His Wife is a Hoarder. Can He Save the Marriage?

As you get older, you start realizing that people do change in their own time, for their own reasons, but you can’t make them change. You can encourage them, you can try to help, you can want the best for them, but people are what they are and do what they do. So, for example, if you get a hoarder vibe off a woman, you can’t expect it to go away just because you get married:

I am 34 and my wife is 26. We dated for 1.5 years and have been married since September 2018.

While we were dating, her apartment was always a mess. She always had dishes piled up all over the place. There were no horizontal spaces in the apartment that didn’t have something there. Whether it was dirty dishes, fast food drinks, random items, clean clothes, etc nothing had a specific place. Her apartment looked like the city dump. I talked with her about it and told her straight up that her living like this will be a MAJOR area of contention in our relationship. I also made it abundantly clear, while being as tactful as possible, that if we lived together then this will not happen.

Now we are married and living together and nothing has changed. Anytime I try to bring it up she gets super defensive and starts pointing out my flaws and she turns it into some big dramatic thing. I quit drinking, quit smoking and vaping, quit playing world of warcraft and am now working on finishing my degree and taking programming courses on the side to better myself and to further my career. I keep my stuff organized and everything has a place. I do the cleaning like vacuuming, mopping, cleaning the bathroom and doing the dishes. She cooks dinner sometimes.