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.

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

  1. Kate says:

    I am a stay at home mother of two teens and my husband works long hours. I do all of the housework and grocery shopping and most of the cooking. I like things neat and tidy but he makes me feel like I’m going overboard so here’s my question. Should I get upset that he sits down at the table to eat, spills salt accidentally but instead of wiping it up wipes it onto the floor? He couldn’t know I had just vacuumed but when I commented he responded with “it’s just a little salt!” He got so mad that I was annoyed with him wiping it onto the floor that he got up and ate somewhere else. Am I overreacting? He also doesn’t put his dishes into the dishwasher and never does any housework at all. He’s at work and I’m not so that is usually fine but should he at least clean his dishes and be generally tidy?

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  3. Brian says:

    The constant complaints over the last 20 years of my marriage has really driven a deep wedge between us. I hate a very clean house it causes me a tremendous amount of anxiety that I will mess something up or hear a loud sigh from the other room. It makes me feel like such a failure as a person.

    The net result is that over the last few years I have tried to spend as much time out of the house as possible, and when I am home I limit myself to one side of my bedroom where I am allowed to have a mess.

    • Stormy says:

      Wow. That’s ridiculous. Just clean up after yourself, and your partner wouldn’t have to nag at you so much. It sounds to me like you’re not even willing to work with her at all. And that’s all on you. Just do what the women wants. It isn’t hard.

    • Naomi says:

      That sounds very difficult to live with. I also prefer to spend time out of the house but because I cannot handle the amount of chaos and destruction my partner leaves around him.

  4. Jeff says:

    If you tell your spouse that their messiness bothers you and they continue to do it, they are sending you a message. You are not important to them. If they love you, they would be cleaner. They were clean when you were dating, correct? Now they are a slob. They don’t love you or respect you, that is why they are slobs.

  5. Anna says:

    It’s indeed a very troublesome lingering issue for couples and families with growing/adult children as well. Marriages and other relationships get ruined because of this. Its often occurred when one partner is highly responsible, well organized and believes in teamwork to get helped with the chores and the other party is totally the opposite. The emotional pain, frustration, anger, grudge and resentment builds up gradually and if not dealt with care or not taken seriously by the neglecting and ignoring party, it finally may destroy the relationship in any manner and the damage is far more destructive then it seems on the surface. I have been through it with my partner and children for many years, believe me or not, nothing really works if you are the organized and neat one, its a living hell for you. I can very well understand the heart breaking comments you all might have been getting back from the neglecting party/s. Here are few examples what I get to hear for years from my spouse and kids upon confronting them for the issue;

    1. Leave the chores there, who asks you to do’em all? Just leave the dishes in the kitchen. somebody will do it later ( If I leave them there, they won’t be done til the end of time and they are all ok with it, and I haven’t met that” somebody” yet among them who would do it eventually).

    2. We all have been trying to improve slowly, you don’t give us enough time to learn and start complaining soon, that breaks our heart. (it’s been 20 years, I don’t know how much more time they would need to LEARN though, they do it once in a six months and then keep saying we did it “then” remember? didn’t we?)

    3. We cannot do the chores the way you do or want us to do. We are not “you” as you want things done up to your standards. ( The latter one is not true at all and its just a lame excuse to have an easy escape from the responsibilities. They leave the job not even half done and I have to finish it, example? only dishes are done by them and left on the counter randomly, the counter, the stove left messy and floor filled with water, garbage not emptied and no sweeping or mopping done and they walk out of the kitchen saying that was all they could do. Same treatment in the washrooms).

    4. We do it frequently, you are unappreciative. ( Wow, that frequency is only once in a month upon my getting frustrated over the undone tasks).

    5.There is no use of trying to push people, nobody will listen (Well, that’s the only truth they spoke)

    I have tried the following methods that happily did not and do not work at all;

    1.Effective Communication. Have tried using loving, caring, mutually respecting behavior to set good rules of shared responsibilities. Did work for a few days and then back to square one.

    2. I had got frustrated, angry and burned out of doing all by myself, confronted all, they just listened to it and walk away.

    3. I stayed quiet for days and did things by myself because I just cannot use the filthy washrooms, bedroom, kitchen and the living room.

