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    Living with a untidy man
    osubeej1234 posted:
    I admit I am a neat nick! I am almost compulsive about it, in fact my man says I am. We have been living together for about 4 months and he's done very well at making an effort to improve and please but he finds that I am too critical, too pushy with my expectations and that it's just not important to him. I have trouble wrapping my mind around anyone not wanting a clean home. What am I doing wrong?
    dfromspencer responded:
    He say's you are being critical, but what he really means, (probably) is that he thinks you are bitching at him?! No man wants to be bitched at! Be glad he IS making an effort, and try praise instead of critiquing him? Some men will do nothing at all, so be glad he is trying!

    Me, I am a neat nic, also! If I see something out of place, I have to right it! If its dirty, I clean it! I cannot stand a messy house, or a dirty house!!! So, I can understand if you get frustrated!

    Like I said, be glad he is at least making that effort, and praise his efforts! Give him time to adjust to the way you like things, then maybe, you could coax him into doing a little more? Then a little more, and so forth, till he is as neat as you!!!

    Good luck, I mean that!!!

    sluggo45692 responded:
    If your living together now for 4 months, the newness has worn off. At the begining you prossibly didn't notice the messy person he can be, and he didn't realize your a "neat nick." Don't be critical and nag, but talk to him and tell him your expectations.

    Ask yourself these questions: How long was he living alone? How long were you living alone? Was he living with a woman before? Were you living with a man before? It may sound stupid, but these are important questions. I'm a man and I'm the pick up your stuff person. My gf is get up in the morning at 5 am and maybe get home at 7-8 pm at night. Most nights later than that. She takes care of her parents in the evenings and works 40 hr week. I work 40 hr a week (3rd shift), and try to help her and handle the house. House work just falls behind.

    If he cleans up after himself in the bath (wipes up the splashing and lowers the seat), and doesn't bring parts in and work on them. He may think he's helping. I want to keep my partner happy, but I sometime need to know what she wants and expects. Let him know you expect more help or at least some more attention to detail. I'm sure it's just getting use to each other. Good Luck
    fcl responded:
    My partner was a neatnick when we first lived together. I, on the other hand, lived in organized disorder. It may have looked untidy to the outside world but I knew exactly where everything was. He nearly drove me crazy. He would tidy things away before I finished using them.

    I love cooking. Sometimes I make complicated dishes with several spices. Sometimes the spices needed to be added at different points in the recipe so I would put the ones I needed on the kitchen table and use them as I went along. He would tidy them away before I was finished!

    What saved us was compromise. I learned to be a bit more orthodox tidy and he learned to let go a little. It's been 30 years since then so we must be doing something right

    So just remember that there are two sides to every coin. Oh, and a final piece of information - untidy does not mean dirty.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    osubeej1234 replied to dfromspencer's response:
    Thanks, Dennis for taking time to share your thoughts. I think you are right. It's my delivery that bothers him. He's done a great job and he tries to keep things picked up...I guess I just wish her were more passionate about it. By that I mean doing it because he likes things clean rather than just to please me or keep me from bitching at him. I don't want to sound like his mother..I just want him to feel good about how much I care about our home together and realize that, hey, having a nice clean home is really nice...instead he just says it's not important to him. He is really a good person and good to me. He's trying hard but years of being around other's that didn't care just encouraged the lifestyle. I will be more delicate and less critical. Thanks, again! bj
    osubeej1234 replied to sluggo45692's response:
    I realized the way he lived the first time I was at his house. I kept quiet about it because I never thought about living there....and he'd been with me and at my condo many times so he knew how I lived. He knew my expectations were high and I am less flexible with this issue than any other....I guess to him these are minor issues and shouldn't upset me as much as they do. Maybe he's right. He says I'm trying to change him and I say I'm trying to make him better. Maybe he doesn't want to be better. I don't see me lowering my standards so we have got to find a compromise.

