Skin ish Mom Column

Ask #SkinishMom – Am I Really Nagging?

#SkinishMom Parenting Skin Expert
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To : The #SkinishMom

My husband kept saying that I’m nagging – nagging about my eczema child’s skincare (you know how we have to moisturize within 3 minutes after shower?), nagging about housework, nagging about doing things faster (we have loads of things to do, can’t possibly be doing slower right?). Am I really nagging? I thought I’m just talking – since when my words become ‘nags’?


11 eczema cartoon

I totally empathize. and mystified. Why do men keep saying that their wives are nagging, when we’re just talking? So I did a bit of digging to see if there’s any science I can find about nagging.

  • Nagging is defined as persistent and repeated requests that increases in frequency as the request is not fulfilled.
  • Nagging is a sign of love – we don’t nag at our boss, our co-workers, maybe not even our parents or kids, only at our spouse.
  • The nagger is usually the one who feel responsible about the subject – so, that’s why women nag about chores but not about soccer.
  • Nagging is a sign of not trusting that the requests will be met. It’s no surprise given that nagging turned the guy off and he intentionally didn’t want to do what you want him to do.

There is a lack of science in this area – I researched online and found a study that’s often misreported as men can be nagged to death. Actually, the conclusion was more like both men and women in demanding relationships were associated with increased death risk. This would not be surprising – chronic stress is reflected on our skin so it’s natural to assume it’d affect other parts of our body.

So bottom line, what’s a woman gonna do about her man, her supposed nagging and the negative spill-offs from being thought she’s nagging?

#SkinishMom anecdotes:

#1 First ask yourself – Do you really want him to do it or is it easier if you just do it? Put aside equality of sexes and fairness, and consider seriously. If you can answer no and yes, just do it yourself. And read on.

#2 Put aside negativity – you want to be appreciated for doing it all, not being hated for nagging you’ve done it all. Decide today to be a smart woman – smart in getting your man to love you, not hate you.

#3 Think of what your man wants – appreciation is my guess. Being made to feel like a man in the home, being admired by his spouse. Heck. I know you want the same from him. Men are dumb – give him what he wants first and the aha moment is more likely to hit him to do the same for you.

#4 Actually give your man what he wants – appreciation, in many forms (including but not limited to!) hugs, kisses, praise, touch, praise in front of your kid, sex, praise in front of his family, surprise gifts, praise in front of his friends/co-workers.

#5 If he hadn’t done something you want (not what you were nagging him about, something else- like a present, a cheesecake, a coffee machine, a iPadAir2), tell him POINT BLANK what you want.

#6 Be delighted by your man – he ‘surprises’ you with the thing you want, you’re ‘surprised’ and delighted. He’s delighted that you’re delighted not remembering it’s not a surprise (or not even crossing his mind that a non-surprise is an issue on the scale of ‘delightedness’).

#7 Witness positive change – 1. You didn’t nag (cos you did it all yourself), 2. You no longer see an annoyed look from him (cos there’s nothing he’s annoyed about), 3. He’s happy (cos you actually did something for him and appreciated him), 4. You’re happy cos finally, your husband is showing his love and appreciation.

Notice how easily the requests you were trying to get him to do fall out of the picture? Notice how kids don’t even come into the picture?

That’s the #SkinishMom way of handling nagging – if anyone has a better way, please do share! Since men are universally the same (o.w. why do books like Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus become best sellers if every man is different), do share with the rest of us women what had worked in your marriage!

Off to get a surprise gift for hubby,


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