by Charli Penn-Watkins
Now my husband has made it no secret that one of his least favorite things about me sometimes is my “nagging” tendencies. I’d like to think of myself as a pusher and a doer but to him my “do this” and “do that” rants are more of a royal pain in his but. Now you’re probably thinking, well, then why don’t you stop? I carry on with my maddening behavior because it works. It’s as simple as that. Call me crazy, but I’m convinced that I’ve mastered the art of successfully nagging my husband. (And yes it is an art!) I use the word successful because I know how to talk until he’s almost blue in the face, but not actually cross that line. Then once my tippy toes are just touching that line something miraculous happens ““ he gets it, and that thing I’ve been bugging the crap out of him to do actually gets done, and all is peaceful once again in our world. I’m not kidding, it happens.
I guess I am sort of a professional nagger these days, though I stand by my methods 100 percent. He recently said to me, “Honey, you nag me so much it’s like you wrote the how-to guide!” At first I was mildly offended, then I thought to myself, well, you know what, why the heck not? So, here it goes. My handy little how-to guide for successfully nagging your husband without damaging your marriage. Read it, take it with a grain of salt, and please report back should you try any of these techniques out and find your own version of success (or failure, I’m always up for making edits.)
Step 1: Pick your battles! If I want my husband to do four things, I know at the most he’ll actually do two. So I decide on the two things I really want most to happen and then pick one of those things to really ride him about. Yup, just one per week, or day, depending on how quickly it needs to get done. I may remind him of the other things, but I will only hound him about the one.
Step 2: Get your timing right! I find that nagging him constantly throughout the day only allows him to build up a quick immunity to it. Instead, I choose two times a day to get my annoying on, and try to make sure at least one of those moments is so inopportune for him that he’s actually going to listen just so I’ll shut up and let him get back to what he’s doing. (May I suggest when his favorite sports team is playing or when he’s just settling in to a little “guy time”?)
Step 3: Make his reward known. Usually my husband can look forward to one of two “benefits” to actually doing something I’ve begged him to do. Either I’ll shut up about it, which is often reward enough, or I’ll give him something he wants in return, such as use of the big TV when the playoffs are on at the same time I usually watch America’s Next Top Model. It’s not that you’re bribing him, but rather you’re just giving him a necessary incentive to get the job done. Okay, well maybe you’re bribing him a little, but whatever it takes right?
Step 4: Don’t be afraid to turn up the heat. He married you because he was confident that he could spend the rest of his life with you. This likely means that you’re easy or fun to be around and he enjoys your company. So, if steps 1, 2, and 3 have failed you, I find it best to make things a little less comfortable for him around the house. I turn my smiles upside down and let my inner diva come out to play. Usually The Man can only take about two days of this before he’s willing to do anything to “get his wife back”. It’s a low blow for sure, but again, sometimes the necessary counterstrike you need to get him to get something done!
Okay, and there you have it. I’m sure The Man will be glad to know his intended insult inspired such a positive post. And again, if you give this guide a go, please do report back. Oh, and feel free to share your own tricks of the trade below!
Charli Penn-Watkins is the blogger behind Man, Wife & Dog. A newlywed that’s blogging her way through all the ups and downs of marriage, Charli is also the relationships editor on Essence.com. Check her out on Twitter at @ManWifeDog.