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Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: believer] #294122
04/29/13 04:11 PM
04/29/13 04:11 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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It wouldn't be so hard if all his stuff wasn't so unique. Like he has parts to electronic equipment from 30 years ago; I don't know if it belongs to something we have, if he'll use it for something else, if it's worth a lot of money...and he won't TELL me! We probably have, if you were able to box it (some of it's as big as a twin bed), 300 boxes of stuff like this. That I have no idea what to do with. He pulled some things out of the trash that I had put there at the garage sale. Ok, but at least tell me what it's for, when it's going to be used...

So it's not like I can't organize; it's that there is so MUCH of it that I can't even literally move it around. So I AM stuck on waiting for him.

A couple times over the years, my mom offered to rent one of those junk removal things to be delivered; he would have none of it. I had to literally fight with him just to get him to agree to me shredding most of our taxes for the last 30 years (except the 7 most recent), and I'm talking 2 or 3 shoeboxes of receipts for each year.

I moved into the attic 7 or 8 boxes of t-shirts and jackets from his old company that he was supposed to give away to customers but never did, but he won't get rid of them. And half of it has the name of a part of the company that's not even in business any more.

He tried selling goji berry juice about 4 or 5 years ago; we still have two big boxes of it in the washroom up on the shelf; I told him I wanted to throw it away; he said why; I said because it can't be any good any more. Can we? He ignored me.

That's the kind of stuff I'm dealing with.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: believer] #294123
04/29/13 04:11 PM
04/29/13 04:11 PM
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Miranda Offline
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B, that's the truth! In addition to the three boxes of stuff that went to goodwill last week, on Saturday we took SIX 33 gallon trash can liners full of old sheets, towels, and blankets to the local humane society. DH didn't even paw through it. He trusted my judgment and he barely even grumbled. He just said "load it up and let's get it over there"

I was THRILLED. That's 3 big dresser drawers, one huge shelf in my utility room and a cabinet in the guest bath...all empty!!

Next, it's clothes...


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294124
04/29/13 04:14 PM
04/29/13 04:14 PM
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midwest
Miranda Offline
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Originally Posted By: catperson
It wouldn't be so hard if all his stuff wasn't so unique. Like he has parts to electronic equipment from 30 years ago; I don't know if it belongs to something we have, if he'll use it for something else, if it's worth a lot of money...and he won't TELL me! We probably have, if you were able to box it (some of it's as big as a twin bed), 300 boxes of stuff like this. That I have no idea what to do with. He pulled some things out of the trash that I had put there at the garage sale. Ok, but at least tell me what it's for, when it's going to be used...

So it's not like I can't organize; it's that there is so MUCH of it that I can't even literally move it around. So I AM stuck on waiting for him.



Exactly the same thing as at my house. I'm hoping that his willingness to assist me with the stuff I CAN purge will motivate him to do some of his own, but I am not pushing him, yet.

I know how frustrated you must be, Cat...


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294130
04/29/13 04:31 PM
04/29/13 04:31 PM
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flowmom Offline
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Cat, I've only poked my head in here and there so forgive me if I don't have the whole picture. I feel for you living with all that stuff. I have decluttering to do too.

One thing that really helped me in the past was to completely declutter my priority rooms and put all the stuff in a single room. It meant losing a bedroom but it was worth it to enjoy the rest of the home. If I had a garage I would put the stuff in there. It's not a long-term solution but it was so encouraging to enjoy the peace and space in the rooms where I spent the most time. The psychology of the process is very, very important IMHO.

Pick the room you use the most, remove everything, and only put back what is useful and beautiful. I would announce your plan to do this but not seek agreement. IMHO it's too demoralizing to peck away at an entire house without seeing any short term results. A dramatic illustration of how much better things feel would be very encouraging for both of you.

