How To Live With A Messy Partner & Not Lose Your Mind

Other People's Clutter

Why is the laundry not folded?

Why are the breakfast dishes still in the sink at dinner time?

Why are all of the jars open?

Living with a messy partner can be one of the most frustrating things about your spouse. Sometimes it can seem like you just can’t get through to them. But messy and clean “odd couples” can work out, it just takes some work from both parties.

How To Live With A Messy Partner & Not Lose Your Mind

1. Be Very Specific About What Bothers You

Not only do you need to use “I” language with a messy partner — but you also need to explain things clearly.

Most messy partners truly can’t see the mess that they’re leaving around.

The reason they can be messy is because the clutter simply doesn’t bother them. So when you ask them to do something to fix it, it’s harder for them; they just don’t have the visceral reaction you do.

Try to outline things for them from a functional standpoint: “I prefer it if you wash the dishes immediately, because otherwise it will attract ants or cockroaches.”

2. Distribute the Chores Fairly Rather than Equally

Try not to get too caught up in what’s “equal”,  try to focus on what’s “fair”.

Your partner may want to take turns doing the laundry or turns doing the dishes, because that’s “balanced.” In truth, though, there are some chores that people just hate and other chores that people enjoy. Distribute the chores fairly based on what’s easiest for the individual.

If someone enjoys yard work but hates laundry, it makes more sense to distribute the yard work to them. Likewise, if someone absolutely hates dishes, they may need to take up a couple smaller chores to make up for never doing the dishes. The important thing is that no one is doing significantly more work that they loathe.

3. Try Not to Get Irritated

As long as your partner is genuinely trying to help out, getting irritated is only going to cause animosity.

Rather than getting irritated when a chore isn’t done or a mess is made, treat it as a mistake and request that they fix it. Too often couples begin to treat their partner’s mistakes as intentional acts of aggression; with a messy partner, it very likely isn’t intentional at all. Instead, they simply cannot see the same mess that you do. That doesn’t mean you have to put up with it, but taking it in a more positive direction can help your mood as well.

4. Get Rid of the Excess

You can’t have clutter if you don’t own clutter, right?

One of the best ways to limit the amount of messes that a partner can make is simply to eliminate unnecessary items in your home. Dishes are a great example of this. If you constantly find that dishes aren’t getting done, one way to get into the habit of doing them is to put all dishes away except for a few that you use. This forces you to wash dishes on a regular basis because you simply don’t have enough of them to keep cycling through.

5. Create Positive Reminders

Some tasks, such as taking out the trash at the end of the night, can simply be forgotten. Setting alarms on smartphones and other devices is a good way to remind yourself and your partner that it has to be done before you to go bed that night. You can even set up a system for alternating chores, so there’s never an argument regarding who is supposed to do something next.

6. Work With Them Rather than Against Them

Try to think from your partner’s point of view. Sometimes with someone who is absent-minded, it isn’t a matter of not wanting to do something; it’s a matter of forgetting altogether.

Often you can eliminate problems simply by altering the environment. For instance, if your partner tends to leave clothes on the bathroom floor, you might be able to resolve the problem by putting a hamper in the bathroom instead of the bedroom. Providing organizational tools can feel like a defeat, but as long as you aren’t “parenting” your partner in other emotionally exhausting ways, it may just be one of those little things done for the health of a relationship. That being said…

7. Try to Avoid Parenting Your Spouse

When you’re sick of tidying up after your spouse, you may end up parenting them instead of treating them as a partner.

Parenting occurs when you start feeling that they’re so irresponsible that they need to be taken through things step by step, and when you assume they are doing things incorrectly intentionally because they are lazy.

Remember: for the most part being messy isn’t some inadequacy; it’s a minor incompatibility. People live in different ways and grow up with different tolerances for mess. By approaching it with them rather than against them you can turn it into an exercise in bonding rather than a constant fight.

8. Teach your Children to Clean Up After Themselves

Dealing with children on top of a messy partner can be a hair-pulling level of frustration, but it can be somewhat mitigated by teaching kids to clean up after themselves. Agree early on deciding the types of chores that you’ll teach children (such as picking up their toys, or bringing their cups and dishes into the kitchen), and make sure that you teach them these skills consistently. That way, even if you still have a messy partner, you don’t have messy kids.

