How to (Successfully!) Nag Your Husband

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I Love My Nagging WifeNow my husband has made it no secret that one of his least favorite things about me sometimes is my “nagging” tendencies. I’d like to think of myself as a pusher and a doer but to him my “do this” and “do that” rants are more of a royal pain in his ass. Now you’re probably thinking, well, then why don’t you stop? I carry on with my maddening behavior because it works. It’s as simple as that. Call me crazy, but I’m convinced that I’ve mastered the art of successfully nagging my husband. (And yes it is an art!) I use the word successful because I know how to talk until he’s almost blue in the face, but not actually cross that line. Then once my tippy toes are just touching that line something miraculous happens – he gets it, and that thing I’ve been bugging the crap out of him to do actually gets done, and all is peaceful once again in our world. I’m not kidding, it happens.

I guess I am sort of a professional nagger these days, though I stand by my methods 100 percent. He recently said to me, “Honey, you nag me so much it’s like you wrote the how-to guide!” At first I was mildly offended, then I thought to myself, well, you know what, why the heck not? So, here it goes. My handy little how-to guide for successfully nagging your husband without damaging your marriage. Read it, take it with a grain of salt, and please report back should you try any of these techniques out and find your own version of success (or failure, I’m always up for making edits.)

Step 1: Pick your battles! If I want my husband to do four things, I know at the most he’ll actually do two. So I decide on the two things I really want most to happen and then pick one of those things to really ride him about. Yup, just one per week, or day, depending on how quickly it needs to get done. I may remind him of the other things, but I will only hound him about the one.

Step 2: Get your timing right! I find that nagging him constantly throughout the day only allows him to build up a quick immunity to it. Instead, I choose two times a day to get my annoying on, and try to make sure at least one of those moments is so inopportune for him that he’s actually going to listen just so I’ll shut up and let him get back to what he’s doing. (May I suggest when his favorite sports team is playing or when he’s just settling in to a little “guy time”?)

Step 3: Make his reward known. Usually my husband can look forward to one of two “benefits” to actually doing something I’ve begged him to do. Either I’ll shut up about it, which is often reward enough, or I’ll give him something he wants in return, such as use of the big TV when the playoffs are on at the same time I usually watch America’s Next Top Model. It’s not that you’re bribing him, but rather you’re just giving him a necessary incentive to get the job done. Okay, well maybe you’re bribing him a little, but whatever it takes right?

Step 4: Don’t be afraid to turn up the heat. He married you because he was confident that he could spend the rest of his life with you. This likely means that you’re easy or fun to be around and he enjoys your company. So, if steps 1, 2, and 3 have failed you, I find it best to make things a little less comfortable for him around the house. I turn my smiles upside down and let my inner diva come out to play. Usually The Man can only take about two days of this before he’s willing to do anything to “get his wife back”. It’s a low blow for sure, but again, sometimes the necessary counterstrike you need to get him to get something done!

Okay, and there you have it. I’m sure The Man will be glad to know his intended insult inspired such a positive post. And again, if you give this guide a go, please do report back. Oh, and feel free to share your own tricks of the trade below!

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35 Responses to How to (Successfully!) Nag Your Husband

  1. Heather says:

    They master the art of spotting a nag early on…my three year old son already knows when I'm doing it! haha! Stopping by from @SITS #commenthour!
    My recent post Countdown to spring is officially on thanks to Pier 1

  2. LOL….I wish I could make nagging successful. Unfortunately, the Army gave my guy incomparable experience in tuning me out.

  3. Mrs. Jen B says:

    Excellent advice! I need to remember to pick my battles all the time. Good advice.
    My recent post Pouring My Heart Out- Not My Week

  4. Brandi says:

    LOL! Hilarious! I'm not married yet, but I wonder if your tips would work to get my boyfriend to propose? Haha!

  5. Jenny says:

    I don't nag I huff and puff and skulk and hide in the bedroom to get what i want ;P
    My recent post By the Lakeside

  6. Kimberly says:

    Will these same "nagging techniques" work on kids? No hubby here, but two teen boys?
    My recent post Got Guilt

  7. This is great!!!! Hi!!! (I'm still sending you the stuff for marraige mondays!!
    that being said, i love this post!!!

  8. TheSatEvePot says:

    LOL… timing is EVERYTHING!!

    Visiting from the SITS #CommentHour!
    My recent post Star Recipes Preview

  9. Jennifer says:

    Great advice – especially the part about picking your battles!
    My recent post Who You Gonna Call

  10. Ro Little says:

    LOL!! You ROCK!! I'm so gonna use your points! I'm constantly nagging my hubby with my 'honey-do-list'. Great post!!
    My recent post Can Hypnosis Really Help With Weight Loss That’s CRAZY!

  11. Jessica says:

    Excellent. You SHOULD write a book on this! I bet if others could nag as well as you there would be a lot less couples therapy in the world!
    My recent post How to be Supportive when a Friend has Cancer

  12. I always say, there would be no nagging wife if the husband just did what he was told the first time.

  13. Sharon says:

    Just from the title my husband thought maybe you’d have some good advice for me!

