Why Women Nag

You know the type… From the complaints about the shoes on the floor, to the dishes in the sink, to the fact that he just can’t seem to communicate about his feelings… the nag is a woman who refuses to quit the constant tirade on her guy, leaving him to wonder just who he’s sleeping next to (as opposed to with), and when the transformation occurred.

The butt of late night jokes and cartoon caricatures for decades, there is some truth to the stereotype of the woman who henpecks her guy to death over every little detail of his existence. But what all those writers and comedians are missing is how a nag gets to be that way in the first place. And here’s a hint, guys: a lot of times, it has something to do with you!

Though it’s easy to blame the woman who “has a headache” or “just doesn’t feel like it” for a lackluster sex life and the loss of spark in your relationship, it’s time to recognize that the cycle doesn’t start here. Think back! Odds are, the changes began when your woman stopped feeling special. Whether that was two months or two years ago depends on your relationship, but regardless of the timing, the truth remains: when dates become a thing of the past and sharing amounts to coming home, grunting “fine” and turning on the TV, things are bound to go south. Why? It’s simple. While men see sex as their major method of connection, women see connection as the impetus for sex. So…

When a man won’t share his feelings (or pick up after himself when he’s been asked a zillion times), we stop seeing them as men we want to sleep with – who love us and value us for the contribution we make to their lives – and start seeing them as distant people who don’t respect us or listen when we speak. Nagging is a form (admittedly an ineffective one) of trying to get the first man back. The trouble, of course, is that usually just drives him further away.

So what’s the solution? As with most relationship issues, it’s compromise. If you do more, she’ll nag less – and give more – which will land you back in the sack (and not side by side), in no time.

19 thoughts on “Why Women Nag

  1. Sophia

    Hello All
    My thoughts are:
    1. A man who usually remains silent and does not respond is often: stonewalling, unable to hear
    his partners needs, passive-aggressive, and often controlling. How nice to not have to do anything and your woman keeps coming back to constantly trying to get your attention. It may be negative reinforcement but it is still reinforcement.

    2. He does and they both need to change their behavior update their communication skills.
    3. During happier times, that may be a good time to ask kindly how you as the woman can approach him so he can hear you. If he offers nothing and just says to quit bugging him – he’s turned into your son! It’s fair to say, “I feel you just told me I can’t ask things of you. Is this what you mean? And maybe by us not talking to each other I’m put in the role of nagging mother and you are in the role of obstinate son, we’re better than this. What can we do?
    4. He doesn’t want to take responsibility and she may over-compensate.
    5. Criticism is very destructive to a relationship.
    6. Telling, communicating or insinuating your partner is “wrong” shuts down communication.
    7. Of course he needs to change or he is choosing to destroy the relationship by keeping it at a stale mate.
    8. Neither person gets to be abusive to the other. Withholding affection or destroying either person’s self-esteeem is a slippery slope to divorce.
    9. Often both people are replaying what they witnessed growing up and don’t know another way to relate.
    10. My youngest son was often rebellious and disrespectful when I asked him to do things. During a time when we were getting along I said, “I notice when I ask you to do things you often roll your eyes, look at me like you could kill me, or say smarmy things. I am your mother and I need to ask things of you sometimes. How or when can I approach you that will help you hear me.?” Once it was pointed out and I wasn’t picking on him but sincerely wanted his help to understand how to reach him our relationship shifted.

    A great book is: Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks.
    A funny blog is: “Why she left your sorry ass.”

    Also Carol Allen has great relationship advice.
    Dr. Gottman who can now determine in 15 minutes of watching a couple fight if they can go the distance or get divorced! scary!

