Boyfriend and I have varying ideas about what a clean, neat, aesthetically pleasing room looks like. We live in a one bedroom apartment, where the living room and the bedroom are the same size. I get the living room he gets the bedroom. We tend to be in the same room (mostly my room) and we always sleep in my room. But the rules are is that our rooms are ours to decorate and keep messy/clean, we have to fit all of our stuff in our rooms, and if we want to keep our room quiet or loud the other person doesn’t really have a say because they have their own room to go to.
This sounds pretty un-romantic, but it works out pretty well. Boyfriend has someplace where he can throw his shoes in the middle of the floor after work (I hate that!), I have someplace where I can store my tons of clothes without feeling guilty for having too much stuff, We both have someplace to entertain when we have non-mutual friends over without kicking the other person out of their personal space. Plus, if I’m having a bad night and want it to be quiet, and boyfriend wants to play loud music he just picks up his laptop and heads in to his room.
Finally, it does a lot for your pshyche to have your own space. We all need space to be ourselves, and to be above comment in.
Couples sharing a room is a relatively new idea. In the past, anyone who could afford their own room did so. A lady usually had her own sitting room and bedroom. I think that helps us become better people and ultimately a better couple
Keep in mind that whatever sensible strategy you adopt you care more about an appropriate outcome than he does. Something along the lines of greck’s post sounds right. He will bitch and moan about the inconvenience and difficulty of whatever you resolve but in truth once it’s done he won’t much care. I speak from personal experience here - I spent years complaining about my wife’s household plans and after the event I’d think “She was right we should have done this before.” Eventually I learned to just do as I was told and skip the sulky stage because I didn’t need the aggravation.
I’m someone who’s learnt to be tidier - I used to be a packrat with piles of stuff all around the place, very little of which was really necessary. But when I moved into a shared place with my boyfriend, it wasn’t to hard to get rid of the stuff that didn’t mean anything to me.
And over time, I’ve gotten better at picking up after myself, mostly through the good example set by my boyfriend. When you can see one nice, tidy, easy-to-move around half of the room, and know that it’s not yours, you start to get a little jealous and do something about it My boyfriend didn’t nag me, but he didn’t ignore the problem, either. He just quietly brought it up at times when I didn’t seem stressed or when I was complaining about being bored with nothing to do!
I’ll always be messy. But I’m nowhere near as bad as I used to be. You can sort this out with your fiance, but you do have to make it clear from the start what your standards are.
Wow, I think people are being a little unnecessarily pessimistic around here. “Plan on a divorce”? Ouch!
This is an issue that can be worked out, and one that many a couple has dealt with sucessfully. It’s not an automatic death sentence for a relationship. Of course, it can be the death of the relationship if he’s not willing to work it out. I don’t get that feeling though. I’d say he’s probably just not really thought about it.
Oh, and SHAKES, I’d say you probably won’t ever have to worry about being married and doing housework, 'cause I’ve never met a woman (or man) who would marry someone who wasn’t willing to pull their share of housework.
Speaking from personal experience, it won’t get better unless you act now. I was in this same situation.
During the course of the relationship, we moved twice: from our parental homes into an apartment; from there into a house. Five years later, when we finally decided it wasn’t working, and he moved out… he still had boxes from the first move that he hadn’t unpacked. And yes, although it was a small part of the reason for the split, it was part of the reason.
I think you might have to sound bitchy, or he’ll never really understand, or care how you feel about the clutter, as much as he may love and care about you.
This depends on what part of society you’re talking about, doesn’t it? Even Sven is correct when the couples were royalty or at least upper class, especially in Europe. (I have no idea what the domestic practices of ancient Mayans or Asians was. Or modern ones, for that matter.) You are correct, of course, for lower-class folks, which were the majority of everyone most of the time.
It’s not bitchy to ask for what you need, especially if you know that you harbor no bitchiness in your heart.
I’m married to a man who hates to clean, son of a woman who hates to clean. He will help clean if I ask point-blank and do it with him. I throw out what he hasn’t touched in obvious years with “I’m getting rid of ______”. If he looks stricken, I don’t. There’s a cordless drill under the computer desk and a paper cutter on it, along with a margarita glass and a Snapple bottle and gardening gloves. He will not get sick of the clutter. I will and when I do, I’ll remove it and he will have room to re-clutter.
I don’t plan on divorcing him over it.
Maybe over Sudden Strike II, though…