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> An Anal-retentive Husband...need Advice
post 12/18/08 03:05 PM
Post #1

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Joined: 08/26/08
Relationship Status: Married

We've been married 4 months and have lived in our house 9 months. I've known my husband 5 years and although he's always been anal-retentive and a clean freak, it's recently starting to affect our relationship.
We both work full-time, no kids. I like to spend my nights relaxing or doing something I enjoy like a hobby but he feels the need to spend each night working on things in the house or cleaning. He expects me to spend my evening doing the same and when I don't, he gets mad that I;m not doing my share around the house. Some of these things, however, I don't feel are necessary. I can totally see having laundry done and dishes washed, etc (which I help out with)...but it's little things that HE feels need to be done...clean the glass closet door, empty the bathroom garbage, dust the TV...those are some examples, but basically if he has to TELL me to things like this (which I don't even consider necessary), he gets mad because I should have thought of them myself. Although I'm not a super neat person, I am not a slob and our house is not a pigpen.

One thing that really irritated me is the other day I accidentally forgot to close the cupboard door, and he made it a point to call me into the kitchen and tell me to please close the cupboard door because I left it open so he shouldn't have to close it!!!

Anyhow, we have no time anymore for each other. He/we are always cleaning or working. I am beginning to feel distant from him, like he's my roommate and not my husband. I feel as though he puts the house before our relationship which is stupid, because without our relationship, we wouldn't even have this house.

So how can I deal? Am I supposed to submit to his requests (and forgo my free time) to appease him just because he happens to be anal-retentive and a neat freak? It seems as though this is the only way to make him happy!
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post 12/18/08 03:48 PM
Post #2

AMVU Senior
Gender: Venusian Venusian
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Joined: 09/28/06
From: california

Yes, I can tell you how to fix this.

Whenever he calls you in to do something, say, the close the cupboard door,
for example, you say, "Oh, now I am looking at this cupboard, it is a mess. Let's
empty everything out right now and clean it." Then do it. Take every item
out, ask him to dust it, wash the shelves, and then put everything back,
arranging it perfectly.

Everytime he asks you to do something, up his ante. If he wants the bed
made, say, "You know, we need to take everything off the bed, turn the box spring,
in fact we should take the box spring outside to air it for a couple of hours."

Never sit down. Make him have to stop first. Make him say, "OK Let's quit
cleaning." Then you say, "But now we have the closet so neat, I am noticing
that the clothes are not really hung right. We need to take everything off the
hanngers and rehang them."

Always, make a much bigger production out of everything. Never grumble, complain,
or be unpleasant. Accept that you will be giving up your evenings for a few weeks, but I promise you, in a very short time after he finds out that he is going to have to spend hours doing things he has not planned, he will stop asking.

I finally had to do this with my mother. It worked like a charm.

This whole dynamic has to do with him losing control, and he will not like it. He will stop.

Anna K.
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post 12/18/08 05:27 PM
Post #3

AMVU Freshman
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Joined: 04/07/08
From: Australia
Relationship Status: In a Relationship

I like annakarenina's reply....I wish I had done the same thing with my ex who was a bit like that.

If you do what AK suggests let us know how you go!
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