Post # 1
I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years and I love him to pieces. He’s my best friend and he has never been anything but supportive and loving toward me. But I have this huge issue that I can’t get over–he owns a big house that he bought from his grandparents and it he has let it get completely disgusting.
Two years ago there was a big leak and mold/water damage in the living room. This happened at the same time that he had invested basically all his money in a business that he owns, and he couldn’t afford to do the extensive repairs that needed to be done and homeowners insurance wouldn’t cover it. So he moved out and has left the house sitting vacant since then.
I’m talking black mold in the shower, dishes in the sink that have been there 2 years, trash overflowing, spots on the carpet where his dog pooped that weren’t properly cleaned up etc. It’s a four bedroom house and there are two rooms that have nothing in them but enormous piles of dirty clothes that I’m sure haven’t been washed since I’ve known him. There is 2 years worth of mail piled up on the kitchen table and counter. He never removed the food from his pantry before moving out so he has a horrible mouse problem and they have ruined his kitchen. The backyard is a jungle now and is a huge job in itself. The moldy spot on the living room ceiling was removed but theres a giant hole in the ceiling now, and mold had spread to the couch (which we threw out) so I’m sure there is mold in the carpet and walls.
Now that his financial situation is better and we have been together for a few years, he is really wanting to move in to this house together. But he thinks we just need to spend one or two days cleaning and it will be fit to live in. I’m completely horrified. I think this place needs a ton of work-there needs to be no holes in the ceiling, no mold, new carpet, an exterminator etc before I could stand to live there.
His car is also extremely messy. The other day I was in his car and half a cheeseburger from a previous day was just sitting by my feet in a pile of a bunch of other junk and I was grossed out the whole ride. He is almost 30 and the way that he lives reminds me of a college student, or maybe even worse.
I’m sorry for the novel, this has been a source of major anxiety for me for a while. I love him, and I don’t want to leave an otherwise amazing guy over something like this. But I’m concerned about what standard of living we would have and about how I will feel once we live together and I can no longer ignore this side of his personality. I lived in a messy house growing up (not NEARLY to this degree, it was sanitary) and I always hated being there because living in such a disorderly environment just gives me anxiety. Please help me. I’m not sure what I’m asking for here, just any thoughts would be helpful.
Post # 2
Please talk to him. It sounds like you love him a lot, and this is also a genuine issue to you. Work together with him to change his habits, while still keeping his feelings in mind.
Post # 3
nursebee13 : I would never consider living with someone who is ok with living in conditions like you describe. I also would probably never be able to be ok with that where I would not be with them.
Post # 4
If he doesn’t live in the house, where is he living now? Is that place a dump also?
It sounds like the house needs work, but what you listed is mostly cleaning and can be done yourself. The mold is an issue though, so I’d demand that he have an inspector come out to assess that and make sure that there isn’t anymore active mold in the house, since that’s a health issue.
That said, you’re going to need to come to a compromise on the cleaning if you’re going to live together. It may be that he needs to increase his cleaning and that you need to lower your standards and put up with some messiness (if your standards are too high). This is something that will drive you insane and sour your relationship if it doesn’t get addressed.
Post # 5
You need to talk to him. If you really want to live with him you both need to be on board with a plan, whether thats a regular cleaning schedule he can keep to or paying to hire a cleaner and gardener. As for the house, the mold and mouse problem needs to be sorted before considering to move in and I would definitely replace the carpets. I dont know how bad the mold is but if you think it could have damaged the ceilings/ walls you might need a structural check done by a professional to make sure theres no danger to live in (I had a friend who rented and the floor fell through because of structural damage that the owner had not fixed).
Post # 6
I could never be with someone who chooses to live as you have described. It’s very concerning and something to consider prior to joining lives through cohabitation. IMO this isn’t just poor habits but a major personality flaw that I am not positive can be worked upon or changed.
This is not messy this is a health hazard!
Post # 7
how is his current living situation?
is the house worth knocking down and starting over?
Post # 8
First of all, I would have been like “WE need to spend days cleaning? No, sir. YOU need to go clean your house.”
The issue, though, is that your man is nasty. If he’s leaving food all over the place and let clothes sit piled up in a house for TWO YEARS and has dog shit stains in his house and leaves fucking burgers in his car (and isn’t even ashamed of it!)- he’s nasty. He’s going to continue to be nasty and based on that little “we” he threw out- He expects that you will be “helping” and cleaning up after his nasty ass self.
Free yourself. RUN! Or at the very least, don’t live with him until you see him making some consistent and concerted changes.
NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.
Post # 9
TwilightRarity : Yes! All. Of. This.
I very briefly dated someone who kept a messy home– mess in the kitchen, tufts of dog fur floating across the floor like tumbleweeds, piles of laundry, didn’t even own dish towels. I couldn’t deal with it. I grew to resent being anywhere near his place. He got super pissy when I said he needed to clean his house (yes, HE needed to clean HIS house, because there was no way in hell I was taking care of a man-child and doing it for him, and I had my own place). At that point I bailed.
Post # 10
nursebee13 : Well, i think you should talk to him about how or why he let it get that bad in the first place. Is it laziness? Does he not think its that bad? You need to make sure he wont treat problems like that in the future. You need to realize that YOU will be cleaning all this by yourself. He sounds like he may take the trash out from time to time after some nagging. So i think you have some thinking to do there.
