Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Packrat husband leaves wife feeling smothered

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for seven years, and I care for him deeply. When we got married, I sold my house and he kept his as a rental, because he wanted the rental income.

We bought a larger house than I wanted, but he wanted acreage and a detached garage.

I did not realize he just wanted to fill the extra space with junk.

He has now a two-car detached garage full of stuff he collects and buys. He has two tractors, two four-wheelers, six trailers, four riding lawnmowers, about five rolling toolboxes, many desks and a wrecked car. If he sees a "good deal," he buys it.

I used to think that he would buy something and then resell it to make money, but he does not part with anything. He has to have two or more of everything, and most of it is junk.

I am 65 and have serious health problems. I cannot handle the stress of all this stuff we do not need. I get exhausted and feel smothered. I want to live a stress-free, minimalist lifestyle.

He laughs and makes fun of me when I try to explain to him how I feel. That hurts! When I ask him to just clean up the messes or to get rid of stuff, he says, "Wa-wa-wa-wa! Get used to it because this is me."

I am not sure I can get used to it. I find myself longing for a nice, neat cottage somewhere.

Everybody says if I love him it should not matter, I say if he loves me he should hear me and try to make some changes. What do you say?

-- Neatfreak

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