Nagging – Is It A Precursor To Divorce? (Part 2)

How a couple communicates can impact how well their marriage does in the future.


Welcome back. In the previous article we talked about nagging and how it can erode the love and trust in a marriage, which can in turn lead to divorce. We introduced Howard J. Markman PhD, who has written on the subject of nagging, and discussed his assertion that nagging is the “enemy of love” and the “killer of marriage.” Moving on, we are going to take a further look at Markman’s theory.


According to Markman, there isn’t much relationship science dedicated to the subject of nagging. However there is a great deal of study that has been done on the subject of negative patterns that are consistent with nagging. Markman, and others in the field, have conducted over 30 years of research on the subject of ‘destructive conflict patterns and divorce’. They have spent years studying what creates the patterns, and how they can be treated and prevented, and the results are unanimous: work to eliminate nagging in a marriage.


Markman describes studies that he and other colleagues have conducted, where they tracked married couple over years and looked at their overall happiness as time went by. One of the issues that they found throughout, was that couples who communicated about major issues were happier in the long run than couples who didn’t.


How couples communicate plays a big role in how happy they are together.


Throughout the studies, Markman says, couples who developed negative patterns of communication, many of which center around nagging, reported far less marital happiness and much higher rates of divorce. Couples that reported increased nagging also reported fewer positive interactions. The results, Markman says, show that nagging destroys love in a relationship.


Another point that Markman makes in his article, which he says is very important, is the myth that women nag more than men. This idea, he says, predates the women’s movement and decades of research on marriage. The truth, he points out, is that nagging is done by both genders in one form or another, and isn’t exclusive to men or women.


Markman says he believes passionately that couples who are invested in the health of their marriage can learn new communications skills. In his book, Fighting For Your Marriage, Markman and the other two authors – Scott M Stanley and Susan L. Blumberg, outline the ways that couples can talk safely about unresolved issues. Primarily the ones that form the roots of their nagging and poor communication.


Brandy Thompson, a family law attorney, says that she rarely encounters a client looking to file a divorce based on “nagging.” However it may be a general precursor to bigger problems such as general unhappiness, infidelity and emotional, or even physical, abuse. “It may be best to address “nagging” issues before they evolve into something that causes the complete breakdown of the marriage so that the bonds of matrimony can no longer be preserved.”


The skilled family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have spent decades assisting the people of mid-Michigan with their divorces. Our phones are answered all day on any day of the week, on any day of the year. For emergency situations we have at least one attorney on call at all times. Contact us at 866 766 5245 to speak with an experienced family law attorney. We are here to help.