Dear Ask Tampa Bay “Experts”,
My partner and I have been dating for almost three years and we just moved in together. For the most part everything is great except he has the habit of leaving his clothes lying around everywhere. The minute we walk through the door he starts undressing and just leaves his socks and pants and shirts laying there. I’ve asked him a few times to pick up after himself but if I don’t ask him he doesn’t notice they are there. How can I train him to just do it himself?
Margeaux Says: Amber, yours is a struggle I can identify with! My husband does the same thing with his socks and shoes. Drawing from my stores of rage, I was initially going to advise you to just collect everything you find on the floor, throw it in a metal trashcan like the one Oscar the Grouch lives in, douse it all in lighter fluid, and set that shit on fire! After more thoughtful consideration, I decided that is probably bad advice. You could also consider collecting the items and hiding them in bag in your closet and then, when he eventually runs out of clothing and asks you where it is, you can smugly dump all of the dirty clothes that have been ripening in your closet on his person and let him deal with the aftermath. Alternatively, and this is what I do, you could just pick up the clothes yourself while heavy sighing because, ultimately, he will never notice them and they are only bothering you. Pick your battles!
Ah, the eternal struggle. The first thing that comes to mind is burning all his clothes (Margeaux and I may be soulmates), but that may get messy. I mean, it didn’t really end well for Left Eye
. Honestly, I think if you keep telling him to do it, he will eventually get the hint. If not, then he may be kind of dense, so you may have to end up making it a bit more obvious without saying anything at all. Maybe place the hamper right at the door, so he immediately has a receptacle that isn’t the floor. You may have been together for a while, but the move-in is still fresh. Give it some time. And remember, there’s always fire.
Roy Says: Shit or get off the pot. Come on, Amber. This guy is not going to change. You know why? I’ve been doing the same thing for the better part of 30 years and I’m still doing it. I’m still going strong. What I’m saying is: if you love the guy, you are going to have to deal with it. On a good day he’ll pick his shit up, but there are going to be days when he just doesn’t do it. It’s not malicious. Maybe he’ll have had a rough day at work and he just wants to take his pants off, whip them in a corner and leave them there. If this is something you can’t put up with, then in the words of Steve Miller, “go on, take the money and run” but don’t actually rob this guy because it’s a felony.
Rusty Says: It seems to me that this problem can be cut off at the start – the removing of his clothes in the first place. I would recommend a strong adhesive, like a Krazy or Gorilla Glue. Simply coat the body, from head to toe, in a thin layer of glue before he dresses each morning. And then, after dressing, have him roll around on the floor to strengthen the bond. These glues usually work in as little as thirty seconds, so it shouldn’t be long before he’s ready to start his day! Upon his return home, if he’s still able to remove the clothes from his body, you may need to look into an industrial strength epoxy.
Nicole Says: I don’t really think there is a way to “train” anyone to do or not do something that’s going to be healthy for a relationship. I don’t know how you originally told him, but all I can suggest is to let them know that it is really something that bothers you in a way that makes it clear that you’re being serious. If they continue, then either they’re really not mindful of when they do it, or they don’t care what you want. If it’s the latter, then that is a completely different problem than clothing on the floor. If it’s the former, then it can either be a quirk about them that you grow to adore, or you just can’t get over it. People may do things that get on your nerves, but it doesn’t mean they need to change. It’s okay for them not to be perfect, and it’s okay for you to not think they’re perfect.
Need Advice? Ask the team!
Disclaimer: Literally nothing qualifies us to give you advice on anything…ever. However, don’t let this deter you. What we can offer are several unique personalities, an impressive cache of real-life and media-based experience, and our mothers.