DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My girlfriend and I have been living together for nearly two years now, and in all that time, I don’t remember a single time she cleaned the kitchen or either of the bathrooms. She seems oblivious to the mold and built-up grime that I can’t not see. What ends up happening every time is that I do the cleaning because I can’t stand it anymore.
Sometimes I think she is taking advantage, and sometimes I think she truly just doesn’t see it. I’ve been to her dad’s house, and it is disgusting, versus her mom’s which is clean and all in order.
Do I believe my girlfriend just takes after her dad and doesn’t get it, or am I being conned into doing all the work? --- THE CLEAN ONE
DEAR THE CLEAN ONE: Some people truly do seem to be clueless about cleanliness, or at least have very different standards than other people. However, even if she truly doesn’t see the need to clean, she still has a responsibility to help be sure your shared living space stays livable.
Since her mom maintains her home in good order, it makes me think your girlfriend may have not been involved in keeping it that way when she still lived with her mom.
Time for that to change. It’s going to be up to you to open the conversation about how to divvy up the cleaning responsibilities if you’re going to make a go of living together, and not sour the relationship with the kind of resentments that can grow out of feeling like only one partner’s doing all the work needed to make a home.