It’s the age-old comment most wives have heard from their husbands throughout their marriage, but why is the nagging accusation so harmful?
In the beginning of any relationship, things seem great. You listen to each other, your thoughts and feelings are valued and it feels really good to have someone by your side that you can rely on to always hear you out and take care with your heart.
Then the years go by, or you get married and suddenly communication is less frequent. Nurturing your relationship falls by the wayside as familiarity and boredom step in.
Suddenly, your fears, anxieties and feelings are met with ‘All you do is complain!’ or ‘Stop nagging all the time!” Sound familiar?
A relationship needs BOTH people to be actively working through any issues TOGETHER. What these comments do is makes the other person feel like they are not being heard. It makes them feel alone and less of a person, someone who doesn’t deserve to have their feelings acknowledged. The resentment and despair that grows from feeling this way is very hard to reverse – I know, because I’ve been there.
People sharing their feelings is not ‘nagging’. If you truly care about your relationship you will see the signs that your partner is feeling alone, scared, unsure, upset or down. Accusing them of ‘complaining’ all the time is not constructive, nor is it true (unless you really are/do have someone who complains a lot as a habit) and all it does it make them feel completely invalidated. It says to them ‘Your feelings are wrong’ or ‘Your feelings don’t matter’.
If you really feel like all they do is nag, and complain you can approach it in a much more constructive way. Bring it up in discussion and perhaps try and see where they are coming from and what they need. It’s not all about you.
Instead of using these phrases, stop and think about what they are saying to you. Repeat what they’ve said as a question so they know you have heard them. For example ‘You are feeling frustrated that I’m on my phone in the small window of time we have together because you want to spend quality time with me?’.
Just doing this one small change will completely change the situation into one where you can both be expressing your feelings and respecting each others point of view.
Do the opposite, and I can assure you the relationship will only go from bad to worse. I personally would rather be single forever than live with someone who dismisses me constantly.
If you are on the receiving end of this comment, all you can do is take a step back and not inflame the situation. All you can do is try and approach it when you’ve both had time to calm down. State your feelings again, and if they are not listening to you or refuse to enter into an adult conversation then it may be time to seek marriage counselling or other options. You don’t have to stay somewhere where you are not respected or cared for.
Everyone deserves love and companionship