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Thread: OT: Slob

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    806

    Angry OT: Slob

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    Hi all

    Ok, this is off topic but someone has to help me out here. My boyfriend is a freaking SLOB. We've lived together for about 5 years, though we started out as roommates (yeah...that whole story). We've dated for a little over 3 years.

    He appears to be mentally retarded when it comes to picking his stuff up around the house. I've tried multiple tactics to get him to help me, but usually what happens is I just do it while getting more and more ticked off. We've had discussions about it, and I've adjusted my "approach" to try not to get naggy about it but "ask nicely." But after a while, I just completely lose it. And let me clarify, the man isn't lazy. He'll spend hours in the garage working on his car. We're not even going to get into what the garage looks like because he works on his car for 9 hours at a time some days. But given the proper task, he sure can become motivated. Just not when it comes to my house. I once told him to pretend it was his car so he'd respect it more. I also tried the whole "if you cared" bit. I've asked nicely - "please can you help with...." And I've not spoken to him for days. The last one seemed to work the best, but isn't my ideal way of dealing with things in life.

    For example, this week is really insane for me so I asked him on Sunday to "help me out around the house this week." I come home tonight and there's mail all over the counter, which was added to the other mail that had been added to the counter the past 2 days. His laundry is still sitting on the dining room table. Nothing has been picked up. I'm not asking for a lot here, just to keep the place somewhat uncluttered. I'm by far not a neat freak, and it takes quite a bit for me to lose it. And then when I do get mad, he gets mad at me. Basically in my mind it gets turned around so I'm the bad guy. I rarely raise my voice in life. In fact the only times I get mad at him are because of cleaning.

    So I get home after being gone for 12 hours and lose it. Which included throwing a glass into the sink, which subsequently shattered. He then asks me when I'm going to clean up the glass. I'm now locked in our bedroom and told him I'd talk to him when the house was clean. The last time I got this mad I didn't speak to him for 3 days. Needless to say things got picked up.

    So the point of this tirade of mine is - HOW DO YOU GET A MAN TO PICK HIS @$#!@*(% up?!?!?!?!?!
    "Only the meek get pinched, the bold survive"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Utah, Gateway to Nevada, not to be confused with Idaho
    Posts
    1,872
    A friend of mine sent me this class list today. Looks like you may need to enroll him in a few.

    But seriously, no nag. Stay away from the nag (but it sounds like you're already trying to do that...just resist the urge). I'll search my brain for how I used to deal with this sort of stuff before my DH eventually "got it". I think for a while there I made him do his own laundry. Eventually he had me show him how to work the washing machine. That was a verrrrry long time ago...

    ----------------

    WINTER CLASSES FOR MEN AT THE LEARNING CENTER FOR ADULTS

    REGISTRATION MUST BE COMPLETED BY Monday, Feb. 13, 2006

    NOTE: DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF THEIR CONTENTS, CLASS SIZES WILL BE LIMITED TO 8 PARTICIPANTS MAXIMUM.


    Class 1
    How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays --- Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
    Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

    Class 2
    The Toilet Paper Roll --- Does It Change Itself?
    Round Table Discussion.
    Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

    Class 3
    Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and
    Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub? --- Group Practice.
    Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

    Class 4
    Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor ---
    Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
    Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

    Class 5
    After Dinner Dishes --- Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?
    Examples on Video.
    Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning
    at 7:00 PM

    Class 6
    Loss Of Identity --- Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other.
    Help Line Support and Support Groups.
    Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

    Class 7
    Learning How To Find Things --- Starting With Looking In The Right Places
    And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming.
    Open Forum .
    Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

    Class 8
    Health Watch --- Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.
    Graphics and Audio Tapes.
    Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

    Class 9
    Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost --- Real Life Testimonials.
    Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

    Class 10
    Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
    Driving Simulations.
    4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

    Class 11
    Learning to Live --- Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife.
    Online Classes and role-playing .
    Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

    Class 12
    How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion
    Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.
    Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

    Class 13
    How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy --- Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late.
    Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
    Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

    Class 14
    The Stove/Oven --- What It Is and How It Is Used.
    Live Demonstration.
    Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

    Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    55
    Quote Originally Posted by betagirl
    So the point of this tirade of mine is - HOW DO YOU GET A MAN TO PICK HIS @$#!@*(% up?!?!?!?!?!
    The thing I did which worked instantly with hubby (never had any major problems after that) is to tell him that if he doen't pick up "whatever" of the couch or table or wherever... its going in the trash. My hubby thought it was a joke one day and I threw away one of his favorite shirts, magazines, dirty clothes, etc. It worked! He was furious but I got my point across very well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sillycon Valley, California
    Posts
    4,872
    I was thinking the same thing. Maybe bag everything up in one of those big garbage bags? If you don't want to actually throw anything away, just stash it in the garage or a closet.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hell-uv-a-job
    The thing I did which worked instantly with hubby (never had any major problems after that) is to tell him that if he doen't pick up "whatever" of the couch or table or wherever... its going in the trash. My hubby thought it was a joke one day and I threw away one of his favorite shirts, magazines, dirty clothes, etc. It worked! He was furious but I got my point across very well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,932
    Wow. This is HILARIOUS Yellow, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I am quite happy to realize that currently I don't feel like my boyfriend should attend any of these, except maybe classes 7 and 14. Having been with boys should could benefit from more than half of these, I feel grateful today.

    As for your problem Betagirl... I have no idea. In a way you maybe just have different level of tolerance to clutter/dirt. But if it becomes fundamental, maybe it's a relationship issue.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
    Posts
    9,673
    Fabulous list. We need to enroll my hubby in:

    Class 7
    Learning How To Find Things --- Starting With Looking In The Right Places

    How about just keeping your glasses on your face or in a pocket at all times? Why should we have to look for your glasses before we ever start looking for [insert item here].

    Class 10
    Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
    It is amazing how many male friends and co-workers have complimented me on my parallel driving. But, Bubba? No, he has to direct the whole time so, of course, I screw up.

    Thank goodness he is perfect is all other ways (or I've just sunk to the same level of slobdom).
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Folsom CA
    Posts
    5,667
    Either fortunately or unfortunately, Lee and I are both slobs of roughly equivalent magnitude.

    You should see the frenzied cleaning runs we do when we have people over. Which is why we don't have people over often...

    Best of luck, betagirl. Sorry I can't be of any help to you here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,387
    I hate to say it, but I don't think you can make someone change if they don't want to, even nicely. I think if you keep nagging and yelling and doing the silent treatment, he may eventually choose to find someone who better tolerates his slobbiness.

    You could hire a maid and bill him for it! (They really aren't that expensive, and are _so_ worth it. I went through a couple year period of being able to afford that, with a BF that thought cleaning was not his job, though he was far from messy.)

    Nanci
    ***********
    "...I'm like the cycling version of the guy in Flowers for Algernon." Mike Magnuson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    806
    Yellow - those are hilarious.

    Thanks everyone for the tips, kind words, etc. I'm actually planning on hiring a cleaning lady when we move because I'm beginning to have less and less time to keep up with it. If I worked a "normal" schedule and had more free time I'd not be so annoyed. I specifically lost it yesterday because I asked him nicely earlier in the week to help me, which he agreed to do. When I walked in yesterday and he was sitting on the couch I started by repeating what we'd agreed on. Instead of getting a "jeez I'm sorry" or anything similar, he acted like what the house looked like wasn't a big deal. That just got me more annoyed, and when I picked up the glass that'd been on the coffee table for 2 days and saw the kitchen it was over. He's explained to me he doesn't respond to being yelled at, which I understand. Nobody wants to be yelled at. And I try really hard to not get to that point. What I don't understand is I'm not the type to yell, and he knows this. So he knows when it gets to this point, I'm REAL angry. All I'm hoping for is a compromise, but whenever he does figure out that I'm getting tired of it nothing sticks for very long.