Quote:
How to Go Hard Core With a Clean Slate Room Declutter

Give yourself adequate time. This is not a project youll want to complete half way or you may never get back to finishing it. I would give the process of unloading and reloading a room an entire day just to be safe. The level of clutter will determine a lot.
Decide where the room contents will go during the process. You may want to pick a spot out of the way for any boxes or piles of clothes to go until you have a chance to prioritize them.
Do the big pieces of furniture first. Remove all the furniture pieces first. Then work your way down to the smaller items. Im assuming you wont be moving to a new location like we did so keeping the items sorted will help with reloading the room.
Give your room a quick clean. Go ahead and run the vacuum and attack those neglected baseboards. Youll be glad you did and maybe even a little embarrassed by the mess youve been overlooking.
Evaluate your space with new eyes. Now that your room is totally empty, decide if youd like to put the items in different places or maybe not replace them at all. Youve got your clean slate so take full advantage of it.
Only put back the essentials. Start by putting back less than you think you need. Yes, the bed gets to come back. But after that, decide if you really like what you have. If new dressers or a built in closet system would help minimize clutter in your bedroom, maybe you should sell some of your old furniture.
Be extra discerning with what you bring back in. If you can stand it, leave the rest of your belongings in a different room and go to that area to declutter your stuff. Donate old clothes, sell your books, and remove whatever else you can before you start bringing things back in. Once its back in your room, it will be easy to overlook in the future.
http://www.minimalistathome.com/go-hard-core-with-a-clean-slate-room-declutter/

This is the best book that I've read about the emotional side of clutter and the blocks to progress:
http://www.amazon.com/Clutter-Busting-Le...4979&sr=1-1
I cannot recommend it enough for ordinary clutterers like me, but also people who are having more serious issues like your husband. Your ultimatums and lists are totally legitimate, but it doesn't look like he "gets it".

Good luck with this.


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: flowmom] #294133
04/29/13 04:40 PM
04/29/13 04:40 PM
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Posts: 20,500
catperson Offline OP
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Thanks, flow. I might bring this up in MC tonight. He had the nerve to say in last MC that HE used to be extremely organized (40 years ago); I remember him bragging to me about it when I met him. frown

I've actually been doing the 'good' room/'bad' room for a long time. That's why he has an office you couldn't walk into until I organized it, and a 3-car garage we can barely get the lawn mower in. And I've won the fight to move his stuff out of our bedroom - if it stays there more than a week or two (it's piling up again right now), I'm moving it to his office, despite his protests. I gave up the fight for the kitchen cabinet. The rest of the house is fairly walkable. But I KNOW it's all there, you know? I just can't sit still in my house, knowing it's all there. And we're getting to the age we have to start thinking about leaving all this for DD22 to go through.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294135
04/29/13 04:49 PM
04/29/13 04:49 PM
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Martes Offline
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Originally Posted By: catperson
It wouldn't be so hard if all his stuff wasn't so unique. Like he has parts to electronic equipment from 30 years ago; I don't know if it belongs to something we have, if he'll use it for something else, if it's worth a lot of money...and he won't TELL me! We probably have, if you were able to box it (some of it's as big as a twin bed), 300 boxes of stuff like this. That I have no idea what to do with. He pulled some things out of the trash that I had put there at the garage sale. Ok, but at least tell me what it's for, when it's going to be used...

So it's not like I can't organize; it's that there is so MUCH of it that I can't even literally move it around. So I AM stuck on waiting for him.

A couple times over the years, my mom offered to rent one of those junk removal things to be delivered; he would have none of it. I had to literally fight with him just to get him to agree to me shredding most of our taxes for the last 30 years (except the 7 most recent), and I'm talking 2 or 3 shoeboxes of receipts for each year.

I moved into the attic 7 or 8 boxes of t-shirts and jackets from his old company that he was supposed to give away to customers but never did, but he won't get rid of them. And half of it has the name of a part of the company that's not even in business any more.

He tried selling goji berry juice about 4 or 5 years ago; we still have two big boxes of it in the washroom up on the shelf; I told him I wanted to throw it away; he said why; I said because it can't be any good any more. Can we? He ignored me.

That's the kind of stuff I'm dealing with.


Oh my Cat....I'm going to come right on out and say it. Not sure if you've discussed this on your thread previously, but from what you've posted, your husband is a flat-out hoarder. Sometimes it co-exists with other compulsive-type disorders, but not always. There is NO WAY that the amount of stuff you are describing is anywhere near normal. 300 boxes??? Decades old stuff?

And his reaction is typical of hoarders. I might have use for it someday. I need to go through it before you throw anything out. It's valuable, so don't throw it away - I plan to sell it. Right down to taking things out of the garbage. You get the picture.

