A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

By Nina Pajak

A new study out of Denmark declares that men are twice as likely to die early if they spend a lifetime being nagged by their wives. They’re even more likely to get heart disease and cancer, among other fatal conditions. Wives, on the other hand, were only found to be 34% more likely to die as a result of living with a demanding partner.

Men can be such babies.

I don’t know whether Danish women are particularly shrewish or their men are just total wimpazoids, but I can’t help but think that pssssht. Wah, wah, wah. Eye roll. Another eye roll. Another—ow, now my eyeballs hurt.

First of all, has it occurred to the researchers that the men who participated are simply twice as likely to complain and blame their wives for their health problems? So typical. Get a grip, guys, and then finish cleaning out the garage, fixing the computer, and installing the air conditioner units like you said you would weeks ago. And when are you going to help us get that comforter into the darn duvet? Also call your mother, because if you don’t she’s going to call us to see how you’re doing, and then we’re going to have to divulge random facts about your life that you probably would have avoided telling her for reasons we’ll never be able to comprehend or predict. Also, spend a little time with your kids, wouldja? And we don’t even want to discuss how long it’s been since we’ve been on a date, but frankly we’d much prefer you spend your money and time on a gym membership, because we’ve noticed that you’ve put on a few pounds and we’re worried you’re going to die prematurely—of being a lazy fatty. Not of being “nagged to death,” but nice try. Off you go.

Honestly, I don’t know why any of this should be so dire and damaging. It’s called life guys, and you signed up for it when you married us.

In all seriousness, I find this study to be appallingly sexist. There are plenty of couples in which the male counterpart does the nagging, and pretty much all in which the naggee is only being nagged because he or she is legitimately shirking responsibilities and/or inadequately communicating his or her feelings regarding said responsibilities. And what of the nagger? Do you think he or she enjoys browbeating his or her partner? No, she doesn’t. Neither does he. It’s exhausting and negative and feels crappy, because we know we’re making you miserable and we’d much rather you’d just done the damn thing rather than forcing us to force you into it, thereby vilifying us unfairly. I say this not as a representative of women, but as one of naggers. Sure, sometimes the task doesn’t seem important to you, the one being nagged. But often it’s important to your partner, or necessary nonetheless, or vital for reasons you haven’t considered because you don’t ever listen past “why haven’t you . . . ?” Or possibly the nagger has leached onto the principle of the thing as a direct result of having been studiously ignored.


Anyway, I think it’s pretty easy to deduce that this whole thing is a bunch of bunk. If a woman nagging a man truly drove him to an early grave, no teenage boy would make it out of his mother’s house alive. Bam.

Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!

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