Messy Apartment Dispute

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Side 2
Side 1 says...
I got married 7 years ago and live in my wife's apartment. I kept my old apartment and use it as an office during the day and let friends stay. My 23 year old son just graduated from college and is staying in the apartment. When he moved in I imposed rules on keeping the place reasonably clean and tidy. No living out of a bag, bed to be made in the morning etc...

My cleaner Amelia has had personal issues and hasn't been for a few weeks increasing the importance of us both making efforts to keep the place in good shape.

I went away for 3 weeks to England and when I came back the place was a mess. I didn't give my son a hard time as it didn't really matter to me if the flat was messy while I was away. I assumed that now I was back he would go back to the agreement of keeping the place tidy. I came in two days later on Monday morning to work after he had left for the day and he hadn't tidied up. The following exchange of texts followed:

Me:

Not at all happy with the way you left the flat. Bed unmade...sink full of washing up garbage bins Unemptied bathroom sink disgusting empty toilet roll in loo stuff on the floor by bed .
It's a really unpleasant atmosphere to work in. Are you planning to fix this?

Son:

Will deal with it

Me:

The lack of an apology would seem to indicate that you think I am being totally unreasonable about this. I don't understand why. Please explain

Son:

Because its pretty much identical to how it was 2 days ago, with the exception of a bit more garbage in the trash can, which you seemed fine with. If you wanted things done about the state of the apartment you should have raised it with me then rather than attempt to scold me at the point i'm unable to do anything.

Me:

As we had an agreement I assumed that you had let things go to because you didn't know exactly when I was going to be coming back so I wasn't going to give you a hard time for having things messy while I wasn't there. ...I assumed that now that you knew I was using the place again you would abide by our former agreement and tidy up....
I didn't realize that you thought that just because I didn't say anything the moment I got in you thought that the agreement had lapsed or I had changed my mind and I didn't mind anymore if the place was messy, garbage Unemptied etc

Son:

Rather than forcefully tell me 2 days later that you thought that way you could have told me then that you felt the apartment needed to be cleaner on the day and i would have obviously done something about it. As it stands i was unaware you weren't satisfied with just waiting for Amelia next visit.

Me:

As I said I assumed you had let things go because I wasn't there.
If you want to feel abused because of my complaint go ahead...what you don't seem to understand is that either I have to spend time clearing or my peace of mind and focus and happiness is disturbed for the day because I have to work in an unpleasant environment....
You didn't even make the bed today...that seems to say that what we had previously agreed really didn't mean that much to you....

Son:

None of our prior agreement included taking out the garbage or doing the dishes, you specifically noted this in the past. I did these despite that and did both of these several times while you were gone. I obviously don't expect you to clean after me but I was left under the impression in this situation that waiting for Amelia would be ok.

I'm happy to do things to make you feel more comfortable. Yet if i'm unaware you're uncomfortable there's not much i can do.

Me:

Ok I'm happy to put this down to miss-communication... I suppose I thought that if the objective is keeping the place nice some things - like dishes and garbage and overflowing laundry baskets and replacing used paper towels were obvious and didn't need to be stated explicitly......

.....we never explicitly included not crapping in the middle of the floor either....

Also given the current situation Amelia's next attendance is uncertain

Son:

False equivalency. This is equivalent to if i had crapped on the floor and you had seen it, made no comment and 2 days later aggressively complained about it.

Me:

Actually no. As I said I assumed that you knew the parameters and only had failed to keep to them because I wasn't there - which I was prepared to let go thinking that now that I wAs back you would put things in order (NB this is because the agreement is there not so I can be bossy and order you around for no reason...but because I want to be happy and comfortable when i come here...- also of course want to protect flat - thus I don't care so much what you do when I'm not here ).....


END TEXTS

This is where the communication ended. My son says I told him specifically that he didn’t have to take out his garbage or do the dishes. In my opinion, I absolutely never said this - but I'm sure that he is not lying and that he misunderstood something else I said - although I cant think what.
Added by pbpbpbpb1 (male)
Side 2 says...
The quoted conversation summarizes the debate well I think but I will add some more context. My point of view is that my father approached me way too aggressively to the point of asking why I hadn't apologized.

The reason I was made upset was because this was the first time he had asked me to do the cleaning in this situation, and he did so in an aggressive manner. When you ask for something for the first time, getting angry isn't the solution. I'm not a mind reader. I didn't see the apartment as particularly messy and since he had also seen it and not made any indication that he was unhappy with the state of the apartment, I made no further attempts to clean it.

It's also worth noting at the beginning of my time at this apartment he mentioned I shouldn't worry about doing the dishes or garbage. I still did them once in a while, because I wanted to contribute and this includes the time while my father was in England.

Ultimately I did do the dishes and clean up later that night. I'm very happy to do such things if I'm made aware they'll make my dad's life more pleasant. The problem was that I had no idea he wanted such things and, in my view, it was very unreasonable for him to get angry at me over something I had no idea was a pressing issue.

Two issues I want to raise with his point of view before I end:

It's worth pointing out when my dad says he didn't give me "a hard time" for having the place messy he means that he didn't say a word about the state of the place. And yet two days later when the apartment was in much the same state, he sent me passive-aggressive texts.

It's also worth noting he removed the beginning of the communication where he ordered I call him after he failed to call me while I was on the subway. Not that it adds a whole lot, but I felt it was worth mentioning.
Added by Jamix012 (male)
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