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We had the talk now what?

(45 Posts)
Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 22-Jul-13 20:27:04

We are both 37, I am divorced with 2 children, he has never been married and has only ever lived with one woman, university girl friend, who was bi polar so not easy. I earn a lot more than he does and I have a lovely home. He is a qualified Proffessional too. We have been together 2 years. He is brilliant with my Kids and round the home. he is very caring towards me and the rest of my friends and family.

Trouble is I asked him to move in with us and he said he happy with the way things are for the moment. I think we have been together long enough, despite that he lives here from Thursday to Monday and stays again most Tuesdays.

I don't want to get married but want a partner I share a home with. him!

How long is too long to wait around? Are there any ladies in a similar situation and how did you handle it? help

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Jul-13 21:39:36

Does he contribute financially for the time he spends at your home?

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 22-Jul-13 22:17:58

No not directly, he does bring food which he k
Normally cooks for all of us.

nickymanchester Mon 22-Jul-13 22:26:00

Does he contribute financially for the time he spends at your home?

I really would question the relevance of that statement. I presume that the DP also maintains his own property and pays his bills there as well even though he is hardly ever living there.

What reasons did he give for not wanting to make it permanent?

Although even if he did give some reasons, I would suggest that they probably won't have been the actual reasons - in fact he may not even be consciously aware of the real reasons himself.

One quick question for you, what proportion of his clothes and other belongings does he have at your house compared to his?

You have said very little about your relationship, so any comments people make here are very much in a vacuum.

One possible thing to consider is that he may see your lovely home as being just that - your's. Not your's and his jointly. He may be concerned that you won't treat him as an equal - it will still be very much ''your'' home and ''your'' family. While this isn't a problem at the moment as he still has ''his'' home to go back to this won't be the case if he moves in permanently with you.

Of course, not knowing anything about your current relationship only you can say if this applies to your situation or not.

I don't know how much you already include him, or not, in any decision making you have about your home or family? If it is currently very little, then he may feel that it is unlikely that things would change if he were to move in permanently with you which would again lead him to being concerned about it being ''your'' home rather than a joint home.

Possibly suggest to him that he rent out his house - if he owns it - so that he will still have some security. This will also enable him to contribute more to your household budget and perhaps help him to feel more like an equal partner.

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 22:36:31

I think it's very relevant how much he contributes.

He's staying at the OP's 5 nights out of 7. That's 5 nights he's reducing costs at his place but increasing them at hers - extra electricity for shower, extra toilet roll, extra milk on his cereal and in his tea, bread for sandwiches (unless he brings all of his meals with him OP?).

If you are easily able to afford the extra electricity you may not feel it's something to be worked up about it if he's always bringing food, and cooking it. That's down to you, but it's worth keeping the fact he doesn't contribute in the back of your mind because it can be significant in the context of other behaviour when trying to work out if he's a lovely man who just isn't ready to commit yet or has valid reasons for not wanting to move in, or whether he's reducing his own bills at your expense and having sex on tap to boot. Only you can decide that.

How did this conversation play out? Did you leave it as "things are fine as they are" or did you explain how you saw your future playing out, why you want it to go that way, what you will feel if it doesn't happen? Did you ask him why he's not ready? What did he say?

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 22-Jul-13 22:39:41

Thank you Nicky, I was not sure what to add about our relationship. we go on holidays together, our 5th this summer. He is very sporty but has given up sports on the weekend apart from two nights a week, which are the nights he stays at his, even then he does not go a night without speaking to me on the phone. He gave me keys to his flat a year ago and I gave him keys this year.

I don't know if this is relevant but he went to boarding school since age 7 and his family is not close at all. Apparently they have a (practical relationship ) his words not mine. He spends Christmas and any major holiday with me and my family.

He does my accounts for my business for free despite me offering to pay him. Saving me 14,000 this year alone. he cuts the grass and anything I need doing round the house. He attends any events my children have with me.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 22-Jul-13 22:43:13

Oh and yes he still maintains his place

NanaNina Mon 22-Jul-13 22:46:12

Sounds to me like you have a perfect situation - being just a little bit apart keeps the romance alive in my view. Maybe he just isn't ready to give up his flat. Enjoy what you have - a charmed life!

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 22:46:27

That's actually very encouraging information. It means it's about him not feeling ready yet - or if ever - to make things more official.

Neither view is right or wrong, but what you both want at the moment is not compatible. The solution is to see if you will be compatible in time (and yes, set a limit on it), whether one of you can compromise without resenting it, or if it's best to go separate ways.

