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How can I tell DP I am offended by his poor personal hygeine without hurting his feelings?

(89 Posts)
iwouldgoouttonight Thu 13-Aug-09 09:41:46

I feel awful writing this but I really want to let him know how I feel, but I know if he told me something he didn't like about me I'd probably be upset.

We both cycle to work - I shower and change my clothes when I get there and shower and change again when I get home. He wears the same clothes that he cycled in all day and doesn't even have a quick wash. By the evening the smell is quite offensive! He was holding DD and when he put her down and left the room I could still smell his BO on her!

I don't seem to be able to get the smell out of the armpits of some of his shirts, despite washing twice at 60 degrees, so even when he puts them on in the morning he smells straightaway.

I have tried to gently suggest he deserves a treat because he works hard, and why doesn't he treat himself to some new clothes, but he just said he's not bothered about clothes. The other day I said why don't I get the kids ready for bed while you have a shower, but he just said oh no, I'll have one later, and then forgot all about it!

I think he's either not getting the hint or he's just not bothered about it. I dread to think what his work colleagues must think having to sit next to him all day. Its really putting my off having sex with him and I want him to know that I still really fancy him, etc but would just love him to smell clean. He's quite sensitive so if I just blurt it out I think he'll be quite upset.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 13-Aug-09 09:43:29

just tell him

he will be more upset if someone at work tells him

and throw away the stinky shirts

TitsalinaBumsquash Thu 13-Aug-09 09:49:28

Hmmm could you two have a "romanticc" shower/bath after the kids are in bed? that way you would at least know he was clean for sex.
I think if its that bad you have to approach him gently, does he wear deoderant and things to help? Maybe you couod buy him some new clothes as a treat?

Really tricky one.

Uriel Thu 13-Aug-09 09:53:21

Tell him a story about a 'colleague' who has just started running to work, but doesn't shower after and is really stinky...
Do you think he'd get the hint?

branflake81 Thu 13-Aug-09 09:54:18

Just tell him.

if the tables were turned, I would far rather DP told me I stink than have everyone at the office laughing at me behind my back.

You don't have to go in all guns blazing, but just mention he is getting a bit pongy and needs to address it.

rasputin Thu 13-Aug-09 09:55:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HecatesTwopenceworth Thu 13-Aug-09 09:56:41

You can't. Yes, his feelings would be hurt. But I'm afraid that's just tough. He'll have to get over it.

He needs to know he smells. If you have noticed it, others have too. Can you imagine what they say? How they laugh at him? You owe it to him.

Tell him that you love him and you don't want him to be ridiculed.

You can't always protect someone's feelings, sadly. Sometimes you need to give it to them straight!

EyeballsintheSky Thu 13-Aug-09 09:58:11

Could you say it jokingly IYSWIM? I would feel bad about telling DH that he smelled but it would be easy to say 'when was the last time you had a shower you stinky bugger? Get thee to the bathroom immediately!' which is actually not as polite but he wouldn't be offended.

Hassled Thu 13-Aug-09 10:01:29

Buy some deoderant, sit him down and tell him the truth. Much better he hears it from you than overhears some office bitching. And it has to be said - you can't just leave it.

poopscoop Thu 13-Aug-09 10:03:45

just say 'you fucking stink you dirty bastard'.

He should know he cannot smell fresh after cycling to work, wear the same clothes and cycle back again.

He is an adult and should know about personal hygeine.

Sorry, but you said you have hinted, now is the time to be blunt.

I think you will find it resolves itself immediately.

2rebecca Thu 13-Aug-09 10:10:46

If my husband is a bit smelly I just tell him. I have sent him off to shower before he comes to bed (but only once). Generally he's clean and smells nice and showers frequently as is sporty, but if he's not cycling or running he can forget to shower. Liking someone's smell is part of fancying them . I would just tell him (not whilst kids around) that he needs stronger deoderant as he's becoming smelly. I throw out my husband's shirts when they become stained under the arms, he'd never throw anything out.
Husband and I are both quite blunt with each other so no-one has the option of being "sensitive". It's better you tell him than resent him for being smelly and end up with passive aggressive responses to him. If one partner views the other as a sensitive flower who mustn't be upset it's usually a recipe for disaster and lingering resentment.

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Thu 13-Aug-09 10:17:51

One way or another I think you will have to tell him - either straight out or like Eyeballs suggested. Things like taking him off for a romantic bath might work once, but you can't do that every day till he gets the hint!