I am messy, but there is a difference between messy and unsanitary, for sure. I would get a hazard health company to come and clean it up. They have special chemicals and protection to deal with mold and rodents and whatever else is lurking in that fridge/pantry. If they are doing it, yes it should only take a couple days. and THEN you can focus on the actual repairs.
Get a contractor to come walk the house with you and go over what needs to be done and provide a price. From there you guys can see what you can and cant do yourself. What is necessary right now and what can wait.
Another option is to sell the house to an investor and let them deal with is. But you may not be able to get much, so it depends how much you have invested in the house and if he is making payments.
and remember, until you are on the title, this is HIS house. You can help pay for monthly living expenses and contribute rent, but do not invest your own money into repairing this house! If anything should happen, youre out on your a** with no way to get the $ back.
Post # 11
nursebee13 : Ewww..
I would be concerned with how normal this is for him. You have every right to be scared! He may make changes now, but what’s it going to be like if you two move in together and he starts reverting back to his old standards? He’s not going to be perfect.
Darling Husband has always been messy. But not gross. I knew that going in. We’ve worked hard to get his standards up, but your bf is another level! Best to have an open conversation now. You will grow to resent him later when it’s you that is doing all of the housework.
Post # 12
nursebee13 : He could hire a company to come in and clean the home properly – they couldremove all the mold to make it safe. Going in there yourself without proper protection is a health risk.
At his age, he may be set in his ways. Can you live like that long term? Would you want to raise children in that environment, or one which trended that way? Do you think he would set a good example for kids? Those are questions only you can answer – but now it the time to give it serious thought.
Post # 13
I could have written this, but I married the guy anyway. When I met my husband, he owned his own home – a 1960s, 7 bedroom farm house out the country that is completely paid off but a total dump. But at the time, he had several roommates living with him, and he attributed the disgusting nature of his home to his roommates.
About 6 months after we started dating, I bought my own home. I am completely anal when it comes to cleaning, and my house is absolutely spotless. All of the time. Then we got engaged. He started to stay with me most of the time because we agreed we would end up living in my house after we married due to better location and the fact that it is much nicer. We agree to keep his dump because it is paid off and right next door to his dad’s house. His roommates move out. And then his house gets even worse. He attributes it to never being home…
and then he starts slowly moving his stuff into my house. After we were married and he started living with me full time, his lack of cleanliness started to drive me absolutely insane. I would have meltdowns because I would spend 9-10 hours at work every day and then spend all my time after work and on weekends cleaning up after him. I would sweep the floor, only to come in 10 minutes later to find grass and dirt everywhere from where he had walked outside in the yard in SOCKS and then walked inside tracking it everywhere. Things like that. I felt like I couldn’t win no matter what.
So I eventually had to sit him down and explain how I absolutely could not and refuse to live that way. He claims he doesn’t “see” the mess, which is apparently a real thing according to my therapist. We agreed on a chore chart so that the household duties are split evenly, and I am not overwhelmed. His job is to come home every day and look at the chore chart and complete whatever tasks are assigned to him. So even if the floor APPEARS to be clean to him, he has to sweep it anyway. And I have lowered my standards as a compromise and don’t touch his little piles of stupid stuff he leaves around the house until I absolutely cannot take it anymore. He has gotten so much better, I must admit. But I refuse to go to his house, and he now agrees that his house is disgusting and needs to either be torn down or completely gutted.
If you choose to stay with his guy for the long haul, get ready for a constant power struggle when it comes to a clean house. Compromises will have to be made on both sides for this to work.
Post # 14
j9marie : ITA, this is not stereotypical bachelor or college student messy, this is filth and squalor.
OP, Your username says ‘nursebee’ so surely you must realize this is an extremely dysfunctional trait of your boyfriend’s. And not having the money for home repairs is not the issue here Bee, because much of what you describe could’ve been taken care of for free. It’s disgusting that the kitchen has beccome overrun with vermin because there’s two year old food left there, dishes in the sink….that’s absolutely stomach turning. Those dishes and the food and so much else must be covered with mould, mice droppings etc. This isn’t messy- this is pathological. And a health hazard. I’m surprised neighbours haven’t reported it to the public health department.
The house needs to be emptied of all the revolting and decaying debris he’s left. And then it needs to be disinfected and sanitized. And then it has to be inspected and treated for black mould, water damage & structural damage. How much of a role you’re willing to play in this is up to you, but no way would I even consider living in this toxic soup of biohazards until it’s completely cleaned and brought up to basic code at the very least.
And dogs do not normally poop in the house unless they’re young puppies or have health problems. A house full of improperly cleaned up dog poop stains signifies a neglectful dog owner, my guess is he never properly trained the poor animals and was too lazy to take them out for regular walks to do their business. One more red flag of dysfunction.
He needs an entire entourage here- therapists, cleaners, inspectors, repair crew etc. You’ve got your work cut out for you Bee if you want to live with this man- just please go into this with your eyes wide open that he’s exhibiting truly alarming dysfunctional behaviour, he’s not simply ‘messy’.
Post # 15
This is a mental health issue. Helping him clean will accomplish nothing positive. Encourage him to get into therapy or learn to live with it. Those are your only choices.