‘My wife keeps following me around and tidying up after me’

Dear Prue,

I like my wife dearly, however as she has bought older she has tended to turn into extra anxious. This was exacerbated in the course of the Covid disaster when our every day lives shrank in scope to a home routine that we might management tightly, and all the things past the backyard gate appeared perilous and disorderly.

Now issues are extra relaxed and haphazard – we go to outlets, see buddies, socialise. Home is a spot to throw off one’s boots and calm down for a second reasonably than the be-all and end-all of life. Only my wife, who continues to work from home for a lot of the week, appears to view my return from the office or wherever as an outbreak of chaos that must be contained.

As quickly as I put one thing down it’s put away. She follows me around the home switching off lights as I depart a room, or placing a guide again on the shelf that I used to be nonetheless taking a look at.

It’s beginning to actually annoy me, however I don’t wish to misery her. What ought to I do?

– B, by way of e mail

Dear B,

Oops! This is a bit near residence. My husband jokes I’m so hooked on tidying up that, if I discovered him mendacity around, he’d count on to be bundled right into a black bin-bag and discarded with the garbage.

I do suppose this can be a difficult outdated question. Of course, residence must be a spot the place you’re feeling relaxed and may kick off your sneakers. Certainly, the examples you give mustn’t trigger her grief. But is it genuinely a case of a single half-read guide or a light-weight left on? If it’s, it does sound as if your wife is struggling a gentle case of OCD or nervousness and perhaps a physician might assist?

But would she agree together with your examples? Or do you maybe depart garments on the ground and books and papers all over, for days at a time? Perhaps she feels that as she’s not asking you to tidy up, she is being type by doing it for you?

You want to debate this – simpler stated than performed, I do know. But for those who might agree on what is suitable – say mess gathered for a day, however not left unsorted in a single day? If house is your wife’s delight and pleasure and it provides her pleasure to see a room clear and tidy, perhaps you could possibly meet her midway?


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