~ archived since 2018 ~

Update: We still have the formica table.

December 10, 2019

Remember my boyfriend's crazy hoarding?

That hideous table is still here, but this is a happy update.

We had been fighting so much about the house. When I couldn't convince him that he needed to discard things, I tried to "practice gratitude" my way out of it. I had been in a mentality of trying to "just be grateful" and come to terms with the condition of the house. It didn't work because the house was truly unacceptable and living there was causing me deep emotional pain. I tried to tell him how the furniture made me feel but he didn't hear me; I'd been fighting him on the furniture for so long that he got used to tuning me out.

Here's what I did: Instead of saying "We should swap out the tables" and "This place is a mess" and "I'm stressed out because I can't work from home when the house looks like this," I just said "Reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up a few years ago was a real turning point in my life. It sounds corny, but the book is a lot more substantive than the pithy synopses you always see online. I think it would be fun if you read it, too, and then we could go through that process again in our shared space." I said it once.

Then, I shut up. I gave up. 100%, completely, entirely gave up on changing anything about the house. I had a feeling that giving up would "work," but I stopped expecting anything, allowed myself to hope that this would make me feel better, and otherwise moved on with my life. I didn't mention it again. Don't get me wrong: I really, really wanted to mention it again, but I didn't. I cleared out a space for myself on the kitchen floor, and that's what I used when I worked from home. That felt a lot better. I didn't love spending 9 hours a day on the kitchen floor, but it got the job done.

After a few weeks, I noticed that he had picked my copy of Marie Kondo's book off the shelf and stashed it in his bag. I didn't know he had actually been reading it until he sat down at the dinner table one night and told me why he thought it was stupid. I told him that was okay, I thanked him, told him that I thought it was really sweet of him to try, but he should stop reading if he doesn't find it useful. He kept reading the book.

Over the long holiday weekend, he quietly pulled all his clothes out of the closet and the dresser and moved about 75% of them into bags to donate. Then he pulled all of his books off the shelves... He Marie Kondo'd the whole damn house. We borrowed a friend's truck and donated several truckloads of stuff. He measured all of the shelves and drawers and brought home baskets to keep everything tidy and tucked away.

He brings home fresh flowers to keep in a vase that covers the biggest stain on the formica table now. It looks a lot better.

Thanks for hearing me out, friends.

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Post Information
Title Update: We still have the formica table.
Author bellsandbutterflies
Upvotes 123
Comments 16
Date December 10, 2019 11:36 PM UTC (3 years ago)
Subreddit /r/RedPillWomen
Archive Link
Original Link

[–]PreciousMuffn10 points11 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Wow, that is an amazing update!! Congrats!

[–]StepfordInTexas6 points7 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

This is awesome! I just read your original post, you’ve seen success much faster than I did with my husband!

[–]bellsandbutterflies[S] 22 points23 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

He is seriously as close to perfect (for me) as it gets. His family raised him up to be over-the-top polite, hyper-educated, hardworking, and deeply kind. He's the sort of kind that makes me feel self-conscious about my own idea of what kindness is. He's always brought his best self to the relationship, never been rude or hurtful or passive-aggressive or snappy with me, not even once, not even when he's been tired or had a bad day or I deserved it. I have definitely not always brought my best self to the relationship, so I've deserved some pushback from him pretty often and have never, ever gotten it.

I just discovered RPW less than 2 months ago (late October I think?) and feel like a fool. All of our relationship problems are solved. When they crop back up for a minute, it's because I'm acting like an ass again. I catch myself thinking "Why can't he just..." and then I remember, "Oh, I picked this person because I think he's amazing and I trust him more than I've ever trusted anyone in the world. I should just step back and let him be amazing because I trust him to do that." And then I back off, and he does it all better than I would have known how.

[–]StepfordInTexas6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Amazing, isn’t it?

[–]stevierose7893 points4 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

The saying is "patience can have what it will", but I would say you went over and beyond the call of duty. I am so happy all your weeks of determination paid off. Don't get discouraged if he starts to fall into his old ways a little. Instead keep him focused with praise and gentle reminders. I speak from experience because I am the messy one in our household.

[–]bellsandbutterflies[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Thanks for the reminder! I have a lot of faith that it's going to really stay this clean this time. I'm actually "the messy one" in our household too (neither of us is particularly messy), which is why the mess was such a problem: he owned a lot of things that just. needed. to. go. With his junk out of the house, it's up to me to keep my "clothes chair" clear now :)

[–]stevierose7890 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I think a clothes chair is pretty common. I know mine looks like that.

[–]redaloevera2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

This reminded me of what someone said about feminine approach to asking men to do something. It went something like... if you want your guy to want take garbage out, telling him "hey, go take the garbage out" or even "could you please take garbage out" will not be effective because it's a directive. Instead, let him know how the garbage is making you feel, something like "the smell is the garbage is making me feel sick" or even better "I love it when the garbage is taken out and house smell nice and frsh". The reason why the latter is more effective is because as men we want to solve your problems and make your life easy. It also seems like this is what happened to the OP. Ladies, trust me on this. This shit works like magic. Source: have penis

[–]LateralThinker134 Stars1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Truth in this. Wording matters. Depending on my mood, I can get pretty angry when my SO gives me an order. Just a "please" or "Would you mind" is all I ask for.

"Take out the trash" gets an automatic "Piss off."

"Please take out the trash" will get an "In a minute."

"Would you mind taking out the trash, sweetie?" gets a "Sure!"

It's all in the phrasing. I try to reciprocate too. It's not an absolute, but it's... hard to be nice and supportive when your SO gives you even a well-meaning order. I'm not a servant or a worker (or the "muscle"), I'm a partner and a leader. Respect is required.

[–]bellsandbutterflies[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

"Would you mind taking out the trash, sweetie?" gets a "Sure!"

Funny because my boyfriend has specifically asked that I stop phrasing my requests like this.

He says he thinks of it this way: Would he mind taking out the trash? Yes, he would mind. He doesn't want to. If it was important to him, it would have happened already. That's why it's not already done!

"Please" is great, but everything else is a tactic to avoid using the word "please" because it can be uncomfortable to be direct about what you want.

[–]LateralThinker134 Stars2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Everybody's different. I like "Would you mind" because, if they mean it, it implies you CAN say "Yes I mind" and the asker will then do it themselves.

But most of the time I don't mind, because I don't mind making a contribution to the maintenance of the household. I may not LIKE the job but I don't MIND it. I do mind not being given a choice, and I do mind being ordered. But not asked.

EDIT: On quick reflection, it's possible he doesn't like "Would you mind" because due to a covert contract it isn't actually a question, it's still an order (i.e. he can't actually say YES I MIND and not have to do it.) So it comes across as dishonest. But if my wife asks me if I mind, and I say yes, she really will accept that. Most women won't.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Aw i remember this! Im so happy for you!!

[–]LateralThinker134 Stars2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Fantastic. Some people are like Chinese Finger Traps. Any resistance and they fight you, but just relax and you win.

[–]countrylemon0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

You should just paint the table, I loved all the rest of this.

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

I don't think it would take paint!

[–]countrylemon1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Sure it can! Plenty of rust-covering metal paints. And for laminate/formica you just sand it down first, prime it twice, paint it, top coat it. Use a water-based paint, not latex. Laminate paint or interior acrylic would be my suggestion!

Alternatively - stick and peel laminate. OR omg I'm swirling with ideas now. WALLPAPER - give it a funky pattern, seal it up.

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

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