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I'm pregnant with a history of mental health issues and my partner is a hoarder in denial.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Ok, I really don't know where to start here and I'm terrified about being judged for being so stupid.I've been with my boyfriend for 5 yrs this December,he is a nice guy,he's caring, has a good job and I beleive that he loves me, my son (from a previous relationship) and our unborn child.I'm 23 weeks pregnant.He's perfect for us, other then two major issues.1-He is really bad at managing his finances-eg, he earns a really good wage and has 2 mortgages,one he really couldn't afford(when you look at the facts off paper)but he wouldn't listen to me when I advised against the purchase.He wants to renovate it as an investment property,he did get it cheaper then market price but it is in need of a LOT of work which he doesn't have the time or money to do.He's owned this second house for 2.5 yrs and nothing has been done to improve it.The electricity bills,gas bills,rates,mobile phone bills ect are all on payment plans year round because he doesn't manage his finances.He takes out loans, credit cards and redraws on the mortgage to buy things that aren't necessary as well.point 2- I think my boyfriend is a hoarder, he keeps buying rusty old cars.He has around 55 cars laying around the yard and the yard at the "investment property" he names them all with women's names?He's very defensive when I ask him why he doesn't get rid of some of them. He plans to restore them all which isn't realistic. we can't enjoy the house or yard anymore due to the cars,it looks like a wrecking yard at both houses and neighbors have put complaints in to council.partner buys stacks of random things online and at op shops and has filled the 5 bedroom + 5 car garage house that he lives in and is filling the second property as well.When I confront him about the issue he complains that the house isn't big enough-he's only 1 person! I've moved out as he cant financially provide for us (although he says he can) he's always scraping for money, can't prioritise and my son and I end up living on struggle street with nothing. We struggle to buy groceries,clothes,pay for medical expenses.It almost meets the criteria for financial abuse.I've tried to convince partner to see a psychologist but he's dead against it-says that he doesn't have a problem and says that I'm the problem because I have diagnosed anxiety/depression.I'm really at my wits end.This baby is due in February, we all want to live as a family but I don't think it's safe to raise kids in this environment. he won't afford child support.

5 Replies 5

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi PinkDiamonds25's,

Thank you for having the courage to share with us, it breaks my heart to read comment, however I do some some positivity and clarity and love ? It sounds like although you are extremely frustrated and worried for your future and your family and obviously the birth of a baby, it seems as though you are thinking quite clearly in the midst of all of this chaos and that says alot about your ability to make good rational decisions under extreme stress. I noticed that you said that he is perfect for you both except for the very real issues of money management and collection of cars and not being able to see priorities. I think it sounds like a good idea to move out of this environment at this time because you will be able to get some clarity and perspective and of course you can control your own environment and money which will be better for you and your family at this time. You could still leave the option of him being part of your life but on your terms that you are comfortable with. In my experience you can offer help to people but until they are ready to do the work sometimes that is all you can do is make suggestions and take care of yourself. It is unfair that he blames you because you have been diagnosed with anxiety / depression, it is like an excuse for him to not look at his own part of the issue. There are many good resources on here for mental health, you could leave some pamphlets around or take them for yourself, you can order them by phone or online as I did. There are many resources for yourself from accomodation services, income support and people to talk to and help work through your concerns so let me know or any of us know if we can be of help in providing any of this for you. I will be thinking of you and wishing you all the best but it seems you are a very intelligent and capable and caring person and that you will make the decisions that are best for you and your family. Best Wishes Nikkir x

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion


I have to agree 100% with Nikkir.

Being a hoarder or financially irresponsible are extreme behaviours not unlike obsessive acts or neglectful acts. A partner might be ideal in every other way but denials often mean the end.

I know how you feel. My great neighbour has many cars and has promised to get me to advertise them for 3 years now. This week he finally supplied me details of 3 only to sell. He's sold 2 and was today polishing the third and said "I can't part with it". Oh boy. The big problem is that his wife endorses anything he wants. If she insisted he sold most of them he would.

