YourTango Experts on how to know if you nag—and how to stop!
#7 You're neglecting yourself in some way. If we have to look to someone else to make us happy because we're unfulfilled or incomplete, we're neglecting our own needs, Dr. Wade advises. "Nagging comes from a feeling that we don't have the resources to make ourselves happy," she says. "Someone who is nagging is not focusing on themselves. There's too much time and energy being put on their partner."
Try this instead: Modern psychology tells us that the things we "hate" or "reject" out in the world are actually potentials that we ourselves possess. Do you find yourself chiding your partner for laziness? Can you think of any area in your life where you're lazier than you'd like to be? Owning up to your own shortcomings and figuring out where you need to do work on yourself, will in turn make you a more self-possesed and empowered partner. Luckily, the same goes with the good things we see in the world. Admire your partner's sense of humor? Remember that you have a great one, too, and do your best to bring it out when you are together.
#8 Your sex life has taken a turn for the worst. "Nagging is such a passion killer," says Burley. "You don't want to turn around and hug the person that's been nagging you." Moreover, if you think all of your nagging could be good for makeup sex later, think again. Only 13% of YourTango survey respondents said they use sex to resolve conflict.
Try this instead: In his article "7 Ways To Improve Your Sex Life," Psychologist Dr. John Grohol recommends two tips for getting your sex life back on track: having open communication and allowing yourself to feel vulnerable. Talk about what's really going on in your relationship without being overly attached to "winning points" in the conversation. And in allowing yourself to really listen to your partner and share some of your own fears or faults, you'll be putting yourself in a vulnerable position. A position that says "I'm fallible, too." This can be a scary place to be, but the good news it'll make you a more open and receptive lover.
#9 You've lost respect for your partner. The topic that most couples bicker about is surprisingly not money, sex, or even in-laws. The YourTango survey reveals that #1 topic couples bicker about is their partners behaviors or attitudes, which hardly sets the stage for a mutually respectful relationship. "Nagging crosses into a lack of intimacy, lack of trust," Dr. Wade says. "You know you're nagging when you don't trust your partner anymore, when you can't count on them, when you lose respect for them and pull away intimately."
Try this instead: Come to a mutual decision with your partner to drop the barriers you've built. Revisit your deepest desires together, and make a vow to work towards them together. "If you get to the point where you're nagging, it's usually a symptom of a lot of things that have gone wrong," Burley says. "It's a sign of a poor agreement or foundation in your relationship and fractured communication. Communication needs to take place between partners about what your code is going to be about how you live."