    4. After many fights and nasty arguments, we distributed the chores among all and set some penalty for not doing them on time. Only one person paid it once and the rest just ignored the chores given and the rules.

    I am so very confused, hurt, disappointed, burned out and of course feel dismissed and upset. I feel so down after I get to hear hurtful negative comments instead of appreciation and acknowledgement for what I have been doing for them in the name of love. I have tried almost everything I could but all goes wasted. I am the one who reads the blogs and articles online in order to learn about family dynamics and to make myself a better person and I have tried my best to raise my children well. They are all good in their own lives as work and other things but managing the household responsibilities alone is beyond my capacity now. Anyway, I thank everyone for reading about my story. I have no hopes left about this for ever unresolved issue.

    • Angie says:

      Very well written. I feel like you took all my thoughts and feelings and so eloquently wrote it down. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone or I am the one who has a “cleaning problem.”

    • Asish says:

      I am a house husband for around 7 years (had to because of my health condition) Quit my last job due to my neck pain and cervical spine issue. I have 2 kids younger one is just about to be 2 years. My wife is super messy and lazy. She is a doctor but very lazy. I had to take care of my kids along with clearing and cleaning all the mess wife and the kids do. Going crazy. My kids will listen at times about cleaning and arranging their stuffs and toys but she won’t. Tried all the calm ways of telling her to help at home but she just won’t. Will nod for everything and might do something at that time and again back to square one next day. I have been living like this for 10 years now. Planning to seek help legally or with help of any therapist. My health is getting worse day and day. I hope that she take care of my younger boy atleast for 1 hour so that I can take rest( during her day off)

    • Jaya says:

      This is exactly how I feel! I have tried everything from gentle requests (which never get heard) to polite explanations to raving and ranting! I’ve even tried having bets with myself to see if my sloppy husband would actually pick up something in an attempt to look at the humorous side of things, but nothing works!
      I have a very intelligent husband who is extremely capable but cleanliness in the household is just a woman’s job and not important – and to top it all we have a daughter!
      Anything he opens, he never closes be it a bottle, a packet of food, a cupboard door, or even a pair of scissors! He leaves dirty dishes and clothes all over the house despite several requests and continuously blames and verbally abuses me for being an inefficient wife!
      To top it all, he doesn’t do any household chores or take an active role in parenting as he is too busy with his job (hello – I’m working too and have no option but to do everything!)
      Over the years this has impacted our relationship and now I’ve stopped asking for anything else cos this is really the basics and something which is very important to me. But I guess the bottom line is he just doesn’t respect or care for me which is hard to accept when you love someone.

  6. Reid Taylor Greenwood says:

    My wife leaves messes and clutter around the house constantly despite my numerous attempts to get her to stop. For the most part I am fine with clutter or garbage being left around the house as it can be collected and dealt with rather easily, but the biggest problem I have with her messiness is her lack of awareness towards food waste and other disgusting messes.

    They will leave plates of food or dishes sitting around long enough for it grow mold and attract flies, and I am honestly amazed we have no attracted worse than flies at this point. I will regularly find fuzzy, green lumps of what use to be food in random parts of the house and when I confront my wife about this issue she becomes very irritated and angry with me on the topic to the point where I will give up and drop it because it is causing both of us too much stress.

    Our stove is also a complete disaster, after cleaning the stove within a week or less it will be absolutely caked in grime and gunk from the cooking she does. I don’t have too much of a problem with this as the stove is easy to clean, but it irritates me that she lets something so simple continue despite knowing that it upsets me.

    I honestly feel like I have been living in a pig sty for the past 3 years and despite my best efforts to try and keep up with the clutter I feel so defeated. I’ve basically given up at this point and the house is now more disgusting than ever. I would feel mortified if anyone I know were to come over to our house right now to see the state it is in.

    I’ve tried talking to her about it numerous times but everything I’ve said or try to compromise with her on has been completely ignored. I don’t know what to do, I love her and its not like this will end up ruining our marriage but it is constantly stressing me out having to live in this filth and I don’t know how much more I can take.

