People Share Gross Home Habit Stories That Ended Their Relationships

Trista - December 14, 2021

17. Abominable dental hygiene can rot more than just teeth.

Sometimes forgetting to brush your teeth is forgivable, but what if your SO never brushed? Tooth brushing is a key component of personal hygiene, so never brushing could be a sign of more disturbing habits. Oaktree3’s explains their frustrations with an ex-husband (emphasis on “ex” ): “This is shameful. My ex-husband never brushed his teeth. But somehow, this knowledge bypassed me until we were married. He would go lengths of time with no tooth brushing at all! I noticed his toothbrush was never wet, and that got me suspicious, so I asked him one night if he had brushed.

He said no, but didn’t back it up with any sort of reason. This went on for a few days, and then I asked him, ‘When was the last time you brushed?’ He said, ‘I think brushing your teeth encourages cavities to grow.’ Also, he said it makes him gag, and that is why he can’t chew gum either. [He says] he has a super sensitive gag reflex. He could not put things in his mouth past his first molars without gagging. He said even French kissing is difficult for him. I just. No.”


16. Dirty hands can only lead to an unclean relationship.

No this story doesn’t involve dirty hands because someone was working hard. Putting in a solid effort on the job is great! This confession comes from her boyfriend just being gross. pikachuSmilez describes more than just an unpleasant smell coming from her ex, but a lack of basic respect: “[My ex] not showering for weeks at a time [forced me to break up with him], mainly because all he did was eat, visit [the loo], and play video games. Literally nothing else. He flunked uni and got kicked out and kept on lying to everyone about his so-called future career in law. And I love video games, but seriously, he did nothing else but them, and in the end, not even me.”

Avi_’s shares a similar story, with the same disappointing ending: “[My ex] worked at a mechanic shop and had black oil all over his hands. Even if he washed, it would still be hiding under his nails and in the cracks in his skin. He would tell me his hands were clean and then try to [touch] me. [EFF] NO. Also, he refused to go down on me because ‘it’s gross,’ but wanted blowies all the time. I’m pretty sure I kept myself cleaner than he did. [Eff] that noise.” Do you think that is gross or acceptable?


15. General sloppiness is gross — and a turn-off to romance and relationship success.

Mechchic84 and Darkcutter share stories that make dirty teeth seem tolerable. Mechchic84 describes: “There [were] lots of nasty things my ex did. [He] left [puke] in my tub for at least three days because I was sick of cleaning up his messes. He only cleaned it up after I threatened to move to a hotel. I know he didn’t bathe the entire time [the puke] was there . . . He carried cigarette butts in his pockets until they would fill up and spill all over the house. [He also refused] to eat leftovers because he might get sick from the bacteria. WTF?”

Darkcutter follows this up with a litany of unhygienic behaviors: “My ex was one of the filthiest people imaginable. She would go for weeks without showering, was incredibly bad at taking care of her living space. (The mess in her room seeped into the rest of the apartment she shared with her mother and grandmother.) She threw her used tampons and such at the wall, spit chunks on the wall, and had half-full soft drink cans everywhere, some well over a month old. She adamantly refused to clean up after herself or her [six] cats, never flushed the toilet, and generally acted like a spoiled [brat].”


14. On the other end of the spectrum, OCD over cleanliness isn’t gross, but it leads to suffocating control issues.

Sometimes, the problem in a relationship isn’t a lack of cleanliness but being too clean. When a significant other controls another person’s hygiene habits even when those habits are already decent, this may be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder. While controlling tendencies can manifest in any number of behaviors, TJT42 describes his experience with a girlfriend who obsessed over cleanliness:

“Well, this . . . was certainly incredibly annoying and odd. I once had a girlfriend who absolutely positively would not let me get into the bed until I had showered with a certain lineup of four different gels, soaps, and whatever, and I had to use them in a certain order. She would watch me do this since I would come home quite late usually and she had already showered most of the time. It was just a weird obsessive thing she did. I could have already have showered before I came over, and she’d still do this.”


13. When personal privacy goes haywire, so does the relationship.

Everyone requires different levels of personal privacy in a relationship, but even the most public person needs a little personal space. Both parties in the relationship need to understand how their needs differ and actively work toward balancing them. So when one party disrespects the need for that space, the relationship needs a course correction at the least and termination at the worst. Do you think this next situation is gross enough to call it quits?

