In my house the roles are reversed – my husband K is a nag & I’m the laid back type.  To me if it gets done today or tomorrow – no big deal!  The only time I’m a little more rigid with myself is when we’re expecting company & then I work to make sure everything is the way it should be.   I came to this philosophy when I had my daughter.  To me it was much more important to spend what little home time I had with her rather than cleaning a toilet!  As I’ve reached middle age, it’s only become more pronounced. 

I have some issues with my balance due to BPV (benign positional vertigo) as well as regular vertigo, so when we lived in a house & our laundry room was in the basement, K did the laundry since stairs are a huge nightmare for me.  Now we have in-suite laundry, so before K lost his job we shared doing the laundry.  No matter who does the laundry though, I am tasked with folding it & putting the clean laundry away.  After 15 years, K still hasn’t figured out where I put my underwear & socks or how to fold them, what I hang & what I put in drawers.  He likes his socks folded, I like mine rolled.  If K is loading the washer though, heaven help me if I have a pair of underwear, a sock, a shirt or pants inside out or rolled in a ball.  Prior to washing (in K’s mind) everything must be right side out & not squished into a little ball.  If I want a particular shirt washed inside out because of decorative elements – I have to point this out special to him & he’ll still argue with me that it doesn’t matter.  Part of the reason K cannot fold laundry is because he can’t understand how he can put socks or underwear in the washer right side out & they come out of the washer inside out.  This seems to annoy him tremendously.  I have tried to explain this is a sign we have a good agitator on our washer (something I read somewhere, not because I understand machines better than K), but he still doesn’t agree with this.  So he will expound on the physics of water & the swirling motion the washer makes ad infinitum.

Other things K nags me about:

  • my shoes.  K thinks my shoes should be put away at all times.  If I come home from work wearing sandals I plan on wearing the next day again, to me it’s okay to put them (neatly) by the front door.  I am not a shoe hound, so I usually have only 1 or 2 pairs of shoes for each season which means I will often be wearing the same shoes the next day.  K thinks shoes should always be put in the closet. 
  • my slippers.  Back when I smoked I had a pair of old slippers I would wear outside to go smoking.  My newer slippers were for wearing in the house, then I wouldn’t track any dirt from my slippers into our home.  K only sees a pair of slippers by the sliding door.
  • my work bag.  I stopped carrying a purse years ago.  I work in an office, but not always in the same office, so I often have to carry personal items with me every day (a book, hand lotion, etc.)  To accommodate my personal items I carry a largish bag.  K hates if I leave my bag near the door so I’ll remember to take it with me, he hates if I forget to do up the zipper before I leave the house
  • my pager, my glasses & my phone.  Every day I get a reminder “Have you got your pager,  your glasses, your phone?”  I only forget maybe twice a year, so I don’t understand the reason for the constant reminders.  I do forget my pager a little more often (it’s not a pager for work or health & the charger is in an inconvenient spot).
  • the dishes.  I have stopped loading the dishwasher completely after being nagged to death about the proper loading of a dishwasher.  I now place my dishes near the sink & K can load the dishwasher himself.
  • the remote.  Apparently I don’t use the remote for the TV properly because I need to be nagged about fast rewinding as opposed to skip back on a regular basis.
  • my shows.  Although K & I have a lot of the same taste in TV shows, there are a few shows I like to watch he doesn’t & vice versa.  If I haven’t had time to keep up to date with my few shows (we use a PVR) I will get nagged about how much of the memory space I am using up to store my shows.
  • playing Facebook games.  If I want to keep the nagging to a bare minimum, I can only play Facebook games after 10 p.m. at night.  On the weekends I often get nagged about my game playing while I’m trying to catch up on deadlines I could not meet during the week.
  • jokes.  I have 1 friend who sends me way too many e-mail jokes.  I regularly get nagged about this.  My father also sends too many jokes.  Sometimes there is a real nugget in there, so I don’t want to discourage them from sending jokes.  Besides, she’s on disability & doesn’t have a lot to do with her time while my dad has recently had to give up golf due to my mother’s health.
  • soda pop consumption.  I should drink more water than I do, but I hate getting nagged about it.  When I ask K to bring me a can of pop while he’s up & he lectures me on drinking water, I get my back up & want the pop even more.
  • the bed.  I apparently tear the bed apart during the night (I don’t know, I’m sleeping).  I’m also still experiencing night sweats from menopause, so it’s quite possible I’m throwing the covers all over the place while I sleep.
  • my “play” clothes.  When I was growing up, you only wore your good clothes to go to school, visiting, etc.  At home you wore “play” clothes.  I am still the same way today.  As soon as I get home I strip down & put a housecoat on or sweats, etc.  Since I’m only home for a few hours each evening, I wear my “play” clothes more than once before laundering.  I put them over the back of my makeup chair or folded on my dresser when I’m not wearing them.  I don’t want to put them away with my clean clothes.  To K – they’re in the way.

I think you get the idea.  If I sat at this long enough, I’m sure I could come up with a bunch more examples, these are just the ones I could think of off the top of my head. 

Now I know, some of you out there will say “What’s the big deal – just put your shoes in the closet” or “Put your play clothes away”, but unfortunately it wouldn’t solve the problem because K just has a nagging type of personality.  He would just find something else to nag about & maybe the something else he would choose would be harder for me to just ignore.  I’ve tried telling him to stop nagging – doesn’t help.  I don’t think he even realizes he’s doing it anymore, so I tried bringing it to his attention every time he does nag – doesn’t help.  So I’m open to suggestions!  If you’ve found a way to stop a nagging spouse, I’d love to hear it!