A colleague of mine and I recently had a chat about relationships; he’s single, sort of searching, definitely out there in ‘the maze’. One of the things we talked about was nagging; he wanted me to explain what is it about Eves and their ability to nag – in his book, this is one of the greatest relationship killers and something that drives Adams up the wall. He wondered why it is that women can nag so much and in fact, he wanted to know if nagging is in women’s DNA. So I consulted a scientist friend of mine and he told me that nagging is intrinsically in women’s DNA and he sent me molecular charts to prove the same! Just kidding 😉

So my colleague and I delved into ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of nagging without coming up with any ground-breaking answers or explanations, but it was a rather animated discussion. When I think about it, it would just have been easier to say that nagging is in women’s DNA and then we would all just accept and move on….(and that would have been the end of this post) heheheheh

It got me thinking back to when we were growing up as kids and how our parents, OK! our beloved mothers, had to tell us repeatedly to finish our household chores or arrange our rooms or fetch something whilst our eyes were glued to the TV watching cartoons. Didn’t it just drive you a little bit mad? I come from a generation where rolling my eyes at something my parent said would have probably landed me singing sensations all over my body that would last for a few days (so clearly I am not the xoxo/xaxa generation) but I probably just mentally rolled my eyes at being repeatedly told to do something. What I also acknowledge is how it must have driven my mum mad (bless her) to have to tell me to do something several times without me acting. I am sure it drove her up the wall – to her, it was the epitome of disobedience!

mamamarmalade.comWhen you think about a relationship between Eve and Adam, you don’t really think of disobedience (I know some will beg to differ since they or their spouses took vows ‘to obey’), but there is certainly an issue with communication and perception. To be precise, it is a big issue. Nagging has been defined as the interaction in which one person repeatedly makes a request, the other person repeatedly ignores it and both become increasingly annoyed; it has been termed as the marriage killer. So after doing quite a bit of reading, here are some explanations that have been advanced about nagging:

  • That women are conditioned to feel more responsible about managing family life, relationships and homes and therefore are more likely to pick up on problems and try to get them fixed;
  • That men sometimes are responsible for the nagging because they do not give clear answers or do not take action (in a timely manner) on things that Eve expects them to do – men may have their reasons for this but oftentimes, Eves do not see or understand these reasons;
  • That nagging is a habit that brings resentment in a relationship and feelings of being belittled or not being trusted – that in fact, what it points to from one point of view is that Eve doesn’t really trust that Adam will get down to fixing the leaking pipe and that unless she persists about it, it will never get done;
  • That when one party in a relationship or union, let’s say Eve, asks the other to do something and it doesn’t get done, the Eve is likely to feel that Adam is ignoring her and this can bring about feelings of not being valued by Adam;www.someecards.com
  • That whilst Eve may think that becoming more verbally demanding of Adam to do something will compel him to actually do it, it generally works in the opposite direction and only infuriates Adam and makes him less likely to ‘cooperate’;
  • That sometimes it is about the personalities – take for example a relationship where one party is an organized, anxious or obsessive individual by nature and the other party is a laid back person who believes that in good time, they will get round to doing what they are supposed to do and all will be alright in the end (they say opposites attract, no?). In such a situation, the more organized individual is likely to keep reminding the other repeatedly of things that need to get done and the cycle of nagging will just come naturally as a result of their personalities.

What there is certainly consensus on is that nagging can do real harm to a relationship and therefore, the less nagging there is in a relationship or union, the more likely it is likely to thrive and survive. The big question is – how do you get nagging to end or down to a minimum? Now, if I knew the key to how to stop nagging, I would be immensely rich and writing this blog from a yacht ;-). Clearly, there is no easy answer and it seems to all boil down to the following:

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate! Do not talk at each other and as much as possible, avoid negative communication like telling your significant that they are lazy or that if the world depended on them, we would all be extinct;
  • As much as possible, try to look at things from your partner’s perspective – as I said before, nagging has quite a lot to do with perception and putting yourself in your partner’s shoes could make you see things differently without a word being spoken;
  • If you commit to do something or know that certain things are expected of you, then follow through and just do them. It will make both of you in the relationship breathe much easier.
  • That said, I think there are always issues about expectations in relationships; sometimes people expect too much of each other but in other cases, even what one might consider basic expectations are not met. Therefore, it is important to manage one’s expectations without losing the fundamental notion that you are a couple.
  • Sometimes, it helps to explain why you need something to be done so that the urgency (or the lack of it :-)) is understood by both of you and that way you are reading from the same page;

Or you could just get creative like this wife did:

Adam bit into the sandwich his wife had packed him for lunch and noticed something odd—a Post-it note tucked between his sandwich fillings. He pulled it out of his mouth, smoothed the crinkles and read what his wife had written: “Be in aisle 10 of Home Depot tonight at 6 p.m.”

