My girlfriend and I just moved in together. (I relocated to her town.) We’re very happy, but I have a problem: The walls in our apartment are thin. And I often hear her use the bathroom without washing her hands afterward. This grosses me out! Can I raise this issue without making her feel bad? DAVE
Reading this inquiry, I agree with Philip “If you can’t figure out how to discuss awkward issues with your partner, your relationship is probably doomed.” I am a firm believer in being direct, but not mean. I think all couples should discuss having a safe space, and what that means for them. I often inform clients that a safe space allows you to be truthful and respectful, and to know what is said in that space stays in the space. In saying that, this individual can ask to go in their safe space and say, “After you use the bathroom, can you remember to wash your hands? It’s important to me.” This partner may feel embarrassed or defensive at first, but ultimately it opens a dialogue about hygiene. This partner may even enlighten him that she does not enjoy wasting water but keeps hand sanitizer and/or wipes in the vanity for this purpose. How would you handle this situation?