Top Five Things To Do Instead of Nagging
A reader of mine, who we will call Julie emailed me recently saying she was simply exhausted with trying to get her husband to help out with the housework. She admitted she was constantly nagging him, however, no matter how, or how many times she pleaded with him, nothing. He simply did not respond. Julie, who works full time and takes care of two children and the house has come to a breaking point. Although she isn't actually considering leaving, she is actually considering threatening him with a separation. Should she resort to threats??? NO!!! First of all, threatening to leave a marriage when you simply don't mean it is a huge mistake. Secondly, her husband probably wouldn't even hear her threat. He tuned her out long ago...
So, what's a frustrated woman to do if nagging isn't working, (and it never does)? Here are some other, hopefully more constructive and effective methods for getting through to your man.
1. Put your "honey do" list in writing. A short note or even an email will be better received. Men like lists of tasks. They like to check things off. They like to see they are making progress. Most importantly, they like having something to refer back to. Stick to the facts. Make a simple no frills to do list. Email it, or leave it for him where he will find it. Do not hand deliver it, as you will be tempted to explain to him why you are resorting to a written list. Simply leave it on the bathroom counter, sit back, and wait for results.
2. Ask him to work on something with you. "Honey, can you help me with the dishes? I want to hear about your day." Sure, it's not as effective as getting him to do it all himself. However, it's much more effective then you doing it alone, fuming and lonely.
3. Ask him once to do something, then don't ask again. The key to success is this. You don't do it either. After a week of no dishes getting done, your man is likely to respond to the visual Que of stacks of dishes piling up on the counter. Men are visual. He will get this. He will do the dishes. In the mean time, you may get some meals out.
4. Have a discussion about hiring help. "Honey, I'm feeling overwhelmed with all the housework. It's clear to me you are too. I don't want to nag or fight with you about it, so I have scheduled a few interviews with house help. The first one is next Wednesday. I would love for you to be here so you can help me decide who to hire..."
5. Stop nagging. Stop talking at all. Men respond to a woman's absence or silence much more then they do her talking. Eventually he will notice the absence of your voice, wonder what's up, and come looking for you. This will open a brief window for a conversation about whatever is bothering you.
Written by LISA HAYES