    I've actually threatened to throw his stuff out. I also threatened to pile it in his car because that's his pride and joy But I've never done it. I think today I'll put all of it in bags and stash it somewhere. He needs to attend the "how to look for stuff" class so he'll never find it

    What sucks about this is this is the only thing we fight about. We have a fantastic relationship with a drama quotient of 0. So this is just stupid. Part of me thinks that he figures I'll get over it and resume cleaning up. What really annoys me is I'm a grad student in psychology, and I *know* what's supposed to work. My prof's say you'll never be able to apply it to your own life because of the emotional factors involved in personal relationships. Why do they have to be right?

    Thanks for letting me b*tch
    "Only the meek get pinched, the bold survive"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    724
    You could do what the woman a few weeks ago on the Today show did. She packed all the kids and Hubbies stuff up that they didn't pick up and sold it all on ebay. The woman who bought the whole lot for 400 dollars offered to give it all back but the mom said No it would never get her point across so they donated everything to charity. They asked her if she still has this problem and she says they all pick up now.
    However, this may end a relationship. I like Nanci's idea. Hire someone to do it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,853
    Quote Originally Posted by Hell-uv-a-job
    The thing I did which worked instantly with hubby (never had any major problems after that) is to tell him that if he doen't pick up "whatever" of the couch or table or wherever... its going in the trash. My hubby thought it was a joke one day and I threw away one of his favorite shirts, magazines, dirty clothes, etc. It worked! He was furious but I got my point across very well.
    I did the same thing with a college roommate, she would leave dishes in the sink until they were moldy...I started giving her three days, then into the dumpster they went. This happened a half dozen times until she realized I was serious.

    Electra Townie 7D

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    53
    My parents actually used the trash bag method on me when I was a child and I have to admit it worked. So that's not a bad approach.

    I would also suggest that you sit down and assign very specific things for him to do - like cleaning the bathroom every saturday morning, or you cook dinner and he cleans the dishes. Just vaguely telling him to do more around the house may not work if he has a different standard of what are acceptable living conditions. It wouldn't solve the day-to-day problems of leaving a shirt in the middle of the floor, but it might make you less angry if you felt he was contributing more. However, whatever you do has to be an agreement - not a one-sided demand - in order for it to work.

    Good luck.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Chico, CA
    Posts
    39
    Are you sure you're not dating my BF? It sounds so like him a few months ago. I met him 5 years ago and we both had our own places. Mine was tidy like a Japanese garden, his was a stinky brothel. We moved in together 4 years ago and things declined in the cleaning dept. I tried not cleaning and did not work; I tried yelling and (duh!!!) did not work, I tried asking nicely and did not work. This year I took off to prepare for GRE, Gradchool aps, etc... So he's out working and I'm in the house and take care of much of the cleaning...All I demand from him is 1) keep things clean; it shows respect for my house work; 2) when I ask you for a chore, do not do it at your leisure (i.e., a month later), do it NOW. I tried in the past discussing my worries with him. I told him (and I firmly believe this) that doing 1) and 2) is a way of showing love and respect in our everyday dealings. He told me that being "messy" was his nature, which is a bunch of bull. Eventually sh$t his the fan for a different reason and the issue was brought up again and this time it clicked. We had a serious discussion about how what he call "little things" matter and are the meat and bones of a relationship. I made him understand that his disregard for 1) and 2) was equivalent to me blowing his salary on heels. So, my advice is to have a serious conversation that would make him understand the magnitude of the issue.
    Good luck!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,324

    Devil's Advocate

    Is it possible you're over reacting?

    Speaking from personal experience, stress causes me to wig out over the littlest things. I think it's because I can't tell the people who are really causing me the stress how I feel about them, so I bring it home and unload it all on Thom periodically.

    V.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    146

    They honestly don't see it

    I have a husband and 3 boys. They honestly don't see the same things you do. I think you might have some luck if you were to make a list of things that had to be done on a regular basis around the house, then ask him to choose some he would do.

    Doing this really helped my relationship. My husband didn't really want to piss me off, but he really didn't see the same things I did. By being specific and externalizing it via the list, we were able to share the tasks.

    Just an idea.
    Last edited by sydney_b; 02-08-2006 at 08:30 AM.

 

 

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