  2. wordpress

    This is going to sound like I’m jaded but actually I have a husband who I think most women would believe a “good catch”. There have been some issues, nothing about house chores, very attentive in all directions, remembering all important dates, supportive in sharing responsibilities with the kids and “holding up the other end” because of my job demands, no boys’ nights out – so no nagging needed (just the occasional “heads up”. But I think, Gina Rose, you are accepting them “as is” – as though we have to just accept the features we get with the men (they can’t change because “that’s the way they are”, won’t change even with earnest discussions initiated by the wife, etc). Sometimes the earnest attempts to discuss/explain, etc by the wife just ends up on deaf ears – so the yelling/nagging starts because of the frustration. Men CAN change, WHEN/IF they want to – stop trying to give them the benefit of the doubt/poor things/just need to be understood/wish SHE would leave me alone et al….just another excuse to find a reason to “wander” and when the “other woman”/mistress starts her nagging (when will you leave your wife, etc etc) – he finds this “nagging” and wants to drop her and if it becomes a dangerous situation (wife finds out/mistress calls her/mistress attempts to do something drastic) – then the wife and kids don’t look so bad and he “wants to come home”. These are little boys that need to grow up – if tough love or attempts to resolve the situation with discussions or counseling don’t work – you’re right – don’t nag, drop the dude (you don’t need to replace him/find someone else) get on with your own life -even with children) – he’s just an anchor and you will stop loving him/missing the situation – eventually you will find the better man once you have become the best woman you can independantly. Set parameters, state them and then follow through if the right results don’t start to occur. Men need to grow up, but so do women – get on your two feet and make your life work for you – don’t coddle the “extra kid” in your family.

  3. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi virlibsco61,

    Agreed…..which is what I meant in my comment that people do feed off of each other’s energy….good or bad.

    Yes….you can definitely catch more flies with honey. And a bit of praise does go a long way.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

  4. virlibsco61

    I would disagree on some of your theory. Men really aren’t all that complicated. You’ve heard the saying “catching more flies with honey?” You’re going to get exactly what you put into the relationship. If you want respect or someone to see your point of view, then you have to give them the courtesy of treating him the way you want to be treated. Nagging never accomplishes anything, no matter who, how or why it began to go down hill. Communication is the key, but in the “right way” to a loving and cooperative relationship. We all know that no relationship is perfect, and even the best will still have disagreements. but nagging to your “male” counterpart isn’t HIS fault. There’s a way to talk to ANY man and get him to do what YOU want EVERY time YOU want it. In a book by Carol Allen she writes: “The rules of relationships still apply, no matter who is the ‘Alpha,’ or or who is the ‘Beta.’ To succeed with any man, you have to treat him well and NEVER ‘one-up’ him.” (Love is in the Stars) I believe this theory works. Even if it’s just wanting to communicate your feelings and getting him to understand you better, he’ll be more receptive to listening from one who’s not making him feel degraded all the time. But, it doesn’t just stop there. In fact, complimenting him and giving him praise for any achievement he does to meet your needs, will make him want to do it again all the more.

  5. Pingback: Why women nag. « things i do for love

  6. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Word Press,
    Hope you had a great weekend.
    Good point,……

    Actually ,I always try to make my male ( and female) clients understand that professional counseling with their wives/husbands is a better alternative than turning to a girlfriend, mistress , or even outside friends & family.

    But, sometimes, it’s simply too late, the damage is done to the point that they have fallen out of love with the wife and into love with the girlfriend/boyfriend….or…the wife/husband won’t go to counseling.

    ( Remember, I built my career by reading for Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Therapists: relationship, drug & alcohol therapists who refer to me their patients and clients).

    Now…. to answer your other question…..the women ( and they number equally by the way) who call me tell me that their husbands simply won’t listen to them…..or won’t change, or doesn’t think that there is anything wrong. I hear from the women too that ” my husband doesn’t understand me “……alot.

    The problem, as I see it, is that neither side, men or women are adept at communicating their wants and needs. Women generally turn to nagging, while men simply shut down and detach…..it turns into a vicious cycle.

    As a professional psychic, I try to, first, identitfy the negative patterns to bring positive, realistic, achievable changes into the picture……to help create new patterns…positive ones. ( knowledge is power).