  7. Alain says:

    My partner is a all around slob, to the point I’ve moved out because he has attracted roaches in the home mind you I have never had to live like this in my life !!! I have a 2 year old, a baby otw and he has 2 girls that are 11&12 the 11 year old stays with us full time and the 12 year old back and forth between her moms and our house. I grew up in a very tidy clean home and my parents taught us to clean. When I was living alone my home always stayed clean. Smelling good and disinfected…. if you have asked yourself how could I let the home we shared together with our children get this way let me explain to you, I was a full time mom not only to the kids but to him also, I cooked and cleaned all day long it was never ending because of the kids weren’t messing things up as I was cleaning he certainly will and I do teach the children cleanliness I had them on a chore chart. But if u think u can get your kids to pick up after themselves all day long you have another thing coming, because they will wine about how u make them clean all day I’ve tried the picking up after yourself or what u leave out will be confiscated… didn’t work every day from early morning to night fall I was cleaning, doing laundry, taking care of the kids And him mind you not only does my 2 year old need a lot of attention but our 11 year old does to when our 12 ur old is not here to keep her company. And I still go over to the house to show I love them but I just can’t live that way, and things haven’t changed at all. I’m scared to step in the kitchen at night affraid if what might jump out at me or nibble on my toes , he is the type of person who will leave pee in the toilet and drops around the rim , never make up his bed, come home dirty from work and lay on the couch after sweating for 12 hrs, I don’t know how many times I’ve had to wash the couch cushions from dirt stains from his feet, mind you at first I tried to be considerate Nd not complain because he was working 12 hours a day but he was never considerate in the matter of knowing I have been taking care of the home and kids all day so he could come back to a clean home to pick up after himself so I can sit down shower and rest before a new day to, nope even when he got home to a clean house he would still lay his dirty butt on the couch throw his dirty clothes on the floor, kick his shoes off in the bathroom and leave wet towels laying around, make him something to eat and leave food on the counter and dirty dishes in the sink. He is a country man and likes to sit outside and grill and drink beer with his family or friends but he will leave everything out when they are done and he will literally let it sit until I have picked it up , not worried about bugs or infestation so I get left to pick up beer bottles food , dishes and whatever else him his friends or family got out, when he gets home besides him being dirty he does love on me and he does care if I’m upset with him. Although I try not to be. Sometimes it is hard not to be because I feel like this rollercoaster is driving me insane… he will address the kids and play with them but he does not help with them when it comes to baths or parenting or feeding unless it’s a day he grills, He is off weekends and I still receive no help and often he will leave the kids with me so he can go fishing or noodling with his buddies for hours out of the day. I’m almost 8 months pregnant working now and When I go over to the house we shared together still feel like a slave and babysitter. He shows me a lot of love and when we talk about all these things it’s an uncomfortable subject for him he will do what I ask in that moment but it doesn’t change how he is and it’s not consistent at all. And I don’t want to keep telling him because then I feel like a nagger, but he knew I was a clean person when he met me I did not know he was this filthy because when I met him he had a roommate who I guess was pretty clean because that house was clean for the most part. When I am not at his house now he brings his mother in to take care of the kids And clean even if he does not work. Not to put her down she try’s but her version of clean is half assed. Although even tho I don’t live there and it’s not her job I still appreciate that she does that but then again his mom picking up where I left off is telling him it’s okay to be like this because someone is willing to put up with it even if it is your mom. She’s been doing it for a while now. This all really sucks because I love him sooooo much . The good parts about him are everything to me, we are about to have another baby and this is the person I have been building my life with. Yes We should have lived together before having kids so I could know how he kept up with his cleanliness but my pregnancy was unexpected and I can’t go back in time to change the past so I’m am asking advice for the future… I hardly like sending out baby to his house when I’m not there because I’m sure they are not washing her bedding, feeding her actual course meals that are not junk, probably don’t clean out the tub when giving her a bath, mind u he and the 11 year old daughter have told me they pee in the shower which is beyond gross to me.
    I’ve tried sending her there once for a weekend so I could work. And she came back with all the clothes I bought her stained and smelly like they left her in her diaper to long overnight so her pj pants smell like pee. I do wash all her belongings before bringing them into my mothers, because that is where we live now. Which was in hopes to show him what he could lose if his ways didn’t change. But he just gained his mother doing it all for him so he doesn’t complain. I can’t even take a break from kids to go enjoy myself because I’m scared to take my daughter over there and when I recommend we put her in daycare he just sais bring her here my mom will watch her when we need her to. But I don’t do that because honestly would u leave your kid in a nasty environment that even u are uncomfortable staying at? This all sucks so bad because I want us to be a family and stay together and be able to share a home with our kiddos, and 8 months pregnant with a 2 year old I didn’t want me and my kids to have to be staying with my mom . But now I have to work extra hard to get back on my feet since I was a stay at home mom and gave up everything to support his dreams of things are not gonna change then I have no choice but to get me and my baby’s our own place as soon as I’m able. But what does that mean for us Me/Him is not even want to think about heart break because this is one I don’t wNt to feel. I’ve tried having this conversation to see why he won’t budge to compromise and his answer is,“ Honestly I just really hate cleaning with a passion” he said he had to do it so much growing up that he got burnt out and doesn’t want to do it anymore. Like what in the Hell, you would think someone would rather pick up after themselves then lose the ppl they love but no that is not the case also that makes no sense to me , because me and my siblings grew up cleaning a lot because my mom was beyond tidy, and expected us to be to. Now we are all grown and not one of us live nasty. And find it unbearable to live in a home with someone who is this filthy.

