My husband is a neat freak and I am much more laid back. He is constantly picking up after me and always has a comment about the way I do things. We’ve only been married for three years and it’s driving me crazy! What can I do to make him stop?
Mr. Perfect and Mrs. Not-So-Perfect – Elk City, Oklahoma
I picked this question because I can relate. My husband of 15 years is a very meticulous man. In the early years this was a source of stress. He likes to be organized, always has a to-do list, and keeps an up to the minute calendar. I, on the other hand, will always have a general idea of which pile something is in, rely on my memory to store important tasks, and have a blank calendar regardless of the busy week ahead. The good news is that we have come to a compromise after 15 years. Just the other day he had discovered a new note taking app and was trying to show me how it could organize my tasks and thoughts. He asked me to show him my current notes on my phone. I pulled them up and read the first one, “Church”. That was all the note said. The next one, “4:00”. The next one, “Orthodontist”. I gave him an apologetic half-smile and pointed out to him that I was at least trying. We had a good laugh and he resigned the effort deciding that a highly sophisticated system such as mine could never fit into an app. This is where we are after 15 years. Has he totally given up on organizing me? No. Have I given up getting him to relax and enjoy an afternoon even if the to-do list is not finished? No. However, when I was honest with him about how it makes me feel whenever he tries to “fix” me, he began to choose his battles more wisely. In turn, when he was open with me about how it was very difficult for him to relax when things were in disarray, I began to look around and try to keep things a couple notches below chaos. And believe it or not, neither one of us died from giving a little. In fact, we have both become more well-rounded people. He now is the one that will tell me to quit picking up and to come and sit down. I will occasionally ask him how to organize my writing ideas or to help me come up with a method for keeping my closet clean. “As iron sharpens iron…” This quote applies to more than just the spiritual side of life. No one is perfect. The very thing that we feel is our greatest strength can also be our greatest weakness. And what we see as a weakness is another may be the very thing we are lacking. My offering dear reader is to be honest with your feelings, understand that your husband’s feelings are just as important, and then as any married couple should do…consider the other more often than yourself. If both of you are willing to try, I think you will find that the middle ground is actually a positively lovely place to meet.
“Real Housewife of Western Oklahoma”
_The Daily Elk Citian_29 December 2011,
_The Cordell Beacon_04 January 2012