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Am I a nag ?

(26 Posts)
Worrywart Wed 20-Sep-23 18:17:41

Married 42 years, blighted by my illness but still together. Because of my health I like to keep on top of the housework etc and like things neat, tidy and organised (I have memory problems ) . As my husband is getting older he has become by his own admission lazy and will only what do what he wants when he wants ( rugby, drinking socialising ) . He is very messy and I seem to spend my life picking up and cleaning up after him. He’s ok with leaving the mess ‘until later’ whereas I like to get things done. I find the more time we spend together the more we bicker about everything - and as I’m disabled I feel woild I be better on my own or should I just chillax a bit. I think he’s depressed as well and just can’t be bothered - that said he still works part time by choice and hates being in the house all day.
Can anyone relate ?

NotSpaghetti Thu 21-Sep-23 07:14:48

Different ways of living is probably more noticeable now you are both at home more.

It does take 2 to bicker. You won't change him. You can only change how you respond.

Can you have a quiet tidy area that is "yours"? Has he always been on the messy side?

If he’s depressed it will probably mean he "can't be bothered".
Can you encourage him to get help?

eazybee Thu 21-Sep-23 07:51:23

It's your way or the highway.
I think you would get a shock living on your own after 42 years with someone, whatever his perceived faults.
Try it and see.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 21-Sep-23 08:01:28

As Notspaghetti says it take 2 to bicker, either clear up his mess and say nothing , leave it for him to deal with or get a basket and throw it all in there and let him sort it out later.
Of course the latter might cause a huge row.
The other course is for you to relax and leave things for a bit, read a book or something, try it for a day, life won’t end if you leave things out and have a clear up in the evenings.

Galaxy Thu 21-Sep-23 08:07:37

It's ok saying leave his mess but it depends what 'mess' means, if the kitchen is covered in dirty dishes etc so its not easy to make a simple cup of tea, then it's not straightforward to just leave it.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 21-Sep-23 08:11:15

Of course his mess might be bits of engines/car parts in the sitting room. Which would be difficult.

Georgesgran Thu 21-Sep-23 08:12:51

Almost a crossed post with Oops as I totally agree with her last paragraph.
Leopards and spots comes to mind.
As your DH acknowledges his increasing laziness and you think he could be a little depressed, perhaps you could persuade him to visit his GP.
Unfortunately, tidying up after him will only annoy you further give you a Martyr Complex and possibly signal he needs do nothing. He’s still working too - is that strenuous/tasking?
You say he enjoys socializing - is that with or without you?
Maybe ask him to help you in the house, with the ‘reward’ of going out somewhere together, even just for a coffee at a local cafe.
If everything fails, try and get out and about yourself (disability permitting) and leave him in his mess for a few hours.
Sometimes being at home constantly together can be a bomb waiting to go off!

nanna8 Thu 21-Sep-23 08:14:15

Maybe he has his priorities right? You can’t take anything with you and as you get older life should be enjoyable. Proviso being that it isn’t so messy as to be a health hazard ,of course.

Redhead56 Thu 21-Sep-23 08:18:48

I can relate in some ways but my dh is not lazy. He is constantly trying to take over in the kitchen which annoys me. Socially he only does what he wants to do making arrangements etc unless I push it. He is rigid and does not like change especially since he retired.
I get called a nag when I ask simple things put toilet seat down turn unnecessary lights off etc. I think it’s just age my friends all complain about their husbands it’s a case of we all get set in our ways.

Chardy Thu 21-Sep-23 08:53:10

I feel so sorry for those who organise order, and whose partners are happy to live in chaos. And I say that as an untidy person.
If everything has a place, then put things back when you're done with them.

NotSpaghetti Thu 21-Sep-23 09:01:01

Has he really changed into a "lazy" person or was the lazy person in him all along? Maybe he couldn't really express it because he worked full time?

Maybe having him at home more -as well as your illness/disability - has made you less tolerant?

I am a messy person and like to do what I enjoy. You would have had no idea about this when we had 5 children at home - always busy and always helping everyoneelsefirst!

Now I know that most of the chaos here is created by me!

The depression is something else. Berating him will just make him feel more miserable- please try to encourage him to get some help.

foxie48 Thu 21-Sep-23 09:25:29

OH and I sometimes get cross with other and I try to imagine what it must be like living with me with my idiosynchrosies and faults. I always come to the conclusion that he is more tolerant than I am! tbh I wouldn't want to be in the house if I was being nagged to do things I didn't want to and a tidy house isn't a home if someone isn't happy there. You might wonder if you'd be happier on your own, ever thought that he might be thinking the same? Why not just sit down and have a good open, none nagging heart to heart about how you both could be happier as a couple. I think his opinion will be much more helpful than anyone else's. Good luck and I'm sorry you have poor health, it's really rotten luck.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 21-Sep-23 10:19:10

I get the impression that you are constantly cleaning and tidying, to the point of washing up the cups as soon as the last sip has been taken. You seem obsessive about the state of the house. Your husband is out working for part of the day and goes out some evenings. Just how much mess does he have time to make? If he is depressed, I think your berating him for laziness and messiness, on top of the effect on him of the illnesses I remember you talking about before, which you seem unable to accept, could be at the root of it and of your bickering. Do try to relax and find acceptance of your difficult health problems which you cannot change. Life can be very cruel and unfair but it’s a lot better than the alternative. You would find life very difficult alone after 42 years. Keeping a tidy house is less important than hanging on to a husband who has stood by you through years of ill health and the physical changes your illnesses have caused. So many wouldn’t have. Value that and forgive some messiness, which is a small price to pay for steadfastness. We all have our faults.

