Premium Podcast Help Contact Dr. Laura Dr. Laura Designs Return to
Join Family Premium Login Family

Email of the Day

The Nagging Monster

I am embarrassed to admit a year into my marriage I became something I never wanted to be - a nag! What could I possibly have to complain about after a year of being married to an incredible man? We had a wonderful marriage during the week while we were working, but then on Saturday and Sunday my husband would sit down and play more than 20 hours of video games and it caused a fight every weekend. I nagged him constantly about it: "You're playing too much," "You're ignoring me," "You're not helping around the house." When I look back at my behavior, I'm not at all surprised he didn't want to spend time with me.

It continued until one night we were fighting and I almost told him, "Well I think what you enjoy doing is stupid." Fortunately I heard the words in my head before I said them out loud and I was able to keep my mouth shut. What a horrible, hurtful thing to say! If he said that to me I'd burst into tears. So I shut up and decided I needed to try a different approach.

I thought specifically about what it was that bothered me about the gaming and I came up with this - I didn't like working hard all weekend while my husband got to be lazy and, more than that, I waited all week to spend time with him on the weekends and instead he ignored me. I waited until we were both having a good day and I sat him down and explained these things to him. I was surprised to find out he wished I would quit doing things around the house and come be lazy with him. We were able to have an actual discussion instead of a fight because he didn't feel he needed to be on the defensive. Now on the weekends he plays for a couple of hours each day and I find something to do curled up against him, like reading a book.  Then we go out and do things together. I've come to actually enjoy watching him play.  We're both so relaxed, we are able to joke around and have fun together. Occasionally the gaming has gone on a little too long, but I let him know sweetly I would like his help and he turns it off. It really hasn't been an issue since.

The point is, when I nagged I was met with a brick wall, but when I treated my husband like an adult and compromised, we were able to make effective changes to our marriage. I will definitely keep that in mind when I feel the nagging monster trying to re-emerge in the future.


Tags: Marriage, newlywed, Read On-Air
< Back to Email of the Day Archives