Agony Aunt Mzansi offers advice to a reader who has a problem with her otherwise perfect boyfriend: he only showers on weekends …
Dear Aunt Mzansi
Please can you help me with a somewhat embarrassing problem. I have been in a relationship for the last two years with a wonderful, kind and funny man. We get on so well and I really feel that he understands me and accepts me exactly as I am.
We first became intimate after six months of being together and everything was great. He has been spending weekends at my flat as he lives on the other side of the city and we spend all weekend together anyway. Things have been going very well and we have been talking about getting engaged at the end of the year.
His lease recently expired and we decided it would make more sense for him to move in with me than renew his lease. We would like to buy a property together and the area that I am living in is more suitable for both of us.
The problem started when he moved in
Things were great at first. He helps with the cleaning every night and I normally do the cooking. We both work full day – me, at an office, him, as a mechanic. He earns a good salary and has been saving for a deposit for us to buy a place.
Everything is great but for one major thing. He stinks. There, I said it. He never showers in the week! I never knew this as we only spoke on the phone every weekday and then got together on weekends.
I am so put off by this as I am a little over-the-top with cleanliness
He works manually and is often sweaty and filthy. If he doesn’t shower and gets into bed I cringe. The bedding stinks and the last thing that I want to do is cuddle him! Our intimacy has taken such a dive and he is clearly hurt and confused. I really don’t know what to do as I don’t know how to approach this without hurting his feelings. Please help!
Some say cleanliness is next to godliness… clearly your man likes to hang out where angels fear to tread.
He sounds like a good guy – albeit a smelly one – and apart from the greasy hands and ruined bed sheets, he could be a keeper…. through a mouth mask or a haze of deodorant.
I could suggest that you invest in shares in an air freshener company or you keep remarking loudly that you think the plumbing is blocked because something smells really bad. Alternatively you could take up diving and wear a snorkel permanently around the house to “break it in”.
If all else fails, you could try inviting him to join you in the shower but ways for him to get dirty should not be the only options for him to get clean.
We all know… well, most of us know… that a comb-over doesn’t hide a bald-spot any more than masking bad smells deals with the cause.
The real issue here is what you need to address. That would be honest communication
Trying not to hurt his feelings is creating insecurity in him, and unhappiness and dirty sheets for you.
You need to sit him down and have a talk… preferably over candles and some bubbles… the bath kind.
Make sure the three S’s are covered before launching into a serious conversation. Don’t attempt this if your man is Starving, Sleepy or Sitting with remote in hand.
Rather than jumping to all sorts of imagined conclusions, just be honest. It sounds like this relationship is worth it
Tell him all that you love and admire about him. Reinforce his good qualities.
Tell him that you would like to always feel closely connected to him but that you are afraid you ll slide straight off with all that smelly grease he is covered in. Okay, just think that, don’t say it.
Tell him that cleanliness is important to you and you find it a real turn on when he gets into bed freshly showered. If he doesn’t feel attacked and needing to respond by defending himself, he will more than likely soap up, especially with the warm reception he is bound to find afterwards.
You will certainly have many difficult and awkie conversations going forward. Spinach between the teeth, bad breath and that odd red leak-spot don’t disclose themselves. Rather than jumping to all sorts of imagined conclusions, just be honest. It sounds like this relationship is worth it.
You are beautiful!
Love and blessings