Why haven’t you come back home? When will you bring the groceries? Why isn’t your office over yet? If these questions made you picture your marriage, then you’re dealing with the signs of a nagging wife. You come home from work thinking of finally getting peace, but what you actually get is war.
A nagging and disrespectful wife is never satisfied with her man and undermines him at every chance she gets. She bickers all day and sucks out the man’s energy to an extent that he loses his decision-making ability and gives in. Stress from a nagging wife is a constant irritant a man has to deal with.
As they say, “A happy wife, a happy life.” But if you’re dealing with your wife nagging you at every step of the way, you know the adage doesn’t ring true for you. Her constant demands, complaints, jibes and taunts may even lead you to wonder why do women nag. Why do women complain so much and what to say to a nagging wife to break this pattern can become the biggest mysteries you’re constantly trying to solve.
If your wife’s nagging you, then you just need to do a few things right to ensure you don’t have to put on the earphones when you get back home. We’re here to tell you what those things are, in consultation with counselor Ridhi Golechha (Masters in Psychology), who is a food psychologist and specializes in counseling for loveless marriages, breakups and other relationship issues.
Signs Of A Nagging Wife
How do you know you have a nagging wife and not someone who has occasional mood swings or anger issues? We will tell you the characteristics of a nagging wife so that you will be able to handle your issues with your wife better.
Ridhi explains, “Some of the signs of a nagging wife include feeling helpless, feeling like a victim all the time, being excessively controlling.” She also elaborates on some other tell-tale signs to watch out for:
- Repeat mode on: Your wife usually keeps repeating whatever she has to tell you. One of the most telling signs of a nagging wife is that she can never say something just once and rest assured that message has been received
- Home is a stressful environment: You are stressed by your nagging wife because she always makes you feel that you are not doing enough. The word “request” does not figure in her dictionary. She only demands and commands. And when those demands are not met, she flies into a rage and you are fearful about her temper tantrums
- She thrives on control: She comes across as a control freak. She wants to micromanage everything – the kids, the home and also everything that you do. She behaves like a parent with you and not a life partner. A nagging wife could be maternal in nature and may want to gain control of every aspect of your life. She may also come across as extremely pushy,” says Ridhi
- On a fault-finding mission: “A wife nagging you typically manifests in her always finding faults with whatever you do. She criticizes your every action and rejects all acts of love. Your relationship is characterized by constant criticism and no appreciation. She never looks at her own actions but always focuses on other people’s behavior, especially that of the spouse,” Ridhi explains
- Your relationship takes a hit: Figuring out ways to deal with a quarrelsome wife is taking a toll on your connection with her. She shouts, nags, bickers all the time. When you get into bed with her at night, you feel so resentful you don’t even feel like cuddling, let alone have sex
- Her words hurt and humiliate: “A nagging wife may use statements that are very triggering and insulting to the spouse. If she uses statements like “you always do this”, “what else can be expected from you!”, “you are so irresponsible”, “can I count on you to do this?”, “I knew you’d forget because you never listen”, you’re dealing with clear signs of a nagging wife in your marriage,” says Ridhi
Related Reading: 11 Signs Your Wife Disrespects You (And How You Should Deal With It)
12 Ways To Deal With A Nagging Wife
Why does my wife nag so much? Why can’t she understand me? What to say to a nagging wife to get her to ease up? These are some of the questions that all troubled husbands ask themselves. Most of the time, when your wife flies off the handle, you have no idea why.
All of a sudden she will nag about 7-month old incidents and you’ll be left clueless about what just happened. Making an angry wife happy seems out of the question in such situations. You get a sense that your wife is unhappy all the time, and women nag when they are unhappy or when things don’t go as planned. Sometimes, this nagging becomes like an everyday ritual that makes you want to scream your lungs out.