9. Learn to Make Some Concessions

Acceptance can be a huge step if you can concede: my partner is disorganized, and I’m going to have to live with it. There may be some small concessions you have to make, such as letting them keep their personal office in disarray, or allowing them to leave their own clothes unfolded in their drawers. There are some things that truly just don’t bother messy people, and where it doesn’t directly impact you, you may just have to leave them be.

Are you living with a messy partner and need to vent? Tell us your craziest stories!

Kylie Browne

Kylie is our friendly Community Manager. Organizing advocate. 80s music fan. Busy Mom. Amateur over thinker. Thrives on coffee and chocolate.

97 thoughts on “How To Live With A Messy Partner & Not Lose Your Mind

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  3. Candace says:

    My husband of 9 years is a slob. He does willingly help around the house, because I have become disabled. I am not happy with the fact that I can’t cook and clean the way I used to. I used to love to bake, and try new recipes but now all I can do is give him the recipe and keep him company while he prepares it.

    But today we actually got into an argument because he was upset with me because I disposed of a bottle of urine I found in the garage. I mean, WTFf? He said he was upset because he was going to pour it into the compost, and that I just threw the whole bottle away. He keeps a pee bottle in the car so that he can go when he is out and about. Fine. But why keep it in the car, for weeks on end, then carefully store it for even longer, in the garage? This is just the tip of the iceberg. We have two cats, and he agreed to take over the litter box cleaning. He will let those boxes sit, uncleaned until the whole second floor stinks, so I often do at least one of them just to clear the stench.

    He is a good man in many ways; after all we weren’t prepared for me to become so ill that I can’t do the things I loved to do. We recently bought a new, beautiful home. I just die inside as I watch the once gorgeous house succumb to the messy habits he has. I long to keep things nice, but it is out of my reach. I know I may sound ungrateful, but when your free will is impaired by illness, it is even more frustrating to not be able to keep things nice, especially being stuck indoors all the time.

  4. Sayanee says:

    M living with my boyfriend. He is just pathetic. He is super dirty, messy,unclean, forgets to flush. I have just had enough.We both work and I have to do all the cleaning work after long day at office which irritates me so much. I have tried communicating but he just can’t keep his promise which is so annoying. He tries but can never keep the end of his bargain. I just can’t keep my mind right anymore. M so done. M so frustrated.
    Please help me. I don’t know how to work this out

  5. Pauline says:

    My boyfriend and I have lived together for 1 and a half years .My issue is he won’t stop going through my stuff rearranging the furniture the pictures on wall the TV EVERYTHING ALL WEEK LONG ITS FREAKING DRIVING ME CRAZY AND ITS ALL MY STUFF. If I don’t figure a way to stop it I will lose my mind .I live in a very sad state daily due to the beautiful things I have to decorate bedroom all being trashed broken put away in some other place . Nothing stays the same for longer then a day or two .please help . He uses all the cleaners I buy for odd things the bathroom is his man cave I bought hundreds of dollars of stuff to create a beautiful zen style bathroom only for him to take it all and rearrange and destroy it so now my bedroom and bathroom have become ugly trashed and I am so pissed off I can’t see straight I have told him everyday to not touch my stuff stop working on shit in my bedroom . He doesn’t listen at all. . I know he tries to help but it’s causing major issues because now I freaking hate all of it after spending at least 3000 on deco when we moved in. .help

  6. Nancy says:

    You are 21. Is this man kind and loving in general? Does he support you when you are sick? Or does he put you down often? If he is kind to you except over this issue then I have suggestions. If he is rude to you most of the time, then you need to know that rude and cruel people get worse overtime. People often get angrier and ruder after they have experienced more of life, unless they make a sincere effort to forgive and overlook things. If he is rude about most things then you should move in with some girlfriends and wait until you meet a man that would make a good husband and father. Meanwhile, just clean up the sand mess in the morning as part of your happy clean up procedure. Do not clean it up at night unless your dog eats it. Wear pretty little house slippers in the evening. Think of your home as a relaxing vacation beach house at night. Think of your home as a clean workplace by day. I have a 140 lb Shedding Great Dane. I clean up about 4 cups of black dog hair, but only once a day. I skip weekends. Another thought is to let the floor stay sandy. When your boyfriend feels the sand between his toes he might see the value of taking his shoes off outside or he might sweep the dirt up. I never asked my husband to take off his shoes. We have been married for many years. He sweeps sometimes. He just bought me a Roomba Robot that vacuums. The main thing is to determine if your boyfriend is a high quality man. If so,work around the sand. If not, wipe your feet off when you leave.

