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Am I being unreasonable about my husband's hygiene?


glamguru
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Hi friends, so i've been struggling with my husband's hygiene ever since I met him 7 years ago. He thinks it's okay to not brush his teeth or shower in the morning and then tries to initiate intimacy, which I obviously shut down. I tell him why and either he gets annoyed and drags himself to the shower or just rolls over and falls asleep, leaving me unsatisfied. Thankfully, it's gotten a bit better so now he knows to brush his teeth without me nagging him, but he won't shower every morning. His argument is "well I just showered last night" (it would be the next afternoon) and I would smell a bit of B.O. I'm at the point where I don't know if what i'm asking for is unreasonable because I have to be fair...I sometimes don't shower in the morning but I brush my teeth, wipe my privates with wet wipes and water, put some nice perfume on, deodorant etc. If he did those things I would be cool! We've had fights about it, calm and gentle conversations and he still can't shake himself out of his pure laziness. He's in the shower now as we speak. We spent 30 minutes before hand going back and forth about how he needed to wash up first. I'm not even in the mood anymore...it's like I have to put up a fight every time.  By now he knows what my expectations are but is still too lazy so he tries to test my limits every time just to see if he can get away with it and I just end up pushing him off. 

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Could be a compatibility issue. If him being clean is a prerequisite for you to get in the mood that is what is. Is that a price of admission he’s willing to pay?

 

If it’s not prerequisite and just preferred can you meet him in the middle and sometimes not need him to shower first? Is there something he’d like you to do that you don’t normally do? (Maybe the compromise is you doing that instead). 
 

If you have this conversation with him and he agrees to do one thing and then reneges on that that will be valuable information.

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You could always join him in the shower? That way there’s a positive reason for him to go in there? I know that sounds silly but he’s clearly viewing a shower as a chore. So if you joined him, you could have that intimacy of holding eachother, washing eachother, and being together and it kind of goes from there. You know he’s clean and you’re getting what you want, and he’s getting what he wants. x

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Not brushing teeth (and foul breath), not showering, and smelling BO ... just gross, gross, gross.  IF he expects oral and doesn't wash/shower, even more gross.  Lack of personal hygiene (for me), is a deal breaker, but that's just me.

Perhaps joining him in the shower will solve the problem.

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I think you are being to unrealistic if he showered the night before and you are talking about morning sex.  How dirty could he get sleeping???

A little BO?  What is a little?

If he has general poor hygiene then I can see you having an issue but sending him off to the shower each time he wants to be intimate is over the top. 

Why did you two get married?

Lost

PS  If you are doing it right sex can often be sweaty, sticky and yes smelly

Edited by lostandhurt
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10 minutes ago, SooSad33 said:

I wouldn't say he is 'lazy'.. possibly just not so picky.

If he showered night before and at least has fresh breath.. fine.

Why is this all about morning?  Why not at night?  When possibly you've both showered?

 

I agree with the above.  If he has at least showered once a day (or at night), as most people do, then I don't understand, and then yes, I would say you are being unreasonable. (Brushing teeth really should be a must, especially if he doesn't want to risk losing all of his teeth due to poor dental hygiene).  If he hasn't showered for several days/nights, then hell yes, that IS an issue and really just yuck.   Do you guys only have sex in the morning?  It's all a little confusing.  OP, can you clarify please?

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I agree that poor dental hygiene can be a turn off, however, I like spontaneous sex so I don't necessarily insist on taking a shower, but that's just me. Then again I don't think I could date someone who wouldn't shower at least once a day. 

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12 hours ago, glamguru said:

 my husband's hygiene ever since I met him 7 years ago. He thinks it's okay to not brush his teeth or shower in the morning

Stop arguing about it like he's a 5 year old and you're his mother.

Does he shower at least once a day? If so, you need to be ok with that.

As far as oral hygiene, let him go to the dentist for regular cleaning/checkups and let him get sticker shock  when he gets the bill for gum disease, dental caries, etc. 

This is a parent-child power struggle and withholding sex (IF you actually want it) just exacerbates that.

Marriage therapy would help you start a dialogue about your real feelings about all this. It would help you unpack and sort out other marital resentments and issues.

 

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He was like that when you met him so, imo, you don't have the right to get upset about it.  You have every right to uphold your personal boundaries, but resenting him for it when you knew about it right from the get go is not fair imo.  It was your informed choice to marry him.  You need to reframe your thoughts about it in your mind so that you do/ask him what is right for you without resenting him in the process.

Edited by Clio
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Is this an issue where he doesn’t shower or do his teeth or you just want it done before playtime in the AM? If it is that have playtime at night when he did shower and brush or do it in the shower? I know for me if I had to get out of bed just to shower and brush my teeth to have sex to go back into the shower to brush my teeth and have a shower again just to go to work that would be forget it. 

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Showering once a day is reasonable. Expecting more than that is ... a barrier.

I can understand not kissing morning breath or not wanting to go down on him if he smells ripe.

So can't you just avoid either of those acts while incorporating other sex in the morning?

Do the rest at better times, but don't kill the morning boner by parenting him into the shower.

Free your mind... 

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6 hours ago, smackie9 said:

How about a compromise....offer to get in the shower with him for some good clean nookie.

Sure, or get in the shower first, then invite him.

Hey, if YOU are not in the mood for a shower upon awakening, they why is it okay to demand that he 'should' be?