We talked previously about his high levels of anxiety - hoarding is often described as an anxiety disorder. The paralysis when faced with getting rid of stuff is typical, and similar to his paralysis when faced with other stressors. The devastating, deprived childhood of his that you describe, plus the stress of life is the perfect storm for this kind of behavior. The stuff is a security blanket to him. Please, please bring it up to the counselor, even in a session without your husband.

I know you don't need anything else on your plate, but look at it this way. It would explain your complete spinning wheels on getting your home sorted/cleaned out, and his complete refusal to help. I don't think you're going to get far without him getting help for this.

I don't know - maybe I've watched too many episodes of Hoarders. But this is not normal, and if he is a hoarder, you are swimming against the tide. I with Greengables were here - she had experience with this.

Hugs {{{{{Cat}}}}}}
Martes


Happily married 11 years, but open to 'magnification'
DS 8, DS 5
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Martes] #294137
04/29/13 04:58 PM
04/29/13 04:58 PM
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flowmom Offline
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I think Martes has a point Cat. It is not normal to cling to items like that. If your husband is suffering from a mental illness that is manifesting as hoarding, he will probably need professional help with this. If that's the case, I would drop the lists and make the ultimatum to seek help for this. Your MC may not be qualified to help either of you with this and now that I think about this, I'm wondering why she hasn't referred you to someone who can. Frankly, I have a very low opinion of MCs based on what I've experienced and observed.


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: flowmom] #294143
04/29/13 05:16 PM
04/29/13 05:16 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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MC has already told him she thinks he's a hoarder. I'll ask her about a referral.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294144
04/29/13 05:17 PM
04/29/13 05:17 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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I'm thinking...maybe instead of my to-do list of fixing the HOUSE stuff that needs done, I can replace it with a 'go through a box' project. Until that's taken care of. THEN we can look at what's wrong with the house.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294145
04/29/13 05:18 PM
04/29/13 05:18 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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Honestly, I'm surprised he keeps going back. Every session has been about him and how messed up he is.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294151
04/29/13 05:29 PM
04/29/13 05:29 PM
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TX
CajunRose Offline
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He may be finally ready to admit he has a problem.

I used to tell my xMIL that if xH and I were the ones who had to go through her things after she died I was just going to do a controlled burn and sell the lot. Then Hurricane Rita sent a tree through her roof and the water pretty much destroyed everything. (She was thrilled that she got insurance money for the 30 years of TV guides that had been stacked in her bedroom - they were collectors' items now.)

Last time I was over there the garage was once again unusable because it was so full of stuff. It didn't take long to reaccumulate. frown


Current spouse: Night. D10, D9, S7

About me

You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

http://www.divorcedmomfinances.com
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: CajunRose] #294168
04/29/13 06:07 PM
04/29/13 06:07 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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The one thing I do wish I'd been a hoarder for was the 5-foot-tall stack of comic books my brother and I collected back in the 60s, that my mom threw out. :0

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294263
04/29/13 08:59 PM
04/29/13 08:59 PM
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Telly Offline
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I was thinking the same thing about hoarding, and was preparing to post as much when I got interrupted HOURS ago by a child and never came back.

Cat, I love that show Hoarders. I find the whole thing fascinating. But I would hate to live with it.

Your husband is a clean hoarder (as opposed to people who hoard disgusting items of trash), but nonetheless, this is a real problem.

You might want to DVR those shows (Hoarders and "Hoarders: Buried Alive"). Could be a good eye opener for you--though it might not be as helpful for your H... He might think "I'm not that bad" when they show the really extreme cases (which is what makes for good television).

You might want to find someone who specials in anxiety and hoarding.

((((Cat)))))

Also, it may be a testament to how much he loves you and how much influence you DO have over him that your house isn't unlivable...


Married 13 years
D10
D5
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Telly] #294265
04/29/13 09:04 PM
04/29/13 09:04 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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Thanks.

I've seen Hoarders and makes me really anxious to watch it so I try to avoid it. I've even watched it with him in the room; no effect. We'll get there.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294273
04/29/13 09:26 PM
04/29/13 09:26 PM
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believer Offline
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LOL, Cat! I watched it one time with my sis, who IS a hoarder. The lady on the episode had a house that looked like a garbage dump. The counselor was trying to get her to donate some of the 200 plus Ball canning jars she had, that she hadn't used for 30 years. The hoarder remarked that she "might need them someday."

