My long-term partner and I (mid-thirties) have apartments in different cities due to work reasons, we see each other on the weekends, always taking turns whose apartment we are staying in. While we generally enjoy each others company, there is something that is increasingly grating on my nerves when in "my" place.
SHE NEVER CLEANS UP!
For example, we both love good food and I happen to be a reasonably good cook. I also enjoy making her happy by offering new and exciting food. Her enjoyment of the meal is my main motivation to cook for her. We both eat our meal together, enjoy a glass of wine and chat. Food plays a major role in our relationship. However, cooking involves lots of effort and dirty dishes and I would like her to at least get involved when the time to clean up has come. That doesn't happen though. Over the course of a few years, at least I got her to carry her dishes back onto the kitchen counter, but it's still hit and miss for her to place those plates in the dish washer, let alone clean the pots. While I tend to enjoy offering her good food, I am starting to feel more like a restaurant than a partner (and she doesn't tip well!)
Another example that happened this morning: for the umpteenth time, she did not replace the toilet paper roll on its hanger*, instead just placing a new roll somewhere and leaving the empty cardboard roll for me to remove and throw away. I have asked her many times to just replace the toilet paper and be done with it, but it seems this simple action is too much to ask.
Or she will leave a q-tip just lying around on the sink because she forgot to put it into the trash under the sink.
When at her place, we eat out more often, leaving less dishes to be cleaned. While it is true that I don't usually clean her apartment, at least I do the basic stuff like putting dishes into the dishwasher or changing the toilet paper roll. I am really not extremely into cleanliness, I just feel like she could bear more of the common burden.
What I have tried
- I have let everything stand around to motivate her to clean up herself. This just ends up with dirty dishes stacked in my apartment and her leaving for work (I have too many dishes obviously). By the next time it's her turn to come, I will have cleaned up because I can't bear the stench.
- I have practically ordered her to clean up. This usually ends in fights, her reminding me of the one time I didn't clean up at her place two years ago and nothing gets done.
- Put up ultimatums, like I won't cook if she doesn't do the dishes afterwards. This does not work because I tend to get hungry as well.
She grew up in a single-parent household and was not materially well-off. I assume her parent compensated for that by cleaning up after her all time, so she never learned it herself. Also, I assume she just tends to forget things after using them.
I am looking for methods to get her to join more in household duties, especially when cooking - ideally without having to force her. Alternatively, I would also take methods for me to get less angry about the skewed workload.
*I agree this example is extremely banal, but that's the kind of stuff that ruins marriages!