Kevin Drew (name changed) says the moment he walked into the house after work his wife would start nagging. “It would begin with, “Have you kept the socks at the right place? The coat in the closet? Now come down to the kitchen and help me chop the veggies or go upstairs and help the kids with homework…” It was endless. She would drone on and on. Initially, I would get angry but then I realized that it was a habit she wouldn’t be able to get rid off. “
Kevin eventually bought a small place for himself, a secret that he kept from his wife, and started spending alone time there. “I would tell her I was on tour and stayed in my place. I finally found my peace.” If you’re frustrated with your quarrelsome wife and are tired of being kicked around the curb, here’s a chance to end your suffering forever. Here are 12 ways to deal with a nagging wife.
1. Don’t answer back
When we tell you not to answer back, it doesn’t mean that you need to stay quiet and let your wife keep nagging you. When your wife nags you, you need to understand that she is in a hostile state of mind. Arguing and answering back is only going to make matters worse.
Imagine a situation where your wife says, “You always forget things that I tell you to do. It is a mistake to rely on you.” Instead of saying things like, “Yes, do it yourself then. I can’t remember everything”, wait for her to cool down and talk to her calmly. She will surely understand your side of the story.
Trying to diffuse a situation right then and there is one of the most common communication mistakes couples make. By now, you’d have experienced it first hand that this approach is often counterproductive. To prevent the effects of constant nagging from taking a toll on your mental health and the health of your marriage, take some time off when a situation blows up and revisit the issue at hand later.
2. Follow her lead
No, we’re not saying that your wife is your boss and she gets the final say in everything. However, if you look at why do women complain so much, the foremost reason is that they feel drained from having to carry almost the entire load of domestic responsibilities. This eventually leads to resentment and comes out in the form of nagging and fighting.
If you’re looking for ways to deal with a quarrelsome wife, who nags you endlessly about things big and small, it may be time to turn your attention to whether your responsibilities are evenly divided. If you realize that she has been doing the lion’s share of the work in keeping the household afloat, maybe she’s gotten used to having things done her way.
The faster you accept this fact, the easier it gets for you. So maybe try to follow her lead and do things the way she likes them done – maybe she’s insistent on it because she feels that the system she’s set in place works flawlessly. If you start to argue, it will go on and on. If your wife is bickering at you, an intelligent husband would want to play safe and tell her that she is right. This will calm her down and her constant bickering will stop for a while. Your stress from a nagging wife will also reduce.
3. Dealing with a nagging wife – Talk it out
Most marriages turn into unhappy ones because of a lack of communication between them. If your wife is nagging you constantly, try to understand why. You need to talk it out and understand the problem. Things aren’t just going to magically fix themselves. A 15-minute conversation could fix a 3-month-old problem.
My friend was very forgetful which made his wife nag him constantly. He thought that it was his wife’s habit to just nag. Once he spoke to her about the real reason behind her nagging, he realized that it was a small issue and tried to be less forgetful. His wife too stopped nagging him.
There is nothing healthy communication between two partners cannot solve. Instead of wallowing in self-pity with questions like why do women nag or why do women complain so much, reach out to your wife and try to find out why she has taken to nagging you so much.
Related Reading: 13 Of The Worst Things A Husband Can Say To His Wife
4. Identify your mistake and apologize
Let’s face it, you may not be the husband of the year. If your wife is nagging you, it means that you’ve done something to tick her off. Wives don’t always rant and nag for no reason. Like most husbands, you’ll have no idea about what you’ve done to tick her off. But truth be told, you could actually be at fault. Go over your past activities and try to understand where you must have gone wrong.
For starters, you may not be stepping up to your responsibilities or taking your career seriously. Are you living up to the promises you made to her before marriage? Instead of looking for signs of a nagging wife, look for where you are going wrong yourself.
“To deal with a quarrelsome wife who nags you incessantly, you may need to introspect on your own actions and behaviors. Identify a mistake and apologize for it without any ifs and buts. I want to emphasize here when you’re dealing with a nagging wife remember that this behavior of hers stems from a lot of pain and hurt that she is holding onto.
“No one likes to nag. It’s an outcome of years and years of being unheard of and living with that pain for a long time, as a result for the smaller things also wives tend to nag. Once you realize your mistake, apologize sincerely. A simple sorry can turn a nagging beast into your beautiful wife again,” says Ridhi.
