(Closed) Advice for Living with SO/FI/DH

posted 6 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
4325 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

I’m still trying to figure all of this out myself, personally. But one bit of wisdom I wanted to impart onto you is for every bit of criticism you give your Fiance, spray him with 5 compliments so he doesn’t feel “nagged” or “picked on.”  Positive reinforcements go a long way when you are trying to train someone to be more tidy.

Post # 4
1474 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)

I think dividing chores and responsiblities is key, as is communicating expectations for what living together and sharing space will look like. It’s shocking how many unconscious expectations we have, and they can quickly build up resentment between you and your SO if you don’t communicate.

Speaking from personal experience, it’s been world’s of help for Darling Husband to have his little study den that is completely his own. I have no say in how he keeps it (usually quite messy – he’s a law student, so it’s always exploding with paper and books), and that really helps both of us. I’ve kind of made the closet my equivalent of that, and he doesn’t say much when I keep stealing space from him. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 5
339 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

My bf and I always clean together unless one of us is way busy…playing video games does not count as busy. Also, he had some nasty habits, and I would tell him how it grossed me out. I always sounded annoyed when I told him, and I don’t think that worked. Finally, I told him that it was really important to me that he quit doing a particular nasty habit, and it would mean a lot if he would respect my feelings about it. It worked. I tried not to sound naggy, and I think that’s what got through to him in the end.

Post # 7
581 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Honestly when my Fiance and I moved in together we sort of had the roommate conversation. Things like, “I prefer to live in a house where the bed is made each day, you need the freedom the let dishes sit up to 24 hours, we agree we’ll both set aside a morning together to clean the house,” or whatever. It’s adjusted over time… but basically starting well helps, rather than just hoping it works.

We also have a sort of “fair division of labor” mentality… meaning for awhile I was working full time and he was in school part time… so he did more housework. Then he was working full time and I wasn’t working at all, so I did all the housework. With the exception of I don’t pick up after you. For example, I’ll do your laundry, but only if it’s in the hamper… I’ll wash your dish, but only if it’s in the sink. In general last one up makes the bed. That kind of thing.

It’s helped keep the house clean, we don’t fight about who does what, or if the house is messy, but it’s mostly because we talked about our expectations first.

Post # 8
1474 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)

@Iloveyourlovethemost:  Oh yes, I definitely recommend having your own space if possible, especially if your SO isn’t a student as well! On top of having space that is just DH’s and that I don’t have to worry about in terms of cleanliness, it’s also helpful to have a space that is specifically school related. So he goes there to study, and when he’s done, we enjoy the rest of our home together. That way, only one room makes him think of law school, while the rest of the house makes him think of spending time with me, which also motivates him to work harder! (Said as he types away on his property outline for his last final tomorrow!)

Post # 9
466 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

One thing I learnt very quickly… discussing expectations and living up to expectations are to VERY different things. Its easy for him to agree to taking out the bin, putting away the clean dishes and putting loads of washing on, its another thing for him to actually do it.

One thing I learnt is dont let him procrastinate, but dont be a moo when he does. If he is anything like Fiance nagging only makes him dig his heels in and results in him ‘doing it in his own time’ (which means never). If something needs doing, I cheerfully remind him to do it (as he almost never shows enough initiative to do it himself) if he hasnt done in say 30 mins, I cheerfully remind him again. I will wait maybe 15 mins and will go to him and explain WHY I need it done and why it cant wait. I then hover over him until he does it. I dont get angry with him as I learned very early in the piece that getting angry leads to a fight but I do make it clear I want it done. If I have to I will list off everthing I have done that evening to make him see I am not asking much (as by then I have come home and without sitting down have started dinner, cooked dinner, cleaned up after dinner, swept the floors, cleaned the litter trays, wiped down surfaces, fed the cats etc… normally he gets home and plonks himself down on the couch)

I know some bees wont agree with me when I say this (and every relationship is different, what works for me may not work for you) but I basically treat him like I would treat a child that needs to put away their toys. I am firm, but kind and gentle. We have had big fights about it before and I have since learnt its not worth the fight. I would rather wait 2 hours for it to get done than spend my evenings being grumpy with him.

Money was easy. It all goes into one account, he pays the bills and puts money into savings and lets me know what ‘fun money’ we have for the week. We then let each other know when we want to spend anything more than $20. Has always worked for us and we have never once fought about money (which is a blessing in itself)

Post # 10
5660 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

You have a lot of good advice already, you should absolutely talk about your expectations and each of your needs up front and expect that they will adjust over time. It was and still is hard for  me that people don’t always do things the way I would do them. Pick your battles and when he refuses to load the dishwasher the way you would, ask yourself how big of a deal it really is to you before making a big deal out of it out loud. I also agree with whoever said they got better results clearly expressing Their needs and why rather than nagging or making snarky comments. We all react better to someone being respectful and explaining their reasoning to us! Dont forget to compromise! And have fun! It’s fun to move in together!

Post # 12
89 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

Before I lived with my fiance, I was extremely clean, to the point where my apartment never had even a small thing out of place :S I had gotten used to living that way over the last few years. My fiance is pretty neat, but definitely messier than that… he leaves clothes etc. on the floor, crumbs on the counter, etc. I got into the habit of nagging for a while, which made him totally withdraw from doing things around the house. Here’s something I’ve found has helped me a lot: telling myself that I don’t have the right to tell another person how to live or what to do, at all. Once I stopped nagging, he starting doing a lot more, and I also stopped feeling so bothered by things. Our apartment isn’t magazine-worthy at all times, but it’s generally very clean, and we are both happier for it!


Post # 14
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

My only advice is to realize that there are some things you simply cannot change about him and to compromise mentally with them. For instance, my Fiance takes out the trash, is good about doing dishes, and likes to vacuum. BUT he hates cleaning bathrooms, likes to leave his socks around, and doesn’t use coasters (lol my biggest pet peeve) and while I could nag to curb these things, he does so many other things to make my life easier that I let the go and try not to make such a huge deal about it. I don’t mind it as much when I frame my thoughts this way. 

Post # 15
9482 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

I wing it.  Hahaha.  He still drives me crazy with certain things.  I’m sure he feels the same way though.  We’re pretty laid back so it doesn’t get out of hand.

Post # 16
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Honestly? Fiance is neater than I am. Solution: we have a cleaner come in weekly so we only deal with dishes/laundry/making the bed and other small tasks. If you can afford I recommend it – it’s spared us many arguments.

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