Author Topic: Telling your sweetie they stink?  (Read 8872 times)

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blarg314

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2012, 10:36:52 PM »

I would talk to him when he's not depressed, and work out a plan with him for when he needs it - consult with his doctor/therapist as needed. 

TurtleDove

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2012, 10:39:54 PM »
I think the title is misleading.  The OP's BF knows he stinks.  He has lost a job because of it even.  He knows his GF is unhappy about it.  This is not about alerting him to an issue he would otherwise be oblivious to.  This is about getting him to do something about it.  Therein lies the problem.  The OP cannot do anything FOR her BF.  So she needs to decide whether she can stay with him if he continues to do nothing about this known issue.

SiotehCat

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2012, 10:51:50 PM »
I think the title is misleading.  The OP's BF knows he stinks.  He has lost a job because of it even.  He knows his GF is unhappy about it.  This is not about alerting him to an issue he would otherwise be oblivious to.  This is about getting him to do something about it.  Therein lies the problem.  The OP cannot do anything FOR her BF.  So she needs to decide whether she can stay with him if he continues to do nothing about this known issue.

I disagree. I think she can bathe him and take off/change his clothes. If it ever came down to that, I know I would.

Leaving her BF, just like leaving my DH, is not/would not be an option. But I could not just stand by and let him lose his jobs and be embarrassed in front of his friends/family.

Raintree

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2012, 11:47:03 PM »
No more subtlety. "My dear, you can NOT get by without a shower as long as you do. I can smell you. The stench is overpowering. It's disgusting. I just washed these sheets and I do NOT want to have to do it again. Also, it permeates the mattress. Do not even THINK of getting into this bed until you've had a shower."

(Yeah, I've had to take a firm stance in the past with a guy who seemed to think he didn't smell even after not showering for a week. I think they get used to their own smell and have no idea).

Harsh? Yes, but what's the alternative, marry a guy who can't even show you the consideration of being clean when he comes near you?

CLD

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2012, 12:03:45 AM »
Oddly enough, just now I was Googling for information on this same topic when I flipped back to EH and saw this.  My DH has had serious depression before, but his current lack of hygiene is new and disturbing. 

I don't see there is any easy answer.  I've asked. I've invited. I have pleaded. I have told him he stinks and needs to shower directly. I've cried. I've begged.  He just says he will...but he doesn't. Part of me would like to just call him a jerk, but it's so not like him that I know it's an illness, not a character flaw.

I have no answers for you, just hugs. It isn't easy, but walking away isn't a choice I would make over this either.  Best of luck for both of us.

TealDragon

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2012, 01:41:25 AM »
I think the title is misleading.  The OP's BF knows he stinks.  He has lost a job because of it even.  He knows his GF is unhappy about it.  This is not about alerting him to an issue he would otherwise be oblivious to.  This is about getting him to do something about it.  Therein lies the problem.  The OP cannot do anything FOR her BF.  So she needs to decide whether she can stay with him if he continues to do nothing about this known issue.

He processes the words just fine when it's brought up (like when his former boss confronted him and he came home and cried, he obviously understands what's being said), but he doesn't retain the information. Every time it's mentioned, it's like it's the first time and he seems surprised to hear that it's a problem. He's not generally a dirty person, this is only an issue when his depression is at its worst, which luckily seems to only happen around every year and a half or two years, and he is diligent about getting the medical help he needs at that point. This is just not something he seems to process as being a problem. I think he just doesn't realize how bad it is or how it comes across to other people because he's got so much other stuff on his mind, it's just not a focus for him.

I really appreciate everyone's suggestions. I'll definitely be calling his doctor. I've tried to do it in the past, but I never got a call back, but I'm going to be much more persistent with it this time. He's gotten so upset when I've tried to be very frank with him, but maybe some different phrasing will work better. I think maybe the suggestion to actually draw him a bath and start helping him bathe may work out well. At that point, it's a severe enough reaction that it would be pretty hard to forget everyday that something is wrong, but maybe it will come across as less attack-y and help him get back into the swing of things.