    But…..nagging does not work…..ever…..in any situation.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

  7. wordpress

    So, Gina Rose, is what you’ve heard is a lot of guys over the years complaining about the nagging and turning to you for help. They should be turning to their wives and communicate with them and perhaps they would know whence the issues were coming. They turn to you and their mistresses (the mistress thing is just an excuse for cheating -“my wife doesn’t understand me”) They took vows to honor, obey, etc one woman and they bring a second (or third) one into the equation and further insult the wife by sharing personal married couple information with another woman. They need to contain the issue discussion within their marriage OR go to counseling TOGETHER to an objective/professional observer, not the woman whose sharing his most intimate items (mental and otherwise). The observer is not going to be sharing his bed, further complicating the situation. You have ALL these guys, who have turned to you explaining/validating the wife versus mistress thing – how come we don’t see women “en masse” turning to a lover to “fix” the husband problem that won’t respond to “nagging?”.

  8. missparker

    Ah, the battle of the sexes (as contained in all the responses). I wish there were an article that could help me make my man understand what I really feel, because trying to explain to him what this article says or even sending this article to him electronically would make him unhappy with me. Someone should write an article on a foolproof way to make my man happy with me so that he will in turn make me happy and then we’ll just be happy. I’ll bet that doesn’t exist.

  9. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Good read : by Author ~ James Cordova ” The Marriage Checkup “.

    This book offers great communication tips and dialogue tips…..every couple should read it, married or not.
    ( And this book is cheaper than marriage counseling……so I would give it a read).

    Bottom line :
    Whether it be a co-worker, a child, a family member or friend, a lover/spouse,… nagging has never worked in the past , does not work now, and will not work in the future.

    When you nag, you really undermine you, your overall strength and position in the relationship and your intended goals, while, at the same time, pushing away your partner or the other person.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

  10. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi WordPress,

    I’m just reporting back to you what I’ve heard out in the field from men over the past 44 years of doing readings……kind of like the psychic reporter. This is what I’ve heard from the guys out there. So please don’t nag at me for simply stating what the male clients have said to me over the past years.
    LOL !!!! ( only kidding ).

    AND, furthermore, men tell me that the reason they have turned to the mistresses is that she appreciates him and doesn’t treat him like a child. These men have all, for the most part, told me that they don’t want a ” Mommy “, or to be ” nagged at and ” mommied “….. they want a woman.

    But I do know one thing ( and the Psychiatrists and relationship therapists agree with me on this point too by the way )…. which is : that.people feed off each others energy…… what you put out, you generally get back…..I would try a bit of praise & intelligent communicating…. before losing patience and resorting to nagging.

    read Kepi’s reply…..this is truly how many guys are feeling.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose

    PS….now, personally speaking, I would never stay in any relationship where I was being put into the constant position of nagging to begin with. If relationship counseling was not an option, or had failed,…..I’d leave the relationship and find a better, more suitable, partner. I have better things to do with my time than play the nagging Mommy/housewife.

  11. donna

    Hey it is not that we think you are failures, most women just want a little bit of help. When she is helped the rewards will be very beneficial to the male. Women are tired of having everything dumped on them, while the husband comes home (generally speaking) drops into the chair and plays video games, then screams through the house when she walks through the door. Where the heck is dinner? Men cannot be this dim or can they?

  12. vinod

    “Why Women Nag”
    The only reason is, these women suffer from superiority complex, or rather it is their inferiority complex that makes them grumble, not withstanding to understand their man’s action/reaction. It is only to supress the man in front of them, not being able physically but mentaly.

  13. donna

    My point of view, most men have never tuned in. When men pick a mate, they don’t pick a mate they pick someone who can take care of them. Do all the running after them picking everything up like you do your children. Personally, I can do without their selfish self indulgent behavior leaving everything for you to do on your own and not helping. Then men wonder why women are too tired for sex, or anything else, ya like the old song goes: “Put another log on the fire, then go out side and chop up that stack of wood, then when your done, come in an tell me why your leavng me”. This is how most men are….completely clueless and have no idea of what to do to take care of themselves. No not going to nag, just have no more time for a helpless man.

  14. wordpress

    Gina Rose, you may have read for many men in the last 44 years – but THINK about what you just said “I’ve had married men tell me that they prefer being with a mistress because “she does not nag and whine all the time”. Number one – perhaps if they didn’t have mistresses, there wouldn’t be problems (wife having the usual correct suspicions about his extra curricular activity and therefore, nagging/wanting communication but you don’t think that he’s going to communicate what’s really going on – do you?) And two, the mistress has him for “the good times” –none of the responsibilities of daily married life – just champagne & roses there. Boy did you miss this point.
    Nagging is not instantaneous combustion – there is in almost every case a catalyst. Stop giving the initiator a pass.

