Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Messy DH driving me insane!!!(17 Posts)
Just looking for advice and a place to vent really...DH is very untidy and it is driving me mad. I'm a very tidy person and DH adopts a far more relaxed attitude around the house which includes hanging clothes on doors, stuffing clothes into drawers rather than folding them away, taking a whole day to wash dishes when it's his turn, leaving crumbs on surfaces and not wiping up spillages in the kitchen, leaving toothpaste out on the side, not clearing up hairs properly after shaving etc etc and generally not doing very much without being promoted (or nagged) by me. I feel like every day I am fighting a loosing battle to keep the place clean and tidy and it's driving me mad! We have had numerous conversations about the above but very little changes. He assures me he can change and will improve or claims he does intend to tidy but likes to do things in his own time rather than when I demand he does them. Really though he does not see that he is messy and thinks his behaviour is normal and I am the nagging control freak! Other than this issue our relationship is brilliant, we get on very well (when I'm not shouting at him about the mess!!!), he makes me laugh and he's without a doubt my best friend. He commutes in the week and works full time but does do all our cooking both at the weekend and during the week. He will hoover when asked and 'tidy up' when promoted however even that is not done correctly. When he washes dishes they are still greasy, if hanging washing up it's scrunched onto the washing line, he does not hoover thoroughly etc etc, which leads to me redoing it all over again!! We would have a perfect relationship without this hugely frustrating issue and it is really dragging me down. I'm tired of nagging!! Anyone else experience the same? Does it ever improve?
Yes my husband is similar and I relate to you. BUT "he makes me laugh and he's without a doubt my best friend". Please concentrate on this. There are worse crimes. It sounds like he's trying. It sounds like you're a good match apart from this issue so don't make it bigger than it is. 😉
I think know it is a case of tolerance on both sides.Could you get a cleaner?
I lived with 2 partners and both had equal standards of tidiness as myself but stbxh was abusive and I would definitely choose a good relationship over that.
I do know about the washing up! My lovely dd went to Uni able to wash up but her standards dropped so much that when she came home I had to rewash her dishes.Thankfully we have dishwashers!
I live with a human woolly mammoth, the hair drives me NUTS, But I do love him, so i live with the general multing it's like having a fourth pet he is a wonderful man we just had very different standards when we first lived together.
He does care very much that I dont feel taken advantage of, I also don't want him to feel on egg shells or that I'm going behind him to re-do, he hated that. And nobody loves nagging let's be honest.
We talked and agreed he simply doesn't see what I see, but loves living in a tidy home.
This sounds so bonkers, but he asked me to write down what I would do when we first lived together, he was shocked at how much I did, I was shocked at how much didn't matter and together we agreed to compromise.
we work very much together on keeping things organised and tidy together now, he did keep my lists on his phone. For example I like everything to be tidy before going to bed so we wake up to a tidy house in the morning, it helps keeping on top of things IMO and it means we get more time together as a family rather than one person running around.
He sound passive aggressive to me. If there was any will on his part to compromise, he'd do at least the basics, ie not leave clothes lying around or wipe a spillage. However, you do sound pretty controlling and critical as you want every chore done your way.
You sound really obsessive. I don't think he could ever do right in your eyes, I think that's the point.
It doesn't sound great from either side. I don't think I would like Anthea Turner following me around telling me what I have been doing wrong all the time.
I think the more you get mad I'm afraid the LESS effort will he made over time, because people just stop giving a fuck and go through the motions.
It's possible you need to take a deep breath and bite your tongue if he is not doing any of this maliciously - doesn't Sound like he's being a tosser on purpose, you sound slightly OTT - any middle ground? Is it your way or no way?
I get you, OP. This could be my actual bloke! No malice or passive aggressive intended, he's just messy. Greasy dishes, scrunched clothes, leaving crumbs. Doesn't matter how many times I mention it...
He makes nice dinners, is warm & cuddly, makes me laugh. So, that's the pay off. If it was just me the house would be perfect (not all the time!) but I like him being here too much
Sugar, that's lovely. I have a similar DP - he has improved a lot since I met him and a few weeks ago even put on his first ever wash in the machine at the grand old age of 38. He has always had people enabling him and has never had to do this stuff for himself. Reading your post Sugar, has really helped to put it in perspective!
Hi, OP. You could be describing my partner. He's my best friend and lovely but so messy.
I tried all sorts -writing out a chart, nagging, just leaving things to get filthy in the hope that it would bother him (it didn't), giving him one room that was his responsibility to keep clean without me ever having to ask.
Like your partner, when he does do things he doesn't do them properly. I refuse to redo them though -I just point out that something is still dirty or messy and ask him to sort it out properly please.
