Living with a messy partner does not just affect you space, it also affects your wellness goals.
Have you ever tried to find one pair of your trainers after dressing up for gym? Did you find it? How did that affect your mood? Did you still go to the gym?
Messy is quite different from dirty. A messy person will do their laundry but will leave the clothes lying around.
If there are books on the table, she will shift it and put her own. She will not bother to arrange them properly before reading.
A messy person seems to thrive on mess and clutter. It does not bother them and they do not understand why you are getting all worked up about it, after all they are surviving real fine with it.
It leaves you frustrated, angry and stressed up and to make it worse, your partner is wondering what you are bothered about.
Well it bothers you on so many levels:
- Your time – How many times have you come to the kitchen and you cannot find the particular knife you need and you waste precious time looking for it?
Two days later you find it underneath some newspapers your partner have been reading? How do you get back your time back? What of your car keys you found under his balled up stockings in the afternoon?
That is after you have made a mad dash for the bus in the morning and still ended up 20 minutes late for work.
- Your peace – You have yelled, thrown a world class tantrum, tried passive aggression, sulked, walked around the house with a sullen look and nothing good came out of it. How do you get back your peace that you have lost on several occasion and may lose now as you are reading this when you look for your writing material?
Your partner may chose to ignore you, after all it does not bother him
Here are 5 steps to take with your partner
- Please do not nag
I understand that clutter is not good. I know it drives you crazy and you cannot function in chaos. OK….. but your desire for absolute neatness is driving the other person crazy.
Talking about it all the time especially in a condescending tone will make him defensive and more determined to do what gives him peace ……. And the result – more clutter.
I have a friend who will not tolerate a spot anywhere, she will clean it. If your hair is not in place, she will fetch her comb and take care of your hair with or without your permission
In school she arranged every locker that was unfortunate enough to be open. That is what gives her peace. But she rubs it in by always telling you how to keep everything her own way
That is taxing for a partner
- Find out what that clutter means to him
You don’t know what that clutter means.
You know some things but not everything about where your partner is coming from. That shirt may have a story – maybe it’s a gift from someone.
Are you ready for the pain you may unleash when you go on a de cluttering spree and throw them away? Is it worth it? Sometimes, look and walk away, it’s not worth the trouble.
- Talk about it
Find a good time for both of you, not when you are looking at the mess and are ready to explode.
Do it when the anger and yelling has been forgotten but bear in mind that the conversation can leave you feeling defensive.
You are going into the conversation to tell him how his behavior affects you, don’t be shocked when you hear that living with your squeaky clean attitude is a nightmare for him.
- Try and understand him, then work out a compromise
It may mean leaving a smaller laundry basket where he normally throws his clothes and stockings.
Then pick the basket every 2 days or so. It’s strange but when he gets used to it, the absence of the basket may make him actually go to the laundry room and drop the clothes there.
In case you are fuming now and thinking why you should get a smaller basket for his mess; remember you are the one it bothers, and you are trying out ways to make life easier for yourself.
In case of the missing knife, is there another knife you can use? Must it be that 1 knife?
You can try keeping some of your absolutely necessary stuff in another place so you can get what you want easily.
- Create your own personal space
You will have absolute control over this room, and keep things the way you like.
- Focus on what you love about him
He is messy, but there must be other things that you love about him. Focus on those things and it will make the messy part smaller.
Do not let a messy partner steal your joy. Work out something you can live with. There should be a balance. It is in that balance that you will find:
A better relationship
Regular physical activity
And overall wellness
Do you have a messy partner? How do you cope?
Leave your comments below.