My Theory on Nagging

“How come you didn’t…”

Fellas, how many times have you heard your wife start off a conversation with this introductory phrase? How come you didn’t stop and get some milk or put my mama’s birthday card in the mail? The list can get real long, real fast like an ancient Chinese scroll rolling down the steps of an imperial palace. The funny thing about this experience is that a lot of times it results from a lack of communication and an overwhelmed mind. The mind of an average guy doesn’t hop from one thing to another as often as his female counterparts, which is good because in life you need both the ability to multi-process and have a laser focus in varying amounts. The problem comes when we forget this fact about each other. I’ve told my wife not to give me any more than three things to remember at any given time. Anything beyond that, I’m going to have to treat you like Twitter and cut you off. 150 characters is all you got baby girl!

Over the years I have learned not to waste my time boiling over with frustration when she “raises awareness” that I forgot two of the fifty eight things at the grocery store. I started out with 12 but she called me five times while I was in pursuit of the original list and my brain locked up. Picture trying to dump five pounds of dry grits down the garbage disposal. You see my dilemma? So I began to save myself some opportunities to fail and went about educating my wife about the beauty and utility of this mythical and potent item known as a “List.” Yes friends, this awesome tool is preloaded and available to be amended at a moment’s notice. Employing this formidable asset completely removes my wandering mind from the equation. I need to focus on the road so I don’t get hit by the guy next to me on the phone who is swerving aggressively. I bet he just got a phone call with some “amendments” to his original list, which is in his head.

“Nagging has met it’s match”

Some hard won lessons have given me a righteous perspective on what is really going on between us as man and wife. Our wives have a tendency for order and stability which leads them to recognize things like a noisy toilet, high grass, broken toilet paper holder and an ever expanding water stain on the ceiling as items that need to be addressed so that stability is secured. Guys on the other hand, operate much like the local fire department in the sense that what triggers them is the sound of an alarm signaling a major emergency. The noisy toilet is not a four alarm fire in his mind, so he will probably just cut the fan on to try and drown out the sound. As long as his flush is still effective, there may be no urgency in addressing it. Oh, and what about that water stain on the ceiling? Again, not an emergency because the water only drips on his wife’s side of the couch. However if a whiff of vapor gets near his flat screen during the playoffs, then he has no choice but to call for reinforcements. C’mon it’s game seven.

If guys want an end to being “hassled” by their better halves then they should make the shift from Fire Department to Codes Enforcement. The good people down at Code Enforcement are all about recognition and prevention. This is the secret to possessing anti-nag technology. The ability to recognize an issue and act on it before it is brought to your attention will build mounds of political capital with the wife. Instead of having the toilet paper fall off the wall and roll just outside your reach when you need it the most, you should get ahead of that problem. Have you ever had to duck-walk with your pants around your ankles trying to chase a renegade roll of TP? Not a good look.

So how can I secure Anti-Nag technology for myself?

Great question, I’m glad you asked. Following some of the examples below can set you up for success.

  • Simply ask your wife what it is that she needs you to do, then make a List.
  • Show her that you understand the importance of these tasks by discussing your plan to tackle them.
  • Then tackle them.
  • After you have tackled them, notify her of the “tackling.”
  • DO NOT stand on the coffee table waiting for a medal or an applause. Acknowledgement will come when you least expect it.

So what’s in it for me?

You may be asking yourself, why would I put forth the effort to be proactive? It’s really quite simple. Since you’re going to have to knock this stuff out anyway, you might as well be in control of the solution. A level of control is what’s in it for you. Women will tell you that they love seeing a man in action. None of them will tell you that their loins were on fire at the site of their husband napping on the couch with a spoon stuck to his chest from the pint of ice cream he just punished. In fact, the opposite of this is true and it will bear itself out when she sees you handling things before she is even aware of them. This gets the fires burning and so in this case desirability is what’s in it for you.

Many times what we experience as nagging is our wife’s reaction to the problems we have with ourselves. She isn’t hopping up and down because you haven’t knocked down that hornet’s nest over the baby’s crib, well maybe she is, but she is irate at the fact that certain deficits in your manhood would allow you to think that there is no threat from the wasp and that the buzzing and humming should actually be soothing to the baby. Of course, this is all self-explanatory and the room for improvement is obvious because you should be sensitive to threats to your family, such as an infant getting lit up by angry insects. In this case, it is personal growth, initiative and a wife’s precious trust that is in it for you.

Once the Anti-Nag has been applied what sort of results can I expect?

Various. The big picture that I want you to realize is that order and stability are important to our wives. When they are surrounded with chaos and disorder then it is hard for them to see us in those moments. You guys could have been sexting back and forth all day and anticipating grand fireworks upon getting home. However one sweaty pair of performance briefs in the kitchen floor will evaporate that moment in nanoseconds.

The truth is that your wife wants to spend time with you and connect and do whatever happens next, but you have to be a beast when it comes to handling the things that require your talents. When her radar is clear, she can see in full view the mighty titan of love that she married and for that she may just salute you, if you know what I mean.

Love well,

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