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To nag or not to nag: is it ever okay to hound your other half?

SHE made her name in a TV programme with a repetitive title.

But despite this fact, the Location, Location, Location presenter, Kirstie Allsopp says it's not a good idea to keep repeating the same requests to your partner, as it may cause friction in your relationship.

The 42-year-old has revealed that the reason she and her other-half, Ben Andersen (52), are so happy together is because she refuses to nag him and if he doesn't do a job properly, rather than ask him to do it again, will finish it off herself.

"It probably helps that I'm not a nag," she said in an interview. "Ben, in my opinion, can't wipe surfaces. If I'm cooking he'll say 'I'll wash up.'"

"So he washes up and I will creep back downstairs afterwards and do the surface wiping.

"I'm one of those people who like everything to be neat before we go to bed. And I can't leave it for someone else, so it's got to be sorted."

HAPPY

The Channel 4 presenter also revealed that she has encouraged her sons, Bay (7) and Oscar (5), and two stepsons, Hal (13) and Orion (10), to steer clear of partners who are likely to nag them in the future.

"I was watching TV with my stepson and there was this lady just 'yap yap yap yap yap' to her husband and I said to him 'don't put up with it – if you have a girlfriend who talks to you like that, walk – that is not the way to lead a happy life'."

We spoke to three women to find out what they think of Kirstie's comments and whether or not, they "nag" their partners.

Deborah Donnelly and John Sheridan

Deborah Donnelly from Dun Laoghaire is an artist and author of children's books. She is married to John Sheridan and they have three children (Evin, Frankie and Casey).

With a relaxed outlook, Deborah feels that there is no point in nagging as it only causes friction – so instead, she aims for equality.

"Nagging is asking someone to do something more than once that they don't want to do – or they pretend not to hear.

"But it doesn't work. I send a note to my husband's phone and every Wednesday he gets a reminder to put the bins out – the same applies with school appointments.

"We are together nine years, so we both know our jobs at this stage.

"Before kids we didn't care about dividing jobs as we are both so laidback and easy going.

"But after children, the roles and chores are more defined. There is stuff I don't like to do and vice versa.

"So I do dinner and usually clean up after it, too, while John would put the kids to bed. This gives me a little break to prepare for the next day.

"We both have our roles, which have differed at various stages of our lives.

"I remember an old man, who had nine kids, telling me 'a woman's job is to look after the kids and the man's job is to look after the mom so she can look after the kids' and I suppose this really helps.

"If a woman is loved she will feel good and doesn't mind doing the extras. When John comes in from work I tell him what has to be done and we do it.

"Finding the right balance in a relationship can be tough, especially during the first few years juggling babies and work.

"I realise that it's all the small things added together which cause the big rows – combining the housework, the school runs and the bills together can be pressurised.

"So John and I make sure we get out at least once or twice a week on our own – even just to have an early bird meal and time to talk to each other and have a laugh.

"And of course, cuddles are important, too."

Debbie Deegan and Michael

Debbie Deegan runs orphans' charity To Russia With Love (which will soon feature in a short film by Brown Bag productions).

She lives in Clontarf with her husband Michael and has three children – Sophie, Zina and Mickey.

Debbie says nagging is something which most people will succumb to at some point – but shouldn't only be associated with women.

"Usually, nagging begins when men and women disagree on household chores and how well they are completed – or not completed as the case may be.

"I hate when I feel like a nag but when you ask for something to be done 10 times, or wonder if no-one else can see the dirt except me, this is when the whining starts and we head into 'nagging' territory.

"I have found you can't fight every battle but it is often necessary to keep the peace rather than instigate a row when the discussion is not about something important.

"I don't think any woman or person can be immune from 'nagging' but Kirstie's definition of a 'nagging woman' is a sweeping statement that does women no favours because men are more than capable of nagging also.

"There are times where it is necessary to get things done as there are all kinds of jobs we don't like to do, so to be persistently reminded can be annoying but necessary.

"But, unfortunately, Michael doesn't see the dirt like I would. Which, I think, is typical of the majority of men.

"However, he is a willing participant in housework when asked to help out. Between both of us, we get what needs to be done, done. With the charity, I travel quite a lot to Russia, so it is necessary that all hands are on deck in our home to keep the ship afloat.

"At the end of the day, I do more housework as I am female and need things to be tidy and resemble some kind of order.

"'Tidy' is not really in my husband's vocabulary, but if I ask him to do something he will do it in his own special way.

"My advice to achieving a happy balance within a relationship is to get a housekeeper and not to listen to women like Kirstie Allsopp – as they are just TV cut-outs."


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