Also if you can persuade him to wear a different top (or ideally full change of clothes) for the cycling and then change when he gets into work, that would make a huge difference and help with the nasty shirts too. Maybe buy him some snazzy lycra as a surprise?

Washersaurus Thu 13-Aug-09 10:22:20

I wouldn't think twice about telling DH if he was stinky from cycling or running, and he doesn't ever take it as an insult. Just tell him, he probably just doesn't realise how bed it is...

"Oo what is that awful smell darling?" <checks bins, cat food bowl, litter tray, nappies etc> "Oh honey I do believe it is you; did you have a shower after you cycled to work/back? No? Then I insist you go immediately!" grin

Washersaurus Thu 13-Aug-09 10:22:51

*bad, not bed (which is where I would like to be)

skihorse Thu 13-Aug-09 11:30:00

Just tell him - honestly, he's a big boy now.

OH and I cycle a lot - he does ~20 miles a day.

"OI MINGER - YOU STINK - HAVE A SHOWER!" never fails to get the message across.

My god, if you can't even tell him to take a shower how do you discuss the "big" things in life?

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Thu 13-Aug-09 11:31:51

Oh yes and I did tell DH his shoes stank last night grin

sherby Thu 13-Aug-09 11:37:21

If DH smells after a work out etc I usually say, god DH you are BOing a bit lol

its not offensive we would all smell if we didn't shower, he is just being lazy!

Pawsandclaws Thu 13-Aug-09 11:39:20

If he's quite sensitive he will pick up on colleagues wrinkling their noses or worse at him, sooner or later. Then he'll be known as "stinky Jim" or whatever even after he's changed his habits.

Nip it in the bud TONIGHT. Say "You know I love you, but I have to tell you that you don't smell too sweet after all the cycling. You really need to have a shower now". If he says he will later etc etc stand your ground and say the smell is really offputting and you don't want to wait till later for him to be nice and fresh again.

Tomorrow, get some fresh clothes together for him and a can of deodorant and tell him (don't ask him if he wants it) you have put some things in a bag for him to change into when he gets to work (maybe he can't have a shower but a quick buzz of deodorant and a fresh top will help).

Honestly you are doing him a favour.

Pawsandclaws Thu 13-Aug-09 11:41:59

Oh and why not suggest he has cycling clothes for to and from work. even if just a tracksuit. Get 3 or 4 so he isn't wearing the same stinky tracksuit for a week of cycling. That should limit the BO smell/stains on his work shirts.

iwouldgoouttonight Thu 13-Aug-09 11:45:52

Thanks - I do need to just tell him!

I said he's sensitive but I think what I mean is that he's sensitive when it comes to his personal appearance - he's quite insecure about it and he worries about getting fat/old/bald/whatever and gets quite down about it. And gets himself into a vicious circle of, for example, feeling fat, and then overeating because he's down, putting on weight, etc. I have worried that he is suffering with depression, but he is very confident and happy in other areas of his life.

Its almost as though he thinks he's not happy with his appearance so he's stopped bothering. But I don't think he realises that being smelly affects other people as well as him.

I did mention to him about a new deodorant that a bloke at work had mentioned - apparently its great and it stopped him sweating as much and getting smelly. But DP just said something about the bloke at work must be really vain!

hmc Thu 13-Aug-09 11:50:24

I would tell him bluntly and directly - no point dropping gentle hints

Crablass Thu 13-Aug-09 11:55:21

"Cor look at you getting all fit and sexy on your bike, come here big boy" <cuddles> "Ooooooooo Gawd you smell of cats, go and have a shower now - I'm not sexing you till you do!"

Jesus you reek of BO. PLEASE go and wash after you've been cycling!

Needs to be told straight. Sounds like he's got his head in the sand. If he's sensitive about his personal appearance then surely he'll want to know if he smells.

You'll be doing him a favour honestly.

Tinker Thu 13-Aug-09 11:55:49

"But DP just said something about the bloke at work must be really vain!". I'd just say, "No, the bloke at work cycles in every day and didn't use to change his clothes and stank. Thank god, someone told him!"

I wouldn't hesistate to say "God, you stink!"

skihorse Thu 13-Aug-09 12:37:55

Just tell him.

I really, really hate it when you hear these stories about for example a lady in the office who smells. Nobody ever just comes right out and says it - instead they "helpfully" leave deodorant on her desk - or talk about a new perfume... somehow thinking she's miraculously going to think "oh, I wonder if I smell, time to get to boots". People don't deliberately smell. I always feel very sorry for the woman in question.

RumourOfAHurricane Thu 13-Aug-09 12:43:32

Message withdrawn

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