My Boyfriend is Way too Messy

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2010
My Boyfriend is Way too Messy
Sat, 02-18-2012 - 12:41pm

I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 4 years. We've lived together for 2 of them. The past year I have been working jobs that require me to live on site during the week, but I can go home on the weekends. My boyfriend has always been a little messy, but I feel like it has gotten way worse. I am embarrassed to have people come over to the house. I'm not there all week and the place gets trashed, dishes in the sink, and when they don't fit in there, they are all over the kitchen counter. Clothes left all over the floor in every room. Glasses and plates left everywhere. It's terrible. I use to come home and clean, but last weekend I refused to - I didn't make ANY of the mess. He seemed ok with it, and said he would clean, but when I came home this weekend, he still hadn't done anything. He says that his work is stressful - which I know it is, and that he just works and then goes to work out. he works 8-9 hours a day, but there is time to clean, even like a 1/2 hour. I want to talk to him, lay down the law, and say that I won't put up with this anymore.

I feel like saying,"I will not come home on the weekends if the place is such a mess." - which is how I feel, but I know that this will lead to a huge blow up, and I really don't want to start that. I was wondering if anyone has any advice for me on how to approach this situation. I love my boyfriend, but his laziness is driving me crazy. This weekend I have a friend crashing at our place, so I sucked it up and have just cleaned the place - well everywhere but the bedroom. I feel like leaving it this clean gives me leverage to talk to him about keeping it clean. I just cannot find the right way to talk to him about it. Please help.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Sat, 02-18-2012 - 5:41pm

Bekka, you've already talked with him and nothing changed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sat, 02-18-2012 - 6:19pm

Have you considered using a weekly maid service?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2009
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 9:51am

My SO have been living together for about four and a half years now, and we both work about 10 hours a day. Sometimes because of practice or gym/kickboxing or other activity that I'm doing, I don't get home until after 10pm. There's still time to unload the dishwasher or wipe down the counters. It doesn't take that long to maintain a house. No one does heavy cleaning during weekdays, we set aside particular weekends to do more involved cleaning. There's no excuse to live like a slob, especially with food items like dirty plates and garbage left out. My SO is generally clean but he does some things that make absolutely no sense, like leaving recycling in the sink (empty salsa jars do not need to soak full of water in the sink for days). Men will ALWAYS have bizarre ideas about cleaning.

Maybe you could assign him a couple of less-involved tasks, like unloading the dishwasher (it really takes 60 seconds), taking out the garbage, etc. Show him how easy it is to rinse a dish and put it in the dishwasher or if you don't have a dishwasher, to take his one dinner plate or glass, wash it, then put it in the drying rack. Dishes in the sink become crusty and difficult to clean, but if you clean it right away, it takes no effort at all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 3:42pm

My husband and daughter are the neatniks (aka normal people) at my house, and they have come up with some ways to make me participate in normal housekeeping tasks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 5:57pm
Why not meet him halfway. Get paper plate and disposable ustensils for him to throw out when he is done. Set up a hamper where he is more prone to toss his drawers. Get him convenience meals so he doesnt dirty up as many pans. Etc.

Would he be willing to try something like that?
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Thu, 03-01-2012 - 11:30am

My kids drive me crazy, and the paper plates, etc finally ended up being the best compromise we ever made.