My Partner Is A Compulsive HoarderSounds trivial doesn't it? "We all hoard stuff," you're thinking.
That's true but the way my wife hoards is different. Firstly, the buying and hoarding are only the most obvious signs of an all-consuming mental condition that mediates her responses to her family and anyone else who might get near the house.
The condition has only recently got itself a proper heading as a discreet mental disorder, so only after years of suffering her tantrums, social paranoia, her hiding things and, of course, the clutter, did I find a book which described the whole condition. Only then did I realise that all these problems were common to most hoarders. Not to mention the consistent refusal to accept formal treatment.
Only now too have I found a support group where I discover that true cures are very uncommon and that most sufferers end up forcing their partners and children away from them and then living - and dieing - alone in houses where only tiny pathways remain snaking between towering piles of dirty magazines, books, clothes, shoes and garbage waiting for recycling.
There are already three rooms in our house where the doors won't open and others where we can't reach parts because the clutter piles are too high. All the rest of the house is getting harder and harder to live in. Any suggestion of clearing just results in a torrent of aggression. There are almost no visitors to the house at all.
What can I do? I care for her I suppose, but I love our son and I have responsiblity to give him a proper environment to grow up in. Not to mention my own interests. I see no alternative to divorce.