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"The Clean-up Challenge" Case Files: An Experiment


Marriage Battles of the A.D.D. Household
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"The Clean-up Challenge" Case Files: An Experiment

Okay, so I Corinthians 13:5 says that love does not keep a record of wrongs. But for us wives who have trouble "training" our husbands around the house, this is VERY hard to do. In the constant battle between my dear husband, Jeff, and myself about keeping the house "clean" (or at least picked-up), I couldn't help but think about this verse. Our ongoing challenge revolves around our recollection of who is (or isn't) really cleaning what.
He swears up and down at times that he has picked up one of his messes, or that he has taken out the trash, or washed dishes, etc., but I look around the house at the end result sometimes and I think, "What house are YOU talking about?"
Let me first say that I don't expect him to do all the cleaning, or even half of it. ALL I have ever asked is for him to... say it with me ladies...PICK UP AFTER HIMSELF!
With myself being a diagnosed person with A.D.D., and my husband an undiagnosed person with A.D.D., keeping our home clean or picked-up often feels like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Like a proverbial python, he has been known to shed his clothes when he walks through the door, leaving a trail of shoes, socks, shirt, and then everything from his pockets on the dining room table.
I have bought a nice wooden valet, in hopes that he would use it to hang his clothes neatly on. He just drapes everything over the top of it, or sometimes accumulates clothing at the base of it. Clearly, the valet does not work for him since he doesn't actually use it the way it is intended.
I have bought different "mail systems" for him to organize mail and papers in that he brings home and doesn't know what else to do with, hoping that by providing a place for them will make it easier for him to put them away, instead of piling up on the dining room table or accumulating in his truck. This has been an epic failure as well.
Since he doesn't believe me regarding his chaotic domestic practices, I thought about making a list every day of the organizational damage around the house, but there were two problems with this:
1. It seems too much like actually keeping a record of wrongs. Even though I REALLY want to do this, I know it's not Biblical. Especially since I know that I wouldn't want my husband to hand me a list of my personal history of mistakes and shortcomings.
2. This would require that I have or make time every day to consistently write this stuff down. Let's face it: That's not going to happen.
So, realistically, I had to think about how I can show him what frustrates me--through my own eyes. The best thing I can think of is to keep a video diary of what I see around the house that bothers me.
I believe now, that "keeping a record of wrongs" really applies more to holding a grudge. Although, I know it's not easy for me to forgive and forget, I think that a video diary of our "challenges" might be a nice alternative. Maybe it can allow me a way to prove to him that I am, in fact, always right, errr--I mean, show him that maybe I really do have a point and that I'm not just obsessed, or overlooking my own faults.
Starting this week, I will attempt to document what I actually "do" around the house, and exactly how he "undoes" it. My disclaimer: Jeff is an amazing husband and father! He is kind, forgiving, intelligent, mild-tempered, and a hard-worker. I know that God made him for me and that I am blessed to have him. That being said, the biggest room is the room for improvement, and if a picture tells a thousand words, maybe video will write the whole stinkin' book entitled, "I Love My Husband But Not His Mess".
Day 1: Labor Day - The Battle Begins

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