5. Listen to what she has to say
Husbands are notorious for not paying attention to what wives say. When their wives nag at them, husbands focus on the part that their wife is nagging them but fail to listen to what their wife is saying while nagging. The next time your wife nags you, listen to what she is saying while nagging. If it’s about a habit of yours that she doesn’t like or a mistake that you may have committed, work on improving those things rather than letting the nagging get worse.
Sometimes you are so focused on shutting up a nagging wife that you don’t pay heed to what she is saying. Don’t do that. Change yourself. “Listening to what she has to say. To be able to deal with this tendency your life partner has developed, you first need to understand why do women nag. A lot of times wives nag because they feel that they are unheard. When a person feels unheard, they will make sure that they repeat one point over and over again because they are trying to explain their side of the story and make sure their point gets across to the other person.
“To stop your wife from nagging, it’s important to listen in the first go and understand the point they’re trying to make. Acknowledge that point so that she knows that you have listened to what she said and understood it. If you do that, she won’t have to elaborate and exaggerate the same point. By simply listening better, you can improve your relationship and help your nagging wife break this pattern that may have become a source of conflict,” says Ridhi.
Related Reading: Crazy Wife? 5 Signs And 9 Ways To Deal With Her
6. Try to see things from her perspective
Try to understand why your wife is behaving the way she does. Stand in her shoes to understand her perspective. If she keeps on bringing up past mistakes, understand why. With other things on your mind, you might not be able to understand the reason behind your wife’s frustration. By seeing things from her perspective, you may be able to understand her better and will find a way to tackle her nagging.
“Seeing things from her perspective is very important because everybody comes from different backgrounds and is carrying different baggage, past hurts and experiences. The answer to why do women nag could well be in their past. She might be nagging today because of something or someone who has wronged her in the past.
“She may feel like life has been unfair or she has been cheated or her expectations have not been met. To deal with a wife nagging, you must ask her what she is hurt about or if there is anything that she is still holding on to and try to understand the perspective because that can really heal the relationship, says Ridhi.
7. Talk about your perspective
It is important for your wife to understand your perspective as well. When your wife is nagging you, tell her how you feel. Tell her how much her nagging is affecting your mental peace and is hampering your other engagements as well. If you feel she is controlling, tell her so. Make sure that your wife knows how her nagging is affecting you.
Ridhi explains, “Just the way it’s important to hear and understand her perspective, to stop your wife from nagging you must also put forth your perspective on matters where points of view differ or clash. You both come from different backgrounds and may have different sets of beliefs that make you look at relationships differently. Improving communication in your relationship can act as a bridge for these differences.
“This brings us to another important question – what to say to a nagging wife? Focus on putting forth your perspective without accusations, placing blame or criticizing her choices or expectations. For example, if your wife has been nagging you to come home at a certain time but your professional commitments don’t allow for it, tell her that you’re trying to set up a business or aiming to get that lucrative promotion (or whatever your goals may be) and that you have certain ambitions which you’d like to fulfill.
“When you explain your side of the story to her, there is a good chance that she will understand or at least see where you’re coming from and won’t make a big deal out of it. When an issue is addressed as it arises, you can nip it in the bud. This way you’re not giving her a chance to nag you over the same thing, day after day. It will end the topic right then and there.”
Related Reading: 8 Signs Of A Manipulative Wife
8. Work on yourself
Many wives get frustrated because husbands continue to live their life like bachelors and don’t want to work on becoming more mature and improving life skills. Perhaps she expects you to help with household chores. Or she wants you to be more affectionate toward her.
You need to understand that you are married now and marriage brings in lots of responsibilities and obligations to fulfill. You will need to accommodate the responsibilities that come with marriage in your life. Work on your old habits and try to improve them to become a better and more responsible person for your wife.
