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How Not To Become His Mother

Jun 24, 2008
He calls it nagging, I call them gentle reminders. He says if I nag, he will ignore me, I say if he doesn't listen to my reminders and act on them then I may push him over a cliff but it's not going in.

What is it about men that results in them getting six months into a marriage and then seeing every request not to view their lives as young, free and single and still living with their mothers as nagging? When we were dating and had those romantic and passionate stop overs, did he throw his dirty socks on the bedroom floor for us to pick up? Did he leave the toilet seat up? Did he spend all night on the Playstation and completely forget we were in the room? No.

This is the problem. They trick us into thinking we're getting a sweet, thoughtful, responsible man who knows how to take initiative, who is capable of looking after himself and who will support us in all we do. What he is actually doing is creating a situation that looks like that when it really is a ruse for us to become the live in sex object that picks up behind them. Then, when we realise what we've got, we issue reminders to them that we are not there for that purpose and they tell us we are nagging!

No woman wants to be seen as a nag. It's a horrible word that constitutes disrespectful criticism and sounds like a personal attack. If your man has spent a year of courtship being able to put the toilet seat down, then why the hell can't he do it once that ring is on his finger? If he wouldn't leave dirty cups on the floor at his mums why does he think it's nagging when you ask him to take it into the kitchen? Reminders to do all these little jobs move the relationship more into a parent/child balance and leave both parties miffed.

It is suggested (probably by a man) that we don't nag/remind. Ok, so how the hell will anything ever get done? A man doesn't refuse to do things because we ask. He refuses to do them because he is lazy and knows that he can switch off to what we say and eventually we will do it ourselves. Women would do well to remember that not many men mature past the age of twelve!

It is suggested that we find ways of communicating with our spouse so that we can change the situation rather than nagging him into an argument. Well, as long as I look like a computer game with a pizza on my head then yes, he may well talk to me, but until then I doubt it will make a difference and I will be forced to keep issuing reminders.

The only thing I agree with from the experts is to stick to the issue in hand. It's a well known fact that a woman's brain is far superior to a mans in that she has the inbuilt skill of remembering every transgression a man has ever committed and we are very adept at wheeling them out at opportune moments. This is when you will see his eyes glaze over and your battle is lost.

Keeping statements brief and avoiding ultimatums is also not recommended. Yeah, right, who are they kidding? And doesn't talking to your spouse like they are a dimwit constitute the parent/child problem that you are told to avoid? Thinking up ways of phrasing 'please don't leave wet towels on the bed' gets mighty boring and time consuming after a while.

Issuing a reminder along the lines of 'if you leave wet towels on the bed again I will divorce you and take everything you own, including the bed and the towels' will have much more impact in my book. At least for a while then they get used to this and start ignoring us again. If that happens, remove the plug from the Playstation and you will have his attention for a few minutes while he scratches round for another one.

Pre-nuptial agreements for loaded celebrities are all very well but they should be adapted for all couples to prevent them changing once they are familiar and comfortable with you. Clause one is that the toilet seat is always down!
About the Author
Relationship expert Catherine Harvey looks at how women need to give men reminders to stay the way they were when they married them.
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