An enemy of love
The WSJ devoted the front page of one of its sections yesterday to the dramatic scientific finding that too much nagging can totally fuck up your marriage. No, seriously, apparently it’s true.
Here’s a taste:
Ken Mac Dougall bit into the sandwich his wife had packed him for lunch and noticed something odd—a Post-it note tucked between the ham and the cheese. He pulled it out of his mouth, smoothed the crinkles and read what his wife had written: “Be in aisle 10 of Home Depot tonight at 6 p.m.” Mr. Mac Dougall was renovating the couple’s Oak Ridge, N.J., kitchen, and his wife had been urging him to pick out the floor tiles. He felt he had plenty of time to do this task. She felt unheard. “I thought the note was an ingenious and hysterical way to get his attention,” says his wife, Janet Pfeiffer (whose occupation, interestingly enough, is a motivational speaker), recalling the incident which occurred several years ago. Her husband, a technician at a company that modifies vehicles for handicapped drivers, didn’t really see it that way. “I don’t need a reminder in the middle of my sandwich,” he says.
Seriously? Janet put a fucking Post-it® Note in Ken’s fucking sandwich? That’s not nagging, it’s attempted murder. But wait, there’s more, here’s the scientific analysis:
Nagging—the interaction in which one person repeatedly makes a request, the other person repeatedly ignores it and both become increasingly annoyed—is an issue every couple will grapple with at some point. While the word itself can provoke chuckles and eye-rolling, the dynamic can potentially be as dangerous to a marriage as adultery or bad finances. It is possible for husbands to nag, and wives to resent them for nagging. But women are more likely to nag, experts say, largely because they are conditioned to feel more responsible for managing home and family life. Men are to blame, too, because they don’t always give a clear answer.
Nagging can become a prime contributor to divorce when couples start fighting about the nagging rather than talking about the issue at the root of the nagging, says Howard Markman, professor of psychology at the University of Denver and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies. “Nagging is an enemy of love, if allowed to persist,” Dr. Markman says.
This is all mind-blowing news indeed, particularly for those heathens who aren’t fans of the Ying-Yang Twins (who are “way more fun than most bitch-ass motherfuckers”).