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Susie and Otto Collins'
Love and Relationships Advice 

Communicate Effectively in Your Love Relationship
Without the Nagging

By Susie and Otto Collins

Have you ever wanted your partner to get something done and he or she just never seems to get around to doing it?  You attempt to give gentle reminders about the task or project which only seems to cause your partner to drag his or her heels even more.

The last thing you want to do is nag your mate about following through on an agreement but that's what ends up happening. Pretty soon, any civil communication about this agreement or task disappears and you find a tension and even distance growing.

Nobody want to be a nag. And nobody wants to live with one either!

Perhaps your partner is the one who tends to pester you about completing a project or changing a habit. While you might intend to get the task done or you may agree with your mate that your habit is not beneficial, it just doesn't happen.

You might be busy or it could be that a part of you is just not ready to make the changes that yourpartner especially desires. You don't like to cause disappointment, but you also don't like to feel nagged.

When nagging, pestering or harassing is present in your relationship it's almost always a sign that there are deeper issues at work that undoubtedly are driving a wedge between the two of you.

Cynthia doesn't want to be a nag. She remembers her mother constantly hounding her as a teenager to clean her room, finish her homework and feed the dog, etc. That was no fun and the last thing Cynthia wants to do is treat her boyfriend Bill in a similar manner. But Bill is a major procrastinator. He seems to wait until the last minute when it comes to just about everything and even then the job doesn't always get done.

Now that they live together, Bill's procrastinating really drives her crazy! And it's not just about getting projects done around the house or the mortgage paid on time. From Cynthia's perspective, Bill also falls short when it comes to their relationship. Anniversaries and special days often go unnoticed by him and even when they plan nights out together, he's been known to completely forget!

The only way Cynthia knows to deal with Bill's annoying forgetfulness and procrastinating is to frequently remind him about the agreements they've made. The trouble is, Bill doesn't appreciate being treated like a child. The more Cynthia nags him, the more he "forgets" things; sometimes, he admits, he does this on purpose as a response to her nagging.

Accept your partner "as is" and cultivate trust.
It doesn't matter which side of the proverbial coin you are on. If nagging is present in your relationship, the thought of accepting your partner "as is" probably is an
unwelcome thought! When you accept another person-- and even yourself-- "as is" you are not closing down the possibility of change. Instead, you affirm that without
any changes whatsoever, you love this person and find him or her worthwhile and valuable.

There might even be aspects to the very habits you find irritating that you could see some value to. Again, this doesn't mean that you are in agreement with the habit, it's
just that you know your mate is more than this habit or even a set of annoying tendencies.

Once you begin to move toward acceptance, you can start to cultivate trust. A lack of trust is often at the heart of nagging. This is partly why nagging feels so offensive and oppressive to the person being nagged. Cynthia begins to acknowledge that she truly doesn't trust Bill to get anything done. She remembers how degrading it felt to her when her mother nagged. She decides to work toward trusting Bill and accepting him "as is."

You can begin cultivating trust by starting small. Pay attention to anything at all that your mate follows through with or keeps his or her word about. Really notice that
your partner was demonstrating trustability in that way. Allow this sense of trust to grow and build.

Set boundaries and make requests without nagging.
When you begin to trust your mate more and more and you give up nagging does it mean that you simply let your partner off the hook- for anything? You can set boundaries and make requests of your mate and do it without nagging. Be clear and assertive about what you want.

It is important to Cynthia that she and Bill share regular time together re-connecting. That is why it hurts her so much when he forgets their weekly date night. Instead of
feeling like she has to nag Bill in order for him to show up ready for their planned date, Cynthia decides to make a clear request of him. She lets Bill know why the date night is important to her and asks if he is willing to commit to continue with their weekly dates. When he agrees, she makes the request that he will come up with a
plan so that he reminds himself that a particular night is date night. Cynthia agrees to trust Bill to follow through.

If you notice nagging in your relationship, pause and take a deeper look at how you are feeling. Ask your partner how he or she is feeling and really listen to the sharing. Be willing to address your trust issues and open up to accepting yourselves and each other "as is" while you move closer to connection.


Susie and Otto Collins are married, life partners who are Relationship and Life Success Coaches, and authors of several books on relationships, including "How to Heal Your Broken Heart," "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" "No More Jealousy" "Creating Relationship Trust" "Communication Magic" and "Attracting Your Perfect Partner." In addition to having a great relationship, they regularly write, speak and conduct seminars on love, relationships and personal growth. To read more free articles like this or to sign up for their free online relationship tips newsletter visit or


Susie and Otto Collins
P.O. Box 14544
Columbus, Ohio 43214
(614) 459-8121


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