Don’t Nag Your Spouse- Do This Instead

The other day, I read a Facebook post from Marriage 365 about wives being careful to not nag their husbands. I love what Meygan had to say. Unfortunately, she came under a lot of fire in the comments section. She shared her personal struggle with this and how she handles it. Many of her commenters weren’t happy with her insights.

Listen in to what I have to say about nagging and what you can do instead.

 Here’s what I cover in this video-
  • Why I think women are prone to nag
  • What your spouse is communicating when they don’t clean up after themselves
  • How to handle it when it seems your spouse isn’t taking care of their things

Reader Question- How to Handle Spouse Leaving Clothes in the Floor

I had a reader ask this question on the video-

It is humiliating, when someone drops by and there is a pile of dirty laundry in the guest bathroom that my hubby left that morning and I didn’t know about… How do I “cover” my spouse with grace in that situation without looking like a bad housekeeper? Any thoughts?

Here’s what I shared with her-

I have had to stop taking the way the house looks as a personal reflection on me. There are 5 of us that live here, and even though I’m the main one responsible for managing the house, it doesn’t mean that I’m a bad housekeeper because someone else in my house left their stuff out.

Also, I’ve had to stop being so stuck on the house being perfect for people to feel welcomed. I think people will feel welcomed even if they walk into the bathroom and see a pile of clothes.

As for your husband, I would just mention to him that when random friend stopped by that you noticed his underwear was chillin’ in the bathroom floor. It might make him more mindful in the future.

Otherwise, you just have to accept that you are sharing a home with other people, and what they do isn’t a personal reflection on you. If anything, it reflects on them. It is likely pretty obvious that the clothing isn’t yours…or toys, or whatever.

Another solution is to just put a basket in your bathroom. I’ve actually done that a lot around the house. If I find that an area of the house ends up with piles, I put a pretty basket or box for the junk to go in it. It would probably make you feel better if the dirty clothes are in a basket rather than straight up on the floor.


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2 Responses

  1. I’ve tried simply picking up after my husband, trying to Lee in mind that I can love and serve him in this way. To avoid bitterness I’ve tried thinking about the women who have lost their husbands and would give anything to trip over their husband’s muddy boots one more time. But the fact is that my husband’s mess (and he is MESSY) is a huge trigger for me. I try so hard to not let it get to me, but I feel so disrespected and taken for granted by it. In the past when I’ve picked up after him myself, the bitterness builds up anyway and I eventually snap about it. Not good.

    But if I left the mess, he would never clean it up. Never. No socks? He’d just find a dirty pair on the floor and wear them again. Dishes laying everywhere? They never get brought to the sink no matter how long I let them sit. I have had to hand wash the same two forks when I tried this approach because EVERY single other fork had been left laying around the house. I’m not even joking.

    The thing is, the mess honestly does not bother him one bit, whereas it bothers me tremendously. I’ve tried talking to him about how hurtful his mess is to me because of my own upbringing with an OCD dad who constantly berated my mom and my sisters and me for our sorely inadequate housekeeping abilities. Because my husband is a good willed man, I genuinely believe he does not see the mess; in fact, he has actually been trained not to! He was raised in an absolute pig sty. My MIL worked full time out of the home and yet she still did everything to clean up after her husband and their THREE boys, even though my FIL worked from home; no one ever lifted a finger to help her, and so the house was (and frankly still is) always disgusting.

    I cannot live my life like that. I’ve tried, and I just can’t. So what I’ve started doing instead is to be extra sure to ask my husband cheerfully and respectfully, making sure there is no hint of annoyance whatsoever: “Hey babe, would you please throw your shoes in the basket? Thanks! You’re the best. Muah!” Or “I’m doing a load of whites tomorrow; would you please make sure to have all your undershirts in the bin before then? Thank you!” Again, not annoyed, just a kind, cheerful question.

    So my question is, is nagging more of a disrespectful attitude than it is mere repetition? I ask my husband almost every day to move his shoes. He doesn’t seem to be annoyed as long as I ask cheerfully, he almost always does what I’ve asked (even if not right that second), and I always thank him for it. I feel like this works for us as long as I ask respectfully and express gratitude. Maybe someday he will put his shoes away without being asked, but we’ve been married ten years now, so… 😉

    1. What you are describing with your husband is pretty extreme. If you can’t function in a house because of the mess, then yeah, you’ve got to do something. I don’t think reminding and asking is the same as nagging. Nagging is fussing your spouse out for not doing things your way and demanding they do what you ask.

      I think it is great that you are taking on the housework because it is important to you. I also love that you are working with your husband where he is. That is definitely an approach that you can be successful. I’m a firm believer that if something bothers you, then you should do it.

      I pick up after my husband and kids, too. Instead of thinking of it as me picking up after everyone, I just think of it as me cleaning a room. The room is a mess, and I’m going to clean it. Other times, I ask them all to come and get the things that belong to them.

      Keep up the great work. I’m glad you are finding things that are working for you. 🙂

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