  7. Nancy says:

    Only make your side of the bed up unless you are expecting company. You could have a lot of fun with this. You could cut a lot of your duties in half..lol. But don’t let resentment in. At least he makes his side of the bed. It does save you 50 percent of effort. See if you can get him to clean, cook, watch kids 50 percent. You could praise him for making his side of the bed instead of getting annoyed. If he does half of everything, then you would be in a totally equal relationship..be happy with a half job and you

  8. Sandra says:

    My boyfriend was never the cleanest but I’ve managed to “train” him a bit so that things are more manageable. His mom and brother have visited and have now basically moved in from out of state. My boyfriend is barely home anymore because he works long hours and with his family there the mess has multiplied. I am basically their unpaid maid now (mop, sweep, vacuum, dishes, laundry, etc) on a daily/weekly basis. I’ve tried reminding them of some things like to at least take their shoes off when entering the house (considering they’ve never cleaned the floors themselves) and I tell them every day and they still seem to forget to do it. I can clean the whole kitchen for them to come in and mess it all up within 5 minutes. I honestly don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like I can’t tell the mom to pick up her slack bc that’s his mom and I feel uncomfortable telling her what to do. I’ve spoken to my boyfriend about it and he will sometimes mention it to them but they still won’t change. I’ve considered asking them to hire a maid but don’t know how to go about it. I am completely worn out and need a serious intervention.

    • Mike says:

      I can feel your pain however ironically I come from the other angle as a child I was messy but it wasn’t until recently that cleanliness became a bit more important to me for us it’s a bit different because we both suffer from anxiety and depressive disorders so we have to be very careful with how we approach for another period as for you’re in law when they’re visiting your home that you’re home and they should learn to respect that you can lay down boundaries. There’s nothing wrong with setting expectations but like this article said focus on using the I word. Also you have to take in consideration equal work load if you are a stay at home mother and he is providing for the entire household I can understand why it may be difficult for him you’ll need to think from his point of you he’s probably exhausted by the time he gets home

  9. Nancy says:

    My husband has been messy since honestly, I can remember. Even when we were just dating. I noticed it in subtle things, like messy a messy vehicle or sloppy organization but I just didn’t really thing anything more at the time. We’ve now been married nearly 10 years and it just seems to be getting progressively worse with time. It’s kind of to the point where it’s worn me down and I’ve taken the “if you can’t beat em join em” attitude towards things.

    The truth though, I cringe at how messy things have gotten or can get at times. I’ve even stopped doing many things around the house in an attempt to get him to recognize how one sided things are. However, that approach seemed to backfire on me as he just takes on the attitude that it’s only him holding the entire household together. Whenever I’m finally fed up and do start my cleaning rampages, he’ll then accuse me of just being OCD or that “if things aren’t done my way, they’re just not good enough.” This is definitely not the case. I’m a lot more detail oriented than he is but but a far cry from OCD, as he puts it.

    He’ll pick up but he won’t necessarily clean and he’s totally ok with that. It’s almost like he doesn’t see and maybe he doesn’t but I just don’t see how. For example, I’ll wash dishes, put them away, clean our sink and dry it off, he’ll wash dishes, leave food in the sink, water all over, and pile newly washed dishes on top of clean dry ones that were already in the dish rack. If I clean walls that are clearly smudged with dirt (we have dogs and a 1.5 yr old) or move furniture around to clean and/or rearrange things, he gets bothered. He can literally go weeks without cleaning a bathroom sink or shower and none of that seems to bother him. It’s just frustrating to be the only one that sees a mess. It’s not just little things like this either, it’s everything. He’s sloppy with his tools, our garage is always messy (I’ve cleaned and organized it before trying to take a different approach on asking/showing him how it should look), his vehicle a messy, our BBQ grill unkept, the list goes on. It’s like he just doesn’t care and it really sucks to see that because these are all things we have worked very hard for. It’s very demoralizing.

