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Discussion Starter #1
Issue: CLEAN HOUSE??.:confused:

Back ground:
Together: 5 years
Kids: 2 (10 and 8)
Jobs: Me: Military, Wife: Stay at home home
Typical Day Me: Up at 5am don't get home to 5pm (working)
Typical Day Wife: Up at 6 am, gets the kids ready for school, takes them to school, goes to the gym, picks the kids up.
Ages: 29

I know I have handled this issue in the past very wrong. I would call my wife lazy and or half ass because she doesn't like to clean the house. My wife has told me in the beginning that she never wants to be like her mother, yet I look at her and see that is the exact person she is turning into.
However before I begin, I want to state that my house isn't dirty or filthy. But the house isn't up to my standards. I just know I wouldn't invite people over to my house the way it looked/looks. I would feel embarrassed, and my wife just don't see that.

Recent Event(s): I'm home for two weeks for R&R before I have to return back to the desert for another 6 months. When I get to the airport I'm happier then ever cause I get to see my wife and kids for the first time in over 6 months. I get home, and the first thing I notice is 28 pairs of shoes laying all around the front door. Not neatly stacked or place, just thrown where ever. Not only is there 28 pairs of shoes, but dirty socks as well. We have a shoe rack at the door, and it wasn't really being used. I have no problem if my wife and kids wants 50 pairs of shoes, but the shoe rack only holds about 4-5 pairs of shoes per rack. I confronted my wife and said this is unsat, yet she looked at me and said he doesn't have an issue with it. I told my kids the same and had them clean up their shoes and socks. Asked them to place only 4-5 pairs of shoes there and take the rest to their room. I didn't ask my wife to do it, I figured she was an adult and didn't want make her feel like a kid. So I gave it two days, before I asked her to do them same. Of course she got defensive and told me I wasn't her father and she sees no issue with having 10+ shoes by the door. I told her it looks like your stuffing 10 pounds of **** in a 5 pound bag.
Next issue I had was the laundry. A few days before I came home my wife posted she wasn't motivated to do anymore laundry. When I got home, I noticed the baskets (2) of clean clothes that my wife talked about 2 days ago. I asked her why they haven't been folded and put away, she told me "i don't know".
Following that, I went to use our guest bathroom, and had to throw something away. I noticed the trash can was pretty full and didn't have a trash bag. When I asked why there wasn't a bag in their my wife's response was " I don't know". I asked how can you not know, you are throwing stuff in there. To make things worst, when I went to empty it out and put a new trash bag in it, I found a dirty diaper. I asked her a few more times, how can you not put a trash bag in a trash can. Who does this? She response again was " I don't know".
Now I go to put my kids to bed and noticed their bed room was a complete mess. My kids have a play room and a bed room, nothing is in the bed room but their furniture and clothes. I get in the room and there is crap everywhere. clothes all over the floor, trash under the bed, toys in the closets. I told the kids, when they get home from school the next day they would clean it. Once again I asked my wife how could you let their room get this way. Her response "I don't know, it's normally not like that" Of course I didn't believe her.
Now I get to our bed room, she has dirty and clean clothes laying all over the floor and bed, with hampers half full. I asked why can't you pick up after yourself. Once again her response was "I don't know." Of course there are bags in the room with what I call junk in it and when I ask her what it is, she tells me its stuff she put in a bag and just left it there, that she has't gotten to it yet. I've been home now for a week and the bag is still there. Then I go into the bathroom, and wow what do I see, ants all over the counters. I understand I live in FL, and these so called sugar ants come out, but I told her if you keep wet area's clean they won't be here. I mean there was tooth paste on the counter, she hair products all over the dual sinks, mouth wash on the counters. So of course the ants where having a field day. Then I go to empty the trash can, and what do I see??? More ants. I'm not sure when the trash can was last changed, but seeing all those ant's tells me it may have been awhile.
Finally, I start cleaning some things and snooping around and I notice my wife puts **** everywhere, and there is no real organization. MY wife calls it organized chaos, yet she still can't find things. I found mail in 5 different locations, and asked why this is. Some things made sense like, my new credit cards, but a lot of the mail was useless and just placed where ever she could find a spot.
I know my wife and I come from different family back grounds. I learned how to clean and how i THINK thinks should be done or cleaned from my mother. She cleaned houses all her life. So I base my cleaning habits from my mother. My wife on the other hand didn't live in that same environment, and wasn't shown how to do things or how to clean things the way I did. Growing up she didn't live in a clean house, and things weren't always clean and had a place. I feel she lives the way she grew up. and she doesn't see an issue with that. In the past she has expressed she was never shown how to do certain things, so I have showed her and told her this is how my mother showed me.
9 times out of 10 when I say something to my wife she gets defensive and states its always your way or no way. I try and tell her if it was my way things would be much different then what they are. I have looked at the situation and made a compromise, but she doesn't see it that way at all since it isn't the way she runs the house.
I don't expect my house to be immaculate, but I do enjoy a clean neat house. Being in the military I learned at a young age to clean up after myself and know that there is a place of everything. So I expect my house to be clean and neat when I get home from work or even a deployment. I know I have told my wife since she doesn't have a job that the house is her job for now. She doesn't like my answer, but I feel its the truth. Now I'm not saying she should do all the work, oh HELL NO! I do my part as well, and help out all the time, but I don't want to pick up after my wife all the time. When my wife cooks, I clean the dishes, I of course do most of the yard work. Hell while I'm deployed my wife wanted me to hire someone to take care of the yard, and I did. I didn't want to, cause I have everything in the garage to do the job. But that is what my wife wanted. She is an adult and she SHOULD know her responsibilities. My wife thinks the house is clean and is acceptable. Then I asked her a question, would you like to have people that you care about over to your house looking the way it looked, she paused and couldn't give me an answer at first, then said "NO". I then stated, that is how I feel too, I would like my house to always be presentable.
My wife hates when she feels like I act like her father and not her husband. I understand what she is talking about, but at the same time I feel I have to sometimes since when I hint it, or ask her she doesn't do it. So I have to. I don't like to, but I feel at times it is the only way I can get my point across.
This has been an on going battle for all 5 years, but I figured I would post the most recent events.
My wife is a wonderful person, but I just feel she gets very lazy and or half-ass when it comes to having a clean house. She is a wonderful mother to our kids, and very supportive, and loving wife. But when it comes to this issue, she has "dropped the ball". I don't want a divorce or get rid of her. She is my world. And I feel as a couple we should be able to work out our issues together.
Once again my wife always feels that it has to be my way, and at times I do feel that way. When I ask her what is her way, she doesn't have an answer, she just gets mad at me and says "I don't know". I have little things I have issues with like the tooth paste lid not on, and the way the toilet paper should be put on the roller. But these are things I can correct myself and don't get too upset at. Maybe in the past I did, but now I just let it go and do it myself.
Ok, I feel like I could go on and on about this, but I'm not. I know I may not have handled this situation(s) the right way in the past, and maybe this is why I'm asking for help/advice.
 

