Post # 1
How do you handle living with a neat/control freak? My husband is wonderful, but his nitpicking, constant checking to make sure I’ve done things correctly (correctly according to him), and impossibly high standards are really getting to me. I don’t know if it’s pregnancy hormones or what but I just can’t handle it anymore.
He just checked the kettle to make sure I filled it to the minimum fill line…….I’ve never filled it improperly before so his checking is completely unwarranted. He has issues with the way I load the dishwasher and seems to be fed up with the way I do it. He can never just let things go. I just snapped at him and told him to leave me alone and now I feel bad but I’m so frustrated!! I just want him to stop treating me like a child. Sometimes I’ll vaccum, and he’ll re-vaccum what I’ve already vaccumed!!!! It’s too much. He doesn’t think he’s part of the problem at all. The only problem is that I don’t do things the “proper way” aka, his way.
Post # 2
You don’t need to feel bad, or apologize. You’re a grown adult woman who need to feel like she can be comfortable in her own home. You need to tell him that he doesn’t need to dictate to you how to do things and his nitpicking is affecting your mental health. He’s not your father and patronizing you like that is unwarranted and unappreciated. Be direct and firm, that kind of thing would seriously piss me off.
(Additionally, I might gently suggest therapy because if he’s revacuuming when you just did it it sounds like he has some OCD issues.)
Post # 3
lol we are both a bit ocd but it in different ways so I guess it works…I totally get that this can be annoying though We are just laughing at this point,, and turn it into a joke
Post # 4
Does he also check that the bathroom towels are lined up properly?
Seriously though, this would piss me off. It’s possible he has anxiety or OCD, but in my opinion that’s not your problem. If he has an issue he needs to figure it out and learn how to deal with it without becoming a complete troll. My main concern is that he’s upsetting you and when you raise your concerns he completely dismisses them. That does not make for a happy marriage.
Post # 5
Tell him that there are oftentimes multiple acceptable ways to do something, and while two people may differ in their preferences, it doesn’t mean your way is inferior to his. Tell him that he makes you feel bad by constantly taking your completing a task and re-doing it his way. If he truly has a lot of trouble with a particular style of doing something, he can bring individual things to your attention (as you would do with him), but part of living together is the compromise in knowing that two people don’t do all things exactly the same way.
Most things in life will be affected by this. If you don’t put exactly as much spice as he wants in a meal, if you fold his clothing even 1% asymmetrically, if you leave one hair on the bathroom sink after cleaning the bathroom, that could lead to him complaining (whether verbally or not).
Post # 6
He’s making you feel belittled and small, and that’s not okay. Your husband should be a person who makes you feel uplifted and powerful! I think you should tell him how he’s making you feel and then refuse to engage with him when he’s being that way. If he starts to nitpick about the way you load the dishwasher, you can just say, “This is the way I do it, and it’s perfectly fine,” and refuse to comment any further. You don’t owe him an apology and you shouldn’t feel bad!
Post # 7
Have you ever heard of OCPD? I already see two posters above calling this “OCD”, and I don’t think that’s what this sounds like. People with OCD are often distressed by the nature of their obsessive behaviors and thoughts, even if they can’t control them. OCPD people believe that their actions have purpose, even if that is at the cost of their loved ones’ comfort.
My ex husband was OCPD, and it was a bear of a personality disorder. He had a preoccupation with orderliness and perfection. He was controlling. He reloaded the dishwasher after me, double checked all my chores, let me know when I hung his clothes in his closet “wrong”, scolded me for “letting food go bad”, and had me weigh in every morning to make sure I wasn’t getting fat. At first I fought back, then I lost the energy for it and walked on eggshells in my own house. I finally divorced him when the enormity of a thousand different little things piled up on me.
According to him, he didn’t have a problem. He kept his lists and did his job so well that he was beyond reproach. Everyone should want to be as organized and as clean as him. He had “overactive brain syndrome or something”, and he put every single unrealistic expectation he had of himself and the world squarely on my shoulders.
He refused counseling because his only problem was “that I had a problem with him”.
Personality disorders often start manifesting heavily in a persons late 20s/early 30s and worsen with age and without cognitive behavioral therapy.
I’m not saying this is your husband’s issue, but it’s worth looking into so you can get a handle on it fast. It’s estimated that 1 in 100 people have OCPD, with twice as many of them being men.
Post # 8
You shouldn’t feel bad for telling him to back off.
I understand that some people are finicky about neatness and might even have some OCD (I had really awful OCD as a child and teen, so I understand the anxiety it can create), but no one has a right to berate or belittle someone else for not living up to their impossible standards. You’re not a child and you do not deserve to be treated like one. He’s also not your boss and he shouldn’t be “checking your work” around the house.
No, I’d be furious if my husband got on my case about not filling a kettle to his liking or “filling the dishwasher wrong.” I’d tell him that he can accept how I do the dishes or he can do them himself for the rest of his life.
