Can it be said enough times? Criticizing, nagging, fault-finding, accusing — these are behaviors that represent the largest predictors of divorce. While partners often nag, criticize and point fingers as a way to ask for help with housework or childcare or to urge a partner to be more responsible with money, it is an ineffective way to communicate needs and wishes. It instead leads to a “shutting down” that deepens resentment, estrangement and disconnection.
Nagging: Enemy of Love
Based on Elizabeth Bernstein’s Wall Street Journal article, Nagging: Meet the Marriage Killer
Once again – there is good and bad news. Starting with the latter….
Nagging — the interaction in which one person repeatedly makes a request, the other person repeatedly ignores it, and both become increasingly annoyed — is a toxic communication issue that is one of the leading causes for discord and divorce. We nag when we feel we can’t get what we want from our partner, and we keep on asking in the hopes it will happen. A vicious cycle is set in place: The irritated recipient of the nagging, feeling scolded like a little boy, withdraws in protest, inviting the nagger to nag some more.