My Husband Is Turning Me into a Nag!

Updated on March 13, 2007
M.W. asks from Ten Sleep, WY
14 answers

I never used to consider myself to be a "nag." But now I feel that all I do is pester my husband to do the things I ask! I don't understand why my husband won't simply take out the trash or carry the heavy things out to the garage when I ask him to. Instead, he either waits a month until I finally give up asking and do it myself (and make no mistake, he doesn't feel bad that it takes me an hour to scoot something heavy out to the garage by myself) or just says "I'll do it later" when I ask for the 500th time. This is sooooo frustrating! It's not like he even picks up after himself around the house, he's certainly not put upon to do stuff around here. He could at least help when I ask!!! Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make a husband do things the first time instead of me nag nag nagging?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Billings on

Trust me I know how you feel.My husband is the same way. I asked him to take out the trash, he didnt. I waited to take it out to see how long it would take him and I finally ended up taking out 4 bags of trash 2 days later. I called his attention to this and his responce was "you work 60 hr a week and see if you feel like taking out the trash" I finally found something that works.(at least for the trash anyways)I bag up the trash and set in in front of the front door so he has to move it to get out the door for work. It was pain for me but it got him in the habit of taking it out so now He gets it out of the can before he goes to work everyday. Just like with kids.. baby steps. lol good luck.

Edit My Answer
1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Omaha on

Found this article, and thougth you may find it useful---happy reading

Living Ephesians 5: Wives, Respect your Husband
by Nancy C. Anderson

My husband, Ron, admits that he used to be jerk, but I discovered a
formula that turned him into a loving husband: I started treating him
VIP. Ron always wanted me to respect him, but I thought he had to earn
and I had to feel it, before I could do it. Wrong.

We women are very good at pointing out our husbands' faults and
failures and
punishing them for not meeting our needs, but that only leads to
and distance in our marriages. We all know that yelling, nagging, and
belittling are disrespectful and ineffective. So I'm suggesting a
concept: Treat him like a king, and eventually, he will begin to treat
like a queen. <

Instead of waiting for him earn your respect, behave respectfully and
him grow into the man God designed him to be.

Twenty five years ago, our marriage was on the brink of divorce. I was
controlling, critical and disrespectful so Ron was defensive and angry.
were both Christians but neither of us was living a sprit-filled life.
letting my emotions determine my actions and thought it was Ron's job
make me happy. But through a series of miracles (read my book for the
story) we made a decision to rebuild our marriage.

We went to a Christian counselor who read Ephesians 5:33 "Nevertheless
each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let
wife see that she respects her husband" and said "Nancy, the only way
will win Ron back and stay married is if you begin to respect your

I knew he was right so I swallowed hard and came up with a plan. Here
three of the ways I began to respect Ron: They are easy to remember
they spell out the goal -- to treat him like a V.I.P.

Respect him Verbally, Intellectually, and Physically.


Cut out (ok...cut back) complaining and add in compliments.

If you want to have a peaceful, happy marriage, learn the art of the
compliment. Compliments are like magnets and the more you compliment
husband the more he will be attracted to you. Begin to notice when he
it right and verbally encourage him by complimenting him at least once
day. If you are having a hard time thinking of anything to admire,
these categories: physical traits, mental skills, financial strengths,
spiritual growth, or healthy relationships with others (children,
or friends).

You may be asking "Hey, why should I compliment him when he NEVER
compliments me?" Because, if you want your marriage to grow and bloom,
you'll have to water it with kindness and encouragement. Then, as he
your sincere efforts, he will begin to change too. Don't give up.

If you do need to bring up a difficult issue, place it between two
compliments, also known as a "Compliment Sandwich." Here's an example,
"Honey, I know how hard you work for our money and that Sally's braces
be expensive, but I need your decision before her appointment tomorrow.
hope we can do this for her, but if you want to wait, I trust your
What should I tell the orthodontist? "


Men like to solve problems and fix things. So appeal to his
intelligence by
asking him to help you solve a problem. Instead of saying "This garage
is a
mess, clean up your camping stuff!" Try, "I'd like your help with
Could you figure out a storage system for all the camping supplies?"

Don't imply that he isn't smart. Instead of saying "I think you are
about..." Say, "I'm confused about...please explain it again" (Remember
keep your tone of voice sarcasm-free.)

Request his help on Spiritual matters too. Ask him to explain a passage
Scripture or ask him to pray for you when you are going through a
time. If your husband is not the spiritual leader in your home,
continue to
pray for him and ask him if there is anything you are doing that is
hindering his relationship with God.

Men don't give a lot of weight to feelings -- show them facts and
they'll be
more likely to listen. For example: if he wants to buy a car that you
is too expensive, don't launch into a hissy-fit, write out your monthly
expenses and ask him what other things should be cut out in order to
car. Let the facts speak for you.

When you cannot reach an agreement, instead of trying to wear him down
nagging or crying say, "Is that your final decision or can I still try
convince you?" If it's his final decision, then honor it. It's freeing
him carry the responsibility of your family.


