Marriage and the Nagging Cabinet

by Sherry Riter in Marriage series

Have you ever left the cabinet door open, bent down to get something and upon standing back up, the corner of the cabinet pierces your head? Pain immediately replaces all thoughts as you grab your head in agony and also to check for gushing blood because with so much pain, there must be a huge hole. Most of the time, there isn’t any hole or blood.

Let’s say that happens to you. How often will you purposely cause the same scenario to repeat itself. Two times a week? Four times? Maybe every day? I dare to assume that just the opposite is true…You will try with more caution than before to ensure that you do not have the cabinet corner inflict injury to your scalp and skull again.

If someone PURPOSELY repeated the above event on a regular basis, I think we would all say that he/she has a problem.

corner of kitchen cabinet door

Now we are going to jump a bit to our marriage relationship. When we met our spouse, did any of the following hold true about their personality or belief system?

  • wanted children or didn’t want children
  • different religious convictions
  • uncontrollable temper
  • too thin or overweight
  • depression problem
  • cussing, swearing
  • lack of ambition
  • messy slob
  • hoarder
  • selfish
  • alcoholic
  • dishonest
  • drug addict
  • materialistic
  • medical problems
  • loves to read or blog
  • enjoys a particular kind of music
  • doesn’t enjoy a particular type of movie
  • uneducated and lacking a desire to be so
  • was involved in other relationships previously

So, you married a person with some of the traits above, and you thought that they would change or you would change them later. The notion of love conquers all floated through your mind on a regular basis. The big day arrived and it was all white lace and roses…on the outside. Everyone was smiling and happy at the huge celebration and union between a couple who apparently was passionately in love, but then the wedding day was over and the rest of your life began.

Both you and your new spouse went back to the regular living habits and beliefs because the only thing that really changed was there was now another person sharing the same space. Really, it can’t be all that hard to coexist in a companionable happiness, can it?

Unfortunately, people often become disillusioned or ignore facts before donning the dress and tuxedo. Then one or both spouses begin to nag, nag, nag which is just another way of saying that someone repeatedly jams their head into the corner of the cabinet door on purpose. They continue this action day in and day out in hopes that “the next time” it won’t cause pain or in the case of the wedded couple, he/she will change.


“If you do what you’ve always done,
you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
~Anthony Robbins~

People do not change in or out of a relationship because they are nagged, picked on or pressured about it. Change occurs only when the person chooses to do the work required to cause a different behavior or attitude and it always starts from within THE PERSON FIRST.

Before you even go there in your mind, no one can MAKE another person WANT to do anything and that includes changing any of their acquired personality traits.

There are a few things that can be done to help a couple get past the conflict of change/not change which is often a huge issue.

  • Seek counseling together. A trained professional that is not emotionally attached to the couple involved or the issues can give unprejudiced therapeutic assistance.
  • When a partner refuses therapy, all is not lost. Remember that you can only change yourself. There is a chance that by changing your behavior, your spouse will feel the desire to also make changes.
  • Know yourself and talk to a therapist without your partner. Understanding your own role in the marriage conflict will help in making better choices for the future.
  • Ask yourself the hard questions…Do you still love your spouse? Can you live with the conflicts and differences? Are the arguments just annoying or deal breakers?
  • Discuss your feelings with your companion. More than likely, if you are seriously unhappy, he/she will be too. Listen to his/her concerns with an open mind instead of defensively and then work on the conflicts together.

One thing is for sure…Nagging your spouse to change his/her behaviors is as effective as hitting your head on the corner of the cabinet every day. Do everything you can to improve the situation and then leave the rest up to your spouse.

Lastly, don’t feel helpless. You always have a choice to stay in the relationship or leave it behind. That knowledge can bring comfort and hope for what often seems like an impossible situation. By trying to resolve the issues in every conceivable way, you will feel peace in the choices you make in strengthening the union or walking away from it.

The Redhead Riter



This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Velvet Over Steel July 27, 2010 at 2:38 am

Absolutely true with Great advice at the end! I tried to change my ex-husband and it was Crazy for 15 years of my life. What was I thinking?? Now I see some very nice people going through the same thing, hitting their heads on the left open door, over and over too. It is so painful to watch this happen to anyone we care about. But again, we can not change someone else's life…. only they can.
Great Post!! It's going to help so many!


2 Rachel C. July 27, 2010 at 2:58 am

Such a great article, I love that you give alternatives and practical methods for being the change we wish to see in the relationship. It's one thing to vent, another thing entirely to be proactive.


3 Multi-Ainjo July 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm

So true! Between my husband's mother and father and my mother and father there has been a total of 14 marriages!

Because of this I think my husband I had a very realistic view of what it means to make marriage work and that being alone is better than being unhappy with someone.

So far so good. 😉


4 Nicki July 27, 2010 at 6:14 pm

All great advice and I agree with only adding a slight twist. You are absolutely right. You can't change another person, especially through nagging. However, you can help a person grow by changing yourself. When my husband and I were having problems, he told himself, "I promised to love her in good and bad times. I didn't promise to love her if she loved me. I didn't promise to love her if she was nice to me all the time. I didn't promise to love her only when she was lovable. I simply promised to love her." He then made it a mission to act as if he loved me all the time, even if he didn't feel it. In turn, I started to feel more loving towards him and things worked out. It wasn't easy and if he didn't have such a good head on his shoulders at the time, I am not sure where we would be now. The point I am trying to make is that we can't change a person but we do have the ability to help them grow by bringing out the good in them and making them feel worthwhile.


5 Mimi and Tilly July 27, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Hi, thanks for joining my community on Blogfrog. I'm glad you did as now I've found your blogs. I'm looking forward to reading through your writing. Sending smiles, Em. x


6 Sandy July 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Wow! You know all this blog stuff and have good counseling info too! I am amazed! I am not married anymore, but I can relate so much to what you said. I love the quote from Anthony Robbins, which I could put that on a bracelet design to remind me all the time.

funny, by the end of the article I had a tiny little pain in the top of my head that felt just like it did when I last bumped it on a cabinet door. Only lasted a minute, but interesting I thought. I guess you could say the article 'hit' home!

You, RHR are terrific!!

xoxo Sandy


7 Gina August 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm

You are so right. Absolutely, 100% right.


8 katlupe August 17, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I was married twice before, and can honestly say I never tried to change any of them. My first one was a cheater and my second one was an alcoholic and so neither of them were worth changing.

My present and last husband is the one I should have waited for. I would say that his temper is the only thing I would want him to change. But I would never even attempt to change his temper myself. I just avoid him if he is angry about something. It is never focused on me anyway. We don't fight and I don't nag. We let each other be.


9 Annie D August 18, 2010 at 6:07 pm

My husband and I have both changed a lot in the last 8 years, but thankfully our new directions are headed for each other more than ever. We both chose to change some things, but for our own good and the good of our children, not because the other one demanded it. People can only change if they want to, and trying to change someone is just going to make that person resentful.

Great post!


10 andy April 13, 2012 at 10:59 am

The wife calls the husband from her vacation place:
– Is everything fine? The cat is OK?
– No, she died.
– You cannot do that to me. You cannot tell me like that. You should have prepared me, you could have told me: “it was walking around on the balcony and it fell, and now it is not doing well at all…in fact…” oh well, how is my mother?
– She was walking around on the balcony and it fell, and now it is not doing well at all…in fact…

Needless to say, they live separately now…


Have a great weekend!


11 The Redhead Riter April 13, 2012 at 11:04 am

LOL Andy!!!!


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