Ask the Expert: Reminding vs. Nagging


Question:Dear Christine

Do you know anything about dating a brain injured engineer? He is sweet, sensitive to me as well as tender thinking and acting toward me, always bearing gifts.

He was thought to never walk again but does! He does have short term memory problems and sometimes tells me the same things over and over again, like a broken record (read: nagging). Others things are fine! I was just wondering if there are some things to be aware of and if there are ways to get around this memory problem... ie, he wants to burn a few of my fave CD's for me but never seems to remember. I certainly do not want to hound/I AM not a hounder!

Speaking of hounding how does one go about asking for something to be done without sounding like they are.... and still get them to do what they said they would?

Signed, Non-Hounder

Answer: Dear NH,

To answer your first question, I am not an expert in the intricacies of different types of brain injuries but I can make suggestions for improving communication so you can meet in the middle. It sounds like everything else is just great in your relationship which is nice to hear. Regarding the cd's, why not put the request in an email? Make the subject line "CD's for my sweetie" so it stands out in his inbox. This will simply lightly suggest and you will not feel like a hounder. The thing you don't want to do is make him feel like his short term memory problems are really affecting your relationship - focus on ways to work around it rather than bringing the issue into the spotlight.

Men never want to be hounded. I can't think of a quicker way to not only remind them of being a child but for them to become resentful toward you. Try to remain calm when situations arise, asking yourself how important this task really is and if it is not something you could do yourself. Take time to recognize other's schedules so you are not adding more to an already very busy schedule. The next time you ask for something to be done, be sure to ask when they project it will be done by. Give some minor leeway and if it is not done by that date, give a friendly reminder which perhaps, in your relationship, might be by email.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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