Will a Slobby Boyfriend Change?
Q: My boyfriend is a slob, and I can't stand it. He's a gym rat, gets his hair cut every two weeks, goes for a mani-pedi every two weeks, sometimes showers twice a day, washes his clothes all the time, but his apartment is a hellhole. I cleaned it a couple of times when we first started dating, but he doesn't do it himself, and I don't know if he's waiting for his mother to do it either. I told him I refuse to go there at this point until he cleans it. I don't even want to know the last time he changed the sheets. My friends tell me to break up with him because he's not marriage material. I have fun with him and he treats me well, but I'm wondering how long to give this. Can he be helped? - Gina, 28
Dr. Susan: No one can be "helped" unless they want to be. Your boyfriend is just one of those people who is compulsive about aspects of his own body while oblivious when it comes to his living quarters. Do you love him madly? It's not enough to have fun and be treated well. If he ignores your wishes that he clean his apartment, he's not even treating you all that well. If you stick with him and eventually marry, be prepared for an ongoing battle over cleaning and household chores.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.