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Can you leave someone because they're messy?

(66 Posts)
WoIsMe Mon 02-May-16 11:39:48

I've been with my DH for 20 years and if anything he seems to be getting worse rather than better. After cooking the kitchen is left a bombsite, even after he has cleared up. Any room I tidy up is usually trashed again within the next day or two. He's incapable of putting anything away or closing cupboard doors. When he does DIY then all the tools will be abandoned in the room where he's done the work. So he'll paint a DC's bedroom then leave the paint, brush, roller and tray in there. Eventually they have to be thrown away because they haven't been cleaned and the paint has dried on. When he empties the bin he doesn't put a new binbag in. When he changes the bedsheets he often leaves one or two pillow cases lying on the floor so then we have to have no pillow cases on the bed until they can be washed with the next load. When he washes up I have to wash most of the dishes again because they still have food stuck to them.

I could go on and on. He expects me to be so grateful because he reckons lots of other men don't do housework. But I'm fed up of everything being done badly, I'd almost rather he didn't do anything. He is completely hopeless at housework. I feel that I still love him and want to be with him. But I also feel like this isn't my house and all the clutter and dirt is invading my brain. I would like to be able to walk across a room instead of picking my way through abandoned toys, shoes, crisp packets etc. I remember on one occasion I had to pack my kids' lunches on the kitchen floor because it was cleaner than the worktops.

It's becoming more obvious now because he travels a lot for work. The weeks when he's away I have a nice house. I can come downstairs in the morning and make my breakfast. As soon as he gets back from a trip he starts scattering his belongings all over the place. He's been back for three days and his suitcase is still in the living room. This morning I had to do so much clearing up before I could make my breakfast as every surface in the kitchen was spattered with grease and covered with cooking equipment.

I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I can't have friends round because it's too dirty and messy. And it isn't safe for my DCs either when there are tools lying around. He left his soldering iron plugged in all night on the kitchen table one time. I shudder to think what would have happened if one of the kids had got there before me.

I've just had enough.

Startingover2016 Mon 02-May-16 11:45:35

That sounds extreme and I couldn't live like that. A suitcase in the living room for three days? Crisp packets on the floor? Thats disgusting. My ds leaves cupboard doors open and that alone cracks me up.

You have obviously discussed it. If he is not going to change you either spend the rest of your life tidying up behind him or you live separately.

Kerberos Mon 02-May-16 11:50:13

You can leave someone for any reason.

Trills Mon 02-May-16 11:51:12

The only reason you need to leave someone is believing that your life would be better without them in it.

Trills Mon 02-May-16 11:52:56

He expects me to be so grateful because he reckons lots of other men don't do housework.

He can also fuck off with this.

Misselthwaite Mon 02-May-16 11:55:52

It would be a good enough reason for me. I like my house very tidy DH not so bothered but he wouldn't dream of leaving the mess you describe because he knows it would be a deal breaker for me.

ImperialBlether Mon 02-May-16 11:56:09

Now he's away some of the time, you're seeing what your life could be without him - I don't blame you for thinking it would be better. He's not just messy - if you're having to pack lunches on the floor because the counters are filthy, there's a real problem there. God knows what he'd be like if he lived alone but I can understand why you'd want to go down that road.

Couchpotato3 Mon 02-May-16 11:56:27

Before and after photos of the mess to show him what you mean about crucial bits of the house?

Seeyounearertime Mon 02-May-16 11:58:29

He expects me to be so grateful because he reckons lots of other men don't do housework.

Wow I'm really doing things wrong then, I do all the housework in this house.

But I would echo other people, you can leave someone for any reason you like, if you'll be happier without then why would you not?

TheNotoriousPMT Mon 02-May-16 12:03:15

Yes you can. Do have a read of this:

LittleMissUpset Mon 02-May-16 12:04:06

It's not just that he's messy, it's that he obviously has a lack of respect for you and your feelings!

Heirhelp Mon 02-May-16 12:25:14

There was an OP a little while ago with a similar problem. A poster advised her to sit down with DP and explain the problem and to explain that every time they left things for you to deal with it was the equivalent of saying 'fuck you OP, I am more important and you should deal with it'. I thought it was a good way of explaining the impact.

Seeyounearertime Mon 02-May-16 13:04:16

I've heard that before and I bet it probably would work.

OP suggest to your OH that he actually voices it, every time he leaves something for you to clean up, every time he makes a mess etc, suggest he actually says out loud,
"Fuck You Wolsme, you fucking clean it up because you're nothing compared to me" (or word to that effect)
It may drive home how often he does it.

theredjellybean Mon 02-May-16 13:09:45

my exdh was the same, and i tired over and over again to explain that by him 'not bothering ' it was him saying i was not important enough to him for him to put himself out a bit and keep the house tidy. he always responded that he ' didnt need things as tidy as i did, and he would get round to it, but yes to him sitting reading papers at the weekend was more important than tidying up'

he just could not see that it made me feel crap. or if he did he still didnt think it was that important. it was his house too and he didnt get upset by the mess...

it was not what i divorced him over btw but certainly led to me falling out of love with him.

theredjellybean Mon 02-May-16 13:11:21

and interestingly my now dp has ex wife and 2 kids who were also very messy, nothing ever properly sorted/tidied up etc and he found it frustrating and demoralising.

we now live together in a very tidy house smile

ppeatfruit Mon 02-May-16 13:12:47

Is he kind in other ways? Does he look after the dcs nicely and when you need him to?

