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Has anyone cured an impossibly messy/untidy dh or dp?

(7 Posts)
roisin Sun 02-Nov-08 09:51:10

I always thought I would teach dh to be organised and tidy, but in fact it's gone the other way, and now I can't be bothered to be tidy because no-one in the house is.

The boys used to be great when they were young and kept things tidy, but now (9 and 11) they say "Why should we, when daddy isn't?"

I spent 4 full days this holiday just blitzing the house. I had a lie-in this morning and when I got up I had to spend 10 mins clearing away the clutter that had been just abandoned everywhere in the lounge.

Dh works from home and has a study which is just a complete bomb-site. It's one of the biggest rooms in the house and I really resent it being used just as a dumping ground.

But because it's a mess he usually works in the lounge instead. So when I come home tired from work, I either flop in the sofa or set to tidying up the mess so that I can keep on top of things.

IAteMakkaPakka Sun 02-Nov-08 09:55:20

He'll need it spelled out. No big words or joined-up writing.

Honestly, men are blind to mess. We see a bomb-site, they just see a TV and a PC and a fridge, floating above a sea of insignificant detritus.

If you can get him to agree that he's causing a problem, set him tasks, clearly defined, so he can check them off and keep you happy. Things like: "Monday, file paperwork", or "breakfast, clear table, wipe surfaces, wash dishes". Like you're instructing a 5 year old.

Oh, and lower your standards. No matter what happens, he will never tidy to your standards. They just don't.

Anna8888 Sun 02-Nov-08 09:55:44

"Dh works from home and has a study which is just a complete bomb-site. It's one of the biggest rooms in the house and I really resent it being used just as a dumping ground.

But because it's a mess he usually works in the lounge instead."

This is totally unreasonable shock. I think you need to sit down and explain to him that you can accept his mess in his own space but he cannot just invade everyone's else's space because his own mess bothers him.

You might need some couple therapy to get the message through.

LadyLaGore Sun 02-Nov-08 09:59:52

nope
i am the impossibly untidy dp
lord is much more domesticated than me
i suppose i am lots better than when we met, so hes rubbing off on me a bit, but nah, not really. now the mess bothers me, but i still cant bring myself to tidy it blushgrin

mrsmaidamess Sun 02-Nov-08 10:00:35

You don't need couple therapy, just a couple of large black bin bags. Same with the boys...have zero tolerance. If its on the floor or spread around the place it gets chucked.

AttillaTheHan Sun 02-Nov-08 10:02:53

Is there any aspect of his life that he is super tidy or fastidious about? If so maybe you could use this as an example about how much the mess affects you, by asking him how he would feel if you messed that up?

I've also found that positive reinforcement (praising wanted behaviour) as you do with a toddler works with my dh. I know it sounds patronising but it bloody works.

roisin Sun 02-Nov-08 13:42:10

Thank you for your comments. I will continue mulling this over.

The thing is deep down I am just not convinced that he would ever change, and all I would do by seriously tackling the issue head-on is some serious stress all round. (We are very happily married and have been for some 16 years btw.)

In many ways he is more 'chilled' about life in general, and that has rubbed off on me and been a positive influence.

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