partner`s mess - Amy Levin



partner`s mess - Amy Levin
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partner's mess
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Those sweaty T-shirts that never quite make it to the hamper aren't
necessarily just a sign that you're living with a slob (or someone who
can't make a free throw). They might be a subliminal message that
can reveal a lot about your relationship. By Amy Levin-Epstein
dirty slctla*s
*xrer the
a disastrous dresser top
Congratulations, you trust each otherl "Emptying out your
pockets and purse and laying their contents out by the
According to Patti Wood, MA, CSP, author of Success
Signals: A Guide to Reading Body Language, those dirty
socks could be his way of protesting against a home that's
all you-and none of him. "Leaving dirty stuff around is
bedside is a way of demonstrating intimacy and trust,"
says Scott Haltzman, MD, author of fhe Secrets of Happily
a strong territorial marker that happens more with men
than women," she says. "Guys might do it subconsciously
when the house gets too f lowery or feminine and no
longer represents them." Laying on the lavender-scented
room fresheners a tad too thick or went to town on the
throw pillows? lt may be time to redecorate-together.
ln the meantime, placing a hamper or hook where those
sweaty gym clothes usually fall should do the trick.
Married Women. While bureau clutter might mean good
news for your relationship, it's not such a good thing for
your sleep quality-or your sex life. Clutter is a reminder
of all the things you still need to do. Translation: Mess
equals stress, which can kill your libido and keep you up at
night. Place iwo catchalls on the dresser, where you can
each place ali your daily debris (wallets, keys, etc.). Then
your bedroom can go back to being a love (or sleep) shack
bathroom counter clutter
ls your bed usually covered
with Kindles, robes and the
outfits you tried on that morning? Uh-oh. "The bed is
a special place that represents a sexual connection with
your partner," says Wood. A messy bed could be a sign
that you're not putting much thought into your sex life
(read: you're not even thinking about keeping your bed
accessible so you can hop into it on the fly). "lt can be
a turnoff for your mate and send the message that
you have made romance or sex less of a priority," adds
Haltzman. Words to live by: A clutter-free bed is a sexy
bed. So place a chair or laundry basket nearby for all
those vetoed outfits and wet towels.
lf your partner's products are starting to encroach upon
your counter space, it probably means she hasn't yet
adapted to sharing a nest (or her life) with you. She may
assume that because she has more stuff, it makes sense
for her to use up more room, says Haltzman. lf, despite
your subtle hints ("Why can't you keep your #$7o* on your
side?1"), your mate's migrating toiletries are still taking
over, try moving (note: we didn't say throw) the traveling
shampoos back to their proper home a few times. lf she
doesn't get the message, it may be time to build a few
shelves, says Haltzman. But cut her some slack: As you
know, sharing a space takes some getting used to, >
2oro,/20'r lthe
IOVO I reality check
stacks of unopened bills
lf your partner is in charge of the finances and the hallway
table looks like a bill bomb went off, he might be
trying to tell you something: He's tired of being the house
accountant and shouldering all of the responsibility. lf
that's the case, create a system for sharing the financial
duties, whether that means you sit down together every
month to pay the bills or you guys choose to split them up
No matter what you decide, remember it's important to
check in regularly about the state of your financial affairs.
"Knowing what each of you needs and wants, and talking
about your financial goals and how you plan on getting
there, helps to prevent future arguments," Haltzman says,
Oh, and do yourselves a favor and figure out a system for
f iling all that paperwork-it's much easier to remember to
pay the cable bill when you can actually f ind it.
That leaning tower of dishware could symbolize building
resentment in a relationship where the couple disagrees
on household responsibilities, says Wood. Maybe you
think you're doing more than your fair share around the
house and your other half is a slacker. (Your partner,
however, begs to differ,) Refusing to suck it up and do
the dishes might be a passive-aggressive way to get your
mate to help out more (at some point, you're gonna run
out of dishes, right?). But unless you like eating with
plastic utensils, stop the power struggle and sit down for
ihe chores talk. Make a list of all the household duties
and figure out how you want to divvy'em up. Maybe each
person gets to be a chore captain and you keep picking
duties until they're all covered, or you could just alternate
every other week. [nl
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