Ephesians 5:33b: And the wife should respect her husband.
Respect is his primary need, his deepest desire.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I Am Not a Nag

I've been reminded at least half a dozen times in recent days that my husband does not read my mind. No, he did not tell me this. He did not know that this has been on my mind. He cannot read my mind.

Some of the videos that I've been watching by Mark Gungor and Nina Roesner have been making the point that for a wife to get a man (husband) to do anything, he must be asked more than once. And then this morning, on Facebook, The Respect Dare posed this challenge:

Frustrated with your husband because he doesn't know how to give you what you want? Be specific. Stop expecting him to "just know." Save that for your sisters, your mom and your girlfriends. Men (in general) relate differently than we do, so spell it out - "Honey, I would like you to just listen to me right now, without trying to solve this. I just want to talk and feel heard." "Honey, will you take out the trash?"

Ask more than once? Isn't that called "nagging"?

The phrase "I will not nag" translates, for me, to "Never ask more than once".

And now at my ripe old age someone comes along and I find out, "Surprise! Nagging does not equal asking more than once."

Please understand. This comes as a complete contradiction to a particular decision I made as a child. I will not nag. That was the decision. I WILL NOT NAG. It has been written thousands of times on the invisible chalk board in my mind.

It is funny that I would make that decision as a child and never forget it. I never forget it but I do not always succeed. Of course, I nag. But then I beat myself up for it. After all, I know how bad a nagging wife can be and do not want to be a bad wife.

The "nagging wife" is fodder for comedy, tragedy and horror shows. Product advertisements and TV commercials have often relied on society's recognition of the "nagging wife" to capture the audience attention and pitch their wares. We've never been able to get away from it.

The nagging wife is seen as the antithesis of the happy wife. The "happy wife" does not have to ask for anything because she married a man who does read her mind. We've seen a few of these women in cinema and literature as well. I can only think of June Cleaver at the moment, but I am sure there are others.

Only recently has it come to my attention that the whole "nagging wife" stereotype should be eradicated, blown up, and destroyed.

The "nagging wife" is actually doing the right thing in the wrong voice. Nina Roesner, author of The Respect Dare, offers this advice:

Mark Gungor from "Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage" has a delightful monologue on the topic as well.

This is all good information that boils down to one clear directive:

If you want your husband to do something - Respectfully ask him - more than once, if necessary.

What's Your Alternative?

Do Not Forget to Appreciate Him!
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Duane Scott said...

Love the last video! LOL.

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Love this! Great stuff here. I really thought the same of nagging.

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Can I get an Amen?