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But the house isn't up to my standards.
Sounds like the Military talking. Perhaps she knows its not up to YOUR standard so maybe she just figures why bother?
 

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My joke is trying to clean up after 3 kids is like shoveling in a snowstorm.

I'm a GREAT housekeeper, practically ocd about it and even I can't keep up with my kids. They can trash the place quicker than I can clean it up and making them help only minimally improves the situation.

I figure my house will be clean 'to my standards' when they move out. :)
 

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Any chance she may be overwhelmed at being a mostly single parent? Her only full time job may be taking care of the kids and house, but doing that alone is depressing and can be overwhelming. Does she have a life other than taking care of the kids and waiting for her husband to come home?
Personally, just from my experiences I would guess depression. I don't give one crap about my house if I'm depressed. She may be in a huge life rut and you don't even realize it...untreated mild depression is not something that she'd ever come out of magically. If she's feeling overwhelmed at the situation and add lonely and doing it all alone most of the time, well it's no wonder. "I don't know" as a continued response is kind of a depressed red flag to me.

And some of us are just crappy housekeepers to boot. LOL
 

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Last fall my husband had to leave town for 3 months for work. OH MY GOD did I let this place go. It was BAD. I just didn't care because I was so overwhelmed being on my own.
 

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When you are gone, she's essentially a single parent. I have two still at home, 10 and 12, and it's a struggle keeping things picked up.

Are your children fed, well cared for, their needs being met?

Priorities, dude. Priorities.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
MY wife enjoys her phone. She is always on it, where its facebook, instagram, twitter. She talks to all of her friends, and family members. She even has lots of friends she visits while I'm gone. My wife has a life, and has a BA degree.
I can understand if my wife has to take care of a baby, but she doesn't.
I asked if she was depressed and she said at times she can be, but that isn't the reason the house isn't clean.
 

