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Romantic dream has turned into seething resentment about the cleaning

(68 Posts)
writergirl74 Mon 11-Jul-16 00:14:52

Hi. My first post... bear with me. To cut a long story short... Met a guy on holiday, he lived in Oz, I lived in London. I went to Oz for three months, fell madly in love, we decided I'd move there: the big love story I'd been waiting for (I am 42, he's 50). We get on great, have loads in common etc.

I've always liked Australia and was well up for it. I work remotely and can do it from Oz. BF is lovely, deffo the love of my life, all my friends liked him, said we're well matched etc etc.

I went home for a couple of months - I have a flat in London so I cleared it out, cleaned, tidied, and rented a room to a lodger . BF visited for a few weeks and saw my nice, clean, organised home.

But he lives completely differently... like a student. He shares a potentially great flat with another guy but they're slobs - food left out, cupboards left open, random objects dumped wherever they choose, rarely clean anything, washing never put away etc.

I have tried everything - tried to live with it, got really upset, sulked. I ask him to do X,Y, Z and he agrees, apologises, but it never happens. So I nag and hate myself.

We discussed moving without the flatmate but decided to stay put as the flat is nice, big, great location, pool etc.

I am resentful he didn't clean/declutter (as discussed) while I was back in London sorting my flat out (a lot of hard work, zero fun). A lot of the dirt/issues pre-date me so I am reluctant to do it... I didn't move here to be a f*cking cleaner.

I have considered moving out but we need to live together for visa purposes and I love him and want to be with him.

Obviously it's affecting our relationship as I am pissed off/resentful all the time . We go on nice nights/days out but returning to the mess just makes me grumpy.

I was prepared for missing my friends, family, London etc not here... but not for not feeling at home in the flat. It's making me miserable and affecting my motivation for finding new friends, doing stuff here etc. I really want it to work though - I love BF and Australia.

So.... help!

Babymamamama Mon 11-Jul-16 00:20:02

I'd be wondering is he willing to compromise and meet in the middle? Could you all do a one off deep cleanse and then agree to get a cleaner. I'm a little younger than you and no way would I consider sharing with a flat mate either. Ask him how much he's prepared to budge and shift his habits?

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Mon 11-Jul-16 00:27:54

Employ a cleaner. They pay for it.

Have you made him aware that living with a slob absolutely destroys the libido? I couldn't have any respect for someone who chooses to live like a teenager in need of a Mum

writergirl74 Mon 11-Jul-16 00:33:42

He says he'll try harder - he did clean up the kitchen. Previously they would leave bags of supermarket shopping on the worktops and I convinced him to put the food in the actual cupboards. Flatmate would also leave rubbish in carrier bags on the worktop....I have introduced them to the bin (I bought a new bin).

Basically nothing is cleared up as they go along which creates more work.

BF also cleaned the balcony after I complained there was loads of random objects that had been there for six months or more.

I have also taught him to use the laundry basket - previously pants on floor etc. I had to hide the lid to get items in, not on , the basket.

It's all just such hard work. I work at home so I am basically surrounded by the mess. Little things annoy me - why does the sore gum gel never move from the coffee table ,surely there's a medicine drawer?

I will try suggesting we clean, de-clutter together at the weekend rather than make other plans.

Worried I sound like a high maintenance nagging cow?

When we visit his friends I am resentful we don't have "adult" homes like they do... and I used to.

writergirl74 Mon 11-Jul-16 00:37:02

I've thought of hiring a cleaner but a lot of it is the clutter. And I'd need to hire a cleaner who could follow them both around 24/7 and pick things up....

I am pretty sure he's noticed the effect on my libido!

He is one of 10 siblings so I would imagine their house was never tidy growing up. Mine was... and then I have lived on my own for 16 years.

LyndaNotLinda Mon 11-Jul-16 00:41:31

And you didn't worry that a 50 year old man was living with his mate?

Hmm ... honestly, I think you have zero chance of changing him. I went out with a guy like this once. He had a really high-profile job, very well paid but his house was so disgusting that I didn't want to take my shoes off in the house. I ditched him.

