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Reading on the Run: How to Be Happy in Love and Marriage

In 2012, the Wall Street Journal ran a series of articles designed to help people succeed in love and marriage or at the very least be able to identify when their relationship was in trouble.  For the benefit of all of us they ran an article at the end of 2012 entitled, “How to Be Happy in Love and Marriage in 2013” that compiles all of the articles for your convenience. Here’s a link to the article,

Apparently nagging can destroy relationships.

There’s one article listed entitled, “Meet the Marriage Killer”, which discusses the destructive effects that nagging can have on a relationship. The article asserts that it is more common than adultery and potentially as toxic. How is that for provocative?! Seeing how we all tend to take great efforts not to sleep with other people (or at least we should) because of the damage it would cause to our relationships, why do many of us frequently nag?

It is much easier to remain faithful as a working mother than it is to stop nagging. With little free time and frequent fatigue, most working moms lack both the opportunity and the inclination to have sex with someone else. Truth be told, they may not even be having that much sex at home. However, that’s a topic for another post.

For many women, nagging tends to be provoked by our household structure…

As women, we often nag because we feel like we are in charge of the household and we are hungry, desperate even, for some help with the chores, the children, and the errands.  One point from Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, that resonated with me was the notion that an “equal partner” is one of the secrets to success.  Part of the problem is that many households are set up on that model, the woman is in charge and the man “helps”. When you are “helping” you tend to be less invested and you also tend to only do what you are asked to do. I recall a common exchange at my house growing up where my mother complained about something not getting done by my dad and his response was “nobody asked me.”

That is a typical exchange in most households. So most women not only have the responsibility for doing most of the household tasks. They also have to make lists for the men in their lives to get “help” and then, according to the Wall Street Journal article they have to remind those men in the right way about what they are supposed to do or else risk becoming a “nagger”. It’s enough to make you want to scream and break stuff! Or maybe that’s just me.

You can stop nagging, but it takes work.

Because she frequently finds solutions to the problems plaguing us lay people and is more Zen than I have mastered yet Gretchen Rubin has identified “9 tips to Quit Nagging”, Also, probably because she is a woman and totally gets it, she has “8 Tips to Stop Being Nagged”.

Thanks Gretchen Rubin for providing some solutions and not just identifying the problem! (I think it's the lawyer in her! :-))

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