How to Get Your Husband to Help You Without Nagging
If you want something done, you might just have to do it yourself. Maybe not in every case, but that’s certainly the way a lot of wives feel about their husband’s promises to get things done. Whether it’s that drip you asked him to fix a half dozen times a week ago or you just want some extra help handling the kids, the house and everything in between, nagging is probably something you feel you do too much of. If you don’t want to be a nagging wife, find a creative way to get your husband to fulfill his promises without reminding him every few minutes.
Understand that nagging has negative effects on your marriage. According to WebMD, a study was presented at the 2003 Society for Personality and Social Psychology that states nagging in a marriage can decrease the level of intimacy in the marriage 2. For example, the more you nag your husband to do things around the house, the less intimacy you will feel toward one another. The less intimacy you feel, the less connected you will feel and the more your intimate relationship suffers.
Present your requests in a positive light instead of nagging in a negative way, advises Pat Love, Ed.D., author of the "Ladies Home Journal" article "Help! My Husband Won't ..." If you want your husband to help out without having to nag him, approach him in a way that does not make him feel like he's being criticized, bossed around or attacked. For example, if you want him to help you load the dishwasher after dinner, don’t say, “I cooked. You clean.” Instead, say something like, “Honey, my to-do list has gotten much longer since the kids went back to school, and would really take a lot of stress off of me if you could load the dishwasher after dinner.” Using a positive method of asking still gets the point across, but in a way that makes your husband feel appreciated for his role in the family.
Use physical touch to help you communicate your wants. According to Toni Coleman, a Virginia-based relationship coach in a piece for "Woman’s Day," men tend to respond positively to touch. If you want your husband to help with a task without having to nag, place your hand on his shoulder, and say something like, "Will you help put the kids to bed so we can enjoy a quiet evening?"
Tell your husband exactly what you want him to do, but in a way that is respectful and courteous. According to Jonathan Alpert, a New York-based psychotherapist, men work better when there is a clear task with a clear goal. This means you simply have to point out what you’d like him to do. Do not give try to give him hints -- such as doing something yourself but in a frustrated manner. And do not be condescending.
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images