Husband's personal hygiene is awful. pls help
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Husband's personal hygiene is awful. pls help

Hi all, I am new here and looking for some advice. My husband showers Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, never on weekends. He brushes his teeth 4-5 times a week, also never on weekends. We don't kiss anymore because I am disgusted with his oral hygiene. He shaves about once or twice a month. We haven't had sex in 6 months because his showering habits gross me out. He took a shower last Friday morning, and put on a clean pair of underwear. On Saturday night, I noticed that he was still wearing the same pair of underwear, and there was a poop smear that had soaked through to the outside of his underwear. He went to bed, and wore the same pair of poopy underwear to a birthday party for a child on Sunday, again without showering. Then he wore them to bed again Sunday night and didn't change them until he showered this morning (monday) for work. Our bed smells disgusting! I am at my wits end. I have tried asking him nicely to shower more. I have tried nagging. I'm withholding sex, but not to be mean, just because I can't stand the idea of all the germs, poop, sweat, etc. down there. I have bought all different kinds of body wash, loofahs, shower poufs, different toothpastes and toothbrushes, etc. I have discussed the issue with him, but not recently. He said that he's always been like this, even before we were married. But honestly I don't remember it ever being so bad like this. We've been together 10 years, married for 4. Our son was diagnosed with autism last August, and he works very hard so I can stay home with our son. I know he is stressed, and likely in the stages of grief over the autism diagnosis, maybe a little depressed. We don't have health insurance, so we can't really get marriage counseling. Even when we still had insurance, he never went to therapy or showed any interest in it when I went. Sorry this is so long, but I'd appreciate any help you all can offer! Thank you in advance.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband's personal hygiene is awful. pls help

I assume you've talked to him about this already?

Does he exercise at all? If not with all the stress in your lives it would be good for him. I know for me (as a guy) when I don't exercise I don't always shower ever day, but after a good work out I can't wait to shower. Oh and after exercising there's no way I want to even touch that old pair of underwear.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I assume you've talked to him about this already?

Does he exercise at all? If not with all the stress in your lives it would be good for him. I know for me (as a guy) when I don't exercise I don't always shower ever day, but after a good work out I can't wait to shower. Oh and after exercising there's no way I want to even touch that old pair of underwear.
I have discussed it with him, but not in the last month or so. He does not like to exercise, I can't even get him to go on a walk with me and our son. All he does in his free time is sit on the couch and watch movies on Netflix. I don't watch tv very much, so we don't spend much time together. We don't have anything to talk about, so we generally just sit there in silence. And god help me if I interrupt his movie to talk to him!
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband's personal hygiene is awful. pls help

He needs to start finding something active to do, for his OWN benefit, let alone yours. Is he feeling burdened with something: work? chores? feeling tethered to the home? I am a big time home-body and I dislike it, but find it so hard to get going sometimes, especially when there is a mess, child to feed, chores to do etc, and there is ALWAYS something to be done which I used as an excuse to never get out. And to escape the misery I'd put on a movie or tv show... Maybe you should cancel your netflix? Find a way to kick him out of the house, maybe means having to do some sh!t you shouldn't have to do (ie mothering him) but try to encourage and entice him out of his rut or he will stay there indefinitely.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the great idea Lon. I'll look into meetup and see if I can find a group that he might like to participate in.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think he is burdened by work. He doesn't do chores, and rarely cares for our special needs son, those are my responsibilities. Perhaps this is his way of dealing with grief.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have discussed it with him, but not in the last month or so. He does not like to exercise, I can't even get him to go on a walk with me and our son. All he does in his free time is sit on the couch and watch movies on Netflix. I don't watch tv very much, so we don't spend much time together. We don't have anything to talk about, so we generally just sit there in silence. And god help me if I interrupt his movie to talk to him!
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Yeah that's not healthy at any level. I'll admit I like netflix, and there are times when I disappear into my man cave for a bit... but never at the expense of my family. I give myself 15-20 minutes after dinner to relax but after that I'm all about my family until they go to bed.

It almost sounds like he's got a mild addition to entertainment. If so he wouldn't be the first.

Once someone gets into a rut like that it's really hard to get them out of it. Even if part of them wants to change.

Does he have a friend who may make a good work out buddy? Lots of guys hate working out alone, so maybe if he had a friend who he can hang out with while exercising (gym, walks around the neighborhood, etc.). Well perhaps then you can get him off his coach potato bum and into action!

So I have been working out a lot more, since coming to this forum. Now the driving thing for me is that I want to improve my marriage and really myself. So I've been making a point to go to bed earlier, and get going in the morning. I know for me if I don't exercise before work... it rarely happens.

Another thing for me is that we have a dog, and since I often times walk him, I've turned it into a speed walk. I just walk as fast as I can w/o it turning into a jog for about 30 minutes. Really helps me work out stress.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah that's not healthy at any level. I'll admit I like netflix, and there are times when I disappear into my man cave for a bit... but never at the expense of my family. I give myself 15-20 minutes after dinner to relax but after that I'm all about my family until they go to bed.