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If she doesn't want to take care of the house I would tell her to get job, her new income could pay for a house cleaner. I happen to be with you on this one. If you just put up as you go then you have no problem in the end. Also, I would make the kids more accountable for their own behavior. All kids should be taught to pick up after themselves.

Sorry the continued "I don't know" is a childish response to an adult question.
 

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If she doesn't want to take care of the house I would tell her to get job, her new income could pay for a house cleaner. I happen to be with you on this one. If you just put up as you go then you have no problem in the end. Also, I would make the kids more accountable for their own behavior. All kids should be taught to pick up after themselves.

Sorry the continued "I don't know" is a childish response to an adult question.
Please read the link to his other thread provided, thats possibly why she wont clean the house. theres more going on here than a unclean house.
 
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I read a joke the other day on facebook that said "Trying to clean a house with kids is like brushing your teeth with Oreos". LOL

I am going to side with hopelessromantic and suggest she is depressed, and it may be because you are verbally abusive and then she gets all this alone time with nobody loving on her. Put yourself in her shoes before you judge.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I understand me being a V.A. is a huge issue, however my wife has always been like this. Her previous marriage both her and her ex weren't the cleanest people in the world.
 

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And "clean" is subjective...your standards ((military?) may not be hers. You say it's not filthly..well...so you can't eat off the floor...that's what plates are for.

Now, in your defense...as a SAHM...it does seem she could manage her time better (you need to get the kids on board, they are old enough to help out or at least control their own messiness) but again...if you are verbally abusing her, and if it's over a cluttered but not dirty house...I can't say I'd have much motivation to clean up to your standards either.

I work with a lot of ex-miitary, and every time we get a new manager/co-worker from the military, it's hell on earth before we get him/her trained in civilian workforce processes.
 

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I agree, based on the other thread, I can see where the house may be a symptom of something else.

I have 3 kids and know exactly how hard it is. When my youngest was a toddler, I left H at home with the three of them while I ran errands. He was a wreck when I got back a few hours later! (Besides the phone calls asking when I'd be back.) Sometimes you don't get it until you're in the other person's shoes.
 

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For what it's worth, I understand your frustration. I'm a bit of a neat freak, and always have been that way. I taught my kids very early how to pick up after themselves and it made things easier for me in the long run. I have a son and daughter (grown now) and at age 10 they were doing their own laundry!

That said, it sounds like when you aren't home your wife is overwhelmed. You are the captain of the ship. When the captain is gone, she really is just barely hanging on until you come back and set things back in order. I'm not sure there's much you can do about it. Trying to manage a household from a distance is impossible. Equally impossible is convincing her that she can do more than she does in the house. She sounds like a person who is at her limit with just caring for the children. Allowing ants to run around is just... well negligent. IMO it's a strong sign that she's burned out or just doesn't know what to do.

Talking to her about this shuts her down. "I don't know" is a deflective response. Maybe hiring someone to come clean would help when you are away? It's an expense you don't want, but if the house being clean to your standards is important to you, she needs the help.
 

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If she doesn't want to take care of the house I would tell her to get job, her new income could pay for a house cleaner. I happen to be with you on this one. If you just put up as you go then you have no problem in the end. Also, I would make the kids more accountable for their own behavior. All kids should be taught to pick up after themselves.

Sorry the continued "I don't know" is a childish response to an adult question.
There are locations where Military spouses have difficulty optaining a job.

If they live in Housing, the employer will know they are a military wife and a lot of times, refuse to hire them because of the constant moving.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks everyone for the information. If I ran my house like the military runs me, the house would be immaculate. I have made comprises for my wife on how things should go.

Example: Laundry
I want: one day do it all, fold it, put it away.
Wife: do a load here and there, don't fold them and leave in a basket.

My suggestion: Do a load when you want, just finish the task.
Her response: Once again that is your way...

I know I'm not perfect, that is a given.

BREAK

I have tried to teach our kids to clean up, but every time they leave for the summer or I have to deploy they go back to being messy again cause there is no "REAL" structure to guide them and make sure things are done. I know I didn't learn how to do everything overnight, it took time to train me. But when you don't keep up with it, your lose it.
 
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