Good luck to you too, CLD. It sucks to have to watch someone you love go through this and to not really be able to step in and make it better.

cicero

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2012, 02:37:25 AM »
I think the title is misleading.  The OP's BF knows he stinks.  He has lost a job because of it even.  He knows his GF is unhappy about it.  This is not about alerting him to an issue he would otherwise be oblivious to.  This is about getting him to do something about it.  Therein lies the problem.  The OP cannot do anything FOR her BF.  So she needs to decide whether she can stay with him if he continues to do nothing about this known issue.

He processes the words just fine when it's brought up (like when his former boss confronted him and he came home and cried, he obviously understands what's being said), but he doesn't retain the information. Every time it's mentioned, it's like it's the first time and he seems surprised to hear that it's a problem. He's not generally a dirty person, this is only an issue when his depression is at its worst, which luckily seems to only happen around every year and a half or two years, and he is diligent about getting the medical help he needs at that point. This is just not something he seems to process as being a problem. I think he just doesn't realize how bad it is or how it comes across to other people because he's got so much other stuff on his mind, it's just not a focus for him.
oh wow. this sounds so much like my now -ex husband it's spooky. i told him a few times throughout our marriage that he needs to shower daily and change his clothing and use deoderant. every.single.time he said "really? i wasn't aware". he even told me i was making it up and he didn't have a problem "because nobody ever mentioned it to him before". ::)

Quote
I really appreciate everyone's suggestions. I'll definitely be calling his doctor. I've tried to do it in the past, but I never got a call back, but I'm going to be much more persistent with it this time. He's gotten so upset when I've tried to be very frank with him, but maybe some different phrasing will work better. I think maybe the suggestion to actually draw him a bath and start helping him bathe may work out well. At that point, it's a severe enough reaction that it would be pretty hard to forget everyday that something is wrong, but maybe it will come across as less attack-y and help him get back into the swing of things.
don't let *his* barriers stop you from getting your message across. he has to be told, and he has to be told frankly. he may get all huffy and insulted, but as his partner you have to say something.
be kind but be honest and clear - no beating around the bush.

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Reason

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2012, 09:36:35 AM »
It looks like the OP actually already told him that his hygiene is a problem and he says he will take a shower, goes in the shower, and does actually take one. So the question is not about telling him he stinks, it's about enforcing the actual act of cleaning himself, which, short of doing it for him (if you are willing) is not really possible.

TurtleDove

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2012, 10:12:31 AM »
It looks like the OP actually already told him that his hygiene is a problem and he says he will take a shower, goes in the shower, and does actually take one. So the question is not about telling him he stinks, it's about enforcing the actual act of cleaning himself, which, short of doing it for him (if you are willing) is not really possible.

This is my point.  At this point the OP needs to either accept that her BF is going to stink, physically clean him as though he is an invalid, or move on.

Virg

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2012, 02:01:37 PM »
TurtleDove wrote:

"At this point the OP needs to either accept that her BF is going to stink, physically clean him as though he is an invalid, or move on."

Considering that it's less than once a year that this becomes a problem, I'd be willing to go with option B while he gets through the depression.  I disagree that it's treating him like an invalid, it's more like helping him get through an illness, especially since he's "diligent about getting the medical help he needs at that point".

Virg

EMuir

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2012, 02:12:05 PM »
My partner was depressed after losing a job, and she didn't shower for a month... and I didn't notice.  She rarely sweats, and since she wasn't even leaving the house (she had severance pay and needed a break), she wasn't sweating at all. I still feel bad about not noticing.

If he showers when you ask, maybe making it a habit would help.  At a certain time each night you say "Wow it's getting late, do you want to shower first or should I?"  Or if you're not around at night, do it in the AM.  Or if you don't see each other, maybe set a reminder in his phone/PDA? 

Definitely make sure his meds are at the right level, it is an illness and needs treatment.  Good luck.