Physically -- ask what he would like you to do and then, do it. Find
what his top three needs are. Ron likes the laundry done, physical
a least twice a week (guaranteed) and he likes me to keep my
stuff" off of the bathroom counter. If these top needs are met, he's
and easy to get along with. I know it sounds simple, but each of us
different things that make us feel loved and appreciated. You won't
what he wants unless you ask him.

Be aware of your body language. You can communicate disrespect by
your eyes, crossing your arms, or slamming doors. Reflect your new
to respect your husband in your heart, mind, and body.

Change your attitude and actions

Respect is both a verb and a noun: an action and an attitude so begin
to respect your husband in thought, word, and deed. He will be more
and able to give you the love and affection you need if he is respected
admired. When I began to respect my husband, he was skeptical at first.
However as he saw that I was committed to change, he began to treat me
differently - lovingly. We now teach at couples' events, helping others
discover the blessings of true love in action.

Ask the Lord to strengthen you as you obey His word.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cedar Rapids on


Is your husband active in your child's life? Is he still interested in things he used to love? Is he committed to his work? Or does he just sit and watch tv all day? The reason why I am asking is that your husband may be suffering from depression. Depression affects men differently than it does women. Men often become angry, resentful, and they quit caring about things, about helping out. If the other suggestions don't work, you might want to research depression and see if you think it might be the problem. Just a thought.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

I'm afraid I can't give much advice from my own experience. Three years ago I was engaged (not to the loving guy I'm with now) and it was my idea to live together for a year before rushing off to get married. During that time, I learned that he was completely used to his mother doing *everything* for him- from putting his clothes away to feeding his pets. I was the only one working and providing money for the household, while he would stay home with my daughter and play computer games all day. I'd ask him to wash the dishes in the morning (or something similar) and they would still be there in the sink when I came home. After a few months, he stop bothering to make excuses of why he didn't do chores and would just say "I forgot."

It was like he was a teenager; he took everything I did for granted and resented me when I asked for help. I tried to express my frustration calmly, telling him that small things like sharing chores was important for our relationship to work. We even talked about it during the pre-marriage counseling we were going to. It only seemed to work for a day or so. He would act all sincere and understanding- like he was really going to start pulling his own weight... until he got on the computer again.

I got to the point where I'd ask him three times (one time a day for three days) and then do it myself and not speak to him for the rest of the night. Once I'd start doing the chore he was supposed to have done, he'd pop up out of his computer chair and try to interrupt what I was doing and take over. He'd say that he was just about to start what I was doing and that I was too impatient (pfft, after waiting three days?).

I tried to be honest and up front with him, telling him my needs without any yelling or getting emotional (he was usually the one to provoke the yelling after becoming defiant that I "didn't understand him and picked on him"), hoping that he would respect that. I hate mind games and manipulation- if I have to go that far to get him to do something, then he wasn't worth the trouble and wasn't the type of partner that I need in my life.

In the end, I was so tired of being the only one to have a job (he always said that watching my daughter prevented him from job-hunting, even though I had neighbors who would have gladly babysat) and having to come home to do all the housework that I kicked him outand ended the relationship.

I'm quite glad that I did end the relationship. Last year I found a guy who does his share of chores himself without ever needing to be asked. I feel confident that if something needs to be done and i can't get to it, that he will.



answers from Lincoln on

This may sound very silly, but it worked for me.
Instead of telling him to do the dishes, I put a time frame around it. "Will you do the dishes tonight?" or "Will you take the trash out before you go out?".
That way when you come back later when he doesn't do them he can't use the excuse, "Well I was going to, but you just didn't give me enough time...." or something equally lame.
You need to be specific, and praise him. After a while hopefully he'll start doing it without you asking!
Good luck!



answers from Omaha on

Sorry I wish that I could help but I have the same problem with my husband! Maybe it is just the male species. I usually end up doing most things myself or I have recently started leaving notes all over the house by things that need to be done and this works sometimes. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone on this one.



answers from Boise on

I don't have any advice because I am going through the same thing. I think you wrote about me!!! Hopefully someone can help us!!



answers from Davenport on

hello well i cant say that i have any better advice but i have a husband that is the same way and i alsohave 3 kids 2 boys ages 13,11 and 1 girl age 12 and i thought that when i had my kids i sisnt have a 4th one either well boy was i wrong hes just as bad as the kids are. i adventualy went on strike i stipped doing things for him and i even did it with the kids cause they wouldnt help either so if u have to go on strike and dont do any thing for him and that way he knows what you are going through and tell him to be more supportive of u my husband shoot i might as well be the mom and dad and the referee and the all with my kids cause asking him to do any thing take s him a yr to get to it and its a simple chore. i know how u feel about the nagging issue i have the same problem and i will be married to him for 14 yrs in 5 days from now and sometimes it makes me wonder is this what i have to do for the next 14 yrs? hugs to u. and do what u have to do to get the point across.



answers from Sioux Falls on

Oh i ever feel for you. I am going through the exact same thing!!! I don't have much as far as advice to give you but I wanted to let you know you are so not alone!



answers from Waterloo on

Stop nagging, you are only stressing yourself. If it's possible hire someone (a neighborhood teenager for example) to do the work and let your husband pay for it. He can either do the work or bear the expense. Either way, the work will get done and you won't be "nagging".



answers from Bismarck on


My husband and I went through something similar--so much that I went to counseling to see what I could do about me! Some of the tips we talked about are similar to the Ephesians answer--compliment your husband when he does do the things you want.

