I was cleaning out the garage out last weekend at the behest of my beloved, which has been an undertaking that has been festering for too long. I took a break and I came across this article in the WSJ. At first it seems like something from the Onion.
The WSJ article states: "Nagging can become a prime contributor to divorce when couples start fighting about the nagging rather than talking about the issue at the root of the nagging, says Howard Markman, professor of psychology at the University of Denver and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies." See the full article. I am a divorce attorney so I need to know about these things. I investigated further for professional reasons and not to procrastinate, you understand.
I first turned to the Onion to find out whether "nagging" was, in fact, listed as a prime contributor to divorce. Apparently not. 31% of those divorcing said they wanted to resume having sex. See Onion stats.
More google "pseudo research" led me to a google article analyzing nagging in an old 1899 medical journal.
Another web site has a brief history of nagging starting with Socrates wife who forced him out of the house and into philosophy. Thanks Mrs. Socrates.
Another site reviews a book the Scold's Bridle which examines the history of using a bridle to silence a nagging wife in the middle ages.
One definition of nagging is "To annoy by constant scolding, complaining, or urging."
Finally, I looked for a good quote from the bard to round things off but instead found this gem.
After all the negativity related to nagging, I was beginning to wonder, there must be some evolutionary purpose. I found this story under the headline "Nagging wife, sausage help man win $4.2M lottery" A "nagging" wife who pushed her husband to buy a lottery ticket helped scoop the $4.2 million ($7.7 million New Zealand dollar) first prize -- with only minutes to spare. The man from New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland, bought his ticket just two minutes before ticket sales closed Saturday night. "My wife had been nagging me all week to get a ticket, so I when saw the Lotto sign ... I sprinted in to get the ticket before they closed," said the man, who asked not to be identified -- normal practice among lottery winners in New Zealand. "I must have been their last customer of the night," he said, adding that the young married couple had had a "rough" couple of years, reduced to one income after having children. "I have never been so glad to listen to my wife's nagging," the man said Tuesday.He discovered their newly won fortune Sunday thanks to his wife's request for a barbecued sausage. Out shopping for bargains, the man said he didn't have enough money to buy his wife the sausage she'd asked him for. So he decided to check his Saturday lottery ticket in case he'd won a small prize. "I could not believe it when they said I was actually the big winner," he said. When he showed the printout to his wife, she initially thought they had won $4,200 (NZ$7,700). "When she realized how much it really was, she fell to the floor, and then said: 'but all I wanted was a sausage.'"
So what is the function of nagging, its causes, its symptoms? Is it a bad habit which should be banished with post it notes plastered around the kitchen? Does it invariably lead to divorce or cruel and inhuman punishments. Or could there be some benefits? It seemed that there were pros and cons. On the plus side, we got western philosophy and in New Zealand a man won the lottery. On a personal level, my wife and I ( she did help -- it was a collaborative effort) finally cleared out our crap from the garage and now we have have more space to accumulate our children's crap in the future.