    I try to be understanding of people’s standards and upbringings being different but in some cases I don’t think it’s about that at all. Some people are just gross and it doesn’t seem to bother them, they just plain don’t care. I’m definitely seeing that more and more as time has gone on with my husband and myself and I just don’t know what to do anymore to make it better. It’s honestly very overwhelming and I’ve found myself lacking motivation to do anything anymore because of this.

    • Emmy says:

      I fell like we’re married to the same person, I could even venture to say mine is worse but I literally relate to everything you’ve described. Our biggest fights have been over the same things over and over. I really do love this man but he drives me to insanity, I hate walking into our house after a 10 hour day at work bc I feel like I’m suffocating. I spend my entire days off playing catch up on the cleaning to have him literally undo all of it in a single morning since he’s working from home now. I’ve tried sooo many different approaches with him and we never make an progress at all. He had an Italian mother who just did everything for him and his brothers and didn’t have him do any chores, VERY different from my upbringing ans I blame this but at what point can’t he start to make small changes, we’ve been together almost 10 years now!

      • Cameron says:

        I completely relate to you. My husband is ADHD and he literally acts as if he sees nothing messy. I mean trash everywhere on the counters. For example he ate a pack of ramen the other day and he leaves the opened pack and seasoning all over the counter for me to clean. Saltine cracker packs opened and eaten and left on the kitchen table. I cried numerous times about it to him. He won’t change his habits. I swear I feel like dying sometimes because I feel overwhelmed. I don’t want kids partially because I don’t want to be even more extremely stressed out by the filth. I work full time too and I spend all my time on my off days cleaning and then when I get home I have to clean the mess he leaves everywhere. The bed is never made. He won’t ever ever change the sheets. I swear he would wait months to change them if it was up to him. I have panic attacks over this behavior. We have two huge furry dogs and I’m CONSTANTLY I mean hourly sweeping up after them and have a robot vacuum because I have zero help from him. It’s really hurting my feelings because I feel stranded with doing everything and I feel unloved because he knows how I feel. I’m convinced he doesn’t give a sh!t about anything I say. I’ve never seen the man sweep once. I think this has been enabled by him being cleaned up by his stepmom his whole life. She does the same for everyone but keep in mind she was stay at home mom for all these years. I’m not. I work equally as much as him and I have to do ALL of it. I don’t know what to do.

    • Cece says:

      I can relate to your story. It is very ideal to how my husband is every day. Whenever I say anything I’m told that I am OCD & a nagging wife. I’m literally drained from it! I decided to try a different approach because he says “if I don’t say anything he will do things around the house”. Let’s just say that’s a Lie! He will see that things need to be done and look right over it. I left the tub dirty just to see if he would clean it out…He goes right in and takes a shower in the dirty tub like it’s nothing wrong. I can go on and on about how horrible he is at being messy but I’ll stop there. I am so sick of always fighting about it, so I just clean the house up without asking him to do anything. However, I told him since our home isn’t in the condition that I think it should be in I am not interested in having any guest over until it is. No guest has ever come to my home.

    • Michael says:

      Cleanliness is kind of funny because it’s one of those things that you don’t realise is important until it becomes a problem. What I mean by that is it seems as though all of us are willing to live with a certain level of dysfunction for such a long period of time before saying anything I would speculate this makes it difficult because you’ve been making concessions for so long you’ve probably lost track of what really bothers you. When I first got into the relationship with my beautiful wife we both had our own set of unique challenges I was an extroverted she was not. I would remember often times she would miss hear things but I would never bother correcting her because at the time I felt she was shy and I didn’t wanna point out something she might of been self-conscious about so I made a concession and this concession turned into another concession. You can see where I’m going here fast forward 12 years later it turned into a bit of a problem because we would get into arguments or we would have discussions and she would misspeak or forget a word. So when I would bring up to her this type of concern she wasn’t sure what to make of it because no one said anything before. All I’m trying to get out is that my wife and I love each other in that we worked through that and I gather if you are committed to this relationship you and your other can do the same but it’s important to speak on equal terms and discuss issues as they arise and try not to ignore them it’s better to be direct and risk hurting the relationship then potentially getting involved in a relationship where you two are fundamentally incompatible. What is to say that he doesn’t perceive this to be a problem and you end up being alone or vice versa this entire time you could’ve circumvented if you had been more open and communicative about this from onset. I’m not taking sides I’m simply relating because I know what it’s like; so take it with a grain of salt hopefully some of that can help and if not perhaps it just feels nice to know that someone read your article and wanted to dignify it with a response. I hope it works out for you stand firm to your ground.