Another thing that has helped is the honey-do list--a list that is actually written down and posted for him to see. My hubby loves the feeling that he has accomplished "my" list every few days or once a week. It reminds him what his responsibilities are and lets him have a sense of accomplishment by drawing a big line through everything he has done.

Good luck!!



answers from Missoula on


Boy oh, boy, has Grace got it right. Read and then reread her response. And, if you're like me, print it out, mark it up with highlighters and put it in your Scriptures, diary or other place where you will see it, every day.

I am the survivor of 5 previous bad, (ok, 4 previous bad and 1 he was the great guy and I messed it up), relationship/marriages, and FINALLY got it right. My current husband is everything I wished I had had from round one. And, I make the effort to tell him so every-single-day. Even if it is in bed right before he falls asleep. But every-single-day he hears how much I appreciate...something...about him. Some days it's his looks, other days it's his patience, still others where I tell him how he has fullfilled a dream, helped me to attain a goal, whatever.

In one of the previous relationships, between the two of us, we had nine children. I used to joke that I really had ten, the nine little ones and the one I was with. Now, I realize how degrading that was, even while it was done in fun and with humor. Naughty me.

Grace is also correct in telling you that it isn't (and, no one wants to hear this), him that needs the changin'---it's US. You. Me. We. The woman. We are responsible for OUR thoughts, actions, speech-ing, (poor word there, I know). No ONE makes you do anything. Each of us are responsible for OUR OWN actions. So, OWN your self. I'm not sure where I saw this, but it so makes sense. "If you want something, (someone), to change, change yourself. Your attitude, your behavior, your thought process. Not only will you see a dramatic change in the thing, (one), wanted to see the change in, you'll see a drastic and freeing change in yourself.

Besides, none of us want to live with/be around/deal with on a daily basis someone who is unpleasant/demanding/ungrateful/whatever negative word you wish to put in here. But everyone is attracted to someone who is a pleasant/grateful/humble/cheerful person.

Become the whatever, (insert adjective here), you are wanting him to be and show him by example what it is you want, he will follow. Maybe not on the first try, or even the second or third, but he will follow. And, once you've got him there, don't forget to tell him every-single-day something about him that you like/love/appreciate. He'll stay then, too, because you will have become the one that it pleases him to please you.

I hope this helps.

Yours in Christ,

M. Raye



answers from Boise on

Honey, you deserve the respect that your husband is NOT giving you. I don't care if you aren't the perfect wife, or if you feel like he gives so much to the family you need to cut him slack, IT IS NOT OKAY for him to not respect you. Believe it! When he ignores you and disregards your feelings, he is not respecting you. And he is in turn teaching your son to do the same thing.

Me, I am an upfront person. I would probably confront my husband one-on-one in an environment with no distractions (honey, let's go to the living room and sit down, we need to talk). I would tell him that I am unhappy about something and feel like he is not pulling his weight around the house with simple tasks. I would tell him that when I ask for help I need help, and shouldn't have to feel like I am asking too much or that what I want doesn't matter to him. Ask him why he won't help out and whether he simply doesn't care about your feelings. Listen to what he has to say about it. Maybe he's acting that way because of something that's bothering him that you're doing. Be willing to listen to him too and work out a solution to whatever seems to be the problem.

I don't think couples communicate nearly enough and don't listen to each other, and working out a WORKING relationship is hard work- it can't be done separately you've got to do it together.

If you want to do something passive you can- by hiring someone else to do the work or letting his dishes pile up at his spot at the table until HE does them for a change. It might work. But doing something like that probably won't address the real problem, whatever it is. I would be more worried about why he isn't helping than just devising a way to MAKE him do it.

I do think that getting him to commit to doing it is a lot different that just asking him. "Could you take out the trash?" and getting no response is different than asking he responds - even if you just get a "Sure honey" and if he doesn't move in a few seconds asking "I'm in the middle of doing the dishes- can you take it out right now?" and repeat unil he responds. If he still won't get it done, you could add "Do you want to take over the dishes so I can take out the trash?"

Don't confuse standing up for yourself and requiring that he acknowledge what you say and that you need something from him within a certain time period with being a nag. I see it as demanding respect. And you deserve respect!



answers from Lincoln on

I totally agree that husband is like a kid. That's why I used the same techniques to my husband and my toddlers. They need lots of praise and feel of control. When I want my husband to do something, I tell him how much I appreciate his help before he does it. Then I give him choices like do you want to do it now or tomorrow. If he says tomorrow, then when the time comes I will remind him and ask if he needs some help.

Men need to feel useful and respected at home. Reminding him how much help he is around the house should make him more motivated to help you.

Good luck.

Next question: How Should I React?

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

More Questions About