  15. kepi

    It may come as a surprise ladies, but we guys are sensitive souls and don’t all consider ourselves to be perfect…. however, when we are nagged we tend to switch off, and when all we get is a constant reminder of how we fail to live up to the expectations of someone who is also less than perfect then we do switch off…. take the toilet seat for example, how many times has your guy complained that you have failed to leave it up yet again? It seems that our role has been reduced to ensuring that the toilet is fit for our partner while our partner makes no effort to reciprocate!

    Doing the dishes… in this modern world surely we should both be doing the dishes, in my household not only do I cook, (cos my partner can’t) but I do the dishes as well, and walk the dogs, the washing, carry the shopping/handbag/umbrella etc simply because she doesn’t feel like doing it after a hard day at the office… cos of course, guys never have hard days at the office do they? Coffee? sure, and I understand that when she says she wants a coffee/tea, she means she wants it NOW, if I ask, then it is interpreted either as an unreasonable demand or as sometime in the evening if she remembers…. and sadly, this isn’t a case of one woman with this attitude… I have been in enough relationships to consider this to the be ‘norm’ So please don’t think this is a nag about my present relationship – if I didn’t want to do these things I wouldn’t… the way I see it, even if I was living on my own I would have to do it – well apart from the handbag LOL (ok, only on Saturdays when my name is Lola 🙂 )

    When guys feel nagged, abused or generally unimportant because of the way they are treated then they simply switch off, they understand the futility of trying to explain because the resulting counter argument creates more negativity. Cos women and never wrong and guys never do anything right!

    We are simple souls with simple needs, just like the pet dog, an encouraging word here, a please or a thank you now and then, and even a pat on the head from time to time is low cost and enough to keep us happy. Constantly reminding us of our ‘perceived’ failures whilst completely ignoring your own….. well its a little unfair ain’t it!

    So forget the BS explaining how guys are miserable failures….. consider our failures as being a result of your failure to encourage – just like a good manager in business needs to consider why a team member is below standard and the fact that it is generally as a result of the managers ability to do their own job properly.

    So wake up ladies stop being old nags and take some responsibility for the way people react to your attitudes.

  16. balancedesires


    Could it also be that they don’t take care of themselves and we ultimately become the ‘mother’ figure?? I have found my man doesn’t think when it comes to preparing himself physically. If he doesn’t eat he gets nasty headaches & weak, more often than not he doesn’t pack enough snacks for himself then complains that he is very weak and gets a nasty headache. The point is, you can help to teach him or remind him w/o sounding like a nag but it is ultimately up to him to do the task & remember. Otherwise he will continue b/c he knows you will do it for him (master manipulator) & you become the rescuer mother figure. ‘Oh honey, I’ll take care of it’. It is frustrating to have to sit & watch them fall sometimes because he doesn’t learn & ya have to wonder where the disconnect is. Gina Rose’s grammy had it right! LOL! 😀 Balance & Fuzzies!

  17. r0sina1981r0sina1981

    LOL…This article reminds me of Gina Rose’s Grandmother’s saying…”Men are like puppies. Reward them for good behavior; Ignore them for the bad.” I’m learning to basically just don’t NAG them, just IGNORE them. They will eventually get the hint. NAGGING will only push away, but ignoring them will get their attention…

  18. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Excellent article……

    And this is for the ladies out there……I can tell you, having read for many men in the last 44 years, that when you nag them…..they tune you OUT! Kind of like the mute button on the Tv remote control. LOL!

    SO, if you wish to make a point about something, pick the right time, ( not when he is watching anything on TV either, and make your point with a sense of humor. Just try it.

    Men will usually respond to humor not nagging, which many, if not all men, find to be straight-up annoying…..so they tell me. I’ve had married men tell me that they prefer being with a mistress
    because ” she does not nag and whine all of the time “.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500


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