By Keren Kanyago, Crosswalk.com
Joe held Betty's perfectly manicured hand gingerly as he slipped a gold ring on her finger. He then cleared his throat, gazed down into her eyes, and said his wedding vows cheerfully. Betty's eyes glistened with tears as she savored each word. When it was her turn to say her vows, Betty took a minute to get a grip on her emotions. She allowed the words to roll off her mouth slowly. She wanted Joe to know that she meant each of those words.
Three years into their marriage on a nippy Sunday morning, Joe barged into his best man's house reeking of frustration. After exchanging pleasantries, he dived right into the subject matter, vehemently spewing out his misgivings about his wife. "Betty nags me all the time; I am going insane in that house!" he ranted. "Besides, she has really changed. She is not the same loving and supportive girl she was before we got married."
Joe's case is not unique. Scores of husbands across the globe opine that their once sweet and understanding wives flipped and became nagging along the way. Has your husband hinted to you or even told you plainly that you nag him? Or perhaps he has not said it, but you have a strong inkling that you are a nagging wife. In this article, we explore the habits that tell whether you are a nagging wife or not.
What Is Nagging and Why Are Wives More Prone to It?
The dictionary describes nagging as the act of persistently annoying or finding fault with someone. It also includes constant whining, pestering, and issuing demands.
Granted, it takes two to tango. Relationship experts observe that when a wife nags, it is often an indication that trouble is brewing in that relationship. Besides, wives are more likely to nag when they feel overwhelmed, taken for granted, and when their needs are overlooked. Women are also more prone to nagging because they naturally feel responsible for the proper functioning of the home and family. Coupled with their razor-sharp intuition, they swiftly sense when trouble is in the offing and may end up nagging in a bid to protect the family.
Having said that, wives need to realize that nagging is an ineffective and counterproductive communication tool. This is because it irks men and pushes them further away from their wives. They hastily retract into their shells like a turtle on sensing danger.
What Does the Bible Say About Nagging?
The Bible expressly frowns upon nagging by wives. Here are three ways nagging is described in the Scriptures.
1. Nagging Is Highly Repulsive to Your Husband
"Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman." (Proverbs 21: 9). Think about it; a man would rather languish in a desolate corner of a housetop than be nagged. It is clear that nagging, an act that comes naturally to wives, is extremely off-putting to their husbands.
2. Nagging Causes a Trail of Damage
"A foolish son is the ruin of his father, and the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping." (Proverbs 13:19). Ever dealt with a leaking roof? It causes untold damage and frustration. A leaking roof is a safety and health hazard as it can damage the ceiling and tamper with the structural stability of a building.
It may also attract mold and cause the paint to peel off. This may, in turn, trigger respiratory diseases and other health challenges to the building's occupants. If the water seeping through touches the electrical wiring, it could spark a fire. As a wife, you may assume that nagging is a harmless act. Nothing could be further from the truth. Constant nagging can spark a raging fire and bring a once-blissful marriage to its knees.
3. Nagging Can Cause a Man to Give up
"With such nagging, she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it." (Judges 16:16). When Delilah wanted to get to the root of Samson's strength, she pulled an all too familiar tool – nagging.
Her incessant nagging and prodding pushed his buttons and drove him to the end of his rope. He was willing to do anything to make her stop – including giving away the secret to his strength. That's how destructive nagging is. At worst, it can cause a man to give up on his marriage if only to escape the nagging.
5 Ways to Tell if You Are a Nagging Wife
Having explored nagging and its adverse effects, it's time to buckle up and evaluate ourselves. Here are five habits to look out for.
1. You Constantly Correct Your Husband
"Be careful with the baby; you may drop her!" "You are driving too fast, honey!" "That's not how you feed a baby; he may choke!"
If you are anything like me, I have to summon all my willpower to ward off the itch to correct and redirect my husband. I have my own set of rules and way of doing things which are often very different from his. Husbands feel demeaned and mortified when their wives constantly nitpick their actions. They interpret it to mean that their wives do not trust them to make sound decisions or do the right thing. But above all, they feel nagged.
2. You Call the Shots in Your Home
God has placed the husband as the head of his wife, just as Christ is the head of the Church. (I Corinthians 11: 3). Yet sadly, many wives do not allow their husbands to take the steering wheel of their homes.
I know I have been guilty of constantly poking holes in my husband's suggestions and flaunting my own as more reasonable and effective. Wives tend to have an insatiable urge to rule the roost, dictating the choices and direction their family should take. While it is true that wives have great intuition, which husbands should take advantage of, the husband is still the leader. If you have been calling the shots in your home, it's time to cede power and allow your husband to be the leader that God assigned him to be.
3. You Try to Parent Your Husband
Do you find yourself issuing warnings and instructions to your husband just as you would to your kids? If yes, we are afraid to say you are a nagging wife. It's easy for wives to want to control their husbands. This can get out of hand with the wife dictating where the husband should go, what they should wear, and what time they should be home, among other decisions.
When this happens, the man gets greatly incensed and their ego bruised. No adult wants to be treated like a child, least of all your husband.
4. You Obsess Over Your Husbands Flaws
Yes, your husband forgot your wedding anniversary or canceled your date night at the last minute. This really got to you, and you can't seem to forget the injustice he dispensed out to you. You may be tempted to obsess about the issue and keep reminding him of his mistakes. By doing this, you are nagging your husband. Remember that as a human being, you also have your flaws. How would you like it if your husband kept bringing you up to speed with your past mistakes? We are sure it would drive you up the wall.
The Bible states that Love does not keep a record of wrong (1 Corinthians 13: 5). Learn to forgive your husband when he errors and to let go of the offense. Quit reminding him of his past mistakes, aka nagging him.
5. You Read Too Much Into Your Husbands Mistakes
Let's say your husband forgot to take out the trash. Yet. Again. You can handle his "grievous offense" in two ways. You can politely remind him to do it, or you can go ahead and blow a gasket. Your husband may have innocently made a mistake, but you can read too much into it.
In this case, you could accuse him of failing to take out the trash because he neither loves nor cares about you. An innocent mistake can drive a wedge between you, depending on how you react.
What Can Wives Do to Avoid Nagging?
As stated earlier, it's very easy for wives to slip into nagging. Here are a few things you can do to nip this detrimental habit in the bud.
- Allow your husband to be the leader of your home.
- Keep yourself busy and pursue your passions – This way, you will have no time to obsess about your husband's flaws.
- Make peace with the fact that things don't have to go your way.
- Keep quiet when tempted to correct or redirect your husband. Walk away if you have to.
- Take time to rest to avoid getting overwhelmed.
- Submit to and respect your husband (Ephesians 5: 22,33.)
Keren Kanyago is a freelance writer for hire and blogger at Parenting Spring. As a wife and mom, she uses her blog to weigh in on pertinent issues around parenting, marriage, the Christian Faith, and an assortment of other lifestyle topics. She holds a degree in mass communication with a specialty in print media. You can shoot her an email at [email protected]