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Husband’s hoarding makes the walls close

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Dear Amy: My husband and I – now empty nests – live alone in a large four bedroom house.

My husband doesn’t qualify as a hoarder, but maybe only because I’m constantly trying to organize everything.

He throws nothing away and forbids me to get rid of his things, even if they are broken or will obviously never be used again.

He buys anything he considers a bargain, while I resent the overconsumption.

Because it is impossible to find anything in this mess, he buys a new item when we already have this item – somewhere! As a result, we have multiples of everything and our house is full of things.

We’re breaking our homeowners association rules because our trash cans won’t fit in our garage. The exterior of the house is surrounded by trash – buckets of old golf balls, several grills, an old basketball hoop, etc.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours trying to organize, inventory, pack things, etc. If I didn’t spend that time, the house would be a dump, and I don’t like having to spend my time that way. Looking around me, inside and outside the house, I feel rage.

Although I have three rooms that I keep “sacrosanct” – no clutter allowed – overall I feel like the walls are closing in.

We’ve been married for many years, and I guess it’s a small thing, but it’s bothering me more and more. At this point, I almost feel like he’s a deal breaker.

What should I do?

– Desperate Housewife



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