Need help to lead wife

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December 17, 2015

Been married for 16 years, blue pill for most of it. Been lurking in MRP for about 4 months. I've read NMMNG and MMSL and am about to start WISNIFG. Been doing bodyweight exercises for 3 months and will join a gym next year (live in a small town and closes gym has a special when prepaying for next year).

TL;DR: My wife has too much clutter and it leads to fights. I take responsibility for failing to lead her on this point, but I don't know where/how I failed or how to proceed. I'm looking for help, not to blame her.

I'm here to ask for help. I'm not blaming my wife in any way. I know this is a failure of leadership on my part and I'm looking for understanding in where/how I failed and in how I can lead her through this problem. I've been impressed with how tough you guys have been lately and I'm putting myself out there for some tough love.

The problem: the house if full of clutter. Most of the clutter is confined to the basement and the garage but all kitchen counters are covered with clutter (a combination of kitchen utensils and papers/coupons that she hasn't filed yet).

Most of the time I try to overlook the clutter but it has come to a head twice this month. First, we are having insulation blown in and they need access to the basement. She is embarrassed about the basement and says she has to "clean up" first. I can go ahead with the appointment and cause an issue with her, or give her some time to clean up. For her, cleaning up means shifting boxes around to make a pathway near the walls for the insulation guy to work. It still leaves just as much a mess.

Second, I had made plans for us to get our Christmas tree on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I made these plans a week and a half ahead of time. In order for this to happen, we needed to move a large train set our son plays with out of the corner of the room and into the basement. This wasn't possible because of the clutter (there was no room). She said she would work on it and I even made arrangements to take the kids out two nights so she could work on it. It never happened, and we didn't get the tree. The following weekend, I moved the train by myself and found a small space I could put it to get it out of the way so we could get our tree.

She blames me for the clutter, especially claiming I don't help her with it. But it is all her stuff--old papers, boxes of unread books, craft supplies. I'm quite minimal with my own stuff. Her approach to cleaning it up is to either shift boxes around or "sort" through one box at a time, recycling maybe a third of the box and still needing to store the rest. I have no idea how to help.

My questions, from above, are: How did I fail as a leader to allow this to become a problem and how do I lead her to get through the clutter in a way that results in clear kitchen counters and a semblance of organization/reduced stuff (that is unnecessary) in the basement/garage?

Post Information
Title Need help to lead wife
Author phaedrus_rp
Upvotes 6
Comments 28
Date 17 December 2015 06:00 PM UTC (5 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Original Link
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Red Pill terms found in post:
leadershipWISNIFGthe blue pillMMSLNMMNG

[–]SepeanRed Beret12 points13 points  (11 children) | Copy

"Honey, next weekend I'm throwing out everything in the basement that isn't in a cupboard or in 4 boxes on the northern wall. You want some help sorting what we keep?"

[–]Griever1143 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

Honestly, I agree with this comment. Enough is enough

[–]phaedrus_rp[S] 1 point2 points  (9 children) | Copy

This is what I want to do, but I'm not sure how to handle the inevitable shitstorm just this statement will cause.

[–]rurpe3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

Customize the words to match your frame and personality but keep the general message.

"This basement is out of control. We are cleaning it up this weekend"

[–]strategos_autokratorRed Beret2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

The way you handle is ignore the tantrum, and enforce the consequences.

[–]SepeanRed Beret1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy

Handle it with frame.

[–]rurpe2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy

A man with no frame doesn't have the frame to hold frame

[–]SepeanRed Beret2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Then he fakes it.

There is no magical sentence, no clever argument that will make her agree. He shouldn't be looking for that.

He should be working on his frame. He's decided what has to be done, he's doing it, and his wife's shit storm won't sway him, won't make him angry, won't even make him DEER. Meditate on that, OP.

[–]phaedrus_rp[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You're right. I'm seeing that this resolving this clutter problem is something I could have done all along and should have.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy

Walk it through. what are the consequences here? Worst case scenario

[–]phaedrus_rp[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Worst case = prob not as bad as I think. I'll tell her I'm going to throw things out if she doesn't get them picked up, and when I do, she'll throw a fit. But seeing I'm serious might serve as motivation...or put the nail in the coffin.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

Try it for fun one day. Push, realize she isn't made of glass.

A girl won't leave for getting her feelings hurt. Bluepillprofessor said he didn't want to fuck his wife saggy Pussy. I've caked my spouse a cunt for cunty behaviour.

Neither is divorced/separated.

