Anytime there’s an article about a specific problem in relationships and women are to blame, the whole world is tuned out as I read and study every single line with the focus of a Rhodes Scholar.
Today, the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “Meet The Marriage Killer: It’s More Common Than Adultery and Potentially As Toxic, So Why Is It So Hard to Stop Nagging?”
The article’s writer, Elizabeth Bernstein, attempts to unpack the nagging problem amongst married couples, quoting both real couples who have gone through a nagging phase as well as psychologists who study these types of human behavior issues. As far as some numbers to support her theory of nagging being to marriage what a meteor was to the prehistoric era, Bernstein cites a study done by Dr. Howard Markman, professor of psychology at the University of Denver and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies.
Research that Dr. Markman published in 2010 in the Journal of Family Psychology indicates that couples who became unhappy five years into their marriage had a roughly 20% increase in negative communication patterns consistent with nagging, and a 12% decrease in positive communication. “Nagging is an enemy of love, if allowed to persist,” Dr. Markman says.
As far as who is at fault for all the nagging in a relationship, no concrete numbers are given, but Bernstein does posit a theory, which I found most interesting.
Men are to blame, too, because they don’t always give a clear answer. Sure, a husband might tune his wife out because he is annoyed; nagging can make him feel like a little boy being scolded by his mother. But many times he doesn’t respond because he doesn’t know the answer yet, or he knows the answer will disappoint her.
In a nutshell: Women be nagging.
As a man, it warms my heart to read things like these. I thought, More women should have a friend like Bernstein advising them to quit pestering me over certain things.
Then, I read the article again (remember, Rhodes Scholar like focus), and I started to notice some holes. (To be fair, it’s just an article to provoke discussion on a particular issue. I have to say this because some people tend to think articles are supposed to solve the very problems being discussed within them.)