IMO messy people don't do it to deliberately to upset their family (or whoever) They actually don't see it.

ppeatfruit Mon 02-May-16 13:13:19

They inhabit a different universe grin

Thisisthelastime45sc Mon 02-May-16 13:16:06

It's usually incompatible personalities. I have to admit I try to be tidy but I am naturally messy and leave a trail of disaster behind me! I do try though, that's the point. He sounds like some of it is just laziness and lack or respect.

SeraOfeliaFalfurrias Mon 02-May-16 13:19:43

You can leave someone for whatever reason you like. No-one is ever obligated to stay with someone when they don't want to.

If you feel that your DH makes your life harder/worse for being in it, and refuses to acknowledge or fix the problem, why would you stay? It's absolutely a matter of respect. He doesn't respect you enough to keep the house clean or safe for you and your children. A relationship with no respect is one that generally won't end well.

VagueIdeas Mon 02-May-16 13:22:12

He's not just messy though, is he?

He's lazy and he has no respect for you, so he expects you to pick up after him.

I don't blame you for feeling done with it all.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Mon 02-May-16 13:23:44

You don't need to justify to anyone why you want to end a relationship. "This isn't working for me anymore" is enough of a reason.

You're his slave and he doesn't give a fuck how you feel about it. And I would deny that he's doing these things because he just doesn't see it or see the need to tidy up after himself. He does see but he doesn't care about the effect it has on you.

All the stuff he's left lying around needs to go in a bin-bag and left outside. He'll soon want to know where his shoes have got to and once he does let's hope they've been rained on.

Eglantyne Mon 02-May-16 13:24:00

I once took a photo of the tip on DH's side of the bed - months and months of layers of clothes, tools, mouldy cups of tea, laptop with broken screen because he'd left it in the layers and trodden on it, lost bits of paperwork etc etc, and inserted it into his work PowerPoint presentation... This was revenge after he'd failed to load the dish washer yet again and instead piled all the washing up onto the hob, pressing down the gas knob for 6 hours and filling our house with gas on the day our next door neighbours (mid terrace) were having work done with a blow torch in their kitchen. He could have blown the street up with his laziness. He's not quite as bad now.

juneau Mon 02-May-16 13:26:35

If your life with someone is miserable and intolerable then yes, of course you can leave, whatever the reason.

Poppledopple Mon 02-May-16 17:29:45

Often it is not just messy - there is a deliberate passive aggressive action AKA "Studied incompetence" .... so when anything is done it is done so badly that it creates so much more work for you that you never ask them again. It is entitled, sexist, disrespectful behaviour. You can see the resentment and contempt seeping from their pores as they crash, bang, wallop the dishwasher so that you can hear it when you are upstairs and anything hand washed is so filthy it has to be done again. The comment about other men not doing as much tells you all you need to know. You are not a team, he does not think that he needs to do half and he is actually actively sabotaging your efforts to keep the house tidy. There is not to much to it - I bet your young DC can keep to the rules - why can he? Because he does not respect you and he actively resents your way of doing things and is contemptuous.

WoIsMe Mon 02-May-16 17:36:58

He isn't lazy; he spends a lot of time doing housework, he's just crap at it. I took this photo yesterday after he cleaned the worktop. If I hadn't watched him spray kitchen cleaner on it and wipe it down I never would have thought it had been cleaned. As well as the spice containers there are pieces of onion skin, little white bits that I think are breadcrumbs and a dried on sticky patch of something. And yet in his head he has cleaned the worktop.

I honestly think he doesn't see it. He's considerate in other ways. He'll make my favourite foods for me, look after the kids so I can have a bath, clean my car for me. He's just a horribly messy person. The DCs are getting old enough to notice now too. My DS1 doesn't see why he should pick up the clothes from his bedroom floor when his dad leaves clothes all over the floor too.

We have discussed it but if DH doesn't see what's wrong then how can he stop doing it? I'm not expecting him to have the same standards as me, and I'm happy to take on the lion's share of the housework since I work part-time whereas he works full-time. But at the same time I feel like I can't keep up with tidying up after him. Whereas when he's away it's just me and the four DCs then it's all a lot easier to manage. Yes they make mess but it's all toys and clothes strewn around. Whereas with DH I'm end in the utility room to fold clean clothes and I can't because DH has prepared food in there and the worktop is covered in bits of food, kitchen utensils, etc. So every job becomes magnified by the cleaning up that's required first.

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