The only solution to this is to talk it through.

ShoutyCrackers Mon 22-Jul-13 22:51:40

Struggling to see the problem here!

Actually I can see it a little! I have a similar set up.. I see my OH five nights a week ( although not staying over - we do that on weekends ) and he lives three miles away. It's perfect for me .. We chat on days we aren't together, he does stuff for me, I get my own time as does he and we are both happy for now. We've been together 17 months. We've agreed we like how hints are and that we will discuss again in a years time.

Do you feel that he has one foot in and one foot out?

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 22-Jul-13 22:57:30

Thank you Dahlen, the costs are really significant so his contribution or not does not break the bank so to speak. I don't think he stays for food. He is a Proffessional person who can buy his own food. I think if he was like that he would have lived with different women over the years.

He could not give a very detailed explanation other than we have a great relationship and for now he likes it as it is, not to say he won't change his mind in future. I explained to him that I was looking for a long term partner to live with and I did not want to waste years with someone who was not on the same page as me. he just kissed me and said is all good Honey. could not get much more out of him. He is very practical and affectionate but does do emotional discussions very well. I think he feels cornered.

I an count the number of times he has said he loves me, but I cannot the several lovely things he does for me.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 22-Jul-13 22:58:57

Sorry for the typo I mean I can count the number of times he has said he loves me but I cannot count the numerous sweet thins he does for me.

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 23:03:21

I don't think he's being very fair to you to shut down the discussion like that, although admittedly it may be because he felt put on the spot.

Maybe send him a text to say this is really important to you and you can't let it go because just because it's uncomfortable, so can he please have a think about his reasons and his time frame so that you can discuss it fully at the next appropriate time you see each other.

If he won't do that, I'd seriously reconsider a relationship with him anyway. Relationships with people who don't communicate are very, very hard work once the novelty wears off. You haven't given him an ultimatum, or stropped about this, you just want a full and frank discussion about whether your differing views on your future are compatible. That's not unreasonable, that's a sensible, grown-up approach to a relationship. If he's a grown up he will acknowledge that and if he cares about you he will be prepared to discuss it because he knows it matters to you.

Good luck. Hopefully, once he's had time to think about what you've said and how he feels, you'll reach a solution.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 22-Jul-13 23:06:49

Thank you ladies, yes Nananina it's really romantic and lovely but I am concerned about losing sight of my long term desire. I suppose I wonder if he has never committed to living with or marrying anyone at 37 will he ever.

I am a very forward thinking person and struggle with just living for the moment if the future is not planned.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Mon 22-Jul-13 23:22:58

Thanks Shoutycrackers, I don't think he has one foot in and one foot out. As far as boyfriends go he is great. It's weather he is capable of the next stage... With anyone

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 23-Jul-13 07:12:52

He just wants to keep one foot on the floor, as it were. He's not 100% convinced that he wants to be part of a family and he's not 100% convinced about the future with you. He's keeping his options open and needs his own place as an escape route. He has doubts.

I asked about the financial contribution because there are quite a lot of freeloaders out there, happy to use a girlfriend's place as a free hotel, keeping the running costs down at their place.

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Tue 23-Jul-13 15:09:38

OP - you said "I am a very forward thinking person and struggle with just living for the moment if the future is not planned." is he the opposite do you think?

Cos if so, then bear in mind he's not necessarily coming at things from the same angle as you, which means when he says "not yet", he's not necessarily saying "not ever", he literally does mean "not yet", because he's not a forward planner, IYSWIM?

Helltotheno Tue 23-Jul-13 15:52:47

OP I agree with Cogito, financial stuff is v important. You don't want to end up down the line with a millstone round your neck who owns half your stuff. Do you own your house? Does he own his house? This is relevant. I wouldn't be shacking up with him if he wasn't bringing something to the table.

I would scale back on having him stay so much. He's getting the best of both worlds.

Also, you keep saying he's a 'Professional', uppercase, which is making me thing he's professionally unemployed or something!!

Your future is planned OP, you've already sorted some security for yourself and your children. I wouldn't jeopardise any of that willingly.

ThePlEWhoLovedMe Tue 23-Jul-13 16:03:35

The question here is this - If he told you tomorrow that he would never want to live with you or marry you - what would you do ? Is what you have enough for you or not? Financially every thing seems good - you both have a property and actually in your post i dont detect any real sadness - you sound happy enough.