    • Raya says:

      I’m crying because I’m here because I’m going through the same thing. You’ve took the words right out of my mouth. I had to screenshot your comment and send it to him. He says Im just as nasty too because I began to neglect the house because Im so unmotivated. I used to be so organized and loved cleaning. I used to love playing music in sundays and deep cleaning the entire house. Now I hate it. I’ve been with same guy going on almost 5 years , we knew we couldn’t live with eachother because we’ve done it twice before. His bathroom is so nasty it’s embarrassing. Now we got a bigger house and its just more to clean. I’ve got to the point where I’m dirty as well. I barely care for cleaning up anymore. He destroys everything nice, Im just wasting my money. He keep raggedy things even when they are broken down in the worst possible way. I’m very miserable. My father was a clean and neat man, Im losing myself and I believe its best if we split because its only going to get worse

      • CAROLINE says:

        Raya, I took a screen shot of that lady’s comments too! I am in the same situation. I feel miserable! I am not OCD or super fussy but I like to take care of my home, look after things and have a pleasant environment to live in as it make me feel calm and relaxed to live like that. I have been with my man 8 years and I am EXHAUSTED. I have stopped cooking for him and doing his laundry to cut down on the amount of work I have to do as I am the only one cleaning. I have moved into the spare bedroom which I keep nice and any of his mess around the house I just dump in ‘his bedroom’ I can’t even bear to sleep with him anymore as I find his slobbiness unattractive. I am guessing this relationship is ending soon

  10. Kaylee says:

    So my boyfriend and I have been together for a year. I have been guilty of the parenting trait, but I just don’t know what else to do. I’m in housekeeping so I clean all day just to get home to clean. When I’m cleaning he’s like “let’s just watch a movie and relax. I haven’t seen you all day” but if I choose to relax the mess just multiplies. Just something simple like we have a snack drawer, he left multiple wrappers in the snack drawer when a garbage is 3 feet away. When I asked him to clean it I watched the wrappers set for two weeks, he would even get more snacks out of the drawer and everything. Leaves his clothes throughout our whole house. It just gets so frustrating and I feel like I can’t get anything done.

  11. Needamoan says:

    Our house is messier than I would like. My husband does do the shopping and emptying the dishwasher, occasionally he’ll hoover but he’s never cleaned the bathroom or hoovered upstairs unless something get’s knocked over. He says he doesn’t like ornaments because he thinks they make the room look untidy even though he seems to think that the floor is a filing cabinet for paper. He states ‘we’re all messy’ whenever I complain about the state of the house and whilst I’m not the tidiest of people, most of my stuff is properly organised, books and dvds on shelves and clothes in the main are put away.

    I turned his daughter’s room (when she moved out) into a library for my use, I decorated, bought a new carpet and when it was done, he decided that as he was working from home, he needed it as an office. I was forced to ditch buying a 4th bookcase which would have taken every book in the house because he moved in a desk. That room, which was the tidiest in the house is now a mess as all of his work is spread on the floor and he’s started painting models in there. I know I’m not the tidiest person but I want a tidy house but I don’t want to do all the work.

  12. Mary says:

    I’m handicapped and immobile. My husband has all household chores to do. I know it’s a lot on his plate. We’re retired. He doesn’t put things away. If he brings things into the house, he leaves them on any flat surface available. Only refrigerated items are put away. If he took a minute to put something away after he uses it, the house would be neater. Instead counters, floors, beds, bathrooms, and tables are piled with stuff. He spends most of his time watching tv. I’ve asked yo have a house keeper come in once every 2 weeks, who I would pay, to put things away. Nothing would be thrown out without his permission. He got mad at me and said no.
    I’m a neat person. When I was able to I put everything away. My house was tidy and clean. It irritates me to have to live like this. I need advice.

