Remainly - Online Couples Therapy

I feel as if I'm constantly nagging my partner: What should I do?

Do you complain to your partner so much that even you are tired of hearing about your own expectations?

It’s not unusual to feel like one person in a relationship is pulling their weight more than the other.

However, if this is the source of almost every argument, yet other aspects of the relationship are fantastic, it is likely that some of your expectations are not achievable or are not being communicated in an encouraging way.


Perhaps you feel that couple’s therapy is a step too far for this problem? Here at Remainly, we support all couples trying to improve their relationship. There are always things to learn, and a relationship doesn’t have to be on the brink of ending to receive extra support!

We look at the steps you can take to set achievable goals, improve your communication and how you can work on any hot-headed reactions!

A couple hugging one another

Learn to appreciate

Respecting and acknowledging the contribution of each person in a relationship is the first step in understanding how each other feel about their own input as well as assessing if there is a balanced effort.

Both partners need to understand how much they, and their partner, contribute to the relationship. Whether the contributions are household chores, finances, displays of affection, emotional support; nagging can arise from a multitude of sources!

Consider how each other contribute to the relationship

Brainstorming the contributions you each make is a great starting platform. This way, you can express all the things you do, but it may also reveal some significant contributions your partner offers which you may overlook.

Once you have completed the brainstorming session, actively acknowledge and show gratitude for one another’s contributions. Take a moment to reflect on the things you each do and how you could also support each other in ways you may not have previously considered.

For more detail on this and similar exercises, explore our site for more in-depth coverage on the pathways we have to offer.  

A man sat on the street looking upset

Set realistic expectations

No one wants to be set up for failure, and a key aspect of nagging is the belief that your partner hasn’t adhered to your standards. Instead of creating a sense of being united, it can create a sense of inadequacy.

If a chore has been completed, is the job done even if not to the expectations you would personally want?

Furthermore, are your requests considerate of your partner's life? Are they realistic propositions? If unsure, you may need to assess the expectations you are setting for your partner.

Create a team atmosphere

Are there ways in which you think you should or could compromise?

Discuss what you are trying to accomplish as a team with your partner. By involving your partner in your aspirations, it makes them feel involved instead of dictated to.

Furthermore, it sets a level playing ground by allowing them to negotiate any plans and ideas, so they are involved.

Acknowledge how you communicate

The first step in transforming nagging into a reasonable request is to acknowledge how you speak and react to your partner.

Harsh tones, words of criticism and accusatory language can harm a relationship and your partner’s confidence.

Take a moment to reflect on your headspace when you feel as though you are nagging. Do you ever react without taking a moment to review the situation first? Or make demands as opposed to kindly requesting assistance? Do you acknowledge what your partner has contributed that day before you request their involvement?

Taking the effort to evaluate how you interact with your partner can produce a new perspective, encouraging you to work on your communication skills.

Be in it together

It may also benefit your partner to acknowledge when you do this by stating, ‘Sorry, that request felt abrupt to me. Please can you re-phrase it?’

Not only does this work to re-train your reactions, but it also promotes teamwork, placing you both on the same side to create better communication.

Think about the triggers of nagging

By taking the time to note down the circumstances in which you nag, it can help to prepare your brain in advance to try and re-phrase or be aware of this behaviour.

A couple holding hands

Show encouragement

If you are set on increasing your partner’s input, nagging them into action just isn’t going to inspire them!

Instead, express more thanks and show gratitude for things your partner does; swap the nagging phrases for words of encouragement and appreciation.

Not only will this affirm the contributions your partner makes, but it also increases feelings of confidence. It encourages them to work with you and shows that you are aware of the things they have accomplished for the benefit of the relationship.  

We know that communication is central to a healthy relationship, and our online, video-based service can help strengthen your skills as a couple. Our sessions are led by Andreas Løes Narum, our expert relationship psychologist. Start building a better future today, or contact us for more guidance on the support we offer.

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