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Caution: man at (house)work!

Learning to live with different cleaning habits - Caution: man at (house)work!
Learning to live with different cleaning habits
In over 70 percent of relationships, women are doing all of the cleaning; in around 20 percent they do at least the majority of the household chores. I belong to the remaining 10 percent and am therefore probably one of the "lucky few." My husband cleans, irons and folds – and does so much better than me.

So, really, I know I should be satisfied and happy. And I am, mostly. But imagine having done the washing up and then observing your partner giving the glasses another rinse. Or how embarrassing it is when he cleans the shower – just after you've used it. Every now and again, this has provoked a solid row.

Far from being a full time homemaker, my husband is ambitious in his job, often works longer hours than me and earns more than me. He likes football and fast cars, drinking a beer in the evening and going out with his mates. He also happens to have very high standards when it comes to cleanliness and tidiness.

My husband has been combating my untidiness since we have known each other. He tidies up after me, straightens out my paperwork, puts my shoes away. Not so long ago he uncluttered my wardrobe and rearranged it. I just sat there and watched, thinking it was hilarious. He fished the most ridiculous items from the darkest corners and gave them names such as "indefinable piece of cloth, last saw daylight in the early nineties, desperately waiting for a comeback," and then proceeded to dump then in the charity bag.

Usually, we can laugh about our "different outlook", as we have agreed to call it. The most important thing that we have learned from our bickering about his dissatisfaction and my frustration is: Just like beauty, cleanliness and tidiness are in the eye of the beholder. To avoid hostilities breaking out in spite of this insight, we are sharing the cost for a cleaning lady. Luckily, she will never know that my husband wipes the floor once more shortly after she has departed.



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