Why women nag

I don’t want to be a nag. Honestly, I don’t.

There seems to be some misunderstanding among the male gender that women love to nag — that somehow we thrive off repeating ourselves and harping on one little thing until it gets done. Men think this is enjoyable to us.

Wrong. We nag because we have to. Yes, that’s right, we nag because we care.

I came to this realization during a recent night out with some of my closest girlfriends. As usual, our conversation came round to the husbands. And by far the thing that drives us the craziest is that we feel like sometimes our husbands want mothers, not wives. And the reason we have to fill the nagging role is because if we don’t, nothing gets done. Kids don’t get fed, clothes don’t get cleaned and fire alarm batteries don’t get changed.

It’s not that our husbands are bad or careless or don’t love us. It’s simply that men don’t notice these things. They don’t notice that it’s 3 p.m. and no one has had lunch. No clean underwear? No problem, just fish out the least dirty pair from the hamper. And that loud beeping coming from the fire alarm with the dying battery? Let’s just move that into the garage so the beeping is less annoying.

I’m serious. That is actually a standoff in our house right now. We ignore the beeping from the garage until it randomly wakes us up in the middle of the night. I’m not proud of this, but I’m also not changing those batteries.

The conclusion my friends and I came to is that men force their wives to nag. The only other choice we have is to simply do everything ourselves.

So help me out here. Wives, why do you nag your husbands? And to you guys out there, why do you make us be the nag?

(Disclaimer: My husband read and approved of this blog – no nagging required.)

Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.


  1. Joe

    Why don’t you do it yourself instead of nagging a man? You wanted equal rights, you got them, get to work.

  2. Ramone

    I agree with Joe. Do it yourself unless there is more enjoyment from nagging than completing the actual chore…but then you wouldn’t have a anything to contribute when your friends talk about their husbands (2nd favourite pasttime, I’m sure). If it is something he only can do, then try prioritizing your list rather than firing your random ‘to dos’ at him. Finally show appreciation for things being done. If it has caused you that much grief to get upset from nagging, be thankful when it is finally done. Otherwise we will feel the reward of doing the chore is nothing… and on to be nagged about something new.

  3. Crystal

    See I’ll ask my man to do something and he’ll say ok then 3 days later it still won’t be done so I’ll do it and he will get mad at me for not asking him! I’m talking about stuff like carrying up furniture or putting up the baby’s crib … Both I’ve had to do on my own so I wouldn’t be nagging but.. I do nag cause he will get off of work and eat dinner that I made for him then he will go hangout with the guys until its time to sleep so I nag because I feel that atleast 1 day out of the week he should spend time with me and our new babygirl!

  4. ian

    Go ahead and nag, just be aware that you pay a price for it. Most peoples reaction to nagging is to get defensive, resentful and to withdraw. The natural reaction is to tune out, which of course makes it more likely to happen the next time. Face it, the naggers and the naggees are part of a vicious circle.

  5. Ray

    I strongly believe that guys just don’t want to do it. It is easy to pretend that they just didn’t notice. If I leave my husband alone with the kids, he will only feed them if he too is also hungry. I actually have called to see if they were fed and of course they weren’t. How can a father not care if his kids eat? He and I both agree that he likes me to remind him so that he doesn’t have to remember. We agreed he would be in charge of writing the kids lunch checks on paydays. Without fail, he would forget. I would have to run to the kids schools with $$. He would make up a “reason” each time which made me lose respect for him. Why couldn’t he find a reason to remember one thing? I do, also, believe that men don’t think it is their job to do household duties because they work all day. I have seen and heard my own husband behave with the same attitude about responsibility as my own 15 year old son. Seriously, if men really wanted to do the things we ask, they would do them because they know it would strengthen our belief in them. Every time we have to remind, the fibers of the relationship weaken. I would love it if he would just show up as an adult and help me without the teenager attitude. Guys also like calling their wives nags and making the wives believe that it is the nagging that is the problem. It lets them off the hook for their own behavior. When first dating, I bet those guys went out of their way to impress their future wives. But the hunt is over…so there is no reason to show respect any longer. IMHO

  6. Jonny

    Maybe if these women who nag didn’t feel the onus for managing the home was on them alone, they would be able to relax! After all, that is what homes are for, so you can be comfortable and relax. Maybe these women need better things to do with their time like focus on a career so they can understand that us men (and a lot of women too) take enough orders at work.

  7. anon

    Women nag because men are too lazy to do things. Men thinks they can stop looking after the family and let their children starve after they get off work, whereas women also do housework AND look after the kids after they get off their work.

  8. Kinderly

    I’m kinda working through this lately in my own marriage. I’ve decided that nagging is largely about the tone of voice. First, I went through a stage where I didn’t ask dh to do anything. I just did it myself or let it go. I’ve tried to show appreciation when dh helps with things around the house or spends time with me. Next stage, I’m starting to ask things, but only once and really watching my tone of voice. I’m hoping that I can get to the point where I can ask dh to do a few more things regularly. I’m trying to figure out how I can show respect and ask in a way that he feels comfortable discussing a plan with me. Anyway, I’ve got a ways to go. Who knows what will happen. But at least I have a goal. 🙂

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