Recently, someone wrote to us wanting to know…
“How do you handle a nagging wife?”
And we’re adding a “nagging husband” to the discussion because that certainly can become an issue as well.
First of all, nagging is symptomatic of something else.
Something else that wants to come forth.
Something else that isn’t a part of the relationship but wants to be part of the relationship.
Something that needs to be healed.
Looked at and investigated.
When someone is nagging, pure and simple, it’s that they want something that they feel like they’re not getting.
But what aren’t they getting?
Whether they realize it or not…
It’s usually about a feeling they want but just don’t or can’t feel.
And they think the other person is causing this lack inside them.
–They want to be understood and they don’t feel understood.
–They want to feel important and I don’t feel important
–They feel like their life is out of control and they want to feel more in control
–They want love and they don’t feel like they have it
–They have a belief that is a “should” that they think the other person needs to do as well for the world to be okay
The same thing applies when you feel like you’re being “nagged.”
In moments like these, just like the person who is nagging you, you’re wanting something in order to be okay and you don’t feel like you’re getting it.
Susie remembers early in our relationship “nagging” Otto to call his parents.
She came from a close family and in her world, that’s what you do.
You call or visit your parents every week and check up on them.
In the years before Susie, Otto hadn’t made connecting with his parents a priority and when she’d remind him, it often came off to him like nagging.
Many times, he’d not want to do it simply because he didn’t like being “controlled.”
Eventually we saw that dynamic between the two of us for what it was–a trance we fell into from past experiences.
We saw how we both had been sucked into living out old belief patterns that no longer served us.
Gradually, Susie saw that repeatedly reminding Otto to call his mother and to have him pull away…
Didn’t get her what she really wanted–a close connection with him.
And Otto saw that instead of pushing her away because he thought he was being controlled…
He could tell her in a loving way that he would contact them in his own time because what he ultimately wanted was a close connection with Susie as well.
If you want to have a closer and more connected relationship and have deeper love and good feelings between the two of you…
It’s always really valuable to explore what that “thing” is that is truly wanted instead of getting defensive, righteous or upset and either nagging or being nagged.
The wise person will see the nagging as a sign to explore something else that’s going on within the relationship, with the other person.
The not so emotionally aware person will think that the nagging is something to protect themselves from, to defend themselves against or something to shut themselves off from…
When in fact it’s really a sign to look at something deeper in the relationship or within themselves.
When nagging is going on, most people take it as a sign to shut down and defend and withdraw…
When the wise thing to do is to realize that “something important is happening here.”
Then, be willing enough and open enough to find out what it is.
That’s where the magic is.