It almost sounds like he's got a mild addition to entertainment. If so he wouldn't be the first.

Once someone gets into a rut like that it's really hard to get them out of it. Even if part of them wants

Does he have a friend who may make a good work out buddy? Lots of guys hate working out alone, so maybe if he had a friend who he can hang out with while exercising (gym, walks around the neighborhood, etc.). Well perhaps then you can get him off his coach potato bum and into action!

So I have been working out a lot more, since coming to this forum. Now the driving thing for me is that I want to improve my marriage and really myself. So I've been making a point to go to bed earlier, and get going in the morning. I know for me if I don't exercise before work... it rarely happens.

Another thing for me is that we have a dog, and since I often times walk him, I've turned it into a speed walk. I just walk as fast as I can w/o it turning into a jog for about 30 minutes. Really helps me work out stress.
he does not have any friends. But maybe he will workout with me if I get us a pair of gym memberships. I'd like to get in better shape as well. Thank you.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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he does not have any friends. But maybe he will workout with me if I get us a pair of gym memberships. I'd like to get in better shape as well. Thank you.
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It's tough when you're a parent to make new friends, especially for the one(s) working. Unless you make friends at work, you really don't have many outlets to form new friendships. Perhaps church if that's your thing, but if the circle you run with there is more acquaintance vs friendship material you are again at a loss.

My wife and I joined the local Y last Dec. Took us a few months to regularly get our behinds down there, but it's been good for both of us. Just stick with it if it doesn't "stick" the first month or so. It takes a while to turn around bad (yet comfortable) habits.

Another thing that might help is if he used to play any sports (basketball, baseball, volleyball, etc.) it might be a good thing to see if there are any beginner leagues he could join up (at the gym or elsewhere).

Even if you have to go alone for a while, it's worth it for you... and who knows you may inspire him. I know my wife and I sort of cross inspire each other to work out.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That's funny, I was just looking up the local YMCA! Looks like they have some great programs, I will definitely be looking into it further.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That's funny, I was just looking up the local YMCA! Looks like they have some great programs, I will definitely be looking into it further.
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Now if you want to be really sneaky while being supportive, make him think the Y is his idea.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband's personal hygiene is awful. pls help

I must be getting cynical in my old age... In my experience, it's hard enough for people to make changes like this even if they WANT to change. If they're happy with we're they're at, trying to get someone to change seems about as likely as breaking rocks with a marshmallow.

Sorry, just my thoughts. My first thought was that he's suffering from depression. Maybe it's job related, maybe from hearing your son's diagnosis. How long ago was that, btw? And can you tie changes in your husband's behavior to that time? In any case, until your husband recognizes he has a problem and is willing to deal with it, you're pushing a rope uphill.

Have you considered counseling for yourself? It might help give you some insights on dealing with the situation. And I'm not saying you're in the wrong! Just that the only person you can directly change is yourself.

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Old 04-16-2012, 02:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband's personal hygiene is awful. pls help

My first thought when I saw the thread title was to tell you to buy some new body soap... like AXE body soap or something & encourage him & say how well he smells --- after he gets out of a shower---.

But I see that you say you already tried the new soap/toothpaste, etc stuff.

I almost want to say... print out the first post & show it to him. Then say "we need to talk". After he reads it, say that this is how upset you are about it. That it is really bugging you and that yOu don't remember him being like this before your son was born.

Tell him that you want to be closer to him again, but it almost feels like you are becoming germ-a-phobe... and could he possibly, see it in his heart to do this for you... to try to smell pretty & clean & wear clean underwear.. just for you... just to have his wife smile???
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I must be getting cynical in my old age... In my experience, it's hard enough for people to make changes like this even if they WANT to change. If they're happy with we're they're at, trying to get someone to change seems about as likely as breaking rocks with a marshmallow.

Sorry, just my thoughts. My first thought was that he's suffering from depression. Maybe it's job related, maybe from hearing your son's diagnosis. How long ago was that, btw? And can you tie changes in your husband's behavior to that time? In any case, until your husband recognizes he has a problem and is willing to deal with it, you're pushing a rope uphill.

Have you considered counseling for yourself? It might help give you some insights on dealing with the situation. And I'm not saying you're in the wrong! Just that the only person you can directly change is yourself.

C
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Thanks, yes I have considered counseling for myself, as I have issues too since the diagnosis which was in August 2011. I should look for counseling that's low cost and without insurance. Perhaps me working on changing my mental attitude, as well as my physical body will motivate him to do the same. I've gained some weight due to depression since the diagnosis, but I'm on depression and anxiety meds which help me a lot. Part of me wonders if his passive aggressive self is not keeping clean to get back at me for gaining weight.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband's personal hygiene is awful. pls help

I would find a way to gently break it to your husband about his hygiene issues, and then give him the MMSL book to read. MMSL will teach him all the importance about upholding his hygiene and physical appearance to be the best mate he can be to you. Sounds like he needs to up his "game" a bit for you.
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