The first and only time my husband called me a “nag” invoked a cringe-worthy shudder, followed by the thought, “Am I seriously turning into my mother?!” In my personal catalog of unsavory labels, “nag” occupies a space somewhere between “brownnoser” and “snob,” insults I neither want to be called nor become, yet sting fiercely because they often embody a flicker of truth. No woman aspires to be a nag. Yet the moniker remains synonymous with marriage, as though men across the globe all spat, “Nag!” when the word “Wife” is drawn in those psychological word association tests.
The stereotype that all wives are nags is filed neatly under another catalog of mine, the Marriage Myths List. My favorite examples include “married couples don’t have sex” (really?), “all husbands are under the thumb” (mine’s not), and “new moms inevitably let themselves go” (yes, she’s a model, but has anyone seen Miranda Kerr lately?). Since I am in the business of debunking matrimonial fables, it’s worthwhile to expose the easy and cliché tag for wives who mean well everywhere. Truthfully, nagging should be defined as a breakdown in communication that can characterize any relationship, not just marriage. Keep reading »