#AskHappenings: Help! My spouse’s messiness is driving me crazy

#AskHappenings: Help! My spouse’s messiness is driving me crazy

Mfonobong Akpan

Dear Happenings,

My writing to you simply means I can’t take it anymore. My husband has never really being one that pays attention to where he drops his towel after taking a bath or where he puts his shirt when he returns from work. He is always looking for one thing or the other because he seldom remembers where he put them. He is just so disorganised, our room is always a mess when I don’t take my time to clean it up. One time I was out of town for a while and when I got back our home was like a train had gone through it. I’m a very organised person so my dear husband’s habit is driving me crazy. What can I do to help him?

Thank you.


I’m quite happy to have gotten your mail.The fact is that no two individuals are the same when it comes to what they deem as important and not. While one person may be great at paying attention to detail like yourself, the other is probably better at fixing stuff. The point is you both have your strengths and weaknesses alike.

The first thing that you should do is make sure that your spouse knows that his or her disorder bothers you;have a conversation. In making this known, don’t be judgemental or attack his person. For some, disarray is normal so they may not even realise that it is an issue. He may have had an upbringing where this didn’t matter.Therefore patience and understanding is required to instill change. Also, understand that it is a matter of priority and not necessarily of character.

You can help him by placing a basket in the room where he can easily drop his shirt in when he comes back from work and you can also have him hang his towel after use in the bathroom instead of on the bed. Then again you can get him a box or an empty drawer where he can put in all the little items he would usually have to search for. Another helpful trick is having these boxes or drawers labelled for easy identification.

To help you further you can compromise on the spaces in the house that have to clean at all times and rooms that can be cleaned once in a while – private spaces – this might help to bring about a gradual awareness and prevent you from stepping on the other person’s toes or harboring resentment.

You can even make clean up fun or promise him a reward for picking up after himself. Schedule a few hours once a month where both of you agree to spend that time cleaning. This way, both of you are agreeing to make cleaning a priority. I’m quite sure that he’d gradually begin to change.

Hope this helps.

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