    • Ally says:

      Hi Mary!!! Have you tried communicating with him the fact that your lack of mobility makes you feel stuck. Sitting there seeing messes you’d prefer to clean yourself but can’t is extremely overwhelming and frustrating. You want a cleaner so you can feel better under your circumstances, not to mess up his routine or make his life harder. It’s important to stand up for yourself and remind him of your point of view. If you cannot do that without setting him off, do you have a family member that could help moderate the conversation at your side. I know it’s hard to have people over with the current state of the world but your feelings are valid and deserve to be taken seriously. I wish you well and you’ll be on my mind.

  13. Carol says:

    I have cleaned my husband’s mess by his chair & it Just goes right back to a mess & he has all of his clothes on the living room couch & other stuff stacked up.
    I have cleaned it over & over again.
    I talked to because I have a back problem & it’s hard for me & he Just goes right behind me.
    I Love you so much .
    But I can’t keep doing this its now stressing me out.

    • Nancy says:

      My husband and I have separate rooms for our stuff. He has the basement,shed and garage and one closet. I have office, one two bedrooms and the other closets. He has his own bathroom. I have never cleaned it. He cleans it. He shops and cooks. I clean kitchen. I organize the kitchen. He has a bookshelf and thecoffee table in the living room. I put his stuff on his bookshelf when I tidy up. I do not wash clothes unless they are in the laundry room or hamper. I do not fold or put his clothes away.. I put them on his exercise equipment in the basement. Small things like socks are put on his side of the bed. I keep the living room, dining room and first floor bathroom clean. I also do all bills, legal documents, computer work etc. I also have run the businesses that he dreams up. He works full-time. I work part-time and extra for paperwork etc. He gets gas for the cars. So duties are divided. My motto is that each person is responsible for his or her own desires. My solution is that each person needs a space that is free of the other person’s stuff. His messy shelves are behind his chair. My neat shelves are on my side in full view. All important documents:passports, car titles, legal papers are in my office. I’ve never commented on his messiness. I even have my own toolbox in my office. Designated areas are the secret. Provide places for his stuff…We are moving to a new house without a garage. I rented a cheap garage immediately. He will have 2 rooms, a small garage,one closet and 1/2 the attic. We never argue about messiness. (PS. I have a sign in the refrigerator. “Do not put cheese with raw bacon” and I put a plastic container in the fridge labeled “cheese”. The neater mate will always need to suggest storage spots! Just be sure to make it easy. Don’t add any details. )

  14. Tired says:

    If I get up early I come back to find he made his side of the bed but not mine. When I ask about it, it’s I forgot. As in you’re making a bed and forgot to do the other side?
    Then the answer is I want sure where you were so I left it.

    I make both sides of the bed. Have you ever heard of someone who forgets to make the other side of the bed?

    • Beth says:

      No, I haven’t! The rule in our house (we have been married for 27 years) is – the last person out of the bed makes the bed… the whole bed! I am usually the one who gets up after my husband, so I make the bed and I know that’s just part of the deal. Maybe you can make the same deal with him… good luck!

    • Nancy says:

      Only make your side of the bed up unless you are expecting company. You could have a lot of fun with this. You could cut a lot of your duties in half..lol. But don’t let resentment in. At least he makes his side of the bed. It does save you 50 percent of effort. See if you can get him to clean, cook, watch kids 50 percent. You could praise him for making his side of the bed instead of getting annoyed. If he does half of everything, then you would be in a totally equal relationship..be happy with a half job and you might have a willing helper for life.

  15. Johnny teague says:

    I have tried everything. I do the yard work auto repairs and all the housework and repairs. Since getting married my business has suffered. I spend more time to home work than my repair business. Also I cook 80 % of the meals. I am at my with end. I love her but she says if she is not working that’s her down time. What can I do. She will not help me.

