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Ask Maxine

Dear Maxine,

My husband and I have different levels of cleanliness and I’ve found that I have lowered my standards over the years to avoid conflict, but after years of this, the mess and clutter is starting to affect my mental health. I ’m realizing I thrive more abundantly in an orderly, clean environment, so something needs to change, but how? Do I burn myself out by doing a lot of the extra work alone to avoid contention in my marriage, or try to get my husband to think more like me in cleanliness even though his brain really doesn’t work that way? He is content to sit on a couch in the middle of an oasis of fi lth watching Seinfeld, eating nachos and smiling all the while.

Sincerely, A messy neat freak

Dear messy neat freak,

My main takeaway from your inquiry is your husband is “content to sit on a couch in the middle of an oasis of filth”. I can’t help but ask if this was an arranged marriage situation? No one should be content to sit on a couch in the middle of filth! My, my, you are in a blunder. Your mental health is without a doubt the most important thing for you to keep intact. Clearly your husband’s mental health is in question, so let’s try to keep yours as sane as possible. You shouldn’t have to burn yourself out doing all of the extra work to avoid contention in your marriage. You’ve already sacrificed a bit of yourself by lowering your cleanliness standards (not to mention marrying the bloke in the first place), so it seems only fitting that he sacrifice some of his couch potato time to assist in helping with the clutter, which in turn will boost your happiness and mental health status. It’s a win/win! Keep a clean house to keep a happy spouse. Perhaps your husband isn’t aware of this tale as old as time suggestion, so it would be a good idea to remind him of it while he’s eating his nachos in his little oasis. If he wants an oasis of fi lth to himself, tell him to go start building his own little paradise in the backyard. Keep it simple, keep it consistent.

Sincerely, Maxine

Everybody has issues from time to time. What’s yours? For a personal reply in the newspaper, text your question to 435- 841-4272 without disclosing your identity, email to, subject line “Dear Maxine”, or drop it off at the Southern Utah News drop box at 245 S. 200 E. in Kanab. All questions will remain anonymous.




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