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Discussion Starter #1
It is hard to come across a duller reason for arguing.

I have imagined going to counselling and the therapist mentally clinging to the fact that he/she is being paid to listen to this.

We argue about the mess in the house. Only the mess. Always the mess.

We have been married over 8 years.
We have 3 children under 7.

It is a bit messy. But I'm not aware that many of my friends' homes are much tidier.

It's not awful. People are not shocked when they come round.

But my husband wants it to be as if we had no children.

I say that one day it will be as if we had no children (when they grow up).

He moans and moans and moans and moans.
I no longer have any concern for the topic. I just find his moaning upsetting.

In nearly every other way he's just great. In all other ways he is bearable.
But the endless house issue is too much.

What to do?

(I can't physically achieve what he desires. It just isn't practical with 3 home educated children. I do my best, and it isn't good enough. I haven't got to the point of leaving it as bad as possible. I always try. But I rarely ever reach the standard required. On the occasions when I do, he has the audacity to make comments about other times. This usually precipitates our biggest arguments.)

Is there a way out of this?
Just putting my head down and taking the criticism just isn't working for me. I end up resenting him.

He is certain that he is absolutely justified in his position.

Justified or unjustified, nothing's progressed in 8 years.
 

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I'd hand him a broom or the vacuum and and tell him to go for it.

How much cleaning does he do? I find it funny when the one complaining is contributing to the problem by doing nothing. Is he one of those?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have told him. He knows. He thinks he's justified.

Would leaving the building help? It would be dramatic. But I want a solution. Something to change.
 

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I have told him. He knows. He thinks he's justified.

Would leaving the building help? It would be dramatic. But I want a solution. Something to change.
2 things will happen.

He'll stop fussing. No audience so why bother?

He'll wait for you to come home and do it anyway.

You aren't going to change him... directly anyway. Do what you have control over. Leaving the room when he gets going is dramatic but effective. It will be a clear message sent to him that you will not sit there and tolerate his ranting.
 

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Another point of view.

Your marriage is the most important thing here as it's the foundation of your family. Without it you will not be able to home school your children.

So there are things you could do...

Don't home school your children anymore. This leaves you a lot more time to clean house and they are not there to make a mess.

Hire someone to come in some days to help. There are cleaning services that will come in one day a week and clean the entire house. Or high a high school kid in your neighborhood to come in a few days a week after school and do a quick pickup, clean dishes, etc.

Pick one room in the house, maybe the living room is kept very clean. The children are not allowed in there with toys, etc. So your husband has a place that is in order to retreat to.

Some people are very uncomfortable with clutter and messes. It's their nature and they really cannot do anything about it. IT causes them anxiety. My son’s father was like this. He needed non-messy, uncluttered room he could go to where he’s sit with his head phones no listening to classical music. That’s how he’d unwind from a day at work.

Or limit the kiddy chaos to just one room in the house.. their room or the family room. It’s good for children to learn that they cannot just run ram shod through the house. Some rooms are grownup rooms and some are kid friendly.

My rule of thumb in the situation where one spouses stays at home is that the SAHM/D should work the same number of hours in the home and with children as the other spouse works outside the home.
Say the working spouse works 8 hours a day +a 1 hour round trip commute. So that 9 hours.
So the SAHM/D will also put in a 9 hour day.
Once the working spouse (not to imply that SAHM/D’s don’t work) gets home there the two spouses are equally responsible for doing any leftover chores, shopping, errands, etc.

There is also a website that might help you. They are great tips… flylady.com
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi, thank you for this.

I do get someone in once a week. And it does make a big difference.

And he is someone who cannot cope with mess.

I think it's the magnitude of the ask. Maybe we could try the "one room tidy" option (and make it the living room).

Basically the level of tidiness that he requires makes it simply impossible to progress through our day, doing anything other than focusing on housework. I have tried it. And on those days he is pleased. But the balance was way out when it came to any form of school work.

You're right, I could send the kids to school. But they're important too, and for reasons I won't go into, we've agreed to school them at home.

As for working the same number of hours as him, I simply don't think I could. I need more sleep than he does. He sometimes does super long days, working all day and travelling in the evening. We're not equal in our strength/endurance.

I am looking for a solution that involves him being satisfied, and me being able to sustain the effort.

One of the things he says that makes me see red is that "I make things harder for myself". As in he would manage my job much better than I would. But when he is in charge it's all about tidying. The balance of making sure the children have a decent day, making sure things are bought that need buying, errands are run, people are seen, meals are provided, household chores are cycled, etc has never been done by him. My job is so much more than babysitting and tidying.

He feels that the house not being kept neat is disrespectful to him.

I do not wish to be disrespectful.

(He knows I'm on this forum and has giggled and said that he is going to go on forums too!)

We can only try. I like the idea of one room being there for him to collapse into. And I will talk the idea over with him.

Thanks
 

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How old are your kids? Even kids as young as 3 can be taught to put their toys away in the toy bin. Older kids can do things like vacuum, sweep, put away their clutter, gather the trash, and fold towels. If they are home schooled, they should have plenty of time to do this. What about designating an hour every afternoon before Dad comes home for Fundamentals of Family Living 101 class? Teaching your kids to do housekeeping chores is necessary and an invaluable life lesson.
 

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Some people like clean and no clutter, and there is nothing wrong with them. It doesn't make them OCD!

I like clean. I could absolutely not live in a home that wasn't tidy. I work full time and keep my home clean. It is important to me.

If you have a clutter problem, consider hiring a professional organizer. Maybe you have too much stuff and need to take some to goodwill.
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Can your children help with the cleanup? If they are old enough to be schooled, they are old enough to do some easy cleaning chores from putting away things to folding clothes.

My husband is very neat and tidy. While I'm not a slob or hoarder, I can tolerate a few stacks of magazines and mail on a table and he can't. I know what he really dislikes so I address those. We both work outside the home so we both take an equal share of the cleanup. I can see how if you're home, and he's working long hours outside the home plus travelling, he has expectations of you doing more of the household work. To be honest, it's a fair request. When I was home on maternity leave for several months, I did the majority share of cooking, cleaning, laundry because he was out of the home for about 9 hours of the day. It just seemed unfair to ask him to do as much cleaning as I did on top of his workload outside the home. Now that we both work equal hours outside the home, we split the duties.

I'm not clear from your post what exactly bothers your husband. Is it stacks of things? Is it laundry that's not sorted and put away? Is it childrens' toys and games lying around? Too many dirty dishes or dirty clothes about? Something else? What exactly are his expectations?
 

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How old are your kids? Even kids as young as 3 can be taught to put their toys away in the toy bin. Older kids can do things like vacuum, sweep, put away their clutter, gather the trash, and fold towels. If they are home schooled, they should have plenty of time to do this. What about designating an hour every afternoon before Dad comes home for Fundamentals of Family Living 101 class? Teaching your kids to do housekeeping chores is necessary and an invaluable life lesson.
What this reminds me of is Montessori. My son was in a Montessori program for pre-K and K. He loved it.
One of the things that always got me was that the classroom was always so tidy. Those little kids were given rules to live by and the did it with pride. Each child had a rug. They would take the learning material of the shelf, put it on the rug. Work through the material. Then put that material back and get the next set of learning material on their curriculum.

The Montessori program teaches life skills along with the three R’s. So the children are taught to sweep the room, clean the tables, dust and so forth. It was part of their routine.

I agree that perhaps fewquestions could incorporate how to run a household as part of the curriculum.. after the academic part.
 
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