To throw out all this shit(47 Posts)
PIL died several years ago now.
DH is one of the 3 sons. 1 lives in Hong Kong (for decades), 1 lives in home town and DH lives 5/6 hours drive from home town (with me!)
DH hero worshipped his parents - there was no real basis for this. MIL was hardly even interested in any of her children and particularly thought DHs purpose in life was to run around after her especially after FIL died but wasn't even interested him, other children or GC.
When they died neither of his brothers wanted anything from them (1 abroad, 1 hated his parents). Because they didn't want anything DH decided he should take EVERYTHING from their house.
There were many rows at the time when he was even trying to take furniture and white goods (which wouldn't fit in our house). Instead he took everything else he could transport. I managed to get rid of some when it arrived (lots of broken things).
So he bought a second shed to store it all in and to see if outside storage would get rid of the smell..... because it all STINKS.
They were heavy smokers, fried food and never ever opened windows.
He is now trying to move this stuff into the house - it's smells and it's all rubbish.
We had an hours 'discussion' over a pile of books this morning - which I gave to MIL because I didn't want them! I'm hoping the broken Hoover is also going today.
The thinks everything is important and needs to be kept. The saddest bit is there were some good things he left.
Today I feel like having a bonfire....
I think I am mostly having a moan - he complains we have too much stuff but it doesn't include this apparently!
Sounds like he isn't dealing with his grief too well.
DH loved his parents...Ok, quite a common and normal thing!
He's having trouble letting go of things that you consider worthless but to him are all he has left of his mum and dad.
I agree that a lot of stuff will need to be disposed of. But there is a way of approaching this kindly. I hope you didn't tell your DH you feel like having a bonfire. I hope you didn't tell him it's all a load of old crap.
He's just lost his mum and dad...just tread a little carefully here and be supportive.
I think it's something that you need to be sensitive about. He worshipped his parents they are dead and all he has of them is these things, rubbish in your eyes but a connection to his parents in his eyes.
It does sound like maybe he hasn't handled the grief well, does he ever talk about it?
Maybe a chat and a compromise things likes books could live on a book shelf but old hoovers maybe it's time for a tip trip, starting off with his just getting rid of 1-2 items and building it up
He needs bereavement counselling. Then order a skip together.
But no, you can't just chuck it. You CAN stop him bringing it into the house though. It's your home too.
I wouldn't want other people's stuff in my house either, especially if it was smelly.
He needs to pick a few small items, preferably ones that can be cleaned, and say goodbye to the rest.
DH does this. We have a broken hoover that he had brought on 3 housemoves.... I flipped on the last one and demanded it go to the tip.... I should really check the garage to see if it just ended up in there .. Furniture that doesn't go in our house, ornaments, clothes from his DF (lives abroad) DB (too lazy to store his own stuff) HUGE framed photos and paintings not to our tastes - easily over 30 that we cart everywhere meaning if I relented and let him put them all up we wouldn't be able to put our own pics up, easily over 300 books......and more besides.
It's hard as his DM passed and his DF now lives in another country, so I can understand it feels like he has lost that whole part of his life. But feeling like a museum is no fun.
If you crack this....let me know!!!
Bereavement counselling as PP said. It's not as easy as just chucking it, there are emotional connotations involved.
Not recently - 8 years.
I should say he has a small issue with hoarding anyway (I now see inherited) he isn't able to make good choices and so will keep everything instead.
Literally if anyone offers him anything he will say yes / regardless of if we need it or want it. I usually have to put my foot down. He thinks he offends people if you say no.
I don't think he is in grief anymore. He actually thinks it would have been better of his mother had died years earlier as she was so miserable anyway
I think because his brothers wouldn't take anything is knee jerk is to go the other way. If they had been willing to sort through this stuff in the first place I wouldn't have ended up with it all.
I actually think he's going to end up with nothing in the end storing it in the shed as well as some of it is in bad condition now.
We did have 3 broken hoovers in the shed at one point, we are down to this one!
This sounds so frustrating for you OP. Your DH is really having a hard time letting go, isn't he? I agree that, while you have to respect the grief he still feels, it shouldn't be taking over your house!
With that in mind, I'd look into repurposing the best of what your DH brought home (I have a lovely handmade fireplace that came from ExH's DGF, for example, that needed some sanding and painting. Hopefully there are a couple of gems hidden away in the piles of stuff!) The smell from the books could possibly be removed if you put them in a zip lock bag with some bicarb.