You’re right to be upset and you should not feel bad for telling him to leave you alone. You’re not his child or his employee and he shouldn’t be making you feel this way.
Post # 9
I’d sit down and let him clean everything – especially being pregnant. If he asked me about anything, I’d say, “I probably did it wrong. You should definitely check it and do it again. Maybe three times through will get it all the way done.”
All jokes aside – he does sound like he’s got some OCD going on and it would be good to get it checked out just so you have clarity around whether his behavior is unmanaged mental health stuff or him being an ass. Each result would cause a different response from you.
As the one who is more nitpicky about cleanliness in my relationship, I have had to learn that wanting/expecting people in the house to contribute is not the same as being able to dictate exactly HOW they contribute. Constantly being corrected and picked at is demotivating and annoying as shit. Either I can have towels folded entirely by me (and they will look perfect in the linen cabinets) or I can receive and appreciate my husband and son when they do it and do my best to ignore the state of the cabinets when I go to get a towel. I can fold ALL of the laundry by myself so my drawers look just like Marie Kondo recommends or I can relax and watch a movie with my husband while he folds my laundry and I grow our baby. I can clean all the dishes and the kitchen by myself (aka correctly) or I can appreciate my husband cleaning as best he can and then there’s much less to do when I go in to finish up. It’s a matter of choice and priorities. Is the priority a pristine home that makes you feel comfortable (while everyone else is constantly on pins and needles) or is your priority a home full of love and connection? (the book wabi-sabi love touches on this beautifully and the story about the poppy seed bagels is one I think back on all the time).
The other thing I have been heard to say around my household (when my husband finds his one or two cleaning related things that he’s good at and therefore loves to harp on ad nauseum like a baby zealot) is, “Did you grow an arm or an eyeball today? Because I’ve been growing arms and eyeballs today. Leave me alone.”
Post # 10
So I have the same issues personally. I have ocd and I used to do this to my husband he would clean and then go to work and I would re clean everything! He would put something back and in my mind it was wrong if I didn’t fix it I would not sleep or get so anxious I would get sick. It’s not easy to stop doing those things but it may be a more serious issue than just being a neat freak. I found therapy seperately for me and also together has really helped us deal with the ocd and thing to help make it better. I’m not saying that what he is doing is okay at alllll! I hate myself for the way I treated my husband during the bad times, he needs to take accountability when he’s doing these things and find a way to not make you feel stupid or like you’re doing anything wrong cause of course you’re not.
Post # 11
I have no suggestions for you but I empathise, your experience reminds me of being raised by a school teacher. It was never good enough and it’s a horrible feeling.
Post # 12
- Wedding: November 2019 - Canada
This would drive me insane!! The only thing I have noticed my husband be picky about is how the dishwasher is loaded. He likes certain types of dishes in certain places so I told him if he wanted it done a certain way, let me know and I’d leave all the dishes on the counter for him to do. It quickly became much less important HOW it was loaded lol.
I’m an adult, I’ve been looking after myself and my home for many years now. I don’t need to be micromanaged. If you haven’t had a serious conversation with him about it yet, now’s the time. Dont just stew about it. Let him know this really bothers you and see if there’s a good solution that will satisfy both of you. If there are things he wants done a certain way, he is welcome to do it; if he’s going to re-do chores after you, I would just stop doing them.
Post # 13
I think we are married to the same guy! (but I’m not growing a baby). He’s even told me I throw away the trash wrong. Seriously. It’s garbage, As long as it’s in the bin, what can be wrong about it?
How I deal with it? I spent years fighting against this and telling him how bad it made me feel, but it didn’t make an impact. Ultimately, I can only control my response, not his behavior. So underneath I’ve learned to let it roll off my back. “Yes honey” is what he gets when he asks me to put away the oven mits in a specific order, and then I do it if I can remember but don’t sweat it if I don’t. And if he gets upset, I respond with a “I remember now that is what you said, but I can’t remember every rule every time”. He gets that he’s persnickety, and reminds me of the “rule” then lets it go. But we do talk about the order in the house a lot more than I’d wish. It’s just part of him, and I accept the whole him, even the parts I like less.
Post # 14
Probably not the “right” answer, but mine would be to just stop doing these things and tell him to do it himself if he’s the only one that can do it the right way. And not to complain about doing it, or to just shut up when I do it. His choice.
Post # 15
My husband is quick to clean up but tends to do things in a hurry, and fairly half-assed by my standards. At a certain point I just decided that I’d rather have someone else do half the job than none and if I wanted the outside of the pans cleaned, for example, and not just the inside I could do that part myself without saying a word. There is more than one ‘right’ way to handle most household chores.
Pregnancy hormones are a real thing and if your husband can’t learn to bite his tongue I’d follow PPs advice to just take a seat and let him do everything by himself, his way, while you make a human. That said, some counseling may be beneficial as it will be impossible to maintain his standards at all times with a newborn, worse with a toddler, and so on.