My sis agreed with her!


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: believer] #294280
04/29/13 09:40 PM
04/29/13 09:40 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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catperson  Offline OP
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lol

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294300
04/30/13 12:14 AM
04/30/13 12:14 AM
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catperson Offline OP
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Can I just brag and say my 80-pound puppy likes to play soccer? If she has one toy in her mouth, she'll find a ball and bat it around the room with the other toy still in her mouth. She's so cute!

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294305
04/30/13 01:20 AM
04/30/13 01:20 AM
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Martes Offline
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Originally Posted By: catperson
Can I just brag and say my 80-pound puppy likes to play soccer? If she has one toy in her mouth, she'll find a ball and bat it around the room with the other toy still in her mouth. She's so cute!


That's too sweet. We need things like that in our lives to keep us going, don't we?

On the bright side Cat, think about it this way. You've been trying to help your husband deal with the individual issues, like the accumulated junk, and the job problems etc. If, as is possible, the underlying thread that ties all this together is an anxiety disorder, there is real hope for change. Getting a handle on the anxiety may allow progress in ALL of the areas affected by it.

I hope your MC is able to get him to begin confronting the issue, and perhaps refer him to a counselor experienced in these matters. I hope he will try, for both his happiness and yours. He cannot be happy, living as he has been.

Martes

Edited to add.....the potential hoarding is important, but if it is the manifestation of anxiety (combined with a childhood of poverty and deprivation), it's not enough to just work with an organizer/home cleaner/declutter specialist etc. The anxiety may be the issue, and the hoarding a symptom. And I say this because of the issues with work that show a similar pattern. Again, maybe I've watched too many episodes of Hoarders...

Last edited by Martes; 04/30/13 01:26 AM.

Happily married 11 years, but open to 'magnification'
DS 8, DS 5
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Martes] #294311
04/30/13 01:54 AM
04/30/13 01:54 AM
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catperson Offline OP
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That makes sense. We had to reschedule MC, but I will bring it up when we go next.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294319
04/30/13 03:37 AM
04/30/13 03:37 AM
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catperson Offline OP
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Unbelievable. Four months after telling H to get us airplane tickets for our Meditarranean cruise, he is tonight - at almost 11pm - calling for tickets. Prices have gone up almost $600/person.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294322
04/30/13 03:40 AM
04/30/13 03:40 AM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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Oh, man!


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: NewEveryDay] #294327
04/30/13 04:32 AM
04/30/13 04:32 AM
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Pacific NW
Kittycat Offline
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Why didnt you get the tickets.?


Formerly Baba, Stellakat, Bubbles

"Please remember that what I say here in this post is ONLY my opinion and it is not meant to offend in any way!"
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Kittycat] #294329
04/30/13 04:48 AM
04/30/13 04:48 AM
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The Farm
Jayne241 Offline
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I can see how someone who has anxiety about throwing things away would also have anxiety about purchasing plane tickets. I postpone purchasing tickets as long as possible without having them get to be too expensive. It just seems like such a commitment. What if something comes up and you can't go? Very similar to the anxiety that you will need something right after you get rid of it.

I'm not justifying, I'm just doing my part as always in letting you see inside my head, since I think I have some of the same issues (but hopefully I'm nicer to my H than your H is to you).


42.
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Jayne241] #294330
04/30/13 05:18 AM
04/30/13 05:18 AM
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catperson Offline OP
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I don't have access to any real money. He is the only one who can access the 401k fund. My credit cards total a couple thousand dollars, his have the higher funds.

I see what you're saying, Jayne. I don't think it's exactly that.

Whatever, it's midnight and he's talking to American Express so he can move some money around so he can charge the tickets, after spending 30 minutes looking for one of his credit cards so he could make the call (but he knows where everything is, right?). We had a few choice words about how the price has gone up $600/person in the last 4 months, and how he had the opportunity to fix all this by standing up for himself with his boss and getting the commissions he was due.

Not fun. frown

I just wanna disappear.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #294331
04/30/13 06:08 AM
04/30/13 06:08 AM
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catperson Offline OP
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Finally got the tickets done.

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