Let’s first acknowledge that there are people who “nag and complain” because they have a lot of anger and hate that eats them up inside and compels them to get upset about everything. These people have deeper psychological problems that need to be addressed before there can be any hope of them overcoming their tendency to find fault with everyone and everything. As for the other nagging complaining spouse, very often all that is needed is for their habit to be brought to their attention in a manner that inspires them to want to address it rather than in a manner that offends them and assures they will continue to feed it.
Most human beings are rational when allowed to be so. People who are irrational because of deeper psychological problems are easy to identify. In other words it’s pretty easy to tell an irrational crazy person apart from an easily frustrated person. If we’re willing to check ourselves and be honest with ourselves we always know when someone has just cause to be upset about something. We just don’t always want to acknowledge it, especially when their frustration is directed at us. And we often just don’t want to hear about it. After all we’re not minors living at home with our parents and forced by our parents’ household rules to stand there and listen to them while they berate us for not cleaning our room or for some such offense.
The nagging complaining spouse is not always the wife…
There’s a tendency to think only a female could fit the profile of a nagging complaining spouse. The fact is, complaining is something people are compelled to do by a trait in their character. And that trait also exists in men. Some people (men and women both) are complainers. They are fault-finders. They will sooner contribute to exacerbating a problem than they will contribute to solving it. They’ll stand there and point out everything that is wrong. And it will not occur to them that a problem is sooner solved if everyone is focused on solving it.
Let’s say the problem is that one spouse left a dish on the coffee table in the living room. A solution focused spouse simply picks up the dish and takes it to the kitchen. Problem solved. A nagging complaining spouse leaves the dish on the table and complains about it’s presence. If the spouse who left the dish on the table is not immediately available to hear about it, the nagging complaining spouse will leave the dish on the table for however long and wait to point out to their spouse that he/she left the dish on the coffee table. And they will often go on and on about it if allowed, willingly risking the eruption of an argument over something as trivial as a cup left on a coffee table. They will add to a problem and make it bigger before they will act to solve the problem.
Sometimes your nagging complaining spouse is just reacting to your neglect…
There are cases where the nagging and complaining of one spouse is directly tied to how they are being treated by the other spouse. They are unhappy because their husband or wife is neglecting them. They are hurting. And their hurt comes out in expressions of frustration and anger.
Maybe the husband is never home and the wife keeps pointing that out to him on the rare occasions he does manage to get home. He gets upset and irritated about hearing the same thing every time he comes home. He says things like: “This is what I came home for? I might as well have stayed out.” And he makes no effort to change the situation. He insists it can’t be helped. He has to work. He tells her she’s being selfish, petty, ridiculous, unhelpful. He never acknowledges what is really going on–that his wife is lonely. She misses him. She feels neglected and unloved. In a scenario like this the nagging and complaining does eventually cease but it ceases because the wife gives up. She stops caring one way or another. And the two settle into the routine that will become their life together unless and until one of them files for divorce.
You can help your nagging complaining spouse
Your spouse does not enjoy feeling miserable and unhappy. You do not enjoy their constant nagging and complaining. They are very likely to nag and complain less if they feel happier in life generally. So first try to figure out what is going on. Is this a case of a frustrated spouse who isn’t getting as much co-operation as he/she needs from everyone in the household? Is your wife/husband overwhelmed by duties at home and/or at work. Are they dealing with more stress than they are able to handle? Is there something at the bottom of their nagging and complaining that once resolved will place them in a more positive frame of mind? Happy people don’t complain nearly as much as people who are not happy. So what can you do to help your spouse move towards a happier place in his/her life?
Bring your spouse’s habit to his/her attention
Sometimes people don’t realize the extent to which they nag and complain. And they don’t realize the impact it’s having on their lives and their relationships with other people. In as calm and constructive a manner as you can manage, discuss with your spouse about their constant complaining. Let them know it’s draining. It makes life unpleasant. It’s intolerable and it’s not good for them. Tell them they deserve better than to always be upset about everything. Tell them you understand that things can be frustrating; but sometimes it’s better to just take a deep breath and ignore the small things that can’t really do anybody any harm.
Resist the urge to point out to them that they’re not perfect and half the things they complain about are things they do themselves. They won’t appreciate the point. And unless you have them on tape committing the offenses enough times to prove they are as much a habitual offender of whatever crime they accuse others of committing, you won’t get your point across.
Focus your attention on trying to help them realize that no one benefits from their habit for complaining. Encourage them to remain calm and take a more positive route to problem-solving. Because people respond more happily and readily to nicely asked requests than they do to nagging and complaining and angrily made demands.
Acknowledge valid complaints
You should not dismiss your spouse as a nagging complaining pain every time they open their mouth to express their unhappiness about something. It’s not every case that falls into the nagging complaining spouse category. Sometimes the issues that are brought up are valid and need to be addressed.
There are people who automatically shut out their spouse the moment their spouse begins to talk. This is very disrespectful and very harmful to your relationship. In fact in a lot of cases it’s how you create the problem of a nagging complaining spouse to begin with. How people approach communication with others is largely determined by how other people react to them. When a person reaches a point where they have to nag and complain it usually means their experience is one of not being listened to and not being heard. So try listening to your spouse. This way you can identify valid complaints and respond appropriately. And be in a better frame of mind to handle the situation in a calm and productive manner when the complains are not valid and your spouse needs to be brought to awareness that he she is complaining unnecessarily.