Ask Amy: I’m not a hoarder however my fiancee removes the whole lot

Expensive Amy: I’m a middle-aged man. My fiancee just lately moved in with me.

My household had hoarding points for generations. Lengthy earlier than Marie Kondo and hoarding intervention TV got here alongside, I used to be in remedy and efficiently coping with this. I’ve disposed of a number of dumpster a great deal of my ancestors’ stuff, to have room to reside in my inherited residence. My possessions deliver me pleasure.

I’m a design skilled with a variety of expertise working with shoppers of their houses. I perceive that hoarding is an obsessive compulsive dysfunction, however I additionally see compulsive decluttering as a giant downside. I’ve been inside houses that had been nearly empty due to this.

Whereas visiting a buddy who was downsizing I noticed how anxious stuff, packing containers and litter made my fiancee. We needed to finish the go to early as a result of she was so anxious! When she is careworn, she “purges” objects and typically buys others, solely to return or donate them. Some issues I treasure have “disappeared.”

I make house for her in our residence (by eradicating my stuff) and she or he leaves the house empty, however then complains there isn’t a room for her issues. We’ve got no photographs or art work on our bed room partitions as a result of the visible incompatibility makes her anxious and upset.

If one thing shouldn’t be getting used NOW (even when wanted or helpful later), out it goes. She donated an sometimes used, older kitchen equipment and later the identical day bought one other.

I’m unsure assist her (or hold my stuff), as she says I need assistance with “hoarding.” Please increase consciousness of compulsive decluttering.

How do I defend choices when being branded a “hoarder” for helpful/wanted/cherished objects?

R: A number of years in the past, I sardonically instructed that decluttering skilled Marie Kondo had a compulsive dysfunction (she sends a lot to the landfill!). After which earlier this yr, Ms. Kondo introduced that the hunt for tidy perfection had taken up an excessive amount of house in her personal life, and that she was now rearranging her priorities in a quest for extra steadiness.

Compulsive decluttering does resemble hoarding, in that excessive anxiousness and compulsions drive the need to obsessively take away “stuff.” Individuals who endure with this may do away with issues they may want later, then substitute the merchandise, after which take away that, too. So sure, in line with your description, your fiancee could endure from a model of this.

However she has moved into “your” home. Like each cohabiting couple, you’ll have to negotiate the difficulty of mixing your possessions and arriving at a life-style that you simply each can handle. It’s vital that she feels snug and at peace in her residence.

Since you two have such opposing kinds — and are fast to label one another as having a severe dysfunction — it will be necessary to sit down down with a {couples} therapist who might make it easier to to kind out, rearrange, and unpack the appreciable baggage you every deliver into this relationship.

Expensive Amy: You and I are about the identical age, and I’m questioning if a few of our friends did one thing improper elevating their children?

After I stroll in my suburban neighborhood (I’ve achieved this each day for years), I say howdy to everybody, whether or not they’re sitting on their porch, or out strolling the identical or reverse method as me. Most everybody the identical age as me (or older) returns the greeting.

Everybody from roughly age 50 and youthful will both glare at me or act like I’m not there. Amy, what’s up with that? Why is it acceptable to be so impolite? These are usually not youngsters, so “not speaking to strangers” shouldn’t be the issue!

What’s your tackle this?

— Perplexed in Suburbia

Perplexed: Throughout my travels, I’ve famous basic regional variations relating to how outwardly “pleasant” strangers are to at least one one other. I used to be raised in an space that’s total on the far less-friendly aspect of the spectrum (whereas I are typically extra outgoing). It has by no means occurred to me that this conduct is likely to be generational, nevertheless.

I’d have an interest to listen to from readers: Has my technology raised a passel of rude-niks?

Expensive Amy: I need to admit that I’m usually impressed by the way you deal with questions associated to dependancy, and I ponder the way you gained this perception. I hope it’s not too private, however I’m curious.

Curious: Dependancy is a matter I’ve studied extensively. Luckily, I don’t have private expertise with dependancy, however the relationship issues triggered by dependancy are devastating, and necessary to grasp.

© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content material Company.

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