Living Loving Learning

Dear Robin

In Uncategorized on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:12 am

From my in-box this week:

Dear Robin,

What do you do when your husband doesn’t clean up after himself?  Do you leave it until he notices later while in the meantime it is driving you crazy and in the way of our daily life?  Or do you constantly follow after him cleaning up his little mini tornadoes all day.  We’re talking dirty clothes all over the floor when he has his own laundry basket, dirty dishes left at his place on the table and elsewhere wherever he leaves them in the house, and little projects he works on just being left as is,  mess and all.  I have really been focusing on this in teaching my kids, but when hubby doesn’t even do it,  how do I expect my kids to learn the right way?


OK – I haven’t replied back to this question yet.  See?  In our family, Dirk is the really neat one….a knot, if you will and I’m….well, I’m just not.  J  Not to make excuses for your husband, but I’m telling you, he just doesn’t see that stuff.  It’s invisible to him….and it doesn’t bother him a bit. 

Another thing to remember, even though his things are driving you nuts, I’m sure there are some things you do that drive him nuts too!  We all need a little extra grace from time to time. It’s one of the things that keeps a relationship healthy.

But, I know this wife wants to honor her husband, and not mother him.  So?  What are your suggestions?  How can she tactfully let her husband know that his stuff is getting out of control and help him see that he is setting a poor example to his children?


Come on…I know you have some great ideas.




  1. I still have many years but even so she should just tell him up front and then let them both tell of some things they can do to change it and hopefully it will work if there are some speed bumps still then see wat u can do to help solve those problems and i know they can do it this is coming from a fifteen year old young adult

  2. When my husband picks up after himself I tell him over and over how much it means to me. (and give him a big kiss). I try to always encourage him when he does something. The neat thing is he keeps doing it if he knows how much it means to me=)

  3. Oh my goodness! That so made me chuckle.

    I have no suggestions or solutions. Other than to just keep on loving him. 🙂

  4. That is a great idea Nicole! I always try and remeber to thank my husband for cleaning up. This is also a major thing for me so thank you for whoever brought it up!
    Another thing that might be helpful is doing something that he likes or not doing something that bothers him. You may be doing this for a while without seeing any change from him but it will be worth it in the long run, you will feel good about serving your husband and hopefully after time you will see some changes from him. If not, then God is teaching you to love no matter what!

  5. Jerry is a lot of things…but neat is not one of them…We have been married for 26 years and I have done everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. Nothing really helped. I just choose to look at those dirty socks on the floor or the wood shavings on my dining room floor or the tools from his latest project strewn across the living room and think how much I would miss them if he was taken from me. How glad I would be to be able to pick up after him again. He works so hard for us and asks very little in return. The Bible does tell us: “When the stall is empty the stable is clean.” I guess I choose a full messy stable.
    I also have my “messy” areas he has to love me inspite of. Over the years, it seems to balance out. Bottom line, you have to pick your battles…if your husband is just unaware or busy: honest, non-emotional communication might do the trick. I hope you find your peaceful compromise.

  6. Whenever I have an issue with my husband, I try never to approach it from an attacking stance – “You NEVER…..”

    I’m married to one of those who just doesn’t see the mess either. On a few things, I have asked him, “Honey, would you try to _______________ for me?”

    But, he doesn’t need to here that everyday. Not even in the nicest way. I love him. I want to enjoy him. And, when I’m focusing on those things he is not doing, I totally miss the things he is doing and fail to appreciate my life partner. Life is short. Every once in a while,, leave a mess on the table and go sit in your husband’s lap. Don’t miss the moments being bothered by little messes.

  7. It’s all about your additude. I use to let this bother me but really it does no good. I promise our spouses don’t do this on purpose. Like mom said they don’t even see the mess.

    But if you have a bad additude all your doing is making things worse. You will start resenting your spouse for something that he doesn’t even know he’s doing.

    First, I would start by praying for your additude to be right towards your husband, go to him in a non-confrontational additude and just talk. Let him know the way you are feeling and work out a solution.

    Just for some encouragement–after changing my additude(which is the biggest part of it) and talking with my husband It has gotten so much better. I know he tries so hard to pick up after himself now, but the biggest thing that I’ve learned is that we should WANT to serve our husbands in this way. I don’t know about any of you, but my husband works very hard to provide for my family. I don’t think it’s asking to much of us to pick up some dirty clothes or dishes.

  8. I am told that I am a clean freak…of course this all stems from a childhood of never having a dirty house because back in the day people would just stop by for a visit….Only until I lived out on my own did I see that I was a slob…I had to pick up after myself…as I grew more….I am the one that goes around and picks up after everyone and sometimes I need a break from it too. I feel it is not fair that I have to “do it all” while everyone else makes the mess. When I cook dinner does anyone come and and help me clean the kitchen? well no….

    Anyway….getting to your problem (lol)…I think you guys need to see what love langugage you speak…that is a start…do you both work or does he? If he is the only that works then he might think well then it is your job to take care of the house…I do think that it would be a good idea if the both of you sat down and wrote out what each other wants out of the other…He can not read your mind or vise versa…Expectations… both came from different families and more than likely see things in different lights..I will have to agree with the young man named Shawn and the upfront and honest thing….

  9. I don’t know how much help I can be. See, if the day ever comes where someone has to live with me, they will be wondering why I don’t clean more. It just isn’t that important to me. I would rather spend time with people or doing just about anything else. On the other hand, when I have had roomates ask me to try to do better about certain things, I took it pretty well and tried. Maybe in one of those moments when you are not aggravated, mention one thing that would make it better. Then, let it go.

  10. Wow!!! I am so perfect for this one. I have asked my husband so many times to take the trash out every morning on his way to work. When I wake up and the trash is gone I’m so happy and I either call or text him and tell him how thankful I am that he has done that. But when I wake up and it’s not gone I have such a rotten attitude. I will leave it and just grab walmart bags and shove the trash in them. Then he gets frustrated so I tell him “You should have taken it out”. But yesterday, I was cleaning and I took all the trash out. Yep, all 4 TRASH BAGS!!! I wasn’t happy about it, but I did it. Then he got home and noticed that I had taken it out, he was like “Oh wow!!! You took the trash out for me! Thank you so much!” That made me feel really good. He was very greatful that I had done it.

  11. Just tell him. Not in a sarcastic or demeaning way. Share your heart.

    Oh, and always use “I” statements 🙂

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