As a relationship expert trying to help couples understand each other better, I constantly see generalities assigned to each gender regarding "typical" behavior for men and women. Usually, we think of women as caretakers and, as follows, the naggers in the relationship. Some researchers have said that there's benefit to women's nagging: it helps the men embrace better lifestyle habits in areas like proper eating or going to the doctor. But of course, in all fairness, there's also a lot of evidence that nagging can be stressful and add a negative component to the relationship.
What's not often discussed is the fact that men nag, too. Though not always explicitly labeled as nagging, the guys we love have their complaints, as well. Here are the top three items that really rattle a guy's cage:
1. Not getting enough sex
As a generality, most men have a higher desire for sex than their partners. Additionally, males are better equipped to have sex without all the emotional extras that women require (e.g. the romance building up to it). After an argument, a male's biology is such that he can compartmentalize and be done with the conflict. In fact, having sex helps him to reconnect, and he doesn't always understand a woman's need to get over hurt or annoyance before she's ready for intimacy again. So, overall, a male just doesn't understand the various reasons a woman has for not wanting sex, and, as such, will often complain, or "nag" about a lack of it in their relationship.
2. A woman "letting herself go"
It's not atypical for a woman to lose her girlish figure as she ages, especially after she's had a couple of kids. Also, the metabolism of a woman makes it much harder for her to lose weight. In our society, there's much more emphasis placed on a woman's figure than there is a man's physique. Since men tend to be visually stimulated, when their mate is no longer as attractive as when they first met, a guy may be turned off by her. This turnoff can run the gamut from no longer complimenting her appearance to making nasty comments. What does this all boil down to? Nagging, and it feels just as bad for women as it does for men!
3. The house being chaotic
Even though times have changed and many women are now a major presence in the workforce, they are, for the most part, are still considered the ones in charge of the household. When a guy comes home and finds the house in disarray, he tends to feel she's not doing her job. And for those gals who aren't working, this complaint is even greater!
Perhaps the most frustrating part about a man's nagging is the manner in which it's done. Again, speaking in generalities, most guys have difficulty addressing issues directly. So it's easier to make a joke and poke fun at his mate about what's bothering him than it is to have a constructive conversation that results in real, honest talk. Often, this is done while out with friends or family, instead of in the privacy and safety of home. While some ladies might not get upset by this, many can find it humiliating.
Clearly, as with any issue of concern in a relationship, the best method of handling something bothersome is to have an open discussion. Make sure not to attack your partner, but to express your own feelings about what's upsetting. Though men won't ever converse in all the same ways as women, borrowing a few tools from her communication kit might make all the difference. Both genders can probably agree: let's leave behind the detrimental nagging and start actually speaking to each other.
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