Posts Tagged ‘nagging’


Do women nag?   Hmm, do babies cry?  Do men like sex?  These, of course, are all rhetorical questions.  The answers are yes, yes, and yes.  It’s true!  Women nag.  “Are you going to get your hair cut this week?” (asked 4 times before he follows through and it becomes apparent that he does, in fact, have a forehead separating his hair and eyebrows).    “Don’t forget to take out the trash!”  (asked 5 times after having picked up the same piece of trash that keeps leaping from the overflow as if on a suicide mission).  “That garbage disposal really needs to be fixed.” (asked 6 times before realizing your outdoor garbage can has become the local bar and grill for an entire neighborhood of raccoons.)  Let’s face it, ladies.  We do nag.  We nag because we need things done.  If he helped out the first time we asked…a second, third, or fourth “nag” wouldn’t be necessary,  now would it?  I joke, but realistically, I think the science behind nagging is much more complex.

In the first few years of marriage, there’s not a lot of nagging going on, is there?  If there is, you’ve already started out on rocky terrain ~ good luck.  What IS going on in the first couple years of marriage?  Sex.  Communication.  Connection.  We’re in love.  We want to please one another (emotionally and sexually), and we want it to be reciprocated….and it usually is.  She feels connected, loved, emotionally fulfilled…not taken for granted.  Because she feels this, she also feels frisky and seductive.  He feels wanted and desired, and he’s having plenty of sex.  Because he feels this, he also feels the desire to help her, take care of her, and make things as easy as possible for her.  So, he preemptively tackles little things like chores because he’s more in tune with her happiness.  In turn, she’s fulfilled, happy, and focuses more on their connection… less on minor details or chores that somehow seem relatively unimportant.  Result: not a lot of nagging.  Isn’t this a happy union?  Also referred to as the honeymoon phase.  Short and sweet.  🙂

But as the years go by, this connection will “spring a leak.”  We tend to slowly focus less on the connection, and more on the minor details that fill up our busy lives.  The connection suffers.  The sex suffers.  The communication takes a leave of absence, and in its place comes the nagging.  Once our lives fill with countless stressors, we’re not so blissfully happy anymore.  Our happy union has skipped out on us.  Because we let life’s daily trials get in the way, the connection slips, and, consequently,the sex also slips.  If women are feeling emotionally distant, we’re not feeling the sex –  because, to us, no emotional connection means “we’re broken.”  Less sex, for men, translates into “we’re broken.”  Less sex results in more emotional distance.  When men aren’t getting what they need, the desire to take care of her, or be her hero, fades.  So, doing little things around the house to make her happy becomes less important to him.  Essentially, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.  When his efforts stop, so do hers.  When her efforts stop, so do his.  Dizzy yet?

So, now we have a couple who has a rapidly shrinking connection (and sex life), a growing rift between them, and a steadily mounting list of household demands.  Household chores, responsibilities, kids…none of these will take a break until we figure out how to get back on track.  They still demand constant attention.  But, now that there’s less communication (sexually and verbally), the main topic of conversation revolves around what needs to be done.   What’s left to talk about?  When men disconnect, they become almost unaware of what needs to be done.  Someone has to pick up the slack, and that someone is typically her.  So, she is forced to ask for help.  Trust me, she gets no pleasure out of this.  She much prefers his preemptive stepping up to the plate without having to be begged like one of her children.  This is a turn off of epic proportion.  What’s interesting, though, is that neither spouse is cognizant of the fact that his/her unmet needs will manifest themselves in such a way.  We may think that the nagging is simply about getting the job done.  Don’t get me wrong.  It is, to a point.  But sometimes, the minor jobs that we “nag” about are symbolic of something bigger, something missing –  and that something is her connection with him.  She may even be nagging because it’s the only communication transpiring, and she’s desperate to get some communication going…even an argument.  Professionals say kids act out in an attempt to seek attention from their parents — whether it’s good or bad.  Maybe seeking an argument with our spouse isn’t so different from our childlike behavior?  Humans are so complicated…stupid humans!  Rarely are our marital arguments about the issue at hand.  Wouldn’t it be nice if life were so black and white?  Not a chance.  🙂

There seems to be a direct correlation between level of connection (emotional and sexual) and level of nagging.  When we’re happy, connected, and sexual, we have more teamwork and less need for nagging.  However, when we’re unhappy (consciously or unconsciously),  disconnected, and sex is a rare event, we become less of a team and the nagging for help becomes more steady.  To work as a team again, we need to be bonded.  Sex is a bonding experience.  Chemicals given off in the brain during sex bond us together, making us feel more connected.   Once we’re more connected, we yearn, and strive, to please one another.  And so, the need for nagging dwindles.

Next time you find yourself drowning in a sea of nags, think about the true driving force.  Maybe all your nag needs is a good shag?  😉

Chick Hughes

“I date this girl for two years–and then the nagging starts: I wanna know your name.” Mike Binder