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Help!!! New live-in boyfriend is obsessed with cleaning. XD


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Some backstory...I am 23 my boyfriend is 26. We dated for many years, were broken up for 2 years and recently back together. I have lived in my own home for many years, this is the first time that my boyfriend has ever lived away from his parents. He will be going back to school this month and starting at a university near my house(he already has a two year degree, going for a four year degree). He has saved up several thousands of $ to allow him to live with me and share half of the bills and go to college his first semester back without having to work. He plans to return to work after this semester. The past several weeks though, he's been out of work and school because school hasn't started yet. I work fulltime.


So my boyfriend moved in on about the 13th of December and things are going pretty well for the most part. One problem we are experiencing is a slight clash in the way we think the house(mine) should be kept up. I am a clean person for the most part. I make sure that there are never dishes laying out, that the trash is taken out, the counters are clean and that everything is in it's place and I think my house looks nice. Others think so too. But my boyfriend is an absolute obsessive freak about cleanliness.


He spent the first week deep cleaning EVERYTHING in my condo and disinfecting everything because he was "disgusted" with things and couldn't use them because of it. He's the type of person who has to wash his hands about 30 or more times a day. Sure, there was some dirt under the refrigerator maybe the microwave wasn't spotless on the inside, some crumbs under the burners on the stove, but certainly nothing major causing it to be uninhabitable the way he claims. So while I was at work, he went through my kitchen like a hurricane and threw practically all of my food away(ALL OF IT) because the food was "probably old" and disgusted him. Granted, some of it may have able to be thrown away, but a lot of it was perfectly fine and new. He cleaned and disinfected every single inch of the kitchen. He also spent a good $150 on cleaning supplies to do this and several hours of time cleaning. Of course I appreciate his cleaning up, however now he has become the Kitchen Police and starts complaining when anything is even the slightest bit out of order.


Then there's the other problem. The doors stick or won't lock properly in 3 different rooms in my condo. This annoys my boyfriend to no end, though I've learned to live with them. He again, of his own accord, purchased a ton of tools to fix the doors. While he was at it, he bought new toilet seats, even though there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with the old ones(they were clean and un-broken). He threw out my door mat-again, nothing wrong with it, my toaster and my blender because these items "disgusted" him.


Let me again say that I appreciate all of the cleaning and work he has done at my house, but I am getting annoyed with his throwing all of my things away and constantly being told that I am a disgusting person who likes "to live in filth" when by all means I am NOT a slob and I'd say I am of normal cleanliness. On top of all this, he thinks I should pay for half of the tools and cleaning supplies he's bought to do these tasks, when they weren't absolutely necessary to be done in the first place and I don't have hundreds of dollars saved up to blow on stuff like this, the way he does. I am at work all day while he's doing these things without my knowledge or input, but I should also have to pay for it? Not to mention having to buy new things to replace those that he threw out-he doesn't think he should have to replace THOSE.


What makes even LESS sense is that he is so obsessed with everything being clean, when I wake up and HE has left a mess in HIS clean kitchen from the night before??? Like beer bottles and plates and trash all over the counters. It's like mess is ok if it's HIS mess, but not mine(which is never as bad as his-trash and clutter bother me). What is going on here?


p.s. I know this sounds like a huge rant, and it is, but otherwise the relationship is fine. This isn't something we would break up over, it just needs to be resolved...

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This isn't something we [c]ould break up over, it just needs to be resolved...
I beg to differ on the former; I definitely agree on the latter.


Wow. This would be a nightmare for me. This is an example where compatibility and compromise are as important as love and respect.



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wow...sounds like my father haha...but on a more serious note i think you have to make it clear to him somehow wether it be to sit him down and talk to him and just let him know that it is after all your place and not his, i think its awesome that he wants to clean up...i would think its rare in most guys to be clean freaks lol but he has to realize that its not his place to go replacing things and throwing things out that are yours he has no right to do that.

