Your Spouse Isn’t Out To Get You-How To Rediscover Your Soulmate

Your Spouse Isn’t Out To Get You-How To Rediscover Your Soulmate

Your “I do’s” have just been said, the last notes of your first dance are fading, and your honeymoon shines brightly on the horizon. Marriage to your soul mate is beautiful. However, as life unfolds, you discover you didn’t marry your soul mate. You married a decidedly distinct person. Someone who thinks differently than you. Someone who solves problems differently than you. Someone who views clutter differently than you.

laundry hamper piled with clothes and clothes on the floor

It may seem cute at first that his dirty clothes fall around the hamper rather than in it or that her hair supplies cover her side of the sink and are encroaching on yours. But after a few years, it doesn’t seem quite as cute. It may even seem downright personal. Unfortunately, we can be prone to let things fester and eventually wonder if we even like our ‘soul mate’. What’s the answer?


Step back, breathe deep, and remember you married a well-intentioned person. Your spouse isn’t trying to choke the joy out of your life by leaving a wake of clutter behind them. They may be nursing hurts regarding how the two of you handle your differences. If you want things to change, you’ll need to make some changes.


Examine yourself first. Are your expectations realistic? On the clutter spectrum, are you on the minimalist side (“Four place settings is all any home needs!”) or the clutter bug side (“As long as there’s a pathway through every room, we’re good.”) If you lean too heavily in either direction, think about how you can move more toward the middle. How about your patience level? Are you personally offended if dirty socks and underwear are on the ground for 30 seconds? Is every clutter infraction interpreted as your spouse not caring about you and your home?


Once you’ve figured out what’s truly important to you and where you can let go of some expectations, talk with your spouse. Share with them what you want to see and why it’s important to you. Don’t use language or tone that brings up the past and places blame since this shuts down communication.

Heart wearing headphones

Now, listen. Good communication requires you to do at least at much listening as talking. Great communication requires you to listen more than you talk. Step back, breathe deep, and remember you married a well-intentioned person. Your spouse may need time to think through what you’ve shared and process it. Plan on having more than one conversation in order to have time to figure out how to calmly, clearly, and honestly communicate what’s important to you and to listen well.


Once you’ve really talked with each other, begin to look for areas where you can compromise.

Can you learn to turn a blind eye to dirty clothes landing on the floor at night as long as they find their way into the hamper the next day? Can you make the hamper more accessible even if it’s not the decorating statement you want to make?

Can you position the bed in your bedroom so that the two dozen pairs of shoes your spouse likes to leave out are on the side of the bed you can’t easily see so they don’t bother you?

Are there rooms that are particularly important to you, so you get more say in those rooms, and your spouse provides more direction in other rooms?

If there are items your spouse is bothered by letting go, such as furniture inherited from Mom and Dad, can you let these pieces stay but agree that other things can go? Perhaps you can purchase décor that better incorporates what you’re keeping. Or maybe the trade-off is unrelated to the hand-me-down furniture, and your spouse agrees to let go of the extra pots and pans they previously wanted to keep.

If your spouse fears that decluttering means discarding everything in a cartoon-like frenzy and they’ll have no input, establish a speed and mutual approval system that is comfortable for you both.

A third party can help with decisions you get stuck on. You can use family or friends, but they may appear to take sides. A professional organizer can be invaluable in this situation.


As you and your spouse make progress—even little bits—celebrate! Recognize milestones by doing something special. They don’t have to be things that take a lot of time or money but spend time together being thankful for a well-intentioned spouse willing to move past their comfort zone and accomplish something with you. As you celebrate the small milestones along the way, you’ll be blessed by less clutter and remembering how great your spouse truly is.

Balloon bouquet including some heart-shaped balloons
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