Post # 1
FH and I live in a small apartment with very limited space. Both his mom and his grandmother are always trying to give us useless crap they don’t want anymore, and he never says no! Last night his mother piled a bunch of stuff on our bottom step (yes, she lives below us!). There was a cat carrier, a big popcorn tin or something, some random plastic shit, and one of those automatic cat food dishes. I heard her pressuring him to take all the stuff last night and it seemed like he was barely putting up a fight but then I heard her passive-aggressively say, “No it’s fine, I’LL just have to get rid of it” so I thought he ended up not taking it. Then I get up this morning and see this big old cat carrier on the floor (because there’s nowhere else to put it).
I got really mad when I saw the cat food dish. We already have a nice little ceramic dish for the cat. We don’t need some big ugly plastic thing that automatically dispenses food, especially considering we have a dog– he’ll just eat it all when no one is looking!
The stupid tin is probably jammed in the closet somewhere because he didn’t want me to see it. Along with the Random Assortment of Useless Plastic Things.
Post # 3
@lampshade: why why why??? My SO’s aunt always does this and he never says no thank you. It’s all junk and garbage! So annoying.
Post # 4
@lampshade: Plastic dish/dispensers aren’t ideal for cats (they can harbor bacteria.) So that’s an excuse there, not that you don’t already have a reasonable one (not wanting the dog to eat all the food.) Anyway, what you need is a plan of defense you can stick with. Something like, “Sorry, our place is packed full of stuff already. We literally can’t fit anything else and still have room for us.” Rinse, repeat.
Post # 5
Why don’t you just throw it out? Or donate it?
Post # 6
@Jijitattoo: I told him to tell her we don’t have room for any more stuff but he won’t stand up to her. He says she nags him and it’s easier to get rid of that stuff himself (but then he doesn’t actually get rid of it). About 5 years ago she kept going into our apartment when we weren’t home and putting junk in there. I kept getting after him to tell her to stop, but he wouldn’t, so I finally went down there and confronted her about it. The behavior stopped for a while, but now she just forces junk on him when I’m not around.
Post # 7
Throw it away (or donate it) immediately. As soon as you start seeing stuff, it goes in the trash. HOPEFULLY she’ll get the hint. Or ask her if she needs help cleaning out her place.
Post # 8
@lampshade: I feel your pain, my Fmil is always bringing over stuff she doesn’t want but won’t throw away. We live in a tiny flat and he never throws things away! It’s a really long process to change how he thinks about stuff. She’s made him feel so guilty to chuck things away.
I’ve gotten so fed up, I’ve threatened to hire a skip and just chuck it all!
Post # 9
If he won’t throw it out then you dispose of unwanted donations immediately. Don’t leave it to your FH if he just hangs onto it. Hoarding is an illness and just telling someone to stop giving you this sort of rubbish rarely gets you anywhere because there are deep seated reasons why people horde. Reasons that they often don’t understand themselves without help.
But provided your FH is happy to get rid of this tide of crud (if not you need to find out why) then take charge yourself. Otherwise you’ll find your apartment turning into a permanent waste transfer station.
Post # 10
@lampshade: It sounds like you can’t control FH’s relationship with his mom. I would focus on what you find acceptable in your OWN home. “FH, it’s not okay for you to bring this stuff into our home. If you can’t say no to your mom, put the stuff directly into your car (or my car) and you/I can take it to the GoodWill drop off (or the dump, or wherever.)”
Post # 11
@Steampunkbride: This is my feeling too. If he says “I’ll get rid of it” and then leaves it alone, YOU throw it away immediately. Don’t let him hang onto it or make any attachments, if he has real hoarding tendencies it’s a very fast slippery slope. Keep doing it. If FMIL is one of these people who doesn’t want to keep things but refuses to throw them away, she will rapidly see you throwing out everything she gives you, and it’s a win win – either she’ll stop giving you things (seeing that it’s the same as putting it in the garbage) or your both your apartments will be neater because you’re getting rid of everything! 🙂
It’s a chore I know I’d gladly take on to avoid the alternative fate.
Post # 12
@lampshade: Have you told him it bothers you? I certainly wouldn’t want a bunch of junk crowding my space either. Or take matters into your own hands: “thanks, I appreciate the gesture of you offering us your garbage this stuff but we don’t need it nor do we have space. I will have to decline…No, thanks.” Keep insisting as required. She can’t treat your house like a garbage disposal. Man up, Mr. Lampshade! 😛
Post # 13
@Jijitattoo: +1, that sounds like a good alternative if he won’t cut the apron strings.
Post # 14
Toss it when he’s not around! It’s been my biggest savior in our relationship. Haha.
Post # 15
First and foremost…
YOU cannot do anything. Any Professional Therapist would be able to tell you this.
This is really ENTIRELY about the relationship that your Fiance has with his Mother.
And WHY he feels he cannot say NO to her (that could be a much BIGGER problem in your Marriage than this perceived possibility of Hoarding that you see coming your way)
You could certainly tho as his Life Partner discuss HOW YOU FEEL (you can only control you)
And work from there.
Throwing out anything that he has brought home from his Mom’s… or for that matter anything that belongs to him… would be CONTROLLING, ABUSIVE and DISRESPECTFUL Behaviour on your part
A Healthy Relationship doesn’t work like that (despite what some of the Other Bees here may have expressed). A Therapist would tell you that as well.
You have a right to have a clean & organized home for sure… and even some designated “your space” (as he does for “his space” alone as well)
BUT these things are all to be negotiated, not rammed down the other Partner’s Throat.
This stuff / behaviour obviously bothers you about your Fiance… so you need to talk about it, and decide how you are going to handle it TOGETHER.
If he continues to bring things home, then you’ll agree for example that He or the Two of You (his choice) to go thru it / cull it regularly. Have a Garage Sale, Donate it, Throw it out…
If he can’t stick to a plan THEN YES YOU HAVE AN ISSUE
BUT as I said, that might have less to do with actual Hoarding than the feelings he may have about his Mother in general (doesn’t want to disrespect her)
In whichever case, you guys may have to get some Counselling
Hope this helps,
Post # 16
@Steampunkbride: “If he won’t throw it out then you dispose of unwanted donations immediately. Don’t leave it to your FH if he just hangs onto it. Hoarding is an illness and just telling someone to stop giving you this sort of rubbish rarely gets you anywhere because there are deep seated reasons why people horde. Reasons that they often don’t understand themselves without help.“
This is seriously something to nip in the bud now.