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I agree, this is something you really need to talk about. Personally, you sound more like me, somaybe this is why i'm siding with you!


you really need to talk about it.. this IS something that could put a a big dent in the relationship and could lead to more problems.


what does he say when you tell him he is being over the top?

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Wow, that is way over the top. It almost sounds like he has OCD...except that he doesn't seem to mind his own mess. I think you need to set some boundaries. I don't think that saying that this is YOUR place is going to go over very well because you want him to feel comfortable if he has moved in, not that he is somehow a guest in your home. If you two made the choice to live together, then it is a partnership and you can't pull rank on him like that. What you can do is say that this is a partnership and you don't have a problem with him doing some cleaning, but you do have a problem with his insults about your housekeeping and the fact that without discussing it with you first, he took it upon himself to discard things and do repairs. I think this is what is most problematic about what is going on here...he is violating your rights and just coming in assuming that he will make the decisions on his own. You need to set the boundaries now before he takes control over everything.

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I think this is what is most problematic about what is going on here...he is violating your rights and just coming in assuming that he will make the decisions on his own. You need to set the boundaries now before he takes control over everything.


Absolutely agreed. This seems like extremely controlling behavior- he is really insulting you (calling you "filthy??"), throwing out your possesions without asking, and then feeling free to make huge messes himself.


Personally, this is not behavior I could put up with- it sounds like your house has become some sort of battlefield. I think you need to pick a time to talk calmly with him about this and lay down some guidelines. #1 should be - stop all insults about you/ your house's cleanliness. #2- stop throwing your stuff out and then expecting you to pay half for replacements.

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there is almost always a period of time when two people move in together when there are little turf wars over controlling the living space that are normal adjustment...


however, if he is washing his hands 30 times a day it sounds like he is a bit germaphobic in general, and possibly does have OCD. OCD can manifest itself in weird ways, i.e., sometimes people with some forms of OCD will sit in the middle of a mess absolutely hating it, because they are afraid to touch anything for fear of getting 'contaminated'...


so perhaps he is having weird feelings about other people's messes being unsanitary, and hence fears any mess that he can't control (or other people's 'germs')... BUT if he continues to do this after his initial sweep of your apartment to get it the way he is comfortable with, then perhaps he needs treatment. he really is going overboard.


it is also not healthy to constantly be exposed to large volumes of cleaning products if he is obsessively cleaning, nor to spend hundreds of dollars to satisfy the inner clean freak in him.


so if he doesn't lighten up after this first 'clean sweep', then you may need to confront this head on and suggest he get treatment. people who live with OCD are really quite tortured, and it is a disease that can be easily controlled by medication, and doesn't respond to 'talk' therapy becuase it is usually a biochemical problem.

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huh...this sounds like a big red flag to me. He sounds like a control freak and has the potential to become an abuser. I grew up with an abusive father and he was the same way when it came to keeping house. He'd berate my mom and the rest of the family for being 'filthy' as a means of putting us in our places. He'd say things like "my sister never leaves crap lying around her house" etc..


The thing with this type of behaviour is that it usually gets worse if you stick around. Your BF is justifying his 'cleanliness' by tearing you down. He's blaming you for what is actually his problem. I wouldn't doubt it if he does this in other aspects of your relationship. Don't tolerate this crap.

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Can i borrow him once a week?


No, i'm kidding...sorry about that. bad joke. Actually this sounds exactly like my daughter and her husband. He is ridiculous. She is not filthy but she is a bit sloppy. He really works her nerves bad and they have a two year old. I have tried to reason with him, as has his mother, that a house does not have to be spotless wtih a baby around.


We spent christmas eve night at their house...stayed the night. I was able to see obsessive boy in action. He would barely let christmas wrap hit the floor before he was bagging it all up.


Think long and hard about this. It sounds like an easy thing to fix but i can tell you it is driving my daughter crazy. And it is not just this...he IS a control freak and i bet your b/f will have that tendency as well.....he also calls her a filthy slob on occasion but he finally stopped doing that when i am around when i called his rear to the carpet for it. I would not be hurt at all if she left him but she has to come to this conclusion herself.

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