Galaxy Thu 21-Sep-23 11:16:07

That's quite a low bar though. I know many men who have cared for their partners through illness and dont live in a state of squalor. As I say it depends what 'messy' means.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 21-Sep-23 11:46:45

OP said messy not squalor!

Hithere Thu 21-Sep-23 11:49:52

Both people in the couples have different styles

However, this is not about that

You have been unhappy with your dh for a long time, according to past theads (background police, I am waiting)

I bet he is not happy either

Your health issues are extensive and you dont seem to recognize they impacted him too

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 21-Sep-23 11:55:58

It’s not a low bar in these circumstances Galaxy. I recall OP saying she has two stomas, at one time it was three, and she hasn’t been able to accept this. Many husbands would have walked away from the illness and her continuing inability to come to terms with what has happened. He hasn’t walked away. But it must be very difficult for him too.

Theexwife Thu 21-Sep-23 12:29:17

I do remember your previous posts, illness has dominated your life therefore it has dominated your husband too. Of course, that is not your fault but really you should cut him some slack, it has negatively affected his life too.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 24-Sep-23 14:44:41

Is your husband's messiness something new?

If it is, you need to ask him why he leaves stuff all over the place.

If it is not, and you have gone around tidying up after him for 42 years, you cannot expect him to change now.

If you can neither continue to tidy up, nor accept that he does not see the mess, you need a frank talk with him and to work out a compromise.

This could be, that the kitchen, sitting-room and bathroom or guest toilet are kept tidy, and that he can be as untidy as he likes in other areas.

What those of us who like tidy, clean surroundings don't always realise is that to others these are sterile and uncomfortable, You are two people with differing views living together, so a compromise has to be found.

BlueBelle Sun 24-Sep-23 15:55:17

Well after 42 years and after being very ill your husband is still standing by you and still with you
I think it definitely needs a compromise on both sides You have to stop worrying about the house being perfect and you need to suggest a mid way for you both to agree on
Can you keep one room clean and tidy (if you have two rooms that is ) allowing others to be done as and when or as others have suggested put all his stuff in a basket for him to sort through and put away himself
But I think it needs to be done in a nice way appealing to his better nature sooner that berating or scolding him which will lead to bickering
I think it’s uncomfortable for both of you
My mum and dad were chalk and cheese dad being the ‘putter away’ ‘tidy upper’ mum much more messy, they managed
I do remember some rows when I was young but they seemed to get it together mum got ‘trained’ and Dad relaxed a bit over the years

pascal30 Sun 24-Sep-23 19:25:05

If your husband is still working, can you afford a cleaner.. mess is OK as long as it isn't dirty.. cut him some slack.. it's his home as well as yours..

Mitzigem Mon 25-Sep-23 02:29:01

I think you should chillax .

NotSpaghetti Mon 25-Sep-23 07:40:30

Some people tidy and clean when they feel it's all they have control of.

I wonder if you feel a bit this way?
If so, it might be helpful to speak to a counselor as your need to tidy all the time may be a symptom of something deeper - possibly connected to your disabilities.

This is offered as a kind thought only - not blaming or judging.

In my earlier (professional) life I saw this quite often to be honest. I had forgotten about it till just now.

Nanderin Mon 02-Oct-23 13:12:37

We have been married a very long time and really don't get on anymore I don't know if we should even still be together. Most of the time we don't even speak to each other as he turns everything into an argument.

jeanie99 Thu 05-Oct-23 23:13:22

I have no solution to your problem only a short story to tell.
I can only speak for my relationship.
That young man I met all those years ago (55yrs)who would do anything for me, loved me to bits and couldn't wait to get married...........changed over the years slowly into a person I no longer can recognize.
He cooks most evenings(because he hates clearing up), does the food shopping and cuts the lawn other than that he watches TV ,works out each morning and has interests.
Everything else I do
It doesn't matter how I ask if he will do something, the answer is not today I'll do it.....which never happens
All the housework, washing drying clothes, maintenance, insurance, finance, gardening, planning of holidays etc etc it goes on and on, I do. .....leave it you might say if I do it isn't done ever.
I now consider housework and gardening as exercise since I no longer go to the gym and don't mention this anymore.
I have my own interests and friends and all considered have a good life however it could be a better life if..........
My husband is always right which does cause problems at times and him talking to me as if I am a 5 yr old but at almost 80 my options are limited.
He is very selfish and only ever considers himself I would never come into the equation.
I can't talk things through with him as he considers it nagging and makes some derogatory remark.
I am a positive person and try to see the best in people but I am no push over so our relationship is volatile.
What I don't understand is why someone would be rude and nasty for no good reason and this happens often.
We are both retired.