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Confessions of a Nagging Wife

2. Remember “two stars and a wish.”

We are our spouse’s helpmate (Gen. 2:18). Immediately following his description of the contentious wife, Solomon says, “Iron sharpens iron and so one man sharpens another” (Prov. 27:16).

We know our husbands in ways no other person ever will, and we have great influence over them. My husband and I each want to make the other better.

One of my daughter’s teachers coached her kids during a writers’ workshop to give “two stars and a wish” in response to another’s work—two things they liked and one suggestion for improvement. When my husband asks me to evaluate his decisions or even edit his writing, I give two stars for every wish.

3. Ask a question.

When I need to remind him of an appointment or commitment, I ask my husband a question.

“Will you be able to pick up from soccer tonight?” comes across better than “Don’t forget to … ”

4. Say it with a smile.

My dear friend often offers opinions contrary to her husband’s with a smile and a chipper tone. Of course, I rarely see her in public without a smile and a chipper tone, but I’ve realized that even if I have to force a smile and upbeat attitude, it helps.

And my husband sees right through it because he knows that’s not my way. “You’re sounding like her,” he’ll laughingly say. And he appreciates my awkward effort.

5. Bide your time.

There’s a time for every purpose under heaven (Eccles. 3:1). There’s a time to offer advice and a time to wait.

In the early years of our marriage, I didn’t know this, and I would say the right things at the wrong time with either no effect or disastrous ones.

How do you know when is the right time? What is work like for him right now? What pressures does he face? Look in his eyes and read his mental and emotional state. You will know if it’s not the right time.

This much I know is true: The right time to offer advice or critique is never during the heat of the battle. Your role at that moment is to stand by him in unity. Your husband needs to know that in the thick of the fight, you are fighting with him, not against him. The time for analysis and constructive comments will come days, weeks or months later when the crisis is behind him.

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Proverbs 14.1″ data-version=”niv”>Proverbs 14:1, NIV).