Meinbaum shares their disgusting experience with a boyfriend who completely ignored her need for personal privacy — worse, he utterly violated her space: “I read through this entire thread to make sure that my ex didn’t write anything about me. I dated a dude who would ‘break in’ to the bathroom while I was in there. Whether I was going to the bathroom or taking a shower, or whatever, he would complain that I was taking too much time, and he had to [pee]. One morning he was doing this, and I thought he was being cute and trying to shower with me. He gets into the shower and starts peeing ON ME. Not cool.”


12. Disgustingly gross chewing habits fuel nothing but spite…

[deleted] shares how destructive something seemingly innocuous, like chewing, can be on a relationship: “[T]he way my ex ate was disgusting. Even at nicer restaurants, he would just mow down without any regard for the awful mouth noises he was making or the fact that he chewed with his mouth open. When eating any kind of meat off a bone (like wings), he would seriously gnaw on the bone until every last bit of meat, fat and connective tissue was gone. Loudly.

He once did this with at-bone steak at a nice restaurant (holding the bone in his hands), and no amount of evil stares or under-the-table kicking gave him any kind of hint. We were with our friends, so I didn’t want to say anything and be a nag. It was just such a turnoff watching him eat like a [freaking] animal. I couldn’t even kiss him that night. Ugh. He had many other disgusting habits (including leaving faprags all over his bedroom, never washing his clothes because HE couldn’t smell them, terrible oral hygiene), but that was the worst.”


11. … especially when some of these habits are truly repulsive.

Further idiosyncrasies abound when it comes to chewing behaviors. The issue seems to stem from a basic lack of self-awareness or perhaps the idea that the eater’s partner would understand. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, as Cobra1000 can attest: “My ex would drag his fork across his teeth when he ate. Then he’d chew with his mouth open and talk with his mouth full of food. But he had this speech affectation where he’d pause before saying something, which wasn’t an issue when we weren’t eating, but during meals, he’d have his mouth open full of half-chewed food while he waited to get his words out. It was so weird and gross.”

In some cases, these idiosyncrasies can arise out of nowhere. [redacted] describes how a 10-year relationship came to an end due to their partner’s gross chewing habits: “Chewing with her mouth open. For 10 years, she chewed normally, but then one day, I could hear her chewing gum from down a 40-inch hall and around the corner. I pretty much had to leave the house if she planned to eat peanut butter toast.”


10. Some things should never enter any human mouth.

Disgusting chewing habits with actual food is one thing. If your SO is sucking on other things that should never be put in a human mouth, it might be difficult — or impossible — to see yourself living a “happily ever after” with that person. Poprocks_and_cola is unfortunately all too familiar with this weird phenomenon, explaining: “I dated this guy [who] had this really gross habit of always sucking the most disgusting things. It started off small, sucking my toes after I had been for a long walk. But soon, he was picking coins off the sidewalk and sucking them. I eventually ended [the relationship] when he sucked a dog’s tail.”

WrykerOdetoI shares a similar story, but instead of the human as the sucker, he is the suckee: “Went to his apartment for the first time after a few dates. Both of us were broke, and between paychecks, so we decided to go to his [place] and watch T.V. Halfway through an episode, I looked over, and his puppy is legitimately suckling on his tongue. I know of people who let their dogs lick them on their mouths, but this was a whole new level for me.”


9. One person’s habit of smelling weird things is another bad omen for a gross relationship.

Relationships require patience. But sometimes, those ticks are so disturbing that no amount of patience can overcome them, like when a partner purposely smells the most rancid items. [deleted] describes an ex who did just that: “My ex had to smell EVERYTHING. Seriously, it was sad. Really weirded me out as well. Like what the [eff] are you smelling that for? ‘I don’t know every time. Never fails.”

Unfortunately, the issue seems to be fairly common, as ScrangiePangie can attest: “[My ex] liked to smell strange things. Gym socks after running 5 miles… yeah, he’d need to take a big whiff of those. Yep, they smelled horrible! He then proceeded to smell them a couple more times for good measure. The same goes for sweaty pits of workout shirts, shower towels after many uses, and of course, his own B.O.” [deleted] also shares some offensive smelling habits: “My ex had to smell everything. For example, when he adjusted himself down there when he got ear wax out of his ear, and whenever he cleaned his teeth with a toothpick. I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t think of any more.”


