Quit Your Nagging!
Are you a wife who nags? A husband who doesn't listen? You're not alone! Kate and Matt are in need of a referee to run "nagging interference" in their house! Dennie Hughes steps in to end their war of words.
Rach's buddy, Dennie Hughes, assures the couple: "Everybody nags. The trick is to catch yourself and think of a different way to approach the situation." Dennie also prefers an alternative word to nagging. "I call it 'complainitude'," she says. "It's really complaining with an attitude."
"In the beginning of our marriage I would ask him to do things and he would just forget, so I went ahead and did them because we were newly married and you don't want to hurt your loving husband," says Kate. "But then he just stopped doing things or said he would do them later, and I got frustrated and angry and I started taking it personally."
"I'm a very forgetful person to begin with at work, at home, everywhere," says Matt. "My wife sometimes makes lists to help remind me of what I need to do, but it reminds me of my mom when I was a little and I had a list of chores that I had to do to earn an allowance."
Kate wants to stop nagging and for that to happen, Dennie encourages her to work on her tone and timing. "Your tone has to be conversational rather than confrontational. If the timing is off because he's unwinding from work or watching his favorite show, hold off and let him have that time as he would let you." Dennie also believes men respond better to compliments or rewards after a job well done. "What men like is a compliment sandwich which means when you open up the conversation, say something nice that gets their attention like, 'honey I want to ask you something,' or 'I need your opinion.' The meat of the sandwich is asking him what you want him to do, and then you top off that sandwich with bread, let him know that something nice is going to happen when he completes the task, like a backrub or watching TV together."
Matt wants to learn how he can help his wife and cut down on the nagging. Dennie tells him to analyze why he forgets. "Forgetfulness equals disrespect. Think of it this way, if a way to a man's heart is through his stomach, then a way to a woman's soul is through her ear. She loves to know that you heard her, and right now she thinks she's not being heard. Even if it's simply, 'Honey I heard you, but can I do it later?' And really do it later. The other person's happiness should be your priority. Maybe she's asking you for a little attention."
Dennie delves deeper, suggesting that the two of them are dealing with two different forms of control: Kate being more of a type A personality, and Matt being more laid back, which is still another form of control, just not as seemingly direct as Kate's control.
"The nagging's not going to ever go away completely," says Dennie. "But now you can recognize when it's starting to happen and you can both try a different approach."
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