QUESTION: My successful man and I just moved in together and I’ve discovered that he has some really annoying habits, like leaving the toilet seat up and not rinsing out the sink after shaving. How do I get him to clean up his act and stop acting like a slob without coming across like a nagging housewife?
CHELSEA SAYS: This is definitely one of those cases where you really have to choose your battles. On the one hand, you should both be comfortable living in this apartment together, and it’s not fair that you alone should have to make changes. At the same time, you’re not his mother. And making a huge deal out of picking up after himself probably won’t go over so well.
However, I think you should at least mention it to him, because, like I said, you have every right to bring it up. For all you know, he might not even realize that it bothers you. And if you let it fester, it won’t help your relationship at all. You’ll both just end up getting frustrated and will eventually blow up.
That being said, you should choose your battles wisely. If you’re going to ask your successful man to put the toilet seat down, then he has the right to ask you to put it up when you’re done because, after all, this home belongs to both of you. But other things are definitely OK, like the messy sink. The next time your successful man doesn’t rinse out the sink, casually ask him to keep it in mind for next time. Don’t be snippy or rude, just say something like, “Hey, I know you’ve probably never had to worry about stuff like this before, but do you mind just running some water in the sink when you’re done shaving?” He’ll hopefully make more of an effort.
Keep in mind that if you keep doing it for him, he’ll never really change his ways. Why would he when he knows that he has you to pick up after him?
TRENT SAYS: I’m guessing the honeymoon period has worn off and he’s being a normal guy with normal habits. For the most part, I think couples have to pick their battles and decide what’s important to address and what’s OK to let slide in the relationship.
As for his unseemly habits, I think it’s totally fine to ask him to put the toilet seat down, so long as you do the same—and put the toilet seat up when you’re done.
As for things like the sink, just ask him to rinse it out. There’s nothing wrong with asking him to curb habits you think are annoying. After all, it’s your place too and you want to feel relaxed and at home when you’re, well, at home, just like he does.
It’s better to get these things out in the open at the beginning; otherwise, little things will fester and you’ll just start to get annoyed and resent him. And nothing good comes from that. For the sake of your relationship, you owe it to your successful man to speak up.