  14. TheProDiva says:

    Yessssss! You've done it again. I am quickly taking down notes and making a list of those things I plan to nag my hubby about! Congrats of being picked!

  15. Jamee says:

    I so pink puffy heart this post! Visiting from SITS Comment Hour!
    My recent post Spring in 2 Action Check-in 2

  16. Austin Girl says:

    Fabulous post! I love this topic. #3 – spot on. I have to let Wildcat (hubby) know immediately what his reward is going to be when I request for the up teenth time to change the light bulb in the hall bath. I found out with him, if I get the ladder out and tell him I'm doing it, he'll be like, "no, I said I'd do it." LOL!!
    My recent post These Cowboy Boots Were Made for Wearin’

  17. Simplywebly says:

    Hmmmm I wonder if that would work on my hubby?
    Hello from #commenthour

  18. Ok, I'm debating whether I should print this out for the hubs or not. This is totally how it is at our house! I try to do the little kid thing and give my husband a few things in the morning that need to be done before bed., then occasionally remind him throughout the day. Without fail it's 9:59 and he's ready for bed and I'm like "yeahhh, 'member when we discussed X, Y, and Z" and he gets defensive and is like "I started X, then tried Z."

    My recent post Where I Begin to Question if I am Just a Luddite

  19. Laura says:

    Stopping by from SITS. I love this post and that you have mastered the art of nagging without crossing the line. That's a great accomplishment :)
    My recent post Grow citrus trees indoors

  20. This is so funny. Sounds like you make it interesting enough to keep him intrigued
    My recent post Seaworld Bands Brews BBQ 2 Bands Brews Latin Viva La Musica Orlando

  21. MamaRobinJ says:

    Too funny! Nagging doesn't work on my hubby AT ALL – he is scarred by his mother. (Damn MIL!)

    #commenthour

  22. Toqua's Crafts says:

    I've learned it's a lot easier to just do it myself.

    Visiting from March 16th Comment Hour!
    Toqua http://ToquasCrafts.blogspot.com

    My recent post Beckys bits n pieces- So you say its your Birthday!

  23. Totally hillarious! Love your site and the sense of humor. Nagging is every married woman's right!
    Hope you'll check us out as we also love to try and keep things funny!
    See you at the next #CommentHour/on Twitter
    My recent post Nuts Radicals A-holes NRA

  24. elizabeth says:

    I've learned to leave it as an open-ended request. If I need the garbage taken out, he doesn't have to do it immediately, just soon. I also make fun of him, not that it works. (Umm, I don't know to do your laundry if it's hiding in the closet every week.)
    My recent post Opposites

  25. Amy says:

    Very funny. Stopping by from #commenthour

  26. Lanita says:

    I swear my father divorces my mother because she nagged him all of the time. I SO don't want to be my mother, so I try very hard not to nag at all. My husband warned me that if he ever told me I was acting like my mother, he would tell me then duck…really, really fast.

    Visiting from SITS Comment Hour…a little late!
    My recent post Old High School Hurts

  27. Sharon says:

    So, my husband is a procrastinator and I'm a get it done NOW kind of person. Yes, we've been together for 14 years through all of this! I tried the reward thing. No Wii console until he got some projects done. That didn't work, he went on a business trip while we lived in Hawai'i and came home with the Wii in probably the best set including everything plus extra games. The nagging works the best but it takes loads of repetition and then finally at my last straw he does it. I'd like to find a way to get it done the first time and save myself a lot of aggravation. I hear that he forgets a lot. Why am I supposed to remember Everything? But I love him loads and wouldn't trade him in for someone that did it right away. He's very supportive of everything I do, if sometimes slow at helping.
    My recent post Sticky Toffee Pudding

  28. spitzerstories says:

    It is so hard (at least for me) to find a balance between being "the nagging wife" and trying to let things go. So far, I bet my husband would tell you I'm quite the nagger so I'll definitely use some of these tips. Thanks!

  29. kSo says:

    i just wanted to say i overall love your attitude and how beautifully honest & comfortable your marriage seems to be based on your blog posts. they definitely carry the essence that your profile pic exudes. i love it and look forward to having my own version (:

  30. @ebonieezer says:

    First, I'm dying laughing right now!!!!! More importantly I find comfort in knowing that I'm not the only wife in the world that has to nag her husband to get things done. I don't have a guideline quite yet, but my nagging definitely gets the job done. He even thanks me later for "pushing" him. Contrary to what he thinks, I actually HATE nagging. Unfortunately, it's a necessary tool in getting things done in marriages. Idk why he just won't listen to me in the FIRST place. I'm always right.

  31. Carl says:

    Yeah my woman does that all the time, the thing is, why don't you just try and do things yourself once in a while instead of systematicaly asking US to do it for you? …

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