My [29] bf acts up with me [29] by suddenly having an urge to clean the house

My mother used to do angry cleaning and it's such a trigger for me now that I get jitters sometimes when my SO cleans. Not his fault, and he is not trying to make me feel bad but the sound of plates clinking together loudly or a vacuum sometimes takes me right back to how I felt then.

In my experience, my mother was using it as a weapon. By throwing things around, saying loud, angry things about the messy house (will happen with you have a large no. of kids) and cleaning violently, she was sending a very clear message to us, that we needed to get things cleaned up before she saw them or else we'd be subject to her angry cleaning for the next few hours. Of course most of us would jump up and start cleaning too but that didn't help, we'd just all be miserably cleaning together.

My SO and I have an arrangement. We agree sometimes to let the house go to hell (aside from mandatory things like looking after pets and basic hygiene) if we are both deeply into projects. This is because we are adults and can structure our time, efforts and household as we see fit. Also, if one of us is cleaning, the other doesn't need to clean at the same time as we may have different energy levels or priorities, but we'll just roughly divide up the chores and get to them when we can.

I do believe that anything done in anger can be abusive to those who have to witness it, even if it isn't directly aimed at them or intended. Honestly, you could have cleaned the dishes at 3am and it would have been ok. I think your bf overreacted and it may be worth sitting him down and asking why he had an emotional reaction to some dirty dishes and that it's not ok to do things angrily in your shared space as it can be interpreted as a desire to manipulate you.

/r/relationships Thread