    • Alain says:

      Also when we were living together I was doing dishes3-4 times daily, and when I was done at night and ready to hit the hay he would still get food or drinks out snack at night and sometimes in the middle of the night and leave a mess on the counters, and in the morning he would spill a shit Ton of coffee grains on a wet counter and on the floor , every single morning idk how this happens and apparently he sais he doesn’t have time to wipe it up. But he leaves a huge mess when he goes to work for me to wake up to… one day our coffee pot goes out so he gets one from his grandma and I didn’t know the lady had roaches in her house, but I go to make me a cup of coffee one morning. And the bastards scattered every where, he got upset at me when I threw it away. Even knowing why. But that was the start of the infestation him bringing shit over from his nanans even tried to give our daughter some hand me down shit from years ago from his nana that I didn’t allow because it was stained and came from her house. Now every time I go over and step in the kitchen or restroom a friggin roach pops out and it grosses me out so bad. I’ve tried spraying his house bleaching his kitchen washing everything ect. there is also ants crawling around the tub sometimes I tried bleaching the bathroom to. I do think it helps but it’s not getting complete rid of them cuz u still see one here and there makes u want to vomit

  8. Maria says:

    I would say please be kind to her and very forgiving too of she has a kid to look after.It is not easy.Maybe after the kid is 3 years could you’ll get back to solving this.

  9. Bill says:

    my wife tells me its too emotionally taxing to rid herself of the much excess clothing. So lays on the bed and plays on her phone

  10. JO says:

    When it comes to chores, I: clean the kitty litter, empty all the trash in the apartment, vacuum, do the dishes, mop/sweep, and keep the kitchen clean. Whenever I ask my partner to help with the dishes or any other chore, he lists a day I did not do them. It often is so far back I don’t even remember what he’s talking about.

    My partner also has the tendency of leaving empty containers or bags around after he finishes whatever is inside them (e.g. chips, water bottles, etc.). I’ve tried asking him to pick up/throw away these things in the following ways:
    -If you’re done with this can you throw it away?
    -Are you done with this?
    -When you’re done can you throw it away?
    -Can you help me pick these up? (there’s over 10 empty water bottles around of the body mirror I use to workout infant of).

    Each time my parter will respond with something along the lines of “You irritate me so much, I don’t understand why you can’t just pick this up when you see it. It doesn’t take that much energy” or “stop parenting me and stop trying to teach me a lesson, I just forget sometimes. If you see it just pick it up and help me out”.

