Home » Can Hoarding Cause Serious Damage to Your Relationship?

Can Hoarding Cause Serious Damage to Your Relationship?

The love for one’s belongings is a natural thing as many people feel like they have worked so hard to get the item, and therefore, they deserve to attach themselves to it and use it as much as possible.

The issue now comes in when people have a weirdly strong affection towards something. In essence, you will find them buying, searching, obtaining, or saving several things that have little or no value to anyone but them. Doing so comes with a lot of social, emotional, and financial issues.

Although there are many effects, here we will focus on the impact of hoarding on the hoarder’s relationship.

What causes Hoarding

Before getting to the effects of hoarding on relationships, you must understand what hoarding is and some of the reasons why people hoard and signs that a person is a hoarder.

Hoarding is a persistent difficulty in discarding things because one feels the need to save them. Hoarding occurs even when the person does not need the item anymore.

So what causes hoarding? Here are some of the potential reasons for hoarding;

  • When a hoarder buys something, he/she is usually attracted to it because of one factor or another. The attraction to it and use over time makes him/her attach an emotional value to the item. That is why even after its use, he/she fails to let it go.
  • Hoarders believe that the item may be needed in the future.
  • Hoarders sometimes have unresolved feelings of abandonment and loss.
  • In most cases, when a hoarder is around those items, he/she feels safe and secure.

Signs of Hoarding

One of the most common signs of hoarding is when someone feels the intense fear and anxiety when the thought of losing the item crosses his/her mind. Sometimes, this can occur when someone threatens to take the item(s) away.

Most hoarders have difficulty keeping things in order as there are so many things, and probably space is limited in the house/storage facility.

Hoarders usually have an excessive attachment to possessions, and this may translate into them being reluctant to let other people touch or borrow the item.
Many hoarders usually have an attachment to several things, and this makes them buy more and more things, even the unnecessary ones.

Effects of Hoarding on Relationships

Hoarding comes with a lot of negative impacts, and most of the time, the consequences do not end with the hoarder as they tend to stretch to the spouses. Here are some of the effects;

Frequent Conflicts

When you step into a hoarder’s house, you will find may find things thrown or stacked in different corners. Most of the time, you will find a lot of trouble moving around as items are scattered everywhere.

The same problem you may find is the same difficulty the hoarder’s space has to face every day. The inability of the spouse to move around freely and feel comfortable in their house can easily cause conflicts between the hoarder and spouse.

Therefore, there will always be friction between the two making the relationship seem a little too stressful.

The Spouse Feels Insignificant

Most of the time, when you look at the care and attention a hoarder gives his possessions, you will know that the connection is solid.

When a hoarder has a spouse, the spouse tends to get jealous as almost all the attention and feelings are focused on possessions. This then creates a rift between the spouse and the hoarder as the spouse feels insignificant.


Separation, even though not common, may occur if both parties do not come together, sit, and have a meaningful conversation that may result in an amicable solution. This is because both parties can contribute to the break-up if they are not careful.

For one, the hoarder may fail to attend to the emotional needs of the spouse, and the frequent conflicts may push them away further. The spouse can also contribute to separation. One way of doing so is not trying to understand the hoarder’s needs and discarding the items without consulting the hoarder. The hoarder may see this is as the ultimate betrayal.

In the worst-case scenario, the hoarder may opt for a separation.


Hoarding is a common disorder that makes people hold on to numerous things and have an incredible connection to them, making them unable to discard the items.

There are many reasons why a hoarder may do this, and one of them is the feeling of security that comes with the item. Hoarding can have numerous effects on different people other than the hoarder, and one of these people is the hoarder’s spouse.

In a house where there is hoarding, you may find items scattered everywhere, and this many causes frequent conflicts between the couple. If the situation is not contained, you may even find the couple separating.

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Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann is a Digital Content Writer for Paul's Rubbish Removal. Sarah is a huge advocate for recycling, environmental sustainability, health and well-being and has a genuine love for all sea animals. Keep up with Sarah by following Paul's Rubbish Removal blog!

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