8. Lollipops are all good and well — until they lead to gross sucking noises.

There’s “normal” sucking on weird things, and then there’s weird sucking on normal things — namely, lollipops. While the latter behavior may not seem as extreme, it can definitely be a dealbreaker. RebuildingMyself describes their ex’s relationship-ending lollipop-sucking habit: “Ex-GF loved lollipops. Nothing wrong with that. Until you are at the computer and want to show her something while she’s sucking on one, [making] disgusting slurpy noises RIGHT IN YOUR [FREAKING] EAR. Or she’ll try to have a conversation while eating one at the same time, thinking she’s handling the slurpiness properly — but she isn’t, and that’s all I hear.”

Others agree these such slurping noises are intolerable. [deleted] replied, “This is the worst. I can’t stand mouth/slurpy noises.” I-heart-naps also has a phobia of these noises, although they seem to be making it work in their relationship: “I hate mouth noises, whether it’s human or animal. I don’t even like when my animals groom themselves [and I can hear] the noise. My boyfriend intentionally makes those noises sometimes just to annoy me.” Do you think this is gross, or just okay?


7. Certain exes seem to have missed a few potty training lessons.

When it comes to toilet hygiene, some things need never be spoken between two people in a romantic relationship. Cannelle shares a nauseating and highly disturbing story about their ex-boyfriend’s inadequate bathroom behaviors: “My ex never properly wiped his [butt], so his underwear always had these horrendous streaks on them. When I asked him about it once, he got hugely [ticked] off at me and told me those weren’t [s*&!] stains and streak marks. They were just butt sweat. He also got really pissed off when I asked why he didn’t sweat brown anywhere else on his body.Nice guy.”

Ahylianhero had eerily similar, just-as-disgusting experiences as Cannelle: “My ex would only halfway wipe his [butt]. We got to the point where we were comfortable enough to use the bathroom with the other in the room, so there were times where we’d talk while pooping. One day, I was wiping, and he seemed really grossed out that I check my toilet paper after I wipe, and I explained, ‘I don’t stop wiping until the toilet paper comes up clean.’ He told me he just guesses at these things.”


6. Some personal matters should never go public, especially when they involve genitals. That’s gross.

In cis heterosexual relationships, it can be hard for a person of one sex to understand the behaviors of the other. It’s no secret that many women don’t get why men touch themselves so brazenly. The issue is even worse when the man touches himself in public, as Keysarecool describes: “My ex would touch/fiddle with/adjust his genitals in public, I think he thinks no one notices but everyone does. Also, he would touch his [butt] and not wash his hands until I begged for him to. He had no sense of smell and could not tell how putrid his swamp-[butt] was.”

Neostorm360’s friend faced a similar gross problem that ended her relationship: “Not my ex, but a friend’s. She claimed that anytime he was naked (in the shower, bedroom, whatever), he would pinch his ball sack and rub it between his thumb and other fingers. What’s weird is that he apparently didn’t know he was doing it, just some sort of weird nervous habit.”


5. Public displays of affection can be gross, and really do belong in the bedroom.

The age-old argument over the appropriate level of PDA is more than just a debate — it can actually be a relationship-ender for some couples. Take fluffywhereareyou’s uncomfortable story: “[My ex had a bad habit of] grabbing and groping me in public. I can handle signs of affection like holding hands and cuddling, but this guy used to [do a] full grope while we were walking down the street. [He’d] just grab a boob or a butt cheek and not let go until I physically made him. When I asked him why he felt the need to do that, he told me it was because he wanted to show everyone that I was his. So… bye.”

