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“You’ve already asked me that, a hundred times!” your spouse snaps at you. “Well, you haven’t done it yet!” you retort. “Nag, nag, nag” your erstwhile beloved mutters under his breath. “What was that?” you demand. “Nothing, dear,” he says with heavy sarcasm on the dear, as he stomps out the door.

You could scream. You know perfectly well that you nag at him, but what else can you do? You can’t get all the chores done yourself, and there are some things he’s in control of that you aren’t, like making sure there’s enough in the account to pay the rent/mortgage or fixing the garbage disposal as he promised three weeks ago.

Nag, nag, nag. You hate yourself for doing it, but it doesn’t seem things get done unless you do.

Or would they? Is there another approach?

Yup, there is. Ask him in a way that makes more sense to him.

You see, we each have an inner language, a primary way of perceiving what’s going on around us that makes more sense to us than any other.

The short and sweet of it is that most men respond first to what they see, as opposed to what they hear, and most women respond first to what they feel.

Think about it. As a woman, how important is the feeling you get about something your spouse says? You find yourself trusting the feeling often more than the words.

So with your guy, if you want to stop nagging, draw him a picture! Make him a list, leave him a note. Yes, of course, ask him as well. Men do have ears, and what you say registers at some level. But the effectiveness of your communication, his ability to really grasp what you want and actually accomplish it, will be greatly enhanced by your making it visual as well as spoken.

No, this isn’t about treating men like children. If anything, it’s the exact opposite. It’s respecting that we are different, that we have different ways of communicating, and making the effort to demonstrate that respect.

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