It can be frustrating when your significant other doesn’t share your standards for cleanliness. It’s not uncommon for couples to have different cleaning styles. One person may be neater than the other, or one may have higher standards for cleanliness. If you’re married to a messy spouse, then it can be tough to deal with the disparity.
Whether it’s leaving clothes on the floor or leaving dishes in the sink, dealing with a partner who doesn’t share your neat-freak tendencies can be downright frustrating. But before you start nagging, there are a few things you can do to make the situation more bearable.
5 Steps to deal with a messy spouse:
1- Explain your perspective on things:
First, try to have a conversation about why tidiness is important to you. If they understand your perspective, they may be more likely to make an effort to be neater.
Also, do the same, and instead of getting upset, try to look at the situation from their perspective. Or, maybe they were always under the impression that keeping a home clean or tidy is not a priority and they lived that way for years before they met you. Maybe they grew up in a household where messiness wasn’t an issue, or they simply don’t see the value in keeping things clean.
So explain to them why it’s important to you and why you think it would make a difference in your day-to-day lives. If they’re still resistant, try to compromise and take on more of the cleaning yourself. After all, you’re the one who minds the mess not them. And, at the end of the day, effective communication is key to making any relationship work.
2- Be gentle and understanding:
No one is perfect, and even the most organized person can have a messy moment or a messy day, or even a week. If you’re living with a messy spouse, it can be tough to keep your cool. After all, when you come home to a cluttered house, it can feel like your spouse is leaving their mess for you to deal with. However, instead of getting angry, try to be understanding.
Try to remember that everyone has different standards for cleanliness. Don’t nag or criticize your spouse, as this will only make them feel defensive and less likely to want to change. Instead, try to gently encourage them to help out more around the house. Plus, if you nag your spouse about their messiness, it could make them feel horrible about themselves.
By being understanding and respectful of your spouse’s cleaning habits, you will demonstrate that you’re not so narrow-minded to actually believe that your opinion is the only right way. It’s important to remember that everyone is different and that there is no right or wrong way to keep a home clean.
3- Set new rules and encourage new habits:
You can also try setting some ground rules, such as having them put their clothes in the hamper or washing the dishes before going to bed. Or, you could try setting up a cleaning schedule so that each of you is responsible for certain tasks on certain days.
If all else fails, you can always hire a maid service to come in and help out! If you cannot afford to, then you’ll have no choice but to set aside some time each week to tidy up together, at least. This way, you don’t have to live in a dirty and messy place for life. This can help you to bond as a couple and make sure that both of you are pitching in.
4- Try leading by example:
Also, try leading by example and keeping the house as clean as you can. Yes, it’s true that if you’re always picking up after them, they’re less likely to feel like they need to tidy up. But try to keep your own space as neat as possible, at least.
This will not only encourage them to do the same but it will also provide you with a calm and organized retreat from the messiness of the rest of the house.
You can’t expect them to take on additional responsibilities when you don’t fulfill your own. So show them that you’re willing to put in the work and be a role model for what you expect from them. Once they see how much easier it is to live in a clean and well-organized home, they’ll be more likely to pitch in and help out.
Leading by example is one of the best ways to get your messy spouse to help out more around the house. You can’t just tell them what needs to be done; you need to show them by doing it in front of their eyes many times while explaining why it matters. Be a role model for the behavior you want from them and soon enough, they’ll be following your lead.
5- Reward good behavior:
In the end, it can be really frustrating dealing with a messy spouse, especially if you’re neat and tidy yourself. But don’t despair: there is hope! In fact, one last way you can resort to in order to deal with a messy spouse is to reward little changes and good habits.
For example, if your spouse starts making the bed in the morning, give them a big hug and tell them how much you appreciate it. Or, if they start putting their dirty clothes in the hamper instead of leaving them on the floor, offer to do something special for them: like cooking their favorite dinner.
You can even say that you’re too tired to make an effort in the kitchen but can make that one big special meal they like; if they promise to do the dishes and set the table up.
The key is to provide an incentive: something that will make your spouse want to keep up the good work. With a little patience and persistence, you’ll soon have a tidy spouse and a much happier home! Check this article out if your spouse gets a little upset or angry when you ask for help around the house.