I DON’T KNOW Ask Karen!

By Karen Loftis

Q: I am a clean freak! I can’t stand it when I see dust on my tables or streaks on my windows.

My husband and kids don’t seem to care if they leave their socks on the floor or glasses on the end tables. I am continually picking up after all of them and I am tired of them not picking up after themselves.

My husband and kids complain that I am not really that much fun because I am always cleaning. I think they are right and I want to change, I just don’t know where to begin. Any ideas?

A: Hello, clean freak. Let me begin by saying that I am glad that you are recognizing how your clean freak behavior is negatively affecting you and your family. The first step in changing is recognizing what it is that you want to change. The next step is having the motivation and desire to do so. It sounds like you are ready for both. Congratulations!

You might want to begin by looking at what is more valuable to you, being a clean freak or having fun with your husband and kids. While cleaning is important, it will always be there. Your kids will grow up and leave and you will have missed out on having fun memorable times with them. It is also important to nurture your relationship with your husband as you do want him to be there when the kids leave.

Even though you will feel uncomfortable, leave some socks on the floor and glasses and dust on the end tables. Tell yourself that it is more important to go and have fun with your kids and husband than to clean right now. They will appreciate it and in the end so will you!

If you have a question for Karen, email her at kjloftis@cox.net. Karen Loftis is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Ramona.  Her website is karenloftismft.com.

Answers are based on limited information and should not be taken out of context as individual situations and circumstances may vary. Consult a licensed professional for specific assessment and intervention.

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Posted by Staff on Dec 19 2011. Filed under Columnists. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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