Start with the little things like saying “I love you” to your wife frequently, bringing the groceries, washing the dishes, etc. It’s time to grow up and finally become an adult. By making thoughtful and romantic gestures for her, you can make her see that you’re ready to be her partner in the true sense of the word. Once that realization hits home, she will stop nagging you.
9. Understand her role vs. yours
Men and women carry different labels that are based on their responsibilities and relationships. Your wife may be carrying labels such as daughter, wife, mother, entrepreneur and what not. Men too, carry various labels such as husband, entrepreneur, son, etc.
The difference here is that although men and women of today carry similar labels, their roles and responsibilities differ vastly. Women tend to outdo themselves when it comes to carrying out their responsibilities and become multitasking experts. When men don’t live up to their roles and responsibilities, this is when women start nagging.
You need to understand that your wife isn’t a superwoman and it’s her human side that is nagging you as a cry for help. To stop your wife from nagging, it may be time to redefine the gender roles in your marriage and make it a partnership of equals.
Related Reading: 11 Signs You Have A Narcissistic Wife
10. Negotiate with her
Marriage is about adjustments and compromises. You both need to compromise on parts of your personal life in order to fit in the obligations that you both have towards the marriage. Negotiate with your wife and reach a workable solution. There’s nothing that can’t be resolved and you both will be able to work out a plan.
If your wife nags at you and tells you to wash the dishes every day, tell her, “Honey, Wednesdays and Saturdays are rough in the office. I’ll wash the dishes on the other days instead.” There’s nothing that is not negotiable. Ridhi says, “Negotiating is key to deal with a wife nagging the right way. It is also something that a nagging wife will respond to, as it will make her see that you’re prepared to meet her halfway.
“Yes, you cannot be expected to fulfill 100% of her wishes and desires, but instead of going from a 0 to 10 on the scale of effort in a relationship, you can at least meet her at a 5. This also sends across the message that she too has to meet you midway because nobody in a relationship can walk all the way till the end – neither she nor you. Let’s revisit the example of your wife nagging you to come home early. Say she expects you to be home by 5 or 6 in the evening and you typically return from the office after 10 PM.
“So, when your wife brings up the matter of you coming home on time, instead of dismissing it with a rhetorical, “Why do women complain so much?”, focus on coming up with an arrangement that works for you both. Maybe then you can agree that you will come home by 7 o’clock instead of 10 in the night or that you’d come home on time 3 days a week and the rest of the time, you focus on your work and she does not disturb you.”
11. Ask her to accept you
It becomes frustrating when your wife doesn’t accept you for who you are. Bitterness starts to creep in and threatens the very foundation of your marriage. It is one of the characteristics of a nagging wife. Your morale and self-esteem begin to take a hit because of your wife showing her dissatisfaction with you almost all the time.
Tell your wife that this is the person who she married and she knew who you were before marriage. Marriage does not change a person into someone else overnight. She needs to accept you for who you are for this marriage to work. At the same time, focus on becoming the best version of yourself. So that you don’t have to deal with a wife nagging you over every little thing and she doesn’t have to turn into the dreaded nagging wife.
Related Reading: How To Deal With Resentment In Marriage? – Expert Tells You
12. Talk to a counselor
Counseling has many benefits and it can come to your rescue if you have been unable to find a solution to problems in your married life. If your wife’s constant nagging and bickering don’t stop no matter what you do, it is time for a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective.
Getting into couples therapy will help you both open up to each other in the most surprising ways. All those years of pent-up anger and frustration will finally surface. You both will be able to put forward your true selves in front of each other and the root of your problem will be finally identified.
The meaning of nagging in a relationship is constantly expressing discontent with your partner. Your wife knows what is best for you even if you wish to disagree. Her sixth sense combined with an understanding of surroundings does wonders in these instances. Nagging never comes out of nowhere. If your wife just exploded, there’s something that is definitely wrong.
Some women nag because of the masculine energy that drives within them. They feel that they need to be the superior and dominating force which makes them constantly nag. If your wife is nagging at you for small things that you can improve on, you can work on yourself and improve your habits. But if your wife is being unreasonable in her demands, there’s some thinking you need to do.