And therein lies your bigger problem in that you don't have such influence. If a partner has no effect with their words then there is no partnership IMO. Its harsh.

For what its worth you can take this as a battle that will go one way or the other. A few sessions with relationships Australia could help with him being given clarity by a third person. If he doesn't attend then go alone to help yourself .

Being told that you have the problem referring to any mental illness isn't playing fair game. It wouldn't be good going through life being told that whenever a disagreement arises.

Good luck. Be strong. Hope all goes well with bubs

Tony WK

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello PinkDiamond, I too have to agree with Nikkir, and for him to hoard old junk can be an OCD trait, just as his inability to manage his money properly,I say this because they could be both related.
He certainly needs to get some help, otherwise it's going to be very different to raise your baby in this type of envirnoment, with the infestation from pests, invading the household. Geoff. x

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Pink Diamonds

The three replies above have said it all. I understand about the cars as my ex-husband did the same. The cars were those bought to drive but they kept breaking down so he would buy another cheap car and keep the other for spare parts. Yep! Never happened. After I left my son and sons-in-law got rid of a lot of rubbish for him. He moved house and my daughters tell me he still hoards. Not cars but all sorts of thing he finds at the local dump. After all, they may be useful. (Shaking my head). And still buys cheap vehicles. One is parked at my daughter's home because it broke down and cannot be repaired. I want my daughter to get rid of it but it's her home not mine.

Your man sounds like mine. I wanted us to go to Relationships Australia but he said he had no problems so didn't need to go. Hmm! I had no depression or anxiety until I had lived with him for a few years.

So find yourself a home, even if you think it will be temporary, look after yourself and your children. I know it will be hard but probably less difficult than living with your man. It will be a battle as Tony has said. I guess one solution is to tell him you will return to live with him when the cars have gone, plus all the hoarded items, and the second house sold. Do you think he would let you manage the finances?

If you do return to live with him I suggest it is made clear you will not allow any cars except the one you use to be at the property. No junk, no credit cards.

I hope all will go well with you. Please continue to talk with us for support.


Community Member

Hi PinkDiamonds25, I think you have already been given some great advice on this forum but it must be hard to hear. Firstly, I want to start with why you think you might be judged as being stupid? You actually sound pretty together but like most adults you have ambivalence - meaning you can feel two things at once. On one side you feels that this man is perfect for your family, but on the other side you feel that he is financially destructive, emotionally unable to validate you or take responsibility for his own issues, which is making you furious.

So where does this leave you?

In my many years of experience in treating people with OCD (hoarding is a form of OCD), I can be pretty sure that:

1. He is not going to change if he doesn’t recognise there is a problem and wants to change it
2. Even if he does see its a problem, it is a long hard road of therapy (and possibly medication) for him to resist the compulsion so he must be VERY committed to change.
3. All the rational arguments you present him, all the seemingly irrefutable reasons why he should change will not shift the powerful “OCD reasoning” in his head, so don’t bother as it will only distress you.

You need to look after yourself and your children and I would make it clear to him that his OCD prevents him from being a full time part of that. You are right. It's an unsafe environment for children when hoarding is more of a priority that their basic needs. Consult your GP to clarify your understanding of the illness so you feel confidence in your position.

If you feel its necessary, use an ally like a relative, a trusted doctor or friend to help you with the difficult conversation that you need to have with him. Maybe download information regarding hoarding to help you in case you get flustered.

Work out for yourself how you are going to (1) redefine your romantic involvement with him given this unwelcome and currently immovable way of thinking that he has. Is this a deal breaker for you or can you live with it in your relationship without seeking to change it? (2) Co-parent with him given that you will be living separately - what will be the financial and access arrangements re the children?

Prioritise YOUSELF and your children. You are being a responsible mother by calling him out on this. By saying that it is NOT OK to remain untreated when the illness robs your children of basic entitlements such as groceries , clothes and medical expenses . I am so happy for your kids that they have you to advocate for them!