How to Stop Nagging and Lashing Out at Your Husband All the Time
“A nagging spouse is like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet; You can’t turn it off, and you can’t get away from it.” (Proverbs 27:15–16, MSG)
My husband and I have this issue with words. He says them, I misinterpret them. And then I bite his head off.
“Honey, what’s for dinner?”
I snap my neck away from my computer screen to face my husband. He’s standing in my home office doorway. Looking hungry.
“I can’t think about dinner right now. I’m on a deadline.”
“Okay,” he says, backing off. “I was just checking in.”
“Well it’s only 4 o’clock. Why are you asking me about dinner? If you’d eaten lunch, maybe you wouldn’t be starving for dinner right now and I could get my work done.” And besides that, buddy, why is it always MY job to manage dinner for you people?! I don’t see you scrambling like a squirrel to finish a client project at this very moment. Why not help a girl out and boil some hot dogs all by your capable self?????
“I love you.” He spreads his hands in the air, surrendered. “And I am leaving now.”
If a nagging spouse is like a leaky faucet, then my spout is flowing full bore. Why is it that the people we love best are often the easiest targets for our grumpiness?
Years ago, when I first discovered this tendency in me to lash out at my husband just for living and breathing my same air, I realized I had to put some fences around my sin nature in order to prevent it from gushing out whenever the mood struck. Here are three smart steps to take if you want to turn off that nagging faucet—or better yet, dry up its source altogether.
1. Redefine your relationship. Your spouse is your friend, not your enemy. You’re on the same team. He is not your adversary, and he does not spend his days thinking up ways to irk you (or, at least most husbands don’t). Sometimes that simple shift in perspective is all it takes to knock some sense back into a crabby woman’s brain.
“[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)
2. Get right with Jesus. When was the last time you prayed or read your Bible? Or, if you do that every day, then when was the last time you actually made an intentional effort to apply what God’s Word says? If we’re truly walking close to the Lord, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to convict us before the nagging begins.
“Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)
3. Take those thoughts captive. Develop a spiritual discipline of recognizing a nasty or nagging thought before it pops out of your mouth—and strangle it dead. How? I employ a favorite trick called the Quick Switch. Replace those negative thoughts immediately with a Bible verse or affirming truth (my husband is loyal, he loves Jesus, he takes out the garbage without being asked—pick a virtue, any virtue!). That is Scripture in action, and it is powerful indeed.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Truth is, the only time my leaky faucet drips now is when I let it. As children of God, you and I have the power, wisdom and freedom to make the right choice, moment by moment, day after day. Nag or nurture? Let’s set our plumbing to the latter. You might just be amazed at what a difference it makes.
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