Thursday, August 2, 2007

How To Deal With A Messy Partner

Hi! I found your website and I told myself I would give writing in a shot. I need your advice on something. Okay, here it goes...

I have been dating my boyfriend for almost a year and a half. We moved in together in May of this year and everything was great; but now, I am beginning to have second thoughts about our relationship. I like being with him, but I think I hate living with him! He is really messy and I would always have to ask him to clean his mess. He never cleans his own mess and I am the only one who washes the dishes, mops the floor, does the vacuum cleaning, dusts the furniture and everything.

I don't have a job so I stay home all day while he works full time so I know he gets tired after work and I understand that; but I also believe that it should not be an excuse to why I should be the only one doing all the house works. I think it fair that he helps, too, even by just picking up his own things.

I already knew that he was messy even before we moved in together and we had a talk about it. I said I didn't want to end up getting mad at him for making messes and he reassured me that he wouldn't be messy when we move in together. Now, whenever I complain about the mess and ask him to deal with it, he becomes very defensive and he easily gets mad at me.

He would always want me to point out the things that he left out so he can take care of them instead of hearing me complain. Well, I don't think I have to specify everything! I do not like to clean up every mess he makes and I do not like to live in a messy apartment so I always end up doing everything! He is the type of person who doesn’t care if a house is clean or not but the fact is I do care.

Another thing is that I no longer feel any physical attraction for him. I think he's a great guy and I love him a lot but I am no longer in the mood to go physical with him. Believe it or not, we haven’t been intimate in months. The main reason is that I am having health issues. The next reason is because I do not like to. I am not even missing it.

Sometimes I look at him and I tell myself that maybe, we should just be friends. I like spending time with him but at the same time, I feel overwhelmed with the situation. I can't figure out why I feel this way and whenever I try to talk to him about it, he just brushes it off. I do not know if it is because he is so afraid about breaking up and he doesn't want to deal with it at all.

If we are not living together, it would be a lot easier. I would just probably suggest a breakup, a cool-off or something else, but we are living in a one bedroom apartment together and our lease is going to expire next May. I feel like I have no other options but to stay with him.

Another problem is that if I break up with him, I've nowhere else to go. There won't be a place for me to stay. I am really confused about things. I don't know how to make our relationship better. I don't know how to talk to him about how I feel without hurting his feelings. I had tried several times to bring up the issue before him but it never comes out right. Any advice on the matter? Thanks - Molly

Advice:

Before anything else, I would like to let you know that I feel sorry because you are experiencing these things. Anyone who comes into a relationship definitely hopes that things will work out well. Anyway, here is my piece of advice:

Living together is different from the typical boyfriend-girlfriend thing. It would surely require the attitude of being more responsible, understanding and considerate. It’s because we would only know what a person truly is after spending some time with him under the same roof. Your relationship now with your partner is undergoing a period of adjustment. In this period, both of you will start seeing things that might really shatter your worlds.

One of the reasons why you are so disappointed and frustrated about the situation is because things are not coming out based on your expectations. When we say we love a person, part of it is also accepting him for what he is. That also includes his weaknesses. True, you have talked about this matter before you moved in but sometimes, that wouldn’t be enough to settle the whole matter itself.

When you got him then to agree that he won’t be messy anymore once he started living with you, it was a sign that he wants to try. But we have to admit. Changing a personality especially if he is already like that since he was young is not going to be easy. Although we would not say it is impossible. Being his partner, you could help him change this attitude gradually. Little by little. Changing is not an overnight matter; but before that, you would have to learn first how to deal with your partner properly.

First, bear in mind that no partner is perfect. Not even you. You may have complaints about him but what about his good sides? Can you still see him doing things that you would appreciate or totally nothing at all? I hope that this won’t hurt your feelings but he may also have some complaints about you. It’s just that he is not voicing them out because he is the type who doesn’t care much about the things that he may find petty.

Second, when you have to deal with him, how do you talk? Raising up voices and/or nagging aren’t effective ways to communicate with a man. He would not have the interest to listen if he feels like he will just be nagged off. You can help him understand and see your points of view clearer if you will try to change your style of approach. Remember, the best way to communicate with a man is to make him feel comfortable with how you break things out.

Think about the past years of your relationship. How do you communicate with him before when you were still in the courting period? Maybe you should try to break it more gently next time. When you think you are ready to talk to him again about the matter with out sounding like you were nagging, try to talk to him again and explain your side. It’s always good to communicate when both of you are more relaxed.

Third, I think the reason why you are not physically attracted with him anymore is the fact that whenever you see him, what highlights is your feeling of annoyance; and that is what you see on his face. His so called wrongdoings have started to create a much bigger impact on you than your attraction with him. Who would like to be intimate with a person you're annoyed with? You maybe annoyed not because he is messy but maybe it’s because you think he is rather insensitive and not being able to read you well.

You would not really enjoy intimacy with him not unless you would be able to again dig up that attraction that you used to feel for him before you lived together. You are starting to lose romance because he does the things that would turn you off. Things are already becoming boring and you were beginning to think that the best thing to do is to move out.

Come to think of it. If what you really want to do is break up with him, you can do it anytime after you planned things well. Anyway, you are not married and you do not have kids. If that is the case, my advice would be different. But before you do it, try to imagine how things would change if ever you will move out.

You said you have nowhere to go. This is one thing you should consider very carefully. You are somewhat lucky that there is someone who is willing to shoulder all the expenses without requiring you to give your share. Of course it is annoying that he is messy and you are not. It is really difficult to live with a person who has different values and views in life but anyway, he is the man you love and the man who loves you.

He isn’t requiring you anyway to clean up his mess. Meaning, he has no intention of making you act like a slave who would do everything for him. He is just really messy. Give him enough time to change. For sure it will take time.

Another thing, if ever you will break up with him, don’t you think you might be losing a man who could love you for what you are and who you are? Maybe you are missing out his good characteristics because you focus more on how you want him to be and not on what he wants to be. While you see his bad side and tell him with out hesitation that he is doing something wrong, I hope that you would also consider appreciating him for the things that he’s been doing right. Maybe this should balance everything.


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi. Sorry it took so long for a response. Thank you so much
for the advice, as well. It helped a lot. Our relationship has
really improved lately and we are spending a lot more quality
time together, plus he has been cleaning more.

miss_moneymaker said...

Hi, sorry took me long to get over here but thank you for stopping by my blog and your comment.
I like your advice blog. Who can't use advice.
Have a great day!

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