All Wives

How Not to be a Nagging Wife – Elizabeth Oschwald

August 1, 2018

How Not to be a Nagging Wife

Can I just start by saying the struggle is real?!  It is hard to not be a nagging wife.  I mean, if he would just read my mind and do what I want, then I’d have no reason to nag, right?  


Or at the very least, maybe he could just do what he says he will do.  That would be a great start.


The reality is, a nagging wife isn’t a husband problem.  It’s a wife problem.  My nagging isn’t his fault; it’s mine.  It’s my response to him.  Maybe he isn’t a mind reader, or a job finisher, or a homework helper, or a sock picker-upper.  Maybe he isn’t always thoughtful, or considerate, or kind.


Well guess what?  No husband is.


Your husband will likely, regularly, do things that get on your nerves.  He will continue to do things that will hurt your feelings. He might never pick up his dirty socks without being asked.  Or forget about the important appointment. He might be on the couch while you’re cleaning up the kitchen…again.


I wish I could write about how to make your husband s t o p doing things that tempt you to become a nagging wife, but the change has to start within you.


Here are 4 tips that I hope will help you resist the urge:


1. Focus on something positive.  If you look for the good, you will find it.  If you look for the bad, you will find it too.  Your husband might make the same mistake over and over again, and that can stand in your way of seeing the things he does well if you let it.  You get to decide where your attention goes– look for something good!


2. Eliminate complaining.  If you can do this, I can promise it will drastically shift the atmosphere of your home.  Hold a family meeting and tell e’rybody all at once: New Rule- No complaining!  You may believe that in complaining, you are just venting–getting something off your chest.  Do you think once it’s off your chest it’s gone?  It’s not.  Actually, it has just spread.  Now, your negative thoughts have infected everyone around you.  Paul actually tells us in Philippians 2:14 that there should be no complaining.  None.


3. Speak up when you think something nice. You may have anywhere from zero to a million nice thoughts about your husband.  It doesn’t really matter how many you have- just vocalize them when they occur.  Our words have power, and husbands are motivated more by positive affirmation than they are nagging.  


4. Think of him as your teammate rather than your adversary. You may not even realize you’ve been doing this, but if your marriage feels like you vs. him, it shouldn’t.  You can never be one, as God intended, if you are busy opposing your husband.  Think of it as you and him taking on the rest of the world (yes, including your kids)!  


The bottom line: Working marriages require working together – hand in hand.  It’s really hard to work with someone who is nitpicking you. Let’s be wives who build up rather than tear down.   


Wife Step: Make a list of things your husband does well, and cheer him on when he does them!







Elizabeth Oschwald is a freelance writer, blogger, and joy-seeker.  She lives in central Illinois in an ever-improving rustic farmhouse with her husband and seven children.  They are a blended family, which means the journey she pictured for her life and the one she’s found herself on are definitely different.  But it also means she knows firsthand how God takes broken things and makes them beautiful. She loves to write transparently about their raw and real family life, her experiences in single motherhood, and how Jesus can add joy in every season.  You can connect with her at, on Facebook, and Instagram.


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