I think a big part of the problem is I don't like who I become when he doesn't pull his weight: the stereotypical, nagging, resentful woman. I don't want to have to ask him to open his post and then bin it/file it, not leave it for weeks piling up on the doormat. I don't see why I should have to point out that he's tramped mud in on the bottom of his wellies all along the hall and could he please, at some point in the next few days, get the dustbin or hoover and clear it up! I don't want to have to point out that he's left about 10 cups and glasses on my book shelf and could he put them in the dishwasher. I don't see why I have to point out that as he's cooked (whoo! Well done, you, serving up one gourmet meal once every two months whilst I do the boring, everyday cooking thay doesn't require a shopping trip to some specialist food shop) he's left crumbs all over the top and spilt sauce and massive wedges of onion and broccoli all over the top of the cooker and left all the dregs in the sink, and could he at some point sort it please.
Grrrr! I'm not sure what the solution is. Mine has started to improve somewhat (probably because I was getting so angry about turning into my mother, having to run round clearing up a man's mess) but there are still moments when he's left things as if thinking that the fairies will deal with it.
Personally, I'd try explaining how it makes you feel. I think my guy just saw it as a bit of mess that he would sort out eventually. I think he didn't realise that it made me feel annoyed and disrespected and resentful and like I was going to be like every other woman before me -a domestic slave only with a fulltime job as well.
Sorry, this post has become epic.
Usermuser, you've hit the nail on the head. My guy says to me - stop telling me what to do! Well, I wouldn't have to if... He's quite independent in many ways, so I hate having to 'nag' him.
Also, the dinner thing! I hear ya. Specialist shops. Yup! And lots of ingredients where he only uses a snippet & lets the (bloody expensive) rest to rot in the fridge. State of the kitchen afterwards...
Same here, that he has his own room that I don't touch. Works for us, that's his bear pit. I often think that having a man first is preparation for the onslaught of kids. But you can excuse them!
My dp is terrible with paperwork and post. The coffee table is covered with it. I just heap it into a pile once a week and tell him where it is. Then tell him to be more organised when he's moaning that he can't find something.
He is great with everything else, clothes, washing, cooking but yes to the leaving crumbs on the worktop.
Reassuring to hear your comments, thank you.
This morning I've been reminding myself of all the good things. He's very kind and generous and will do anything for me, always putting me first. He's a great cook (even though it's normally me cleaning the mess), always plans our meals in advance and my lunches for the week to take to work, he often goes on errands for me during his lunch break to get things I need resulting in traipsing around department stores for longer than he anticipated, he makes me laugh more than anyone else I know, he's forever positive whereas I can be quite negative so he lifts my mood an awful lot and he's also very supportive with my career (last year he spent 2 hours a night for 2 months helping me prepare for a big exam)
I do love him I think compromise is key to my sanity! We just need to find it
Would he be worth explaining to him that clearing up after him makes you feel like his mother and it's not much of a turn on...
TheShoeLady, my BIL was like that enablers. His mum did everything, then his flatmates looked after him, until he married my sister. He's much better now!
I don't think you are asking too much - things like messy work surfaces, scrunched clothes, toothpaste etc - it all reminds me of my kids. It is childish and weird that he can be so inept when it sounds like he is really lovely in other ways.
I like Random's idea of telling him that it makes you feel like his mother which is not a turn on.
Apart from that I can't see what you can do it you have talked about it. But I do think it sounds horrible to live with day in day out. The laziness and childishness doesn't seem to add up with his other traits .
Why is your way 'right' and his wrong? You sound very much like you believe anything that doesn't meet your self chosen standards is WRONG. Based on what? It's arbitrary.
We found compromise by playing to our strengths. It sounds like your DP is lovely and does a lot for you - is that reciprocal? Do you go out in your lunchtime to get his stuff? Do you run his errands? Do you give him two hours of support every night?
If the answer to that is yes, then by all means split the cleaning and tidying equally - but if he's doing more for you, then a little more house stuff on your part just balances it out doesn't it?
In our house the person who doesn't cook clears up - surely that's only fair, so I'm not seeing your issue with that. Likewise the person who doesn't do bedtime tidies up downstairs.
DH is better at ironing than me, so I don't do any - he does it. I'm tidier and like things in their 'place' so I tidy. He does most of the laundry - I do most of the child pick up and drop offs.
What I'm getting at is rather than just looking at the cleaning and tidying look at the whole life running thing as a whole. If he still isn't doing his share, fair enough, find a way to balance it out more. If he is then perhaps you just have different strengths so use that to your advantage.
You can't force him to do things your way - you need to work together to come up with 'our way'.
Join the discussion
Please login first.