    I would understand if this happened once a while, but it’s every day that he leaves trash around like this. I don’t know what else to do. I piled all his bottles up one time to get them out of the way so I could workout and get on with my day. He got upset and asked why I just didn’t throw them away. Yes I could, but when I do I feel like a maid/his mother. I’ve told him this and he got even more upset and said “So you’re not going to take care of me when I get old and sick. I see how it is”. This has been going on for the last 3 years. My partner is not not sick, ill, or disabled.

    He has woke me up in the middle of the night to ask why I didn’t do his laundry, that I’m lazy and cheap because I didn’t do them. We’re both in a master’s program and we both work so we both share a similar workload. Sometimes, I don’t have time to do both our laundry. And when I have done his laundry, he complains that I washed the wrong clothes (he leaves them all in a heap in the closet so I can’t tell which is dirty and which is clean).

    Whatever I say or do I’m at a loss.

    • Ayden Rose says:

      Girl, dump his ass! I know having a messy partner can be frustrating, but one who is messy and and expects you to clean up after him and then gets mad when you don’t do it “right”? This is not the 1950s, it’s 2020 for crying out loud! Sounds like you are more of a maid to him than a lover worth his respect. He seems gross, and judging by your story, you could do better.

    • Nyasha says:

      Hi I’m amazed how you wrote out my story that’s exactly how its playing out in my house and now all we do is stay apart coz I don’t know how to talk to him anymore. What I really don’t understand is how one just does not understand that it’s no one’s duty to look after them or do anything for them especially when they’re grown up but I can only help do do something out of love. I’m so frustrated right now.

  11. Sreyneang says:

    After reading all above points, I should at least have some ideas and know what to do to cope with him. At least, my husband is a person who listen to me when I tell him to do this to do that; however, sooner or later he will do, yet just not at immediate action. Honestly, he like procrastinating on things that he thinks they are unnecessary, but actually it is a matter to me because I somehow like tidy and neat room. Anyway, I am still lucky enough to have him as my hubby since he also knows how to correct his minor mistakes to make me feel happy and love.

    • Aiden says:

      Girl, dump his ass! I know having a messy partner can be frustrating, but one who is messy and and expects you to clean up after him and then gets mad when you don’t do it “right”? This is not the 1950s, it’s 2020 for crying out loud! Sounds like you are more of a maid to him than a lover worth his respect. He seems gross, and judging by your story, you could do better.

  12. Tiffany says:

    It is so true both males and females can be messy, my partner is not as cleanly and I am but he makes an effort 80% of the time and I mostly concede the rest. However his mother has moved into our home for the last year(was supposed to be 2 months) and is such a messy person. The room she is in has not once been swept, mopped, or sheets washed by her. She leaves food on her bed and garbage on the floor, it is like woah. I’ve tried cleaning the room for her when she first moved in saying that I had been sweeping up and figured I would “help get things organized in her room as I understand moving can be stressful”. She seemed not to mind, and at first she kept her door closed all the time but now she leaves it wide open and disgusting inside. It really grosses me out and I hate knowing part of my newly finished home is dirty and possibly even worse have mold or something. But also just knowing she’s living like that is somehow offensive as well. She does pay rent THANKFULLY so I feel at a loss for what to do as she is a grown woman and I don’t want to cause friction. But ew!

  13. Jay says:

    Well, I have a wife who is caring and very considerate about my problems in general. I on the other hand have an issue with he left cleanliness aspect. When she cooks for the child, a lot of stains are left on the hob, when she makes a cup of coffee, sugar crystals are spread around on the kitchen platform. She makes the bed but it isn’t done in time and properly. When she drops something , it takes a lot of time for it to be cleaned , she hates touching the mop.
    I on the other hand am a stickler for cleanliness and can’t tolerate this callous behaviour. When feeding the child on a high chair , the food is spread across his face, hair and god knows where else. The food is spilt on the floor and black stains can be seen on certain days because it’s left un cleansed for hours together.
    We have had several fights on this matter verbally and it has reached a point of verbal abuse that I have now given up parenting her anymore. But it’s extremely saddening that she can’t clean up themes she creates. And when I highlight it to her, she’d end up saying she will do it it when she finds the for it. She isn’t employed and looks after the child mostly.
    What would you recommend that I do ?

