All I could do was roll my eyes. I had been here so many times before, and nothing had changed. Every time my husband left his schoolwork papers scattered everywhere, it really upset me.
“Why can’t you ever keep the place a little cleaner? I mean, it looks like a tornado came through!”
“I’m sorry. I will clean it up later, okay?” said my husband.
Sure, I thought sarcastically to myself. I had asked a million times before, and it never got done.
I knew he was working very hard and I wanted to respect that part of his thinking process is spreading his work out. I also felt like a hypocrite asking him to be cleaner, since I am not the world’s most organized person either. Yet I thought to myself: I want a nice space to come home to.
When it happened once again, I wanted to get mad at him about how messy it was. But then I realized something. It’s our home. A living room is supposed to be lived in. What good is it if it isn’t functional? I realized we needed to do what worked for us.
So rather than get angry at him, we talked about it. We figured out a place in the living room which can serve as his workspace, so he’s been making sure to keep his clutter confined to that area. It’s not easy in our small apartment, but he is doing the best he can. Plus, he agreed that he could do a better job helping the house so he’s been taking out the trash and reorganizing our storage room.
It’s ended up working pretty well for both of us. He’s actually really liked having a designated work space since he doesn’t have to worry about his papers getting moved since they aren’t in anyone’s way. When I walk into our home, I don’t have as much anxiety over what I’ll find there and I’m relieved to know that at least some of the chores are done.
What could continued to be a tense situation, we defused because we were both willing to look at it as a problem we could work on together. And the apartment does feel like a nicer space, because both of us are much happier living there.
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