simple act such as cuddling.
8. Brings About A Constant Fear In The Nagged Party
Those of us who were raised by nagging parents understand this quite well.
We would get so anxious and uneasy every time they walked in the house because there was always a mistake you made.
I remember one time being punished just for how I said hi, simply because there was nothing else to find fault in.
When you constantly nag your partner, instead of looking forward to seeing you at the end of the day or spending some quality time with you, they’ll be nervous all the time you are around—sort of like they are in fact afraid of you.
Strategies That Can Be Used To Deal with Constant Nagging
Study your partner closely, including his/her patterns, mood swings, and expressions. This will help you discern when they will get agitated and start pestering you. Then when the nagging starts, just excuse yourself and go to your own ‘place of peace’.
Some people don’t even know that they are nagging. In fact, it wasn’t until I began writing this post that I realized that I am a potential nag.
So, when your partner begins to nag, allow some time to pass until they are calm, then let them in on your feelings.
Many are times when we nag because we want everything around us to be perfect. Therefore, while you are at it, try to understand their perspective and try to fit into their shoes.
When a nagging partner is talking, never cut them short. It only seems to make it worse.
Rather, listen to them, and where you are at fault, apologize gently and rectify it.
You can also try to do things the way they want them done—that ought to keep them off your back for a while.
Another way to go about it is to talk it out as adults. We are all different in our own ways, so we cannot please the other person all the time.
Have a sit down when you are both calm (you can even go out just to change the environment), and discuss how each one of you feels about certain issues, and how you both like things done.
Understand that you will have to meet halfway for it to work, meaning there will be compromises.