Hello. I'm having a stressful afternoon & looking for some emotional support & resources.
My husband & I just celebrated 18 years of marriage this week; I feel like I have come at his learned hoarding behavior from all the angles I can think of & this is my Hail Mary. We have two elementary-aged children, & it's really important to me to create a healthier, more consistently functional home environment for them.
My main challenges to this are:
(1) His learned behavior, of course ? hoarding dishes that he has rinsed & is saving for his own re-use in various stash spots in the kitchen, such as on the counters, the table or back in the cabinets (I have come to understand through reading the book *When You Live with a Messie* that this is functional behavior in a hoarding home where the sink is always full &/or broken, but it creates havoc in a home where the other spouse & children simply rinse their dishes & load the dishwasher); leaving things out after use, & then reactively railing at the other members of the family for the state of the house; reactively 'cleaning' by literally sweeping (or sometimes shoveling with a snow shovel, which horrifies me) other people's things, such as the toys on the kids' bedroom floors, always while yelling, & while simultaneously avoiding areas with his own things; etc.
(2) His denial of his own part in our housekeeping challenges, since he believes he is NOT a hoarder (his level is far lower than the home he grew up in ? though he has repeatedly refused to look at the different levels when I have attempted to show him this concept in the past)
(3) His refusal to participate in the help I have secured for us in the past ? by denying his part in the issue when we have done therapy & by completely refusing to meet with organizer I hired a few years ago.
I need help.
I'd really love someone else to help me hold him accountable to the part that is his, & probably help me manage my own expectations of this & get some support in keeping our home organized, since it is clearly not realistic for me to do this on my own (or else it would be cleaner/more functional on a consistent basis).
I know I have not addressed my own part in this issue as a piece of this message. And it's not because I don't think it exists. I definitely know there would be no issue if I didn't own parts of it, as well. But I do have therapy support, a spiritual community, & access to other resources that I use at will. My challenge today is actually getting out of this cycle of being made to be responsible for someone else's problems. It's just not an option. Before I consider the nuclear option of divorce, please help me find a way to create a safe, healthy environment for my kiddos that does not pass on this generational problem.