A girl won't leave for feelings.

[–]FearDearg2015Mod / Red Beret7 points8 points  (2 children) | Copy

The secret to being a great leader is to recognise that you are only a leader if you have people following you. Otherwise you are just a man going his own way on his own. People, in general, do not follow orders blindly, unless the orders come from a perceived authority. If that's the kind of marriage you want, then assert your authority and enforce consequences for disobedience.

The other type of leadership is where you are so good at what you are doing, that people just naturally fall into line with what you are doing or saying. This is also known as "natural leadership". This type requires emotional intelligence on the part of the leader. Essentially, you need to be tuned in to your own emotional state AND empathetic to the emotional state of the people you are leading. In my opinion, this is the better of the two choices, because it's easier to maintain once you've established it. The heavy handed approach requires constant attention to deviations and likely a lot of micro management. I have no first hand experience of that type, and have only recently been reading up on the theory of the second, even though I've been that second type at work for a long time. It's ironic that I never made the connection to my lack of leadership at home until recently, but dems the breaks.

So, here are some tricks :

Expect people to perform at their best. Share your vision for the kind of team you are trying to establish, and get your team behind that vision. They need to want the same things you want. Compliment them for their efforts, and provide help or assistance when they ask for it.

Accept that sometimes things don't go to plan. There is no need for an immediate blame game when something hasn't gone to plan. Don't start one, and don't tolerate one. After the problem is fixed, maybe then you can evaluate lessons learned, but only in the interest of making the team stronger.

Lead by example. Roll up your sleeves and show how it's done. People respect a leader who understands first hand the challenges that the team faces. Don't be the guy in his ivory tower.

If a team member is not putting in the required effort, you need to find out what the problems are from their perspective. Don't make the mistake of assuming malice or incompetence until you've proven that they are the only two remaining explanations. It's OK to be disappointed in the contribution of a team member, and its correct to share that disappointment with them. Try not to let yourself get angry with the problem, as they will likely interpret it as an attack. Instead, let them know that something is not working properly, and work with them to get things back on track.

Essentially you need to be in control of your own emotional state and tuned in to the emotions of the team. Motivate them from the front, don't push them from behind. Lead them by being worth following.

Edit: related topic on TRP right now.

Edit 2: /u/TrainingTheBrain posted this elsewhere too.

[–]MRPguy0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Great link to TRP. Thank you.

[–]phaedrus_rp[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Excellent. Thank you. I often fail at complimenting her when she has put in effort. I'm not rewarding the behavior I want.

[–]cholomiteMod / BP Downvote Magnet5 points6 points  (1 child) | Copy

You just described my gf perfectly, even down to the nature of the clutter. I'll go over what I did to help declutter my apt., but my relationship isn't yours, so take from this what you will.

One of the first things I did (after lifting, of course) was to start backing up what I would say. In my blue pull days I would tell my girl "do X or else..." and she wouldn't do it and I was to big of a pussy to do anything other than get butthurt and pout about it. I started small, showing her that when I say things, I mean them. She used to always make little smart ass comments and I would try to act tough and say shit like "come over here and say that", and she would and nothing would happen. Until one day she made a comment, I told her to come over and say it and she did in her cocky way, looking at me dead in the eyes thinking I was full of shit. So I grabbed her, I carried her into our bedroom, ripped her pants off and spanked her ass hard for a good 5 minutes. She was laughing and it was playful and she loved that I stopped acting like a pussy and backed up what I was saying. I started small at first, until I knew that she knew that I wasn't fucking around and I meant what I said. She tested me a few more times over stupid stuff and whatever I said I would do, I did if she didn't comply. Eventually she got the message that my balls dropped and I wasn't fucking around anymore.

This is when I started to apply it to actual issues and real problems. I basically told her one day, get all your shit together and store it neatly and properly or I'll go through it and take anything I deem unnecessary to the goodwill store. Because I had been routinely kicking her ass (playfully) for much smaller issues over the past 4 or 5 months, she knew I would back up what I said. I took her to Walmart the next day and she got a few extra bins for her books and other crap and I gave her until the weekend before I went through everything myself. I'll be a son of a bitch if she didn't pack everything she had into those bins and stack them all neatly in her closet. I swear one of the bins has the density of a black hole, I don't know how the lid snapped shut.