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I wouldn't make a big deal out of it unless you want this to be a scar or major issue in the marriage. People develop neuroses and anxieties from rejection or not feeling attractive enough. His BO or breath shouldn't stink that much if he is seeing a dentist or on a healthy diet. I remember when my ex (husband) was eating black truffles, garlic and parmigiano the day before though. That was something. It was coming out of his pores. You have to learn to laugh about these things. Don't take it too seriously or hurt each other. It's not worth it, imo. 

You never know when things will end or how life turns out. Don't make mountains of molehills. Enjoy your marriage and one another. Have sex whenever possible and like Lost says, if it's done right, sex should be sweaty, sticky and smelly anyway. You'll both probably have a shower afterwards. Enjoy life.. have fun with this and see how things go. 

The main issue I'd look at is healthy teeth and gums (seeing a dentist) and what kind of diet you both are on. This could be the tip of the iceberg for other incompatibilities or differences or part of larger health issues. If it isn't, I don't think it's a big deal. 

Oh and mouthwash stashed somewhere under the sink or in the bathroom somewhere is great for morning or mid-day/spontaneous fun or quickies.

 

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I don't understand how the relationship progressed to marriage, if you've always had a problem with his hygiene.

Can you explain a little more about this? Why is his hygiene so bad? Was he not raised to do this? Why? Did he come from an environment where it was not possible or very difficult? Was there some neglect in his upbringing? 

Why did you continue on with the relationship, if you were struggling with this? 

Did he promise to change and not? Did you just assume you could fix him? 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/14/2021 at 11:44 PM, SooSad33 said:

I wouldn't say he is 'lazy'.. possibly just not so picky.

If he showered night before and at least has fresh breath.. fine.

Why is this all about morning?  Why not at night?  When possibly you've both showered?

 

It’s both lol. Sorry for my late response I was locked out of my account! But anyway, the night time is perfect, no issues there but only half the time as he doesn’t believe in showering every single day (only every other day). So the night of the day he showers are wins for me... the other nights not so much. The mornings are always bad because of morning breath. I think I am very hypersensitive to smells... because I almost throw up at the slightest stench. That could also be an issue... 

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On 2/15/2021 at 5:41 PM, Lambert said:

I don't understand how the relationship progressed to marriage, if you've always had a problem with his hygiene.

Can you explain a little more about this? Why is his hygiene so bad? Was he not raised to do this? Why? Did he come from an environment where it was not possible or very difficult? Was there some neglect in his upbringing? 

Why did you continue on with the relationship, if you were struggling with this? 

Did he promise to change and not? Did you just assume you could fix him? 

Thanks for commenting. To answer your questions... we weren’t able to sleep together or even see each other everyday prior to marriage so we just “dated” like going on dates where we obviously presented our best selves. He was neglected as a kid and his mom is super dirty... I visited their house before we married and was able to see the red flags there. He developed bad habits from his upbringing... he is honestly an amazing man. He’s generous, kind, intelligent and I am really in love with him. I care about him a lot... I want to help him heal from the wounds that caused him his current patterns but I don’t know how to help. 

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On 2/15/2021 at 5:20 PM, Rose Mosse said:

I wouldn't make a big deal out of it unless you want this to be a scar or major issue in the marriage. People develop neuroses and anxieties from rejection or not feeling attractive enough. His BO or breath shouldn't stink that much if he is seeing a dentist or on a healthy diet. I remember when my ex (husband) was eating black truffles, garlic and parmigiano the day before though. That was something. It was coming out of his pores. You have to learn to laugh about these things. Don't take it too seriously or hurt each other. It's not worth it, imo. 

You never know when things will end or how life turns out. Don't make mountains of molehills. Enjoy your marriage and one another. Have sex whenever possible and like Lost says, if it's done right, sex should be sweaty, sticky and smelly anyway. You'll both probably have a shower afterwards. Enjoy life.. have fun with this and see how things go. 

The main issue I'd look at is healthy teeth and gums (seeing a dentist) and what kind of diet you both are on. This could be the tip of the iceberg for other incompatibilities or differences or part of larger health issues. If it isn't, I don't think it's a big deal. 

Oh and mouthwash stashed somewhere under the sink or in the bathroom somewhere is great for morning or mid-day/spontaneous fun or quickies.

 

I needed this, thank you. The last thing I want to do is nag him like a mom would do. Our relationship is otherwise really strong. I have to practice positive reinforcement but it’s hard because I find myself being like my critical mother, which I know sets him back even more because his mom was critical too. Thanks for commenting!

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On 2/15/2021 at 9:39 AM, Seraphim said:

Is this an issue where he doesn’t shower or do his teeth or you just want it done before playtime in the AM? If it is that have playtime at night when he did shower and brush or do it in the shower? I know for me if I had to get out of bed just to shower and brush my teeth to have sex to go back into the shower to brush my teeth and have a shower again just to go to work that would be forget it. 

A bit of both. There are times when he approaches me and it’s been 24+ hours since his last shower and teeth brushing (never more than 48) and well that’s a no... whether morning or night. But yeah I am hypersensitive and that’s something I had to come to conclusion with after reflecting. I can notice even faint scents. I can smell peoples natural body scents even if they’re not offensive or loud. I told him that because of this, it would help if he sprinzes some cologne in the AM (on the nightstand). So in short, showering everyday just once , brushing twice a day and a bit of cologne in the am is all I ask for. He still can’t do that...

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On 2/15/2021 at 9:32 AM, SherrySher said:

You've been with him for 7 years...how is this just coming up now?

People with poor hygiene usually start off like that and don't all of a sudden become unhygienic unless they are not well or become depressed....is he either one of those?

He was always like that. Heard stories from family members... 

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