While one man was gaslighting his girlfriend into thinking she had body odor, another man is dealing with a partner who truly refuses to wash herself more than once a week or believe that she smells.
In a post on the "Relationships" subreddit, OP explains that his girlfriend is very clearly not depressed. "She's happy and engaged and creative," he writes. They've talked about depression before, and this isn't it. Still, she won't shower more than once a week.
"It's not some 'set' day or anything," OP writes. "Just when she eventually gets around to it." He's slowly dropped hints that her hygiene is a problem by asking if she wanted to try his new body wash or pointing out that her hair is greasy. But none of that worked.
And it has progressed. Now, he'll tell her that she smells and will suggest a shower. Although she wears deodorant, she still gives off "a bit of a stale B.O. odor." Also, he writes, "she has a sweaty genital funk." He's mentioned it before, and she will grab a baby wipe or something, but she still won't take a shower.
She also re-wears the same pair of underwear, sniffing them to see if they still "passable." OP "finally had a bit of a breakdown," told her she stinks, and asked her why she doesn't shower every day. She got irritated and told him he was being controlling.
"She tells me she doesn't smell bad, that she's a grown woman, and of course she sweats and that's normal, and I'm so uptight if I get freaked out by a little sweat," OP writes.
It's one thing to skip a shower here or there, and it's true that everyone sweats. But it really seems like this woman just doesn't take care of herself. And at this point, OP doesn't know what to do.
It seems clear to me that she isn't going to change. He has brought it up enough times and she has dismissed it enough times that I don't believe she wants to work on her hygiene.
So, as one commenter wrote to OP, "You need to decide whether it's a dealbreaker for you and act accordingly." It's on OP now. She's not going to change. He has to decide if he's willing to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't shower regularly or keep up with her personal hygiene.
"She's allowed to choose to shower weekly, and you're allowed to find it a dealbreaker, which I think many would," another commenter wrote. The bottom line is, if it bothers him that much, he has to get out.
Some suggested that he tell her this. Sort of an ultimatum. He can say he cannot be with someone who doesn't bathe regularly, but he has to be prepared for the possibility that she is not going to make that change and will choose to walk away from the relationship.
It sucks if that's the only issue holding them back, but it's ultimately an issue of compatibility. If neither of them are willing to budge on their position, they're probably better off without each other.