My marriage is three years old and I have a toddling son. I’m married to one of the best men on earth, but he has one serious problem. He is a neat freak, if there’s anything like that.
Let me explain. I’m not a dirty woman. Far from it. I’m actually a very neat woman, both inwardly and outwardly. I hate dirtiness and I try as much as I can to keep my house and environment clean at all times. But my husband is obsessed with neatness. Nothing less than 100% is okay for him. Sometimes, even a 100% neatness is enough for him.
This is a man who would wake up in the middle of the night to pick the few grains of sand on our tiled floor. At all times, every corner of the house must be sparkling and every object must be in its supposed position else, my husband will never be comfortable. A single spoon can never be left unwashed in the sink unless my husband is not at home.
No cloth must be left unwashed. Not mine, not his and definitely not our baby’s. Sometimes when our baby soils his cloth in my husband’s presence, he would never let the child wear the cloth again. He would make sure the cloth was discarded and replaced. He will never have a close contact with me in the morning unless I washed my mouth. We hardly have visitors because he believes they will mess up the house. When we manage to have visitors, the house must be cleaned immediately they left.
He washes his car in and out every day, even on the days he was sure he wouldn’t leave the house. Sometimes he takes days off work just to clean the house. Our toilet which only two of us use must be washed every day else, my husband will not use it. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, once he feels the need to clean the imaginary dirt, work begins.
I have tried the best I could to make sure the house is as neat as it suits him, but I couldn’t. It is a herculean task and seeing him do it himself makes me feel I’m not doing enough. Truly, he doesn’t mandate me to do the cleaning. He does it by himself whenever he feels the need unless I offered to help. But I’m not comfortable with it anymore and I think he needs help. I no longer think the way he’s obsessed with neatness is still normal.
Many times, I’ve tried to talk to him about this obsession, but he always discarded it as non issue. His usual response was that it makes him feel very uncomfortable whenever he’s in a dirty environment.
At one time, he became very sick and couldn’t leave the bed for a few days. During this period, I took care of him and my little boy and I couldn’t clean the house as he’d wish. It was not that the house was very dirty, but it wasn’t to his taste. But I couldn’t help it. Taking care of him and my boy all by myself wouldn’t let me do the cleaning the way he’d like.
Then a few days after taking his drugs, he became a bit better. The first thing he told me was that the house was very dirty and needed thorough cleaning. I told him that the house would be cleaned but he should focus on getting well. I thought he heard me, but he didn’t. I went out to buy groceries only to come back and find him sprawling on the floor unconscious.
Beside him was a mopping stick and a mopping bucket. When he regained consciousness, he said the dirt in the house was choking him and that was why he got up to clean.
I’m very tired. I don’t know if I can continue putting up with this obsession. I don’t think I’d have married him if I knew about this obsession. We met in the church and we didn’t have close contacts until marriage. And worse still, it seems this obsession of his is growing daily.
A few weeks ago, he hinted me on employing someone who’d help with cleaning the house. He said he wanted me to focus on taking care of our baby while the person cleans the house when he (my husband) cannot. I told him we don’t need such worker because the house is not too big for us to clean by ourselves. He didn’t say anything definite after my response.
Then this morning, someone came knocking on our door. I answered the door and saw our cotenant’s son standing there. He said he has come to start cleaning the house as he agreed with my husband. I sent him back but since then, I haven’t been myself. Something is seriously wrong with my husband. Since then, he has been trying to convince me to see the need for us to have a cleaner and makes me wonder whether he is still sane.
I’m very tired. I cannot continue like this. I’ve thought of telling his people about this obsession and ask them to help, but I fear they’d think I’m lazy or dirty. What should I do? Please I need your help.
Written as told.