I have a partner who is wonderful in many ways hes funny,
intelligent, multitalented, generous and dynamic. However, his slovenly
habits are driving me to distraction. I am out of the house for fifty
hours a week, and on my day off I clean the house from top to bottom and
do all the washing etc. In the evenings when I come home I am usually
too tired to do any major chores, but when I do get home, the house looks
as though a bomb has hit it. He has Thursday afternoon, Friday, Saturday
and Sunday off and rarely, if ever, does a single thing around the house.
He drops his clothes anywhere and everywhere, leaves everything he uses
out, uses the floor when the ashtray is full (well, almost), leaves cupboard
doors open, leaves lights on during the day, forgets to turn the oven
off after cooking, etc etc.
We have spoken about this on many occasions and he always promises to
help more but never does. He doesnt see that having a tidy home
is important to me, he just says it doesnt matter. Im not
obsessively houseproud or clinically clean but I do like things to be
generally tidy. I feel it is important for our son as well, in that it
sets him a good example and gives him a nice environment to live in, but
unfortunately he seems to be following in his dads footsteps so
I usually end up with two trails of chaos to tidy up on a daily basis.
I feel disrespected and uncared for I suppose.
I am at my wits end, its getting to the point where I dont
want to come home because I know what Ive got to face after a 9
hour shift being on my feet all day.
My partner has got several projects on the go aside from having a full-time
job (he works 3 twelve hour shifts mon-wed then thur morning) he spends
all his spare time on his projects and I know he is an obsessive person
and a very hard worker but he just wont compromise. Ive tried
to tell him that hes stealing my time by not doing a few little
things around the house during his time off (all I asked of him is to
spare 20 minutes on his days off to tidy up, put some washing in the machine
and perhaps hoover) but he keeps saying that he forgot or we ran out of
Am I being too picky or should I take a leaf out of his book and tell
myself it doesnt matter? Or should I be tougher and go on strike?
(This has crossed my mind a number of times!) Should I get a cleaner in?
I would be very grateful for your comments as I feel an objective viewpoint
would help enormously.
The trouble is, you've allowed this to go on for way too long.
You don't say how old your son is, but if he's old enough for his untidyness
to hurt, we're talking a good few years.
So why now? Has it got worse? Have your standards got tighter? Or is
the truth that there are now other issues, and while you used to put up
with it because he was the world, that's no longer true?
In marriage, the visible problem is rarely the one that needs fixing;
I'm guessing in your partnership the lack of respect is wider than just
So what can you do? Well, it seems that you'd rather clear up behind
them than leave it - but have you considered doing it with them? A bit
of joint activity sounds like it might be quite therapeutic.
And if he won't go along with that, then I think you might consider counselling.
There's a serious problem here, but it is not yet quite clear what that