I'm married to a wonderful woman who is smart, funny, and very pretty. I would dare say that she is drop dead gorgeous. The care and attention to detail that she pays to her physical appearance is extreme. In fact she won't leave the house if her bracelet doesn't match her thong! None of this bothers me, in fact, I love how well kept she is. The problem is, however, in how unkempt she keeps our house. This is our battleground and it makes me furious! If I don't follow her around with a trashcan and bottle of 409, within a day our home would literally become a pigsty' I'm talking about banana peals left on the carpet! I'm constantly yelling, pleading, threatening, begging her to funnel her attention to hygiene and beauty that she applies toward her physical appearance toward our home. But she rebels every time I bring this attention, and our fights are getting more extreme. I just don't understand how such a beauty can be such a slob? And how can I get her to change?
Since you have already exhausted yourself telling her how important a clean house is to you, and she continues to be a slob, this indicates the presence of a much deeper issue. In other words, the messy house may reflect her inner clutter, confusion, lack of self-esteem, and/or unresolved childhood traumas resulting in her retroactive way of rebelling against overbearing parents.
But enough psychobabble about her! She is not the one writing in with a question, so let's deal with what you can do. You need to ask yourself if this is a battle worth fighting, without the satisfaction of ever winning' and very possibly losing any joy that you do presently share with your wife. In fact, consider that the emotional typhoon that blows through your house every time you let your fury get the best of you may be cluttering your home with more emotional chaos than all the dirty dishes and banana peals combined.
So, if you want a marriage that looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside, then consider the following intervention that some African tribes evoke when a member of the tribe's self-destructive behaviors has gotten the worst of them. The tribe gathers around the identified person with the deliberate intent of creating a radical change. They achieve this result by showering the person with praise. They take turns inundating the person with affirmations about all the things that they are doing right, all the ways they have made a difference, and all the attributes they posses that add value, beauty, and support to the community.
The interesting thing about this ceremony is that the tribe never once mentions the unhealthy behavior that they gathered to alter. The tribe realizes that in exalting their own collective perception of the person 'with the problem' they are exalting this part of themselves to a higher place in their own consciousness. And once the recipient of all this praise and positive self-reflection emerges, they all are drastically altered. The mirror of healthy, life-affirming behaviors are amplified and are staring them all in the face as they are suddenly reacquainted with the wonderful person that they truly are, that the identified person represents. More often than not, this ceremony/intervention marks the end of the self-destructive pattern.
With this in mind, my suggestion to you, Nick, is to experiment with the following chores for one week:
Spray some Windex on the lens through which you see your wife.
Refrain from littering your relationship sanctuary with complaints about her pigsty tendencies.
With 409, wipe away the smears you have made toward her in the past by asking her forgiveness for your attempts at controlling her behavior.
Dig out of the recycle bin of your mind all the past moments of glory where she shined resplendently.
Polish off your memories of the times she touched your heart, and share them with her.
If she leaves a banana peal on the carpet, pick it up without complaint.
If you can't do this without complaining, then pick up the phone and call a housekeeper. The $50-$75 a week is a small price to pay for a sanctuary in which to celebrate your marriage.
If after a week none of this works, then seek a marriage counselor to assist you both keeping your respective sides of the inner and outer house clean.
Kelly 'the Goddess' Sullivan Walden is a Relationship/Dream Coach who began leading Goddess Queen Gatherings after a life-altering encounter with her inner Goddess Queen. Kelly is the author of 'Discover Your Inner Goddess Queen' an Inspirational Journey from Drama Queen to Goddess Queen', as well as the upcoming 'I Had the Strangest Dream! The 21st Century Dreamer's Dictionary' (Warner Books). Kelly's vision is a world where all people are living as Goddess Queens and Divine Kings in their everyday lives. Do you have relationship questions? Ask Kelly how to turn your relationship drama to phenomena. For interviews, speaking engagements, private sessions, or information about how you can create your own Goddess Queen Gathering, ask Kelly or check out her Goddess Queen Unlimited Website.