    • Jen says:

      Marry me instead. I’m dealing with the same, it’s really a dealbreaker at this point. We’ve been together for 3 yrs (not married) and I’m willing to walk out over the issues you described.

      • Mary says:

        More or less same here, we have been together for soon 7 years. Not married because I have told him I don’t believe in marriage, truth is; I’m scarred to say yes to a life like this. I could be away from home working for 10-12h, he stays home all day “studying”, but mostly playing video games. On my one-hour commute back home, I had to stop to grocery shop, then cook food. When he was working, part time, on his days of he refused to do anything close to vacuum cleaning or doing the dishes because “he wanted to just relax”, as if I ever hade time like that due to his carelessness…

        I admit, I’m very tidy and I need it tidy to keep my head clear, but my boyfriend is just a mess… I don’t know if I want children, I just turned 35 so it’s sort of now or never, but I can’t have babies with a man like this. How will I have the energy to organize, shop food and tidy up for one more – without sleep?

        We have talked about this issue many times, he says he can’t and most important, don’t want to change. He says I should be less tidy, but I have no idea how to be like that. Clutter really stresses me out. Sometimes I do not have the energy to tidy up all the time, then the house is a mess, looks like a bomb exploded. And this is not something I just say, he agrees… he just don’t care.

        He recently moved to another city to study so now we live in different homes. I never been so relaxed in my whole life it feels like. I’m really contemplating to end this relationship because all the past deception that caused so much stress has turned me into a person I do not like. Well, this became a novel, sorry!

        • Emily says:

          I just wanted to point out (which I’m sure you’re well aware of) that he refused to change for you, but asked you to change for him by being messier! So hypocritical. You deserve better.

      • Mike says:

        While the messiness/unorganized problem is probably more with men, there are a number of us guys who are having to deal with a messy/unorganized spouse as well. In my case it’s compounded by the fact that I’m not allowed to organize or clean up after her, because she seems to have some self-entitled ownership of all things domestic. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think that there’s probably a lot of women like you who would dearly love to have a guy who was neat and organized. But, this isn’t a dating site 🙂

    • Lili says:

      My partner and I are at the end , I can’t take it anymore , I have 2 kids and expect the house to look like Ikea catalog, nothing is helping. Don’t get me wrong he cleans and helps with household, but he punishes me after that with stone walling me and ignoring me. I told him previously he can get a house help because his expectations are not realistic, I prefer to spend time with my kids rather than being obsessive cleaning.

    • Blue Kat says:

      Hi Johnny, I have many family members plus a husband that are this way. They don’t mind the mess so they aren’t going to do anything about it. Last year I downsized a lot of what I do. First I grill for the week. i pick the meat that we are going to eat or can make different meals from and precook veggies. This means if we are on different schedules its easy for us to heat something up. This has helped a lot. Second thing is de clutter. I got rid of a lot that wasn’t being used. Through the week we use paper plates with single meals so that we don’t have to do dishes as much. We hired a yard person and we don’t do our own auto repair. a job plus housework is enough for one person. I spoke with my husband and I told him that if he wasn’t able to help then he needed to pitch in monetarily for help to a accomplish everything because I didn’t have enough time for myself.

  16. Mess_equals_stress says:

    This is the scary part i used to be neat and tidy but it seems my husbands messiness has made me slack off too. Mess makes me so stressed and i cant stand grubbiness which he can be. I have a 3 year old too but she is good and is learning to tidy after herself. I just want consistency in cleanliness but can never find it in the home and when the evening comes i am exhausted to clean thoroughly.

  17. Cindy says:

    You floored me when you contradicted yourself saying it’s not like it’s going to ruin your marriage, yet you don’t know how much more you can take. I’m the clean one and my husband isn’t filthy because I won’t let it get to that point, but leaving chips and crumbs on the floor as he gets up and leaving bread open bottle not closed and food left out and it doesn’t take but seconds to do it is my problem with my spouse. To me if someone truly cares they would clean up after themselves and make the other person happy, but they don’t see it that way. Sorry

    • Courtney Kistler says:

      My fiance does the same thing — leaves everything everywhere: cabinets open, bottles of salad dressing out uncapped, crumbs on the living room floor, drawers are rarely closed, and his cycling gear literally EVERYWHERE. I like this article in that it has a more calculated approach rather than my current which is due to years of being pushed and going “ok no more Mr Nice Guy, I’m pissed”. I think we can give some of these a try. He needs to hear it from someone else too, not just me who probably sounds like a barking hyena anymore 😉

      • Beth says:

        This is an honest question – could he possibly have ADHD? I have learned a LOT about ADHD through my son and my husband. He may be lacking in executive functioning skills. There are lots of quizzes online for adults who think they may have ADHD. I would truly look into this! There is help and hope for the symptoms of ADHD! Good luck!

