Living with a partner long-term requires a lot of compromise, and one of the hardest elements is figuring out who needs to compromise what. Luckily, the internet is full of friendly strangers always ready to share their hot takes, so you don't have to look far for a second, third, or fourth opinion.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for telling her husband he needs to sleep in a separate bed. She wrote:
My husband (43M) and I (31F) welcomed our second child four months ago. With having a new baby I’m extra cautious about germs and cleaning. This got me thinking about my husband's shower routine.
He will take a shower in the morning and go off to work (he’s a chemist so mostly desk job but sometimes he walks outside from one building to the next. They are less than a block away). We live in humid hot Florida so that adds to the equation some inevitable perspiration. He’s also a manager so he deals with people all day long.
I have tried to bring up the subject of him taking a quick shower when he gets home from work or even just before bed. He says that he does not need to take another shower since he showered in the morning.
I try to explain that I don’t feel comfortable with him laying in the bed because I lay our baby there sometimes and I feel like the bedsheets are dirty by him laying on them, same with our comforter (note: baby sleeps in a bassinet safely next to me but during the day I will lay him in the bed while I do chores around him like folding laundry, etc.).
I realize everybody has their own routines but I have washed my hair in the morning, showered and gone through the day. At the end of it, I’m feeling dirty, grimy and in NEED of a shower before bed. How can he be okay with having gone through the whole day and not feel like he should shower? I finally told him I’m not comfortable with him laying in bed dirty so he should sleep in the guest room.
I have OCPD so it’s really hard for me to not have things be the way I feel they should be in my mind. In my mind it’s disgusting for him to lay in bed dirty but what do you guys think? AITA?
Gentle YTA. I think you're overreacting to how "dirty" he is. If he's only going to and from work and not doing manual labor I don't see how he can be "dirty" unless he fell on the ground or someone spilled a drink on him. Seems it would be smarter to not have the baby in the bed. If you're too overcautious about germs, that can actually be bad for a child.
Nor do you necessarily have to shower/bathe every day. And doing so more than once a day can be bad for you. From WebMD:
What Happens When You Shower Too Much?
Normal skin has a protective layer of oil and a balance of “good” bacteria that help protect your skin from dryness and germs. If you clean it too often, especially with harsh soaps and lots of scrubbing, you can strip away this layer, leading to dry, irritated, itchy skin. This can cause cracks in the skin that allow germs and allergens to get through resulting in skin infections or allergic reactions.
In addition, your body’s immune system needs some stimulation from germs, including those that live on your skin. If you scrub them away too quickly, your body doesn’t have a chance to produce the antibodies that protect against them.
Antibacterial soaps can actually add to this by killing off the natural bacterial protection against more infectious germs on the skin that are harder to treat. This can make an even bigger difference in kids as their bodies develop. That’s why some pediatricians and skin doctors recommend against bathing children every day.
"it’s really hard for me to not have things be the way I feel they should be in my mind."
And this is why its a YOU issue, not his.
mostly desk job but sometimes he walks outside from one building to the next -> Therefore: perspiration
You DO realize just how much you reaching, right?
Taking multiple showers a day is bad for your skin. If the guy is smelly and dirty, that’s a different story. As for your baby, they’re going to be surrounded by germs every day, all the time.
As someone who had a shit immune system when I started kindergarten because I hadn’t built up any immunity (mom was a bit too careful exposing me to actual people besides immediate family), I’d recommend relaxing a bit. I was sick pretty much constantly when I was a kid because of this.
I have a bunch of kids who actually had friends and exposure to people when they were little, and they have strong immune systems and don’t get sick. Germs are not 100% avoidable. Came back to say, if you meant to type “OCD”, I suffered with it for years. You need to chill and get help if you need it because this isn’t healthy for your children. They’ll pick up on your anxiety and develop dysfunctional habits.
Yes, YTA but I’m going to go soft on this. I’m not licensed in anything except food safety but I can recognize misplaced anxiety and fear a mile away. I know it because I used to live it. I think it’s time to look within because it may be that your anxiety is starting to affect your personal life. As a new mom I get it.
My son is 17 but I still remember his first year. Again, I’m not a therapist but maybe ask yourself where this may be coming from and if it’s too much for you to process on your own please find a counselor. It helped me understand how I can’t control anyone in my life under the guise of my own anxiety. I learned my triggers and how to manage them in a healthy manner. If I’m wrong, allow me to apologize.
I too, lived in Florida so I understand the two shower a day thing however it doesn’t sound like he needs one given his working environment. He’s not seemingly a dirty guy I don’t think you have anything to actually worry about. The baby will be fine.
YTA daily shower is more than enough as long as he’s not sleeping in his day clothes. Are you in therapy? You can’t force your beliefs on your husband, and you need help to work through this irrational compulsion for him to shower twice a day.
Edit: Ok, ITA. I am in therapy with a licensed psychologist and have regular appointments with my psychiatrist which diagnosed me with OCPD (earlier typo, sorry!) and generalized anxiety so the shoe does fit.
I apologized to my husband who was understanding of my anxiety to overprotect our baby. He accepted my apology and he’ll be sleeping next to me tonight having only showered this morning 🙃😮💨 I’ll talk to my therapist about this tomorrow at our appointment.
In the very least, it sounds like OP is getting help for her anxiety.