Have couples ever divorced over a messy house? Married couples often argue about the state of their home. Messy homes can be the source of conflict due to resentment on the part of either spouse. If your marriage is failing due to a messy home, you can rectify the situation by communicating effectively, compromising, and praising one another.
Messy homes can often build resentment and anger between married couples, but how does a dirty home contribute to the decision to get divorced?
If you want to save your relationship with your spouse, there are a few things you can do to work on your relationship and the problems at hand. But first, you’ll need to understand why messy homes can cause couples to get divorced.
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Messy Homes Cause Resentment
Out of all the reasons couples seek a divorce, you may have never considered that a messy home could be one of them. But, according to studies, a whopping 25% of divorces are caused by physical problems in the home – particularly over chores.
While divorcing someone over a messy home may seem silly at first, you’ll need to consider the deeper meaning behind a messy house and how it can result in marital issues between you and your partner.
No matter which side you’re on – whether you’re extremely clean or you’re a little too messy – these issues can pile up and result in resentment between spouses.
Firstly, let’s look at what happens when you’re the ‘messy’ spouse. Many married men and women use tons of excuses as to why they haven’t done their part when it comes to chores.
One of the most common reasons is children. For a stay-at-home parent, cleaning up messes can be daunting, and sometimes your children make messes faster than you can clean them up. While this can be demotivating, it shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to at least try.
The main keyword when it comes to cleaning is trying. For example, if you have dirty washing piling up, it can be overwhelming to try and tackle everything at once. And that’s understandable!
But instead of turning a blind eye to this chore, you can make the house look tidier and start to address the problem by trying to do at least one load a day. If you think about it, doing a little bit each day can help reduce the house’s mess without taxing you too much.
Another common complaint is from partners with disabilities, mobility issues, or chronic illnesses. While this is a perfectly valid reason not to spend your whole day cleaning, you can also use some time to do a few chores that aren’t physically taxing to help your partner out.
For example, if you know that you can only manage to clean for a short period, you can think about what you can accomplish in that time. If you only have an hour of strength in you, you can do your part by washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, or even tidying clutter away.
Unless you are physically incapable, you should be sharing your chores with your partner. And while it may not always be 50/50, you can do your part to keep your partner happy and keep your home clean.
Now let’s focus on what it means to be the ‘clean’ spouse. If you feel like you’re always doing the lion’s share of chores, or if your partner never cleans up around the house, you may feel a lot of anger and resentment toward them.
These feelings are totally valid! But, while your feelings may be valid, you can’t expect your partner to be a mind-reader. If you’re feeling resentment over the state of your home or the allocation of the chores, then you need to talk to your spouse before you let your anger spiral out of control.
While you may notice that you’re the only one who ever does any chores, your partner may not have noticed this. Alternatively, they may have become comfortable in your ‘role’ as a housemaker.
Before you take all of your anger and frustration out on your partner, you need to address the issue with them head-on.
It’s never pleasant to be on either side of the ‘messy home’ argument. While you may resent having to do all of the housework on your own, you’ll also need to think about your partner’s resentment for being criticized for their lack of effort.
How A Messy Home Can Result In Divorce
You may be asking yourself why messy homes can result in divorce. And while we’ve touched on how your cleaning habits (or lack thereof) can affect your partner, you may still wonder why your home’s state would cause your spouse to leave.
One of the most common reasons is not sharing chores. Sharing chores helps keep your home clean, but by splitting up your tasks, you can make the job much more manageable and show a sense of commitment to your spouse.
While we’re homing in on sharing chores, you can apply the same principle to any issues that may arise that are connected to the state of your home. If your partner doesn’t pull their weight, adds to the mess of the house, or doesn’t care about the level of mess, these issues can be just as harmful to your marriage.
Your spouse should feel like your partner, not your enemy. Although it’s not always possible to split the chores 50/50, you should take time to speak to your partner about what chores they could manage to help you out.
When your partner refuses to help share in household chores, you can begin to feel ignored and belittled by your partner. It may feel as if your partner doesn’t respect you or your partner doesn’t care.
Because of how your partner has reacted, you may start pulling away from your spouse, and it can cause a total breakdown in your relationship. For some couples, this may be a breaking point for their marriage and lead to divorce.
How To Help Save Your Marriage From Possible Divorce
If your marriage is in danger due to a messy home, there are a few steps that you can take to save your relationship before throwing in the towel.
The first step is to communicate with your partner. Proper communication is always key whether you’re speaking or actively listening to your partner. You need to understand why your spouse feels the way they do and try to see their point of view.
If you’re coming home from work to a messy home, but your partner is working from home, juggling other obligations, and looking after kids, you may need to take some time out to understand why they’re struggling to keep the house clean.
You also need to negotiate with one another. If you hate washing dishes and doing the laundry, but you don’t mind cooking and making the bed every day, then you and your partner can agree as to who does what around the house. This may help make the ‘burden’ of cleaning a lot lighter for both you and your spouse.
Lastly, you need to lift each other up. At the root of divorce over a messy house is a spouse that feels ignored, unseen, and underappreciated.
If your spouse contributes to housework – no matter how big or small their task is- it may serve you well to compliment and praise them for their efforts. By taking the time out of your day to thank your spouse, you can help them to feel more valued and loved.
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Other “Crazy” Reasons For Divorce
Although a messy house may seem like a crazy reason for divorce, it contributes to a large chunk of divorces among married couples. You may be surprised, then, to know that there are other common reasons for divorce that may seem completely unbelievable, including:
- Having children that aren’t the preferred sex (some partners may only want to have girls or boys)
- Chronic illness
- Being too busy for marriage
- Feeling like you’re “missing out” on certain experiences
- Your work takes priority
- Differences in political views
- Differences of opinion
Continue Reading: Is Marriage Worth It? [DETAILED DISCUSSION]
Messy homes are often indicative of messy relationships. By actively working on solutions with your spouse, you can save your marriage and keep your home spick and span! Without compromise and teamwork, a marriage can never last.
After earning his Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, Stuart gained experience working with families in community mental health settings and in the child protection sector. Since becoming a father himself, Stuart now works in private practice offering psychotherapy services. FatherResource is an opportunity for Stuart to share what he learns on his journey as a father with a larger audience.