        • Cameron says:

          My husband has ADHD. This behavior of uncleanliness is driving me insane. He loves me but I feel VERY unloved because he won’t help me with cleaning. Ever. Acts of service is my love language. I get none of this affirmation from him. It’s as if he sees NO mess when it’s filthy. I get so upset. He’s on meds but it doesn’t help apparently. I mean I’m talking actual trash left out and beds unmade. He’s never mopped or swept the floor ever. I have to do it everyday although we both work full time. I also spend off days cleaning. I don’t know what I can do about it. I have to keep cleaning because I cannot stand a dirty home. It has turned out cute home into a broken down one.

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  19. Ijustwantadvice says:

    Im 21 years old I leave with my parter and my puppy. I’m not working right now, I’m an artist, I’m also staring an online business so that’s why I’ve decided to take a time out. Anyway, i stay home as you can see every morning I wake up and the first thing I do is clean, I love starting my mornings with a clean place because it make me have a great mood through out the day and I feel organized! yes, i clean every day it’s a light clean when I really clean the whole house is Monday and Friday because having a puppy well I get fur everywhere so that’s why! Been organized has become a big part of me (I’ve been working on it this past months and it involes cleaning). after that I cook and I clean but just the area that i have used. once Im done i relax and work on my projects! my partner is a hard working person, and if he can work over time he will I’m very proud of him! But there is just something that bugs be about him, when he comes from work he sands the floor all across the house. I know he’s tired I know he just wants to eat and rest, as I mention earlier I know he’s been working hard and the his job is very hard and risky. I know all of that and that’s one thing he has told me he thinks I don’t see that. Here is the story of the problem, once he comes i welcome him ask him about his day etc, then I tell him if he can please take his shoes off outside or put them by the entrance. I talk to him in the nices way not trying to bother him or ruin his day or making it seem like that’s the only thing I care. but unfortunately he gets mad and starts bringing past problems
    Says I should just stay quiet, that there is tomorrow and the next day to clean.
    that maybe he has been so nice to me by getting me things and that’s has made me like this.
    that Im at home and i have all day.
    that i act like an older woman. (Which for me it’s not bad)
    He says so much none sense that have nothing to do.
    he just starts being rude. And it just seem like he’s just trying to avoid something that can be easily done
    (i have had told him constantly and maybe he got annoyed, I have shown a kind of mad face, he has done things right sometimes, I have told him I want to make it last clean while it can)
    Now it could be me in a way! But also it can be him in a way!
    i just think that if he knows I have told him severely times nicely we can prevent arguments, it’s not a hard thing to do. he dosent have to come up will a million excuses or be rude! Plus it’s the only thing that I ask him to do for me that involves house course! …He just makes me feel unappreciated!
    When he wants Something, for him I have to not do it again or else it’s my fault or he gets mad. But if I tell him that, I’m the bad person who does not appreciates him! He’s just that type of person that doesn’t like anyone telling him what to do or acepte there mistake! I don’t know how else to talk to him i have try it the best way by sitting down. I’m not saying he’s a bad person but when it comes to situation like this I don’t know what to do… as dumb as it can sound he just doesn’t understand how cleaning and being organized has help me in a way!( emotionally and mentally)and he throws it all out when he says that I’m home all day and there is tomorrow and the next day, just repeating what I said earlier!

    • Katherine says:

      It sounds like he doesn’t respect you as he should and you seem unhappy. I can relate to cleaning/organizing bringing a sort of mental peace. If he doesn’t start valuing you more, you may want to consider ending the relationship. I’m sorry it’s not going better for you! Maybe try to talk to him about it more

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