How do you deal with a procrastinating husband? Do you try to nag him into submission?
You nag and nag. But he doesn’t change.
(When you repeat a complaint or request over and over and over, it’s called nagging.)
You’ve asked him three times this week to take out the trash. But the overflowing bin still sits in the same place, stinking up the kitchen.
The more you ask, the more he resists.
Complainer vs. Procrastinator
You’re ticked, and it’s game on: The Complainer vs The Procrastinator.
No one’s going to win.
Yes, procrastination is a response to something he’s lacking.
He doesn’t lack arms. You just want him to Take. Out. The. Trash.
I get it. But it’s more complicated than that. Instead of telling you how your “demands” or complaints make him feel, he ignores your request. He might not be aware he’s doing it.
Early in my marriage, I used relationship-repelling patterns of behavior. Instead of telling my husband what I needed, I’d play emotional games to get it. Sometimes I wasn’t even aware of it.
So how do you “fix” a procrastinating husband?
Complaining Won’t Change Him
Complaining won’t “fix” him.
He may seem like an uncaring, lazy bum, but he’s responding in the way he’s used to responding when he feels like someone’s bossing him around.
It seems like a simple thing, but he established patterns of relating to people way before he met you. And yours were established before you met him.
Learn about his family
If your husband grew up in a household where excessive complaining or controlling was common, he may not respond well when you complain or make requests he thinks are controlling, whether they’re controlling or not.
You may think his response means he doesn’t care about what you want or he’s ignoring you.
In reality, he may not be responding to you at all. He may be “responding” or mimicking the behavior of his controlling father or complaining mother. He’s using the only method he knows.
Don’t try to psychoanalyze him and pretend you’re his therapist.
That’ll probably make him mad. But when you begin to understand why he responds the way he does, you can make an effort to respond differently instead of getting mad or feeling hurt.
People usually “play” games because that’s all they know. That’s how they’re used to trying to get their needs met.
Marital games are never fun, and there’s never a winner. They only up the ante on negative emotions.
God created us with emotional intimacy needs. He also provides ways to get them met.
Your “lazy” husband might feel unappreciated.
7 Ways to Deal With a Procrastinator Without Losing It
Here are seven ways you can live with a procrastinator without losing your mind:
1. Accept you can’t change him.
2. Decide not to get angry, bitter or nag.
3. When he procrastinates, clarify your request–Honey, will you take care of the trash when you get home today?
4. If he agrees but still doesn’t follow through, gently and lovingly point out it hasn’t been done and give him a timeframe–I can take care of the trash tomorrow if you can’t get to it tonight.
5. If he still doesn’t follow through, then:
- Do it yourself (without bitterness)
- Hire someone, if you can’t do it (without bitterness)
- Let it remain undone, especially if the consequences will affect him
6. If he’s willing to talk, ask him to tell you how your request makes him feel.
7. Ask God to help you both understand your emotional needs and give you a desire to meet them for one another.
Set aside some time to talk about your needs. You may discover learning about his childhood and understanding yours does wonders for your marriage.
How might your emotional needs be affecting your marriage?