Are You Neatniks or Slobs?

Author Gary D. Chapman From Things I wish I’d known before we got married 5 years ago 8446

There are the Neatnik and the Slob. Some people do live by the motto “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Other people have no compulsion to put away their tools, clothes, used coffee mugs, or anything else. After all, they may use them again in a week or two. They reason, “why would you want to waste time picking up dirty clothes every day? Leave them on the floor until its time to wash them. They aren't going anywhere and they don't bother me?”


Ben and Alicia

“I’ve never known anyone as sloppy as Ben,” said Alicia. How many wives have said this about their husbands less than a year after their wedding? Interestingly, before marriage this never bothered Alicia. "Oh, she may have noticed that the car was sometimes messy or that his apartment was not as neat as she would have had it, but somehow she concluded that "Ben is a more relaxed person than I am. That's good; I like that. I need to loosen up a little? Ben, on the other hand, looked at Alicia and found an angel. Isn’t it wonderful that Alicia is always so tidy? Now I don’t have to worry about keeping everything clean because she will take care of that. However, three years later he is being bombarded with verbal stones of condemnation to which he responds, “I don’t understand why you would get so upset over a few dishes left out.”


Negotiation should be started before marriage

Yes, we are wired differently and have difficulty understanding why the other person would not see it our way. This personality difference is not hard to discover; it simply requires that during the dating time you keep your eyes open to reality. Look at his car and his apartment and you will know whether he is a Neatnik or a Slob. Look at her kitchen and her bedroom closet and you will also know which personality pattern is natural for her. If the two of you fall into the same category, you will either have an immaculate home or a place where you have to step over the clutter. But both of you will be happy. If you fall into different categories, then now is the time for negotiation. Face reality and discuss who will be responsible for what after you are married in order to keep some level of emotional sanity. If she is willing to pick up his dirty clothes daily and put them in the laundry hamper as his mother did when he was in high school, this is fine. However, if she expects him to be more responsible, then he must be willing to change or else hire his mother to come over daily to pick up his clothes. Certainly a satisfactory solution can be negotiated — but the time to start negotiation is before marriage.


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