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If men did what they were told we would not need to nag them! After Kirsty Allsopp claims never to badger her husband...

Byline: CHRISTINE HAMILTON Wife of former Tory MP Neil Hamilton

Well bully for Kirsty Allsop.

She has declared she doesn't nag her husband, which means she ends up doing everything herself. That's just bonkers.

Nagging is biblical and started in the Garden of Eden. Adam would never have bothered to cover up if Eve hadn't kept on at him and, helpfully, the Book of Proverbs tells us that "a continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike." Gee, thanks!

The world is full of naggers - they are called women - and naggees, called men.

Nagging ( from the Scandinavian gnaga, meaning to gnaw) is "the repetitious pestering, hectoring and continuous urging of an individual to complete previously discussed requests which have been ignored".

Put simply, it is being forced to tell HIM what to do because, yet again, he has failed. Ask Marge Simpson.

Men were born to be nagged, but the trick is not to let them realise you are doing it.

If they do, nagging can be horrendous, counter-productive and amount to little more than verbal castration and emasculation. That's an instant passion killer. When you nag, you morph in his mind into a scolding Hilda Ogden lookalike in apron and curlers.

Nagging should not be confused with bossing, which is infinitely preferable. A successful "boss", particularly if subtly done, achieves instant results and renders nagging unnecessary.

But why do they force us to do it? Why won't they put the seat down, close the lid, do the washing-up, put the top back on the toothpaste tube, pick up their clothes from the floor and the other myriad daily irritants which end up as grounds for divorce, often more toxic than adultery? Think I'm exaggerating? Ask any divorce lawyer.

Men are fabulous and we love them dearly but they are limited. However much they love you they are capable of listening to only about 20% of what you say. So we have to repeat ourselves and they call it nagging. It is entirely the fault of men if women nag. If they just did as they were told in the first place we wouldn't have to. It's as clear as mud, so why don't they get it? Take the Seven Year Itch. When you marry, there are many things about him which irritate, but you are supremely confident you can change him and achieve everything his mother singularly failed to do.

After seven years you realise that was complete moonshine. He ain't gonna change. You either have to lump it or get out. Neil and I have enjoyed a rollercoaster life, during which each of us has been busier than the other at different times.

But when things are roughly balanced we have an unwritten rule, laid down by me, that jobs to be done are either a JMH or a JWH - that's a Job For The Man Of The House or a Job For The Woman Of The House. I decide which is which and whether any particular chore passes from one domain to the other. It's not one-way traffic and enables him to enjoy the delights of hoovering and the supermarket run while I happily hump the logs and wash the car if I feel so inclined.

Generally, we operate on the basic economic principle of division of labour. It is very simple. I cook, he eats. I clean, he dirties. I put down seats and close lids, he leaves them up and open. He leaves drawers open, I close them. I am driven nuts, he is blissfully unaware.

Men don't see that nagging is just reminding. We remind them that there is more to life than football, that wet towels do not live on the floor, that children need looking after and dirt needs to be dealt with.

It's a tough world out there and getting tougher. The days of the stay-at-home little woman whose entire life revolved around her man and his every need are long gone.

Frequently she is working as hard or harder her chap and earning as much or more. So he must step up and do his share at home. Life is busier than ever so it's all hands to the family pump... that includes yours mate!

You have to admit defeat in certain areas. Nearly 35 years ago, when Neil and I were renovating our first house together, my father gave me a superb power drill for Christmas.

Odd present for a girl, you might think, but he knew who did the DIY and I long ago gave up trying to teach my husband how to even change a fuse. Of course he could learn - but it suits him not to.

And never forget men's deliberate policy of Appearing To Be Useless. Burn one shirt and you'll never be asked again. Rewire the plug wrongly, fuse the whole house and you're taken off electrical duties.

Why do we allow them to get away with it?

When you nag, in his mind you morph into Hilda Ogden in her apron and curlers You must never forget: Men have a deliberate policy called Appearing To Be Useless


SOME GIRLS DON'T Kirsty and hubby Ben

SOME GIRLS DO Christine gives Neil Hamilton a good handbagging
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Title Annotation:Editorial; Opinion, Leading articles
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Mar 6, 2014
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