That Nagging Feeling

To celebrate our twenty-ninth anniversary, the hubby and I are going to this I PROMISE marriage conference. The conference is being held locally (well…in South Bend) and comes five days after he retires. Now let me make this clear. I think I married a gem of a man, but he agrees that with starting this new, post-railroad era of our lives, it might be good to go to a conference and recommit to connecting with each other.

I have been thinking about this because one of the women with whom I work has been telling a lot of stories about what a nag she is, and I don’t want to be there. I have always sort of felt that part of the reason what the hubby and I have is good is because he has a sort of wanderlust and his job provided an outlet for that. I like to wander, don’t get me wrong. I also have a strong mother instinct which, I think, is pretty much satisfied by my job. HOWEVER, I have told the hubby in the past that I was afraid that if he retired I would smother him. And I sort of am. Not scared exactly, but thinking that the adjustment won’t be easy.

It’s like when the hubby used to travel and then get laid off in the winter. The kids and I had our own routines, and when the hubby was stuck at home, there was a period of adjustment during which he seemed to think that we should conform to his routine, and we, um…didn’t see it that way. It led to some conflict.

Anyway, back to the nagging. The lady that I work with doesn’t like to carry things and she has recently had two conflicts with her husband that resulted out of this.

Now let’s be truthful. All of us married people have things we would rather not do because, well, to us anyway it appears that these things are easier for our spouses. In my case, one of those things is packing things away. I admit it. We have this slicer that the hubby likes to use, but then you have to wash all the parts and then you have to fit it back in the box. I can wash it, but I have quite a time getting it to fit back in the box. So…the hubby put it away for me BEFORE he left for work at 5:30 this morning. Now that’s love.

Back to the story. The woman that I work with brings pop in for the kids when they fill out their assignment books. A good thing, right? And the kids look forward to the treat. She was late in passing them out last week, and the kids called her on it. “Well,” she said, as her face turned red,”there’s a big story about that.”

Seems she went to the store and sent her hubby in because she just doesn’t like to carry things. And he bought the case of pop. Problem solved, right? But her car was broken down, so she had to ride to school with a neighbor and she had to load her pop herself, something she doesn’t like to do. She used her neighbor’s headlights and got the pop out of the garage. When she got to school and got the pop inside, she noticed that it was diet, and she hit the roof.

The kids generally won’t drink diet, and she had told her husband that before she sent him to the store.

This lady called her husband at work and lit into him right away. The way she tells it, her tirade was greeted with silence. And then, her husband, biting off every word, said this:”I’m in a meeting. But I will tell you this. There were two cases of pop in the garage fridge, and one of them was diet. You must have picked up the wrong one.”


Now, this lady was ashamed when she told this story, and I understood that. I’ve been there. I tried to make her feel better and said, “Well, at least you weren’t on speaker.”

“Oh,” she said. “He learned a long time ago not to put me on speaker.”

Now, I am telling this story about my co-worker, but I have been a nag at times, and her situation made me think that I don’t want to be there again. I think she just convinced me to look at my own behavior again more closely, especially as the hubby and I are seeking the new rhythm our life will soon take.

Proverbs 19:13 says that “a nagging wife annoys like a constant dripping.” You know. Like water torture. I am praying that the marriage conference will give some tips so that if I find myself torturing the hubby, I ‘ll be convicted and leave that behavior behind.

Quickly. Because I really do love him.

I Corinthians 13:4-8

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails.



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April 2007
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