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Nagging: As potentially fatal to a marriage as adultery or violence

Experts agree that nagging can be as lethal to a marriage as adultery or abuse, and can destroy the relationship, leading it down the path to divorce.

In a recent study, one professor said nagging is a prime contributor to divorce, and can actually cause two people to fall out of love with each other. The study, conducted by Dr. Howard Markman, University of Denver, concludes strongly that couples should discuss problems, instead of resorting to nagging, which often serves to destroy communication.

The study showed that couples who had been unhappy for five years had a 20 percent increase in negative patterns of communication and a 12 percent decrease in positive communication.

Scott Wetzler, a psychologist and vice-chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, agreed with the study, saying that most people who don't get what they want from another person believe they will by continually asking for it.

Women are more prone to nagging because they often feel a more primary responsibility for the home and family life. Many times, men don't respond to nagging because they either don't know the answer or think it will disappoint their wives, which appears as laziness to some women.

Experts advise every couple, including those in Florida, to discuss patterns and whether they result in negative or positive trends, and tackle each problem as a team. Happiness is an emotion that is seldom dropped in the marriage lap eternally and in an immutable way. Staying happy takes a little work along the way.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "Meet the marriage killer" Jan. 25, 2012

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