TurtleDove

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2012, 02:15:41 PM »
He also won't wear clean clothes. I'm usually the one doing the laundry in our household, so I do my best to make sure he never has a shortage of clean clothes in the closet, but he opts not to wear them. I actually figured out that he was hiding his dirty socks and underwear in our bedroom and just choosing those instead of going to the closet or dresser.

This is the part that really bothers me, I think, and that seems at odds with the BF doing all he can.  He is going out of his way to be dirty, going so far as to HIDE dirty clothes rather than wear the fresh clean ones the OP prepared for him.  He is not doing all he can to combat the problem, which appears, to me, to go beyond run of the mill depression.

Bibliophile

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2012, 02:43:44 PM »
He also won't wear clean clothes. I'm usually the one doing the laundry in our household, so I do my best to make sure he never has a shortage of clean clothes in the closet, but he opts not to wear them. I actually figured out that he was hiding his dirty socks and underwear in our bedroom and just choosing those instead of going to the closet or dresser.

This is the part that really bothers me, I think, and that seems at odds with the BF doing all he can.  He is going out of his way to be dirty, going so far as to HIDE dirty clothes rather than wear the fresh clean ones the OP prepared for him.  He is not doing all he can to combat the problem, which appears, to me, to go beyond run of the mill depression.

POD - it seems like it would take more effort to hide the dirty clothes than to wear the clean so he obviously knows something is up.  I would continue to do the laundry, but I would draw the line at bathing him as he is a grown man and while he may have depression, if I was his SO, I would not want to become his "mother".  I think that a blunt conversation - even if there are tears needs to happen.  I would ask him if you can go with him to his next visit to the doctor though so you can also discuss your concerns.

ETA: I've had to be the boss that had to send a guy home for extreme body odor.  I wouldn't fault the boss - it's not an easy conversation to have for her either.

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LadyL

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2012, 03:24:34 PM »
He also won't wear clean clothes. I'm usually the one doing the laundry in our household, so I do my best to make sure he never has a shortage of clean clothes in the closet, but he opts not to wear them. I actually figured out that he was hiding his dirty socks and underwear in our bedroom and just choosing those instead of going to the closet or dresser.

This is the part that really bothers me, I think, and that seems at odds with the BF doing all he can.  He is going out of his way to be dirty, going so far as to HIDE dirty clothes rather than wear the fresh clean ones the OP prepared for him.  He is not doing all he can to combat the problem, which appears, to me, to go beyond run of the mill depression.

POD - it seems like it would take more effort to hide the dirty clothes than to wear the clean so he obviously knows something is up.  I would continue to do the laundry, but I would draw the line at bathing him as he is a grown man and while he may have depression, if I was his SO, I would not want to become his "mother".  I think that a blunt conversation - even if there are tears needs to happen.  I would ask him if you can go with him to his next visit to the doctor though so you can also discuss your concerns.

Double POD. I think a couples counseling session is in order. LordL has ADHD and we've worked hard on spelling out how I am willing to compensate for him and how I am not. There are lots of maladaptive behaviors that come along with mental health issues. The "dirty clothes hoarding" may be a weird comfort type behavior - I'm thinking along the lines of how "worn in" clothes feel softer than stiffer ones fresh from the dryer or something.

Either way I agree that taking on a "mothering" role is really a bad idea. The hygiene issue is already going to affect your intimacy and adding in a "nagging" type role on top of it will just do further damage.

strawbabies

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Re: Telling your sweetie they stink?
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2012, 05:25:07 PM »
Is he taking the meds, then stopping when he feels better?  If he's having relapses every 1 1/2 years, I think he might need to talk to the doctor about staying on them constantly to stay balanced.

I don't really have any advice on how to get him to wash more until he can get feeling better again.  I've had pretty bad bouts of depression in the past, but still showered every day.  I'm kind of a freak about that.  I can't go to bed unless I feel clean.  So I drag myself into the shower even if I think I could fall asleep in there.