Adam was renovating the couple’s kitchen, and his wife had been urging him to pick out the floor tiles. He felt he had plenty of time to do this task. She felt unheard and resorted to what an ingenious and hysterical way to get his attention.

But I can’t guarantee you that you will get the desired results ;-).

Have your say and have a nag-free week, won’t you?

By Joyce



My name is Django,”the ‘D’ is silent”. I am sure most of you have watched this movie. I did not watch it until last week, and I now know why people have been making fun when they say “he is now the president”, and then add, the ‘P’ is silent. I always laughed at that one and  now I am sure all  Kenyans reading  this are exclaiming “kuwa nyuma nayo”- something else which makes me chuckle every time I hear it – but I actually do not say it because it sounds lame. Hehehe

Anyway, I watched “Django Unchained” – great movie, well  acted and loaded with a lot of emotions; not only emotions about the  slavery – the discrimination and exploitation of  blacks – but also  emotions of  love and vivid images of endurance and commitment. I like Waltz (the dude who unchained Django), who won an award for his role, but I liked Django even more; what a fighter! ( yes Joyce, I like fighters). There was such firmness  and steadfastness in him; driven by his belief in love and marriage and I guess obviously, the  need to prove that a ‘nigger’ ain’t daft!; he walked across the United States  in  a bid to free his wife from a plantation owner. She is undoubtedly the beauty in the movie, but I do not think this is why he fought (although looks count, I guess, nay, I know so leave that “mwanamke ni tabia” cliché alone! hehehehe) but because he loved her.

As the movie wore on, I could not help but think about all stories I have heard about love and relationships, commitment or lack thereof and the inability of the parties to “fight”- mine included. Recently I saw a funny quote which said “we are so not breaking up”- and I was like ‘OK!, I think we are in the era where you do not just come and tell me we are breaking up!’ Back to Django, I wondered how a man  can endure so much, put  all that energy and thought to something that looks so insurmountable, and then compared it to most relationships where it seems as though we just give up – even when it is possible to “fight for it”. I thought about some dude I dated a while back. I wondered why he could not be like Django (I know it is a movie, so do not lecture me about it :)). By wondering why he could not be like Django, I am not saying that he should  saddle  a horse through a vast land (although that would would win him some small points) to look for me and declare undying love. OK, may be was not that into me, but hey!, a girl is allowed to wonder, no?

So this ex, I was committed to him, but I accept that yes, it was Skype, Yahoo! and G-talk kind of commitment – but heck I was! I mean, you do not endure chats over time zones if you ain’t got an ounce of commitment in you…or do you? I gave my all; I believe I did, because I believed in what I thought we shared. I also agree that communication was sometimes not easy and sometimes, it felt like “there had to be a different way”. We soldiered on but the inevitable happened: we broke up -mainly not because of distance but we were not seeing eye to eye about some issues. I think I have said it before, it helps –a lot – when two people who are in  a relationship share the same vision and goals of being in that relationship, because if you want different things, that means you are starting off on a different  footing, with varied expectations and that is already a red flag. Of course it depends on what the issues are – do not get me wrong but even Siamese twins are driven by different likes, wants and yearnings. fight3

So some days after the break up, the dude came back with those tired lines of ‘I miss you’, ‘I am in love with you‘, bla bla. ……..For some reason, I was numb; maybe it was just my stubborn self, maybe I was just exhausted from all the Skype calls and trying to make it work. I think a part of me also lost faith in us, I knew that if I accepted the advances, it would be the same drill again – enduring Skype chats which I could manage but to what end? I was kind of convinced that we were not meant to be. But also a part of me wanted him to show me that I was important, that he treasured me, but all I got were words but no actions to back those words up. So the more he talked, the more I wanted to run away, far away. In my view, he was too laid back and I was not sure what to think of all that.

So as I watched this movie, I could not help but wonder if I should have “fought”, but I also wondered why most men are not like Django – fighters. Why don’t they go out of their way even if it does not  seem ‘Adam like’. Now, you may be wondering  what wanting and fighting for someone would look like: Django has a strategy, a horse, there were some light weapons and I think something like a AK47 involved ( I would not have minded if my ex had wielded those as well ( kidding!), but you have to define what fighting to you is and if it is worth it ( all things considered).


Talking of fighters,who watched the match between Andy Murray and Djokovic last night? That was superb tennis and Murray ended  Britain’s 77 year drought! You have to give it to andy-murray-wins-wimbledon-2013-1373217224-large-article-0a man who wins a title  in three consecutive straight sets – he sent Britain into “collective delirium”, said the BBC. That was sublime tennis, tantalizing! What a FIGHTER!

Have good week!

By Fridah