As a wife, imagine leaving your spouse at home for some hours. Your home was clean because you are a very clean person. It is, perhaps, one of the reasons why your spouse admires you. Upon your return, for a moment, you think you are in the wrong house.
It takes you a minute to realize that this is actually your home; it is just filled with a lot of clutter. If I were to be that wife, of course, I would get mad. First of all, cleaning is hard work, and also, give me a break! I just cleaned the house.
In that state of anger, you are bound to say a few mean words. Well, I doubt your spouse will take it lightly. Fast forward, you two have an argument, which is only the start of many others.
Look, I get it. Living with a messy spouse can drive you crazy literally and I know you don’t want to be called a crazy wife. But, if you happen to have emotional outbursts as seen in the above scenario, congratulations on being the crazy wife.
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I understand that women get to deal with this almost all the time. Society implies that cleaning is a job for women while the men bring the money home. However, a messy husband can lead to a breakdown of the marriage.
In a survey conducted, messiness was one of the leading causes of contention in marriages. They say opposites attract so while you are a neat freak wife, your husband is one heck of a messy spouse.
Now how do you two meet each other halfway without losing your sanity? What is it like to live with a messy spouse? How do you deal with a messy husband? So, instead of an emotional outburst, what you need is a practical solution.
Communication is vital in every relationship, and especially so with a messy husband. However, when communicating your frustrations about the mess he creates, be very specific about what bothers you. Habit, they say, is second nature, so it is quite understandable that he won't exactly change the first time you talk to him about his messiness.
Also, watch your attitude as you express your frustration. Do not use words like "always" or ‘’never’’. For instance, "You always leave the dishes in the sink." or "You never clean up after you." Your way of speaking will solve the problem and lead to more arguments between the two of you. Discuss how you can help each other to keep the rooms clean.
Be very clear about things you are not willing to negotiate on, however, you should note that it is not a dictatorship. Allow room for democracy; hear his point of view as you see the various ways forward in ensuring a clean environment without conflict.
Assign chores to your husband so that he understands the efforts it takes in ensuring a clean environment at home. I understand your hesitation in allowing your spouse to help with doing some cleaning tasks. This is because you are likely to think that they are bound to make it worse since they put the place in disarray in the first place.
However, aside from making him understand the efforts involved in making the home a liveable place, sharing duties boosts your connection with each other. As you assist each other, you get to bond on the job and have a sense of fulfillment when the home is all neat and tidy. Also, you get to finish the task at half record time when you and your spouse work together.
The fact that you have told him that he is messy and needs to clean up after him doesn't mean that he needs to clean up after himself doesn't mean he will automatically stop. So be patient, allow room for mistakes. Change takes time.
Be realistic and willing to compromise. If you happen to be a neat freak living with a messy husband, you will just have to accept that your abode will not always be neat. So, be willing to make sacrifices, your spouse would obviously try to do the same in order not to incite any problem with you.
Just don’t rub it in his face. Meet yourselves halfway as you find common ground, as you two make sacrifices to enable peace in the marriage.
Establish zones at home that should never be in a mess. A clean zone could be an area like the living room or kitchen countertops, so you know you will have an issue with him if he doesn't do the dishes as he is supposed to. You could also establish messy zones like his office table, where you won't bother him to clean up when you see the mess.
There, your spouse can be as messy as he wants and if he wants something on that table, he knows how to go about it. The essence of creating these zones is to enable your spouse to take responsibility for his messy side and clean up at his own convenience. It is very wise though to start small, as it will help put a neat routine in place.
Learn to encourage and praise your husband as he tries to make progress with his messy attitude. Praises are a form of encouragement. You need to realize that change is a gradual process. It takes time. However, your feedback will determine whether the progress will be stagnant or not.
Learn to lower your expectations for your spouse as it will help you to recognize any improvement. Praising your spouse shows that you value each other’s needs.
Your language is also telling of your encouragement. So be appreciative if he does the laundry or does the dishes. Say things like “I appreciate you taking your clothes off the bathroom floor”. It would make your spouse know that his efforts are appreciated. So next time, he will make a conscious effort to put his clothes in the right place. That, in itself, creates positive energy.
Your attitude will be a factor in determining whether this issue is solvable or not. Understand that you will make headway if you are empathetic. It's quite normal to be on the attack when we come home to see a very messy place. And since nobody likes to be confronted in an unfriendly manner, tensions are bound to arise and cause issues in the marriage. So be kind. It helps.
Where your reasonable efforts fail, get house help. Most couples think they can do it all on their own. However, where your messy spouse is driving you insane with his mess, and you both think you can afford it, a house help can help ease the pressure. The help does not necessarily have to clean daily and do the minor chores.
The cleaning could center on very big cleaning projects like dusting the entire house every month which could go quite easy on your budget. This is an option worth exploring if you and your spouse consider it.
Do not allow a trivial matter like living with a messy person to destroy your marriage. So, before you let his mess drive you insane, go for counseling. There may be no progress because there may be some deep-rooted issues that you may need to address. I get that you are tempted to say, “But my spouse is the messy one”.
While that is true, it is possible that unknown to you, you may have become a parent to your spouse. With the way men are wired, you are not going to get any results if you treat your spouse like that. So, try to take your spouse along for counseling sessions. if he refuses, go alone, so that you can learn how to handle this issue.
To be able to deal with a messy husband, you need to: communicate, assign chores, compromise, establish clean zones in the home, be patient, mind your attitude, be encouraging and get rid of excess clutter. However, where it proves too difficult, you could get help and when that fails, you both need to get counseling.
To be able to deal with a lazy and unmotivated husband, you need to try to meet him halfway. Reason with him, lower those standards you've set for him. Also, let love lead, don’t threaten him, be firm but flexible and be open-minded.
A messy house is a common issue in every household, however, extreme messiness has been linked to a psychological disorder called Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder(OCD).
A selfish husband is a man who always puts his needs first before the family. This man does not care about the effects of his actions on you.
While it is true that living with an untidy guy can almost drive you out of your mind, it is very possible to manage the situation and come out with outstanding results following the guidelines above.
I hope you enjoyed this piece. Let me know your thoughts on this and do not forget to share.