Would it be possible to give the rest a good airing when the weather improves so it can be donated to charity in your PIL's names? Maybe your DH would find it easier to let the stuff go that way.
Also, would your DH consider grief counselling? There must be a small part of him that recognises that he can't keep everything of theirs indefinitely; it might help him to deal with those feelings and let this holding on to PILs go. Grief is so different and difficult for us all. Hope you both find a way forward that works.
There is a lot of the stuff already in the house - personal things, ornaments.
The stuff in the shed really is shit. A lot of it was stuff they were unwilling to throw out and so now I own it.
The books are mostly my old books I gave to her - I got rid once. I didn't have room or want them.
He has tried to offer stuff to BIL - I think if he would take and throw it out he would be fine with it as the responsibility is taken off him. I know BIL wouldn't have it inside his car/house though because of the smell.
Can you beg BIL to come and take it to the tip???
He needs to talk to a counsellor, it does sound like he is attaching his emotions to 'things' and getting rid of them causes him emotional distress. It doesn't matter that they died 8 years ago if he didn't deal with it properly at the time it doesn't go away. My dad was the same when my grandma died he insisted on keeping most of her furniture and stuff (nearly drove my mum crazy). Stupid thing was that my grandma would have been the first to chuck the stuff herself (she was wartime generation and knew that possessions are just things).
BIL is 5/6 hours away sadly - he thinks DH is stupid for not binning it all.
The 2 hoovers I recently managed to get rid of - one was ours and one was his friends which was broken when he took it off him.
He doesn't make good choices
Oddly he is talking about getting rid of some of the
millions of ornaments and selling them - but not the junk in the shed.
I think he might be overwhelmed by the amount - and really 95%should go (old Chinese menus?)
Would BIL be willing to arrange removal? Wherever he decides to send the stuff to is then his responsibility?
I did realise BIL is hours away, hence the begging...
He's not that helpful and really does think DH is stupid for keeping this stuff. He can't see why it's not just binned / he binned the rest that DH left behind.
He is the opposite reaction to having grown up with hoarders and gets rid of everything instead - minimalist house.... if only DH leaned that way
(I haven't mentioned all of DHs personal junk which also needs binning - apparently it's going in the loft sometime soon....)
I couldn't live with a hoarder it would do my head in.
Are you ever alone with the stuff? I would gradually remove and dispose of all the very obvious rubbish box by box so that the rest might seem more manageable. He probably wouldn't notice but he wouldn't really throw a fit if he couldn't find the old Chinese takeaway menus or your cast off paperbacks would he?
I would just get rid of it all when dh was at work and take the flak later. Obviously keep small sentimental
non smelly knick knacks.
I hesitate to mention this because it is a bit batshit to western ears (ok a lot batshit) BUT... could you get him to read that Marie Kondo book about decluttering, the lifechanging magic of tidying up?
I'm probably going to explain this really culturally insenitively as I don't really understand it, but it's rooted in the idea that things sort of have souls and purposes. And that the way to happily let things go is to thank them for their service and what they brought to you before sending them on to the bin or the charity shop.
I know it sounds mad but I really liked it and am totally non-woo, but I found it really helpful for my slight tendencies to keep things. So with the big pile of books, you'd have him take a moment to say to them "Thank you for helping my mum when she was bored and being there to read, I know you gave her a lot of pleasure" and then you can merrily take them to the charity shop to give pleasure to another person. For me it allowed me to process why I was clinging onto shit and I didn't throw anything out that I regret.
I do throw his stuff out this way (and bits of this stuff) - there's so much it's quite hard to achieve much though.....
I dream of shed accidentally going on fire (but not spreading to main shed as it has the lawn mower etc)
If one brother hated the parents and another didn't care, plus the other things you've described, it sounds as if they weren't nice at all. I wonder if your DH is clinging onto an idea that they were great as he can't face the truth. Hero-worshipping parents isn't normal, even if they are nice. It's more likely to be a sign of refusing to see the reality IME.
I think counselling would be a good idea for him, getting him to go is easier said than done though.
As for you though, you can't reasonably just bin someone else's stuff, but that doesn't mean you have to live with it. I think I'd tell him you can't live like this and his options are to a) get rid of it, b) store it somewhere else at his own personal expense (if that's an option financially), or c) you need to look at living separately. You could still be a couple with him living with his junk and you not.
Does he ever go out to the shed of shit? Could you just chuck it all?
He needs to attend three types of counselling.
One for grief.
One to address the issues with his parents.
One for hoarding tendencies.
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