    • Tiffany says:

      Letting it turn into a fight only gives them a reason to rebel and excuse their piggy ways. Just play it cool and continually let her know how it effects your mood and psyche, why it is important, and that it is more annoying to have to nag and say something over and over. No one is the issue, the mess is!

  14. Nneka says:

    I can’t describe how upset I used to get about this issue. My ex-husband is extremely messy and gets defensive when you try to point it out. To him, it’s not worth talking about. He expects you to just overlook the mess and move on. I am not even a neat-freak but I do value a clean and tidy environment so I know how to be tidy and neat. I realized that he would rather pull his clothes out of an unfolded pile so I stopped folding his clothes and would just dump them in a messy heap in his own part of the closet. I clean his home office area only when it is overflowing with all kinds of dirt or when I can’t tolerate the sight anymore and the moment I’m done, he’s dropping a used tissue on the floor again. It’s really tiring and very annoying, picking up after an adult, no matter how harmless the person’s intention is.

    • lora says:

      I felt this. Even when you try to overlook and clean up for them the house is destroyed in a matter of minutes. Its becoming a deal breaker for me

  15. Emma says:

    My husband hangs his coat on the first chair in the living room even though he walks past the coat closet on the way to the bedroom or bathroom. He prefers to do the laundry than the dishes, but I always have to remind him to put away the folded clothes. Sometimes they are in the laundry bag for days. He leaves lights on all over the house, the toilet seat up in both bathrooms and leaves cabinet and drawers open in the kitchen. At times feel like I’m parenting him, but I literally have to remind him to do each thing almost everyday. It’s extremely frustrating. We both work full time jobs, and he cooks, but I do the dishes and clean the kitchen. I clean the rest of the house and do the finances. We are both in our 40’s and have been married for almost 10 years and by choice, no children.

  16. DC says:

    I have to reread this to remember the wisdom here. But, listen to your partner and they will probably share stories from their childhood that will reveal they’ve always been this way. I remember mine telling me he missed out on a family outing, to stay home and be taught by his dad how to make up a bed, military style. Guess what? 5+ decades later, he still can’t make up a bed. LOL, and in the end, it’s just not very important to him. I was taught one can sleep better in a well made bed, so different upbringings, and different perspectives. There’s always two ways to do something, mine and his… I’ve heard myself say, well when you think of how you would do that, just think of how you wouldn’t, and that’s my way…;)

  17. Catherine Cockey says:

    Basically, it sounds like tolerate, tolerate, don’t focus on what’s fair, excuse, be responsible for getting rid of stuff so he can’t leave it around, and don’t get angry!

    • Orange Poofy says:

      That’s difficult when he constantly brings home stray furniture, books and shit. It’s like dude we are now living in a world where bed bugs are real. Please stop taking others’ trash. It’s not treasure! Plus we can afford to buy it new if we want!

    • Craig Bailey says:

      Depends who the messy one is Rebekka, could just as easily be the husband who is the organized one and the wife who is the messy partner in the above examples.

      • Marcel says:

        Right Craig! I’m a 23 year old male and My partner is so messy I started acting like a parent and it drives me insane. She leaves clothes on the floor, doesn’t make the bed, has the messy drawers, etc. However your advice was well told.

        • Mary says:

          Hi, I loved the article. I have tried almost everything to try to get my husband to help me out. It just hasn’t work at all. It seems that it is getting worse. For example, he tends to hung the bathroom towel on the shower curtain instead of the the towel hanger. The toilet tissue he tends to remove it from the hanger to use it and doesn’t put it back. The shampoo bottles he tends to put them on the bath tub floor instead of hanging trays for them. Dirty clothes beside the dirty clothes bucket. And many other none sense things that he can not seem to improve. But, at his job he is very organized. I dont know what else to do. Im not a clean freak but because our home is to small, i like to keep things where it goes so avoid tripping with objects and keeping the children safe. I need help. Is it me the problem?

          • Orange Poofy says:

            Mary, I have the same problem. At work he can seem to remember where things can go. At home he literally throws trash on the floor with the waste basket right beside him. I mean literally right beside him. Its infuriating. Like he has no concept of roaches and rats. But he can make for certain work stays cleaner than home…..and work has housekeepers.

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