Coping With a Spouse Who Hoards

Joe Cole

When a friend or family member suffers hoarding issues, it hurts so much when you can’t do anything to help. Living with a spouse who has hoarding issues can even be trickier to navigate and may likely affect your love-life relationship. Hoarders are often known to be highly emotional or […]

When a friend or family member suffers hoarding issues, it hurts so much when you can’t do anything to help. Living with a spouse who has hoarding issues can even be trickier to navigate and may likely affect your love-life relationship. Hoarders are often known to be highly emotional or suffer some form of mental illness, and their partners must approach these issues empathically. Before calling a professional hoarding cleanup service to your home, you need to understand the reason why he or she hoards. Are they disorganized or suffering from mental health? Is it a fondness for such items? Once you can identify the reasons why then you can begin to take steps to help them heal.

Signs You are Living with a Hoarder

They always want to get more items and would jump at every ‘good deal’ that comes their way, regardless of the relevance of such items. Other signs include

  • Your partner has grown so emotionally attached to specific items and is unwilling to dispose of them.
  • The pile of items has negatively impacted your life. For instance, the items accumulated over time have taken up a considerable amount of leg space in the room.
  • They do not want anyone to touch the pile of items. They guard these items jealously
  • Previously diagnosed with mental disorders
  • They do not want to discuss their hoarding condition and always shy away from such talks
  • They are not organized and always like messing things up.

Coping With a Hoarder

If your spouse hoards items, do not castigate them. Instead, approach them with empathy without being judgmental. It may seem as though your partner cares less about staying in a neat space, but they are struggling with something bigger deep down. Once you have an understanding of what they are going through and the primary cause, then you can guide them to becoming free of this condition. Make them feel safe that you will guide them on their journey to recovery.

Finding a Lasting Solution 

  • Hoarding can pose a serious threat to the safety of your home. Install a smoke detector in a hoarder’s room in the event of a fire outbreak.
  • Do not remove any item without their consent. Cleaning up their room without consulting your spouse first can result in a disagreement between the both of you. Also, it can worsen their emotional health issues.
  • Convince them to see a therapist. This is one of the most effective solutions to hoarding. Don’t expect your spouse to agree to visit a therapist on the first try. You should be consistent and make them see a reason why you believe a therapist can help. Once they agree, be sure to take a photo of the hoarded items and bring it along with you.
  • After discussing with your partner, try and see if they are willing to dispose of these items or move them to a safer location. If you are moving it to a storage facility, then they need to be assured that these items will be safe.

Once they are willing to walk the road to recovery, then you can bring in a professional hoarding cleanup service to clean up the area. Do not rush things. Take baby steps and you will get there eventually.

 

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