Vault101’s response may one-up fluffywhereareyou’s story, given the toll on her mental health: “[My ex] would constantly like… tickle my girl parts whenever I got out of a car or whenever he was coming up the stairs behind me. I hated it so much. I think he thought it was fun and sexy or something, but I told him I didn’t like it, and he just kept doing it, saying, ‘Come on, it’s me.’ I have pretty brutal anxiety, and it really didn’t help.” Do you agree that this behavior is gross in public? Maybe not so much…


4. Two’s a company, three’s a crowd, three-plus multiple pets is too much.

DoctorDank tells of a much-too-crowded situation that ended his relationship. Some wouldn’t mind, but others find this really gross! “One time, the girl I was seeing invited me over for dinner and to stay the night. Now, she lived in a different city than I did, and as I didn’t have a car at the time, this meant arranging transportation from my friend’s [place] and paying for gas money, so no mean feat. As I arrived, I was informed that her new roommate didn’t have a bed, and she would be sharing the king-sized bed with us. ‘No big deal,’ I thought, ‘If we’re gonna get down, we’ll do it on the couch after the roommate [goes] to bed.

WRONG. No sexy times for me. So after dinner, I listened to some of her (bad) poetry and then was informed she was tired and was going to sleep. Oh, and guess who shares the bed? All three cats that lived there, and her Rottweiler. So that’s three people, three cats, and a dog, all in one bed. I don’t think I’ve ever had a worse night of sleep in my life, and I never saw her again.”


3. No good can come of dating mama’s boy.

Want to talk about something gross? Let’s talk about the mama’s boy concept. The mama’s boy trope exists for a reason: to all S.O.s’ chagrin, mama’s boys are far too real. These men’s boys’ behavior can reach an irreconcilable extreme to the point where it may seem like he has a crush on his own mother. Mackattack1015 describes such an experience: “Here’s a good one. My ex was overly attached to his mother to the point where it was weird. He used nicknames for her like ‘sweetheart’ and ‘babe.’ It was downright creepy.”

Mystik-Spiral’s ex also knew no boundaries with his mother: “My [ex’s] mother hated me so, in what I can only assume was a display of dominance, she waddled down the [stair] steps (she was as round as she was tall) in her pajamas (read: long t-shirt). She then turned around and had him take her bra off her. His excuse? Her nails were too long, and she was too large to reach around and do it herself. I pointed out that she could do what all women do and bring the straps off her shoulders and turn the bra around to unhook it in the front. He did not agree with me.”


2. Arguments over money never bode well, especially if one person wastes it all.

Constant disagreements over finances are a bad sign for any couple — there’s a reason they’re considered a top contributor to breakups. Combine these arguments with people’s hugely differing home temperature preferences, and you have a recipe for disaster. Sure this type of behavior might not be gross in the physical sense. BlorfMonger shares their hot-and-cold situation: “[My girlfriend] would turn the A.C. up on high, and then get a space heater and point it at her toes. No…she never paid any power bills.” Needless to say, that relationship ended up completely cold.

Blorfmonger’s story attracted sympathy. Apostolate commiserated, stating: “I don’t know what’s wrong with some people. It’s suddenly too hot, too cold… If I leave my windows shut unless it’s like 90 or 20 I don’t even need A.C./heating. Put on a [godd*%&] sweater.” kmwhite disagreed with their temperature preferences, but at least owned up to contributing to the electric bills: “I prefer it to 65F, but I’ve adopted all the power bills. I know my preferences rack up the bill; no one should have to pay for that except me.” The moral to this story: if financial responsibility is one-sided, the relationship may not be destined to last.


1. Sleep talking can be weird!

Sleep talking is one of a range of behaviors that can occur while sleeping, such as walking and eating, to name a couple. Talking during sleep is usually low-key but can sometimes intensify to a disruptive point in relationships. After all, healthy couples typically sleep in the same bed, and unwanted occurrences can unravel a relationship. Waynechang92 describes how his ex’s sleep talking became intolerable: “My ex had this thing where she would have mini-seizures in her sleep. She would just randomly start vibrating and shaking for a little bit. Also, she sometimes sleep talked. She once sat up in her sleep and shouted, ‘MATH IS EXCELLENT!’ and went back to sleep.

Then there was the time she woke me up because she was talking in her sleep. When I tried to find out what was wrong, my completely unprepared solar plexus received a full-force punch. She didn’t remember a thing.” Another Redditor, Kellianne, describes her marriage going the way of Waynechang92’s relationship: “My husband started talking in his sleep about six months ago. It is loud and startling. Sometimes just a word or two and sometimes a [freaking] conversation. I got very little sleep, and we now sleep in different rooms.”