I never wanted to be a nag. Nags are nasty people, usually women, so worn down by their attempts to get others to live well that they cloud their relationships with bossiness to the point that there is nothing else left. Nags treat everyone, even–or perhaps especially–their spouses, as immature children. I remain convinced that there is a reason that Nag rhymes with Hag.
Nagging was simply out of the question for me.
And then Josh and I got engaged.
As we worked through all that we could before getting married Josh made it abundantly clear that he saw nothing wrong with nagging. Josh was raised to expect that his wife would orchestrate all things domestic and assumed that would include reminding him repeatedly of any way in which he failed to do his part promptly and correctly. I was horrified at the thought. I was not going to treat Josh as anything less than a responsible adult; one whom I just so happened to love, respect, and admire enough to marry.
When I found myself bringing something up more than once or twice I would worry and ask Josh if he felt nagged. Invariably Josh replied that he did not feel nagged, but that it would be fine in any case. And then I would try to figure out a way to not care about whatever the issue was so that there would be no need to bring it up again.
A few months ago things finally clicked.
I asked Josh why he hadn’t done something since we moved in May. He replied that he had not thought about it. I responded that he must have thought about it since we had discussed it three previous times… and then I stopped mid-thought. “Wait, you mean you didn’t do it because I didn’t nag you and you don’t remember things unless you are nagged?”
Thankfully Josh manages the kindest of expressions, even when his face is screaming “DUH!”
Once again I have to deal with marriage as an intimate relationship with a real person rather than an idea. I do not want to be a nag. But I am married to ADHD-I Incarnate, and he just so happens to feel loved when I repeatedly remind him of things he may have forgotten.
Today I am actively working on “telling Josh the unvarnished truth” concisely and repeatedly. I do not want to be a nag, but I can settle for being a loving wife who engages in nagging early and often.
So if you think that I sound like a nagging wife, don’t be afraid to tell me. I will take it as a compliment.
- I am thankful 12/26/2010
- Blogging Goal Update