As far as general cleanliness, this is what helped me out with that. I know a college girl whose pretty hot, probably 20 or 21, but was 19 when this happened. My gf knows her too and how hot she is. I told the girl that me and my gf are swamped with work stuff and that I would pay her 60 or 70 bucks to clean our apartment this saturday. As a broke college student, she said she would. I went home and told my gf "listen babe, I can't live in this mess anymore. I know we're both busy so I offered Xgirl to come over this weekend and clean the place and she said she would. So we don't need to worry and can relax." My apt was as clean as its ever been within a couple hours of me telling her. I went back and told the college girl nevermind, but I would let her know if I needed her services in the future. I haven't yet.

One other thing on cleanliness that I took from another user on here. Start cleaning and behaving like you are a single man again. I haven't done this fully yet but the next time my gf slacks on cleaning, I'm going to take every girly decoration she put up off of my walls and put more manly stuff up, then just clean the shit myself in a way that would allow me to bring another girl back at anytime. Obviously I'm not going to cheat, but showing her that I'm fully capable and ready to take care of myself and improve my living conditions without her will send a powerful message. She won't know what to think but I have a good feeling her desire to keep a clean house will reignite quickly.

[–]phaedrus_rp[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Good ideas. I do need to set boundaries and follow through with them. I like the idea of setting a time frame to get some clutter cleared out or I'll handle it myself.

[–]enfier3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

The only method I've really seen work is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

If you follow the steps in the book, you can get done in one weekend and be done for good. I did it with my own stuff and now I've got plenty of space.

Your wife is obviously going to need to be on board and motivated, and probably going to need to read the book. It sounds as if she doesn't really care at the moment. You can certainly help by gathering the items to sort and taking care of the discards, but ultimately she has to decide on her own.

I just did my own items and later led my wife through some of the common areas.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

have you considered that she is a hoarder and this is a psychological / psychiatric issue that may require professional help?

[–]phaedrus_rp[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Yes, I have. It's a major problem also with her mother, and, to some extent, her father, too. They compound it by offloading their junk to her, also. Of course, I've allowed that to happen.

[–]rurpe1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy

You need to focus on acting instead of trying to inspire or lead using words.

Step 1: Declutter your spaces first: Your desk, your dresser, your closet, etc.

Step 2. Slowly, slowly establish clutter-free spaces in your shared spaces. Start small, a single kitchen counter, a single corner, etc: Kitchen counters, etc. If the clutter appears, identify the owner. If it is your clutter, handle it. If it is her clutter, start piling it into her space.

Step 3: Set aside time to declutter big areas like your basement with her and encourage her to start throwing shit away. You don't have to make it a big event, just turn off the TV on a random Tuesday and start going through shit in the basement.

[–]phaedrus_rp[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Great ideas. Step 1, done. Step 2, I will begin implementing tonight after I discuss it with her and let her know what we are doing. Step 3 is so common sense, I'm a bit embarrassed not to have done it yet. Will probably wait until after the holidays for stress levels, but will implement that step asap.

[–]rurpe1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Step 3 is so common sense, I'm a bit embarrassed not to have done it yet.

Acta non verba

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

TL;DR: My wife has too much clutter and it leads to fights. I take responsibility for failing to lead her on this point, but I don't know where/how I failed or how to proceed. I'm looking for help, not to blame her.

how can you say you're taking responsibility when you haven't put in any real work of trying to figure shit out.

[–]phaedrus_rp[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I was trying to indicate that I'm not looking just to dump on her. I realize that my failure to lead at least contributed to her continuing to accumulate stuff and not deal with it. I'm taking responsibility for that failure and asking for help about how to be a better leader in this specific area. Thank you for the link.

[–]BluepillProfessorMod / Red Beret1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

This is typical cat lady behavior. She needs a man to provide some warm, loving direction and leadership. I would spend $50.00 and hire a couple neighborhood kids to help for a couple hours. Then I hold my wife, give her a nice kiss, and then tell her we are going through and getting rid of the clutter on Saturday. No big deal. No argument. This is what I am going to do and hopefully we can do it together so I don't throw away anything you really want....

[–]phaedrus_rp[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Good idea. I'm seeing that there are ways of dealing with this that don't have to result in a blowup and a huge issue.

[–]the_Zambony0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

My wife's home office is a complete disaster area of clutter, shit that she doesn't need or won't clean up. I personally have no idea how she can function in that mess, but that's my problem.

The rest of the house is clutter free because I keep it that way. I am OC about it.

If it bothers you, clean it up, recycle what you can, and throw out the rest. If she has a problem with it tell her there is a simple solution, she can clean up.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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