I think once someone gets to proper adulthood (and let's face it, 50 is middle aged) and they're living like a slob, they're a slob and you're never going to change them.

Sorry sad

Zucker Mon 11-Jul-16 00:41:39

Sounds like the honeymoon period is over. At 50 he shouldn't have to be told this shit ffs. It won't get better though no matter how much you rant and rave at him.. You need to decide if it's a deal breaker or not!

writergirl74 Mon 11-Jul-16 00:48:20

Sydney is crazy expensive.. the only way to live in a nice flat in a nice area is to share with someone else unless you're mega loaded.

I don't want to give up on it - he says he'll try, does small tasks but there's basically a load of stuff I want to change about our living situation and doing things one by one is frustrating.

Canyouforgiveher Mon 11-Jul-16 00:54:46

He is 50. He really won't change except in tiny ways.

the only way to live in a nice flat in a nice area is to share with someone else unless you're mega loaded. This might be true for young people in their 20s even 30s but in your 50s? If you are 50 in Sydney, do you really have to have a roommate? Most 50 year olds I know don't have a room mate, they have their own small flat or house or they are living more on the edge than I would want to at age 50. So either he is at a 28 year old stage of life at age 50 or he likes having a room mate and living like a slob at age 50. I think he likes his life the way it is.

Honestly I think this man may be lovely but you won't ever be able to live with him compatibly.

Somerville Mon 11-Jul-16 01:00:06

If you really want to make it work then give notice at this place and try starting again in a new place with a new flatmate. A tidy one.

Humans are such creatures of habit that I think you'll find it almost impossible to get your dp to tidy up after himself when he's used to being a slob and his current flat mate will carry on being one.

LyndaNotLinda Mon 11-Jul-16 01:04:13

Sydney is not crazy expensive compared to London. Honestly.

But that's by the by. You must have seen how he lived when you were visiting for 3 months. Did you really think he was going to change? Really?!

annandale Mon 11-Jul-16 01:14:06

Can you/he afford to go without the flatmate?

I would get rid of them, and then move into their room so you have an organised space of your own.

Then do a campaign of joint evening cleaning and decluttering, with weekends left free to do fun stuff. Show him a better way to live.

You might find that without the flatmate, he picks up some habits from you, and you also find having son ongoing mess ok.

JackieAndHyde4eva Mon 11-Jul-16 01:23:57

And none of this was apparent to you before you decided to uproot your life and move to australia to live with him?

Allalonenow Mon 11-Jul-16 01:49:48

At 50 he isn't going to change now, he might improve slightly for a short while, after you have had The Talk, but he will very soon go back to his old ways.
Add to that the fact that you have lived alone for 16 years so will also be set in your own ways.....
Also a bad sign that he didn't clean up the flat while you were in the UK, shows he's really not bothered.

Did you talk to him about any of this during your first visit there? What was said/agreed?

You could find that you have taken on two "children" with you as the adult in control, and you are already sounding as though you have accepted that role, you taught them to use a laundry basket! grin

You say that sharing is the only way to get a nice flat in Sydney, but you haven't got a nice flat, you've got a flat you hate, and a lodger, so the worst of both worlds.

You need to do some serious thinking, did you keep your property back in UK? Please say you did! smile

writergirl74 Mon 11-Jul-16 01:52:12

Well I changed the continent I lived on so, yeah, I did think he would make some changes too. Or is everyone else in a relationship where neither party comprised on anything and everything just gelled brilliantly on day one?

We could move and ditch the flatmates, yes, and BF is willing to do that and therefore change. The question is, should it come to that? Surely it's easier for him to tidy the bedroom/clean the oven than move house? When he did the kitchen he told the flatmate that it had to be kept tidy from now on - or we would be moving out. Small changes have been made but I feel like I am continuously nagging to get the rest done.

JackieAndHyde4eva Mon 11-Jul-16 01:59:00

Well I changed the continent I lived on so, yeah, I did think he would make some changes too.

You thought? Or discussed and agreed with him what those changes would be before agreeing to move? Did you honestly think that someone of 50 years old who lives like this will change who they are (and yes this is who he is)?

writergirl74 Mon 11-Jul-16 02:30:26

Yes, I asked him to do certain things and I am pissed off he has done some, not all, of them. I honestly think he doesn't see the dirt/untidiness rather than wilfully ignoring it.