My OH was 35 when we met - I knew right from the start that he would never marry me because he told me. It was my decision going into the relationship knowing how he felt. Luckily this never bothered me and 13 years later we are still not married.

NanaNina Tue 23-Jul-13 16:37:09

I think one of the important things about friendships/relationships is that we have to try to understand and accept differences and yes we may be disappointed sometimes, but we can't expect others to feel as we do. I am nearing my 70th birthday so am an "older person" and life has taught me to accept differences in others, even though sometimes I am disappointed but life isn't a "bed of roses" and sometimes we have to accept that we cannot always have what we want.

I think LifeisforLiving that you think if he moves in with you he is demonstrating his commitment to you and your future will be more secure. I don't think this is necessarily the case - otherwise why do so many marriages/relationships where couples are living together break down. Indeed I would go so far as to say that if he does feel "pushed into a corner" he may be less committed to the relationship that you have now, and if he moves in to take the pressure off him he could end up being resentful. You are comparatively young and have many years ahead of you and no one can see into the future. Life definitely is for Living, so enjoy yours the way it is would be my advice.

I have been with my DP for over 40 years and we aren't married. For 18 of those years he lived and worked in London and came home at weekends and I think we both enjoyed having the "best of both worlds" not that it meant we could have other lovers, just the fact that we really looked forward to seeing each other at the weekend.

Someone has suggested "scaling back" on the time he stays with you, as he is getting the "best of both worlds" - what's wrong with having that? The alternative is to keep on pestering and maybe push him further away from you, then how would you feel. Some posters seem to be hung up on the financial issues and his professional job and obviously this isn't a problem for you. I think someone talked about the "extras" that his overnight stays would cost you and included "milk for his cereal" OMG!!

I actually believe that if more couples had a part-time arrangement similar to yours, there would be a decline in the divorce rate.

Dahlen Tue 23-Jul-13 17:11:44

Nana - don't knock the cost of milk. wink If you've had to raid your child's piggybank to buy some of it for breakfast, it's not petty at all.

While I believe in compromise being what makes the world go round, it's only compromise if both people shift their starting point. If she just does exactly what he wants, that's not compromise, it's just her subjugating her own needs for his.

If he does what she wants, it's the same thing of course, so unless one of them willingly chooses to change position, the only solution is to separate.

But the OP shouldn't have to put up with his differences if they make her unhappy and make her feel less than important. Not being able to get what you want is not the same thing as actively doing something that makes you unhappy in order to fulfil what someone else wants. It's better to be single than in that position because it erodes your sense of self.

If the OP's BF really loves her but wants to continue to live separately, the onus is on him to explain why and to reassure the OP that he loves her and this is a good solution. She was the adult who broached the discussion. He hasn't even met her half way as yet. I hope he will.

Jan45 Tue 23-Jul-13 17:19:45

So he lives with you from Thurs to Monday and most Tuesdays, so that's usually 6 nights out of 7 yet he doesn't want to move in, mmmm, sounds odd to me I must say.

I would also be concerned about his non contribution to the household, if you had a friend staying over 5 or 6 nights every week you'd expect them to pay their way or any other lodger. That would irritate me that I would even have to ask.

It sounds to me that he's not sure about the relationship, maybe that will come in time, but for now, he's enjoying a free ride and why wouldn't he, sorry but I don't see what is so great about a guy who after 2 years is stringing you along a bit.

How long are you prepared to wait?

Kundry Tue 23-Jul-13 18:08:35

Interesting as I think I have your relationship (and like it) with the one exception being we are married.

DH is under the impression that because he has said he loves me once, he doesn't need to say it again as he would update me if his feelings changed.

We don't live together and although that isn't by choice, I can't deny having space for myself has suited me.

However because we are married, I feel I know where I stand and that we both think the relationship is permanent. I suspect that was what you were asking about by asking him to move in. And he may think he's reassured you by saying it's all good. Which of course, he hasn't in the slightest.

I think you need to have the talk about where you both see this heading in the future. If he can't come up with the goods, you need to decide if what you have now (bearing in mind he does seem to have a lot of good points) is good enough.

PS. My DH was 39 when we got married so 37 is def not too old!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 23-Jul-13 19:06:10

Space can be good, if both parties agree and are happy with the gaps in the calendar. Some couples do rush into living under the same roof and when there are children involved it maybe pays to take things slowly.

However. Here is a grown man who enjoys his gf's company under her roof 6 nights out of 7 yet all he brings along is food? So all the entertainment and home comforts not to mention laundry and utilities are there for him to use?