    I appreciate your thoughts. ~bj
    osubeej1234 replied to fcl's response:
    Untidy with my man does mean dirty! Drawers with nothing but junk in them. He lives in a very old house that he's been slowly remodeling. I've added my things to his and everything is so much prettier and looks like a home. I admit my things are eclectic and some are girly things but it doesn't look like a female only home...just one with lots of knick knacks and cutsies. I can understand lots of clutter but draw the line at clean. I am OCD about clean. I know it and I'm trying to work on it but I find I wash my hands a lot and scald the sink and sponges with hot water and use clorox spray a lot!! I suppose I could work on being less rigid about it...but having a happy, clean and tidy home is all I need to be happy with him. It's not that much to ask! Thanks for your thoughts! ~bj
    dfromspencer replied to osubeej1234's response:
    Hi B.J.,

    I was thinking about your situation, and came to this conclusion. What you need to do is, make up a chore chart! This way, he see's what job(s) he has for the day, and he can do them, and that should make you happy, Right?

    Try that for one week, then assess how he has done, and if there could be any changes?!

    Do you think this might help? I hope you two find that happy medium!!! Just remember to breathe when he screws something up. LOL!!!

    I want to wish you total happiness!!!

    sluggo45692 replied to osubeej1234's response:
    I understand about the OCD on clean. I was a food service inspector in the Navy and am ServSafe certified with my prior job of Correctional Food Service Coordinator. When I took my first course in the Navy my instructor told us some very good advise. When you go home, don't expect mom to be as clean as your being trained to be. I went home and OMG was he right. Mom was p.o.'d at me for 2 weeks when I came home the first time. I spent 2 hours cleaning the fridge and throw almost a whole large trash bag away of food leftovers. It ended up costing me $150.00 to replace all the food I pitched to make her happy. I learned to relax a little and did a little give and take. Mom also learned a few things from me. It still drives me crazy when she smokes and cooks, she doesn't get mad when I tell her to set her cig down when she cooks.

    I don't keep a commerically clean kitchen. I just don't have the time. I do have sanitary surfaces and utinsils, ensure food is safe to eat and keep my messes to a minimum. Keep trying to educate, but don't try to make major changes at first. Little victorys get bigger over time. Good Luck
    fcl replied to sluggo45692's response:
    This is why I said that untidy didn't mean dirty - lol. For years I worked in commercial kitchens, dining rooms, hotels and everything had to be pristine clean. My home is and always was spotless ... but untidy
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    tlkittycat1968 responded:
    I'm in the same position but the opposite: my husband is the neat one and I'm not. Yes, my house is a bit messy but it's not necesarily dirty. Once it gets to a certain point, I do clean it but not as often as my husband. I've gone to the store and come home to a clean living room but I can't find anyting because he put it someplace.

    What gets me is he knew how I was before he moved in and it hasn't gotten any better after kids.
    queston replied to tlkittycat1968's response:
    A couple thoughts on this...

    My office is fairly untidy, but it is a working space (relaxation is not the goal), and it is NOT a shared space.

    At home, it's the opposite. I keep things tidy because clutter is a stressor and because it is a form of courtesy to the people with whom you share the space.

    For those who are the less neat partner. I'm far from a neat freak, but a cluttered house stresses me out. It's hard to relax in a cluttered living room. So try to keep that in mind of your partner wants you to be tidier. It's stress-reducing for them.
    fcl replied to queston's response:
    Just a comment, this swings both ways. It can be very stressful for a not-so-tidy person to live in an extremely neat, pristine home. I recommend that both partners compromise by taking a step or two in the direction of the other till they reach a point where they're both comfortable in their home. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

    Extremes are seldom good solutions ...
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    queston replied to fcl's response:
    I completely agree, FCL. Compromise honors and empowers both parties. Non-compromise tends to give one party all of the power and leave the other feeling resentful.

    It's not all that different from mismatched libidos, where the lower libido partner has all the power in the sexual relationship. A partner who, say, decides to lives as messily as s/he likes (after all, if their partner wants the house neater, s/he can make it neater), or who imposes their high standards of tidiness on their partner without compromise, is sending the message that their partner's preferences and desires are unimportant to them.

    No one likes receiving that message.

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