I still have my flat in London but, other than the cleaning/clutter, our relationship is good and I am not going to throw in the towel and go home (I have been here just under a month).

JackieAndHyde4eva Mon 11-Jul-16 02:41:40

Well you agreed two things
1) you would move to OZ
2) he would do 'certain things'

You moved to OZ and one month later he has yet to do his part of the deal.

Its up to you what message you take from that and what message it sends to him that you have stayed this long despite it not being done.

Set your boundaries, but dont be surprised if the arent respected when you dont enforce them.

I honestly think he doesnt see the dirt/untidiness

If you honestly think that then you are accepting that he never will and this will be how it is.

BengalCatMum Mon 11-Jul-16 03:15:03

I had to hide the lid to get items in, not on , the basket.
Hahah, ditto OP, hmm men

I think they feel the basket is 'final'; once it goes in it must be washed.
Floor and 'top' of basket is intermediate and can be 'reworn' depending on how lazy they are being.

But I am 25 so I feel I have a lot more time to work on DP than you; and as we are both learning adulthood together, we kind of both have to parent each other a bit regarding different things so its more equal.

Your DP on other hand is 50; so probably less leigh way to nag and parent each other. So I would suggest you need a cleaner quick sharp.

And Sydney or not, you have to get rid of that flatmate. If they both managed (price wise) as a pair before, I don't see why you two wouldn't manage as a pair now.

Best of Luck

violetbunny Mon 11-Jul-16 05:07:55

I can empathise with this situation...

I moved countries to be with my partner, and also discovered he had very different ideas about cleanliness.

It got a lot better once he got rid of his lodger and it was just the two of us - much harder to blame the mess on someone else! We also employed a cleaner. I've also made it very clear that doing his share of the things the cleaner doesn't deal with (e.g laundry, emptying dishwasher) are non negotiable. I do sometimes have to remind him of what needs doing, but to be fair he has gotten much better over time, and takes a lot more initiative now than he did at the beginning (4 years ago).

ohjessie Mon 11-Jul-16 05:25:45

Watching with interest OP, similar situation myself. Wish I had advice for you!

DustOffYourHighestHopes Mon 11-Jul-16 06:32:51

Firstly, get a cleaner. Get the cleaner to come 3-4 hours a week, and make sure he or she does tidying and laundry as well as cleaning. Good cleaners are quick, efficient, thorough and use common sense when tidying.
Secondly, don't remind him constantly of your great sacrifice. I'd feel too like I'd made all the changes, but honestly it's not a great foundation to a relationship if one person 'owes' the other.

DustOffYourHighestHopes Mon 11-Jul-16 06:33:59

In my situation I insisted my then boyfriend pay for the cleaner.

I'm not saying a cleaner will make everything alright, but it WILL make a difference.

writergirl74 Mon 11-Jul-16 08:11:41

Violetbunny - you have given me hope! The flatmate situation makes it feel like I've moved into a lad pad rather than set up home with someone. However the flatmate knows that unless it stays tidy from now on we will be moving out and I doubt he wants that.

I think BF was quite shocked when I got really upset and did offer to move house minus the flatmate - but it seems like a big thing to do when all he really needs to do is tidy up/de-clutter.

As for moving, I am not currently paying any rent, just the energy bill - BF says it costs him nothing extra for me to be here so he doesn't want any money off me. Moving is affordable but I am still paying for my flat at home (although the lodger's rent covers most outgoings - ) so would be a stretch as I would insist on paying more but I am not earning mega bucks and earning ££ and spending $$ is not ideal at the moment (thanks Brexit).

PsychedelicSheep Mon 11-Jul-16 09:47:58

If you have rental income from a London property and you work full time would it be an option for you to move out and rent a place nearby alone? It sounds quite soon to be living together anyway but that's probably just my own commitment phobia talking!

I can see why you would feel put out that you've moved to the other side of the world for him and he can't even clean up after himself! It does smack of a lack of respect imo.

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