"He wanted me to vacuum the living room once a week even though we never use it, plus dust all of his antiques.
And he wanted me to scoop the litter boxes every day -- and there are three of them, one for each of his cats," she says. I'm trying to make this relationship work,' but after a while I got resentful.
Her boyfriend -- Erik, 33, an engineer who's "kind of a neat freak," she says -- felt she wasn't dusting, vacuuming or picking up after herself nearly enough.
"My first line of defense is to say, 'Well, if you want the place up to a certain standard of neatness, you have to accept the fact that you're going to be the one who does it.'" Toth's boyfriend started writing down her daily chores on a dry-erase board.Unfortunately, his expectations soon got out of hand.I refer to her as Princess Periodical because of her magazines and newspapers.But I have an office downstairs where I can focus all of my manic energy."The earlier you face up to differences like this and talk frankly about them, the better off you are," says Hamburg.
But what happens when you're already living with a Pigpen or a Swiffer-obsessed spouse?
"Whenever I'm tempted to bring a trash can into the house and start throwing things out, I just go downstairs and file." For those who just can't make it work, Hamburg has one final solution: Call in reinforcements.
"Often, the one real effective solution for people with a little bit of means," he says, "is to just hire a cleaning lady." Life Wire provides original and syndicated lifestyle content to Web publishers.
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So I talked to him and he agreed that he would do the things he was really nitpicky about." Meet in the middle For Sean Gettings, a 37-year-old stay-at-home dad from Portland, Oregon, communication and compromise saved the day.