An old dog can learn new tricks when it dawns on him he will benefit. 37 and set in his ways but not immune to having his cake and eating it.

He says, "It's all good, honey!" implying either "This is how I am, mostly good, so accept I'm not perfect", or "This is how I am, as long as I'm comfy it's up to me to dictate the pace, so let's not even talk about this".

If OP didn't feel something's amiss she'd not have raised this thread.

misskatamari Tue 23-Jul-13 20:26:18

To me it seems like he loves you and loves being part of you family he's just not quite ready for moving in. I wouldn't agree that that necessarily means he has doubts about the relationship, it's just that maybe he is enjoying things as they are and hasn't really considered changing them yet. I think you should let him know what's important to you but you can't rush him without causing resentment. You have sown the seed now and told him you want a long term partner who will live with you - I would probably enjoy the relationship and revisit it in a couple of months to see if his feelings have changed. If the haven't I would want to know if he did see living together in your future or not. The answer to that would then inform what you did next.

He sounds committed and it sounds like you have a good relationship. You say you struggle to live in the moment - maybe try to a little bit more with regards you and DP and just think "we will talk about this next month" or whenever and then try to put it out of your head. I know it's easier said than done. It seems like you're on the same pages, just on different paragraphs. Give him a little time to catch up before listening to those who say he's not committed etc

RandomMess Tue 23-Jul-13 20:39:19

Is his house the equivalent of having a shed at yours?

Perhaps he just needs/appreciates having his space on that night or two per week? Being a step parent is very hard work...

Lifeisforlivingkatie Tue 23-Jul-13 20:58:06

OMG thank you ladies for all the advice I am really touched by your willingness to help. I response to some of your questions.

Profession: he is a post graduate person working in finance earning an above average wage so I doubt he is looking for someone to fund his upkeep. he does spend money on me on gifts, dinner at least once a week etc.

Laundry and cereal: he does laundry at his place and does not like me doing any domestic duties for him, he does more t mine including doing all the cooking when he is here.

Living for the moment: liken Nana suggested he is definitely the enjoy the moment kind of guy and he does understand why I have already short listed next years summer holidays when we have even been on the one we have booked this year. (Sardinia) any ideas on the best things to do out there?

Kundry, I feel for you my sister hearing those magic words is lovely, but we must focus on how people conduct themselves and treat us is cheap my BF said. in two years he has not let me down once and he still send me text every morning just like morning just like our first week.

Thepiewholovedme: I am intrigued with yours and Nana's points maybe living together is not the be and end all, you have both managed to maintain your relationships longer than my first marriage. 8 years and he was a short tempered lier. Another one of my girlfriends is in a very abusive relationship yet he tells her he loves her daily and moved I with her within 3 months.

If he said he will never live with me or marry me? I will be really disappointed and I suppose I put this post up for you to help me think clearly so I don't nag and push him to move I. When he is not ready all to work away from a pretty good thing, despite the not sharing a mortgage.

Contributions: I have not asked him to contribute financially and I am not concerned about that since my house has 3 of us anyway so it does not really cost me any more. If he invoiced me for all the things he does for us, the Cereal and toilet role would be a lot cheaper.

I suppose I have to raise the discussion again, without sounding, desperate or pushy.. How would you go about it?

Kundry Tue 23-Jul-13 21:04:48

You are so right that talk is cheap. A friend had a partner who said he loved her every day - but was a financially and emotionally abusive cocklodger. But he had her wrapped around his finger with his 'I love yous'. It was then that I realised what I had in my DH and was happy if I never heard the words again.

Your DP sounds like he is pulling his weight in the relationship in terms of chores, finances etc and is very respectful of you.

Maybe you pick a time when you are feeling v close and ask him what he meant in your last discussion? Make it clear you don't want to sound desperate or pushy but does he think that moving in together/marriage/children or whatever will ever be in his future. How does he imagine your family in say 10 years from now?

Viviennemary Tue 23-Jul-13 21:06:32

I think under the circumstances you should give him another year or so. It does sound as if you see a lot of each other and if he has done your accounts free the money aspect sounds fairly balanced to me. But only you know for sure what you want. If you think he's never going to move in then you have got a problem. Perhaps he has had a bad experience living with his last girlfriend if she was difficult to live with.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Tue 23-Jul-13 21:41:10

Sorry for all the typing mistakes, he is here and I am trying to do this from my phone. I meant I don't want to walk away from a good thing without thinking things through. Maybe living together is not everything.

I have already thought through next years summer holidays, we have not even had this years yet, this will be at the end of the month. My BF does not understand why I think so far ahead, whilst he is very much in the here and now. He is one for a quiet and simple life.

Oh what I am I going to do?

JustinBsMum Tue 23-Jul-13 22:07:14

I wish I'd had a couple of days off a week from my DCs, sigh, but it never happened. Maybe he just likes the opportunity to be on his own if he wishes and you are reading too much into it, OP.

misskatamari Tue 23-Jul-13 22:17:33

Just chill out and enjoy your even together! Put your worries on hold, and speak to him at a later date. He loves you - you love him - enjoy it smile

misskatamari Tue 23-Jul-13 22:17:57

Your evening obvs!

I agree entirely with NanaNina and others who say enjoy what you have.

What is his moving in going to fulfill within you? Are you surrounded by friends/family members moving in together/getting married?

It seems to me from your description that the relationship is pretty wonderful.

Life is not going to be perfect, he is not ready yet - accept that.

Dahlen Tue 23-Jul-13 22:42:54

Thinking about why you want to live together is definitely a good thing. If it turns out it's just "because that what people do" rather than because you really want to, then problem solved.

However, just be wary of cognitive dissonance. Don't make the mistake of allowing yourself to be swayed to his way of doing things simply to allow the relationship to continue. It's so easy to convince ourselves we actually want something when the truth is really that we fear the alternative. It's a prize piece of manipulation on ourselves and one that ultimately leads to a massive loss of self respect.

His living in the here and now and your long-term approach could work out to be an ideal balance. It could also prove to be a huge source of frustration in your relationship that symbolises the mismatch in your approach to life and your relationship.

Dahlen Tue 23-Jul-13 22:45:58

Oh, and if you do decide that you want the full shebang, set a time limit on it. Please don't be one of those women who are still waiting for him to move in/propose/whatever 10 years down the line.

Jan45 Wed 24-Jul-13 10:47:23

I agree with Dahlen, he might just need a bit longer than you to be ready for moving in together although as I said it's odd as he stays nearly 6 nights out of 7 with you.

Re the finances, I know you say he does jobs for you etc but I would still expect a b/f to pay his way as far as the house goes, you will be spending more on heating, water, electricity, food etc, regardless of how many live there just now - he's basically a lodger that doesn't pay or pays in kind with jobs around the house etc, not quite the same as giving you money to cover his costs. In fact, I would've expected him to ensure he pays his way, not for you to have to ask. Just be careful he's not having the best of both worlds or he'll never want to change the situation.

ResNulis Wed 24-Jul-13 10:57:33

The thing is OP, that if he has said he wants things to stay the way they are for now, then he is not ready to take the next step.
Whatever his reasons.
All the "not being happy with the answer" in the world isn't going to make him ready for it. Particularly if the thought of moving in hadn't occurred to him until you brought it up.
You need to get your head around your own need to future plan, and accept that it is not a reason to push someone into doing something they are not ready for.
Or choose to bail.

That said, you have now firmly placed the thought in his mind. Give it a lot of time to filter through, and if you make the same suggestion in another year, and the answer is the same ....then I think you have a commitment-phobe on your hands. That is the point at which you can say that the existing plan doesn't work for you because you need more.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Wed 24-Jul-13 23:13:49

Ok thank you everyone,it's seems the general thought from most people is to hold fire for the time being and have another discussion in around a years time... Mmm I hope I can keep my mouth shut for that long. How about until after Christmas so I get some presents .(joke)

I will keep things as they are and bring the subject up in a few months. I Will also try and raise the contribution issue, although it has really never crossed my mind.

It's good to bring the situation to people without emotions attached. That way you see sense. I will certainly explore why living together bothers me so much. As some of you have highlighted, it does not necessarily future proof a relationship.

I like the example of wanting a break from your own children, does not mean you don't love them.

I am keen to hear from people who have chosen not to marry or live together...

MNiscold Wed 24-Jul-13 23:28:20

I don't post often, but just have to here: I think you have the ideal relationship already!! You have his help when you need/want it, yet you get to be the type of parent to your cs that you want to be, and evenings when it's just them and you, and he's considerate, respectful, etc. I would much prefer that to marriage or living together.

Selba Wed 24-Jul-13 23:32:36

I'd love a relationship like yours

Lifeisforlivingkatie Thu 25-Jul-13 00:47:35

Thank you MNiscold and Selba