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Marital nagging: Annoying and sometimes a divorce catalyst

The annoying marital conflict of nagging can be as volatile to the union as adultery, according to a recent study. Nagging is defined as the interaction between two people that occurs when one person makes a repeated statement or request that is ignored by the other person.

When nagging is constant in a marriage, it can lead the couple down the path to divorce rather than happiness. It is the subject of many jokes, but the truth is, nagging can be as bad in a marriage as deep financial problems or infidelity. It can be toxic to a relationship and can cause a couple to fall out of love with one another.

Research released in the Journal of Family Psychology recently indicated that unhappy couples with five years in a marriage had a 20 percent increase in negative communication and a 12 percent decrease in positive communication. Howard Markman, psychology professor at the University of Denver, conducted the research.

When couples begin to argue and nag rather than discuss problems to reach solutions, marital nagging becomes a prime contributor to divorces across the nation, including Georgia. The research shows that different personalities often contribute to the nagging. When one partner is laid back, the other partner might feel that he or she (experts say that, for various reasons, females are more likely to nag) is helping by nagging, according to Dr. Markman.

If two people are not meant for each other, conflict in the marriage can bring out the nagging in anyone, but if you want happiness together, refraining from the urge to nag your partner is a good start.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "Meet the marriage killer" Jan. 25, 2012

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