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HELP! I'm Turning into my Mother

HELP! I'm Turning into my Mother

Dear Sugar
I'm afraid I'm turning out just like my mother. All she ever did when I was growing up was nag at my father. I have been living with my boyfriend the past five months and so far so good, however, I've become a nag! All I do is complain and nit pick at his every move.

I am not just picking on "why don't you do the laundry," it's more like "why don't you do xyz in our relationship." I then become resentful when he doesn't change or doesn't do everything as I wish. I can't believe the person I've turned into and he can't either.

My boyfriend is really a great guy, I'm really happy with him in 90% of our relationship, but there are some things I want to change. He still wants to stick by me but I have a feeling he won't stay forever if I don't make an effort to rectify my attitude. What do I need to do? How do I stop being such a nag? Badgering Betsy

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Badgering Betsy
Unfortunately, it is inevitable that some characteristics of our mothers will rub off on us as we get older, but luckily if you catch them in time, the ones you dislike, you can nip in the bud. It sounds like your nagging is stemming from some unhappiness you are feeling in your relationship.

What do you feel is missing on his part in your partnership? Does he push back when you speak up about your gripes? Since you have obviously taken the next step in your relationship by moving in together, I think it would be best to get to the bottom of that 10% that is making you dissatisfied in your relationship.

No one is perfect and every relationship has its ups and downs, so you need to figure out if you can live with your boyfriend even with his faults. People don't change, but you can work together to understand your differences and understand his intentions.

Join The Conversation
rkdub rkdub 10 years
I think it is really great that you can see that your nagging is becoming a problem.... maybe next time before you think about bringing something up, sit down and write out what the problem is, why it is bothering you, and what could BOTH of you do to fix it. You also need to be prepared to hear things that he is unhappy with as well. It HAS to be a two way street! Also, maybe see a therapist a few times, that could really do wonders... resentment is a huge destroyer of relationships though, and if you love this guy, a few trips to therapy could be worth it.
My-Opinion My-Opinion 10 years
sorry for the typo, I meant to say in that line about four sentences up, "just LIKE you can't be changed.."
My-Opinion My-Opinion 10 years
wow! At least you're being honest! Try real hard not to be like your mom, as you probably know how miserable your dad must've been!! There is no point in being such a nag!! Seriously no-one likes it. You wouldn't! He may get fed up, it's only been 5 months and he is probably thinking that he loves you but he's got the rest of his life, and he probably knows how your mom was (I'm guessing you've told him how she was with your dad?) and he may not wanna stick it out. I hope he does for your sake, but you have got to lighten up. You have some serious self discipline to start working on! Don't try to control him, he will find comfort somewhere else! You can't change someone so stop trying. Just you can't be changed. You will just be making him someone he's not and he will eventually go back to being 'himself', and it'll all just backfire on you. Stop worrying so much and putting all your focus on wether or not he is being 'the perfect boyfriend.' Let him be him and if you don't like 'him' as he is, then there is no point in continuing your relationship.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
I think that what you are experiencing is pretty normal. Whenever two people move in together the dynamic is bound to shift a little, and you're going to discover habits that you each don't care for. What you need to do is schedule some time for you two to talk. Scheduling time to do this is important. It's not a good idea to have your discussion when you are both annoyed at each other. This way you'll both be in a good mindset for the discussion. First thing I would do is to basically tell him what you told Dear Sugar, which is how much it bothers you to nag. Then pinpoint all then issues you nag him about. Discuss if these are reasonable issues. You will probably need to concede a few points and hopefully he will also. In the end, you should be able to say: Okay, so you agreed it's reasonable to do this, this, and this. Please help me not nag by just doing those things. That is of course a perfect world. I had this talk with my boyfriend. We laid down the law together and so when he doesn't do a chore or something he agreed to, he knows he's dropping the ball without me telling him. He still forgets to do certain things and I'll say to him: I don't want to be a nag, so please don't make me feel like I have to remind you to keep your side of the bargain.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
I think you need to be really honest with him about it. Tell him you hate the nagging as much as he does and tht you are conciously working on trying to curb the problem. Start making it a habit to compliment the things he does right/well (around the house, at work, in your relationship) and it will become a habit. Thank him on a daily basis for the little things he does for you. Think about what has changed since you've found yourself nit-picking more: Do you have more stress at work/home, something going on in your family or social life? I have had time-periods where I'm going through more stress than usual and I find myself picking at my boyfriend about something I really don't care about, and now it's at the point where I'm not afraid to apologize for it if my bf points it out or I notice I've hurt his feelings by nagging him about something. If it is just little things around the house that are getting to you, tell him that in order to feel like you can handle things better, you need a little more help from him. We're all human and have foibles and quirks that we can work at to make ourselves the best people we have the potential to be. It sounds like you really love your boyfriend and if you are honest and start making some new positive changes, I'm sure you will have a long happy relationship.
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