when mr. clean meets ms. messy (2) down a notch

Brenda Plakans and Jim Rougvie have over their different approaches to neatness for years. "I am , and he absolutely is not," says Ms. Plakans, a stay-at-home mom. Out of , Ms. Plakans has deliberately smashed dirty dishes that her husband left in the kitchen for days without bothering to wash them. Once, while cleaning up, she accidentally threw away a pair of U2 concert tickets. For his , Mr. Rougvie has been to store filthy containers in the fridge rather than clean them. On the way the door one morning, the 42-year-old geology professor grabbed a bag of dirty diapers he had forgotten to throw away and took it to work, it was his lunch.

The good news: They are learning to accept each other—with the help of their enemy. "Having two small children has knocked me down many in my cleanliness standards. I've been off my feet looking after them and at one point realized that something's gotta . Jim has also had to rise to the so that the house doesn't become a total pit," says Ms. Plakans, 42. „We meet and although neither of us is completely happy, it fighting in front of kids and each other with divorce every other day.“