Lost all respect for my wife

I agree that putting everything on hold to find a job is not the right way to go. This is a woman who can’t hold down a job. If she’s got a messy house, she’s got a messy head, and won’t be able to hold down another job. The house will get worse as both of them work, and when she’s back to jobless it’ll be the same problem all over again, with no skills learned and no routine set.

Most people who have dealt with their own mental issues know that it starts with small steps, working towards a regular “healthy human” routine. It’s a long row to hoe. But as you go through that stuff you end up getting better about life in general, and THEN you can join the rest of the humans out in human world.

But yes step 1 is always deciding for yourself that you want to do it. Good luck DC.

Unless you want to get rid of those things, please stop. You should not have to hurt yourself in order to make space for trash.

I don’t know if this insight will help anyone, but I grew up poor with parents who were raised by depression parents. When I was a child NOTHING that might be useful was ever disposed of. At the time, that wasn’t so bad because we were, as mentioned, poor; sooner or later we had a use for everything. Now, 'lo these many years, I don’t need to save everything. It’s a very, very hard impulse to curb. I’m much improved but will always have to work on it. I really envy people who can avoid clutter.

ETA: I echo the recommendation to get a housecleaner if one can be afforded. I’d hire a full-time housekeeper if I could.

You’re on a precipice here. The contempt expressed in your OP is toxic and hard to come back from. If you want to save the marriage, work hard at fighting that back. If you aren’t able or willing to let it go, then let her go. I have lots of sympathy for how you’re feeling, but it’s unsustainable.

My grandmothers both kept everything, but they had a place for everything. My maternal grandmother had labeled boxes for Bobby pins that had lost their tips (too sharp to use in your hair, but useful for cleaning out cracks) and pen tops without pens. Both had a used twist tie box, a cleaned ton foil drawer, and grew plants in coffee cans.

Neither lived in a nest, with strata of trash and lost items. Hoarder behavior is complicated, but there’s a lot more to it than just being unwilling to throw things away. It seems to me to be more about being unable to decide where things go and to make a place for everything. My husband does have hoarder tendencies, and he just freezes.

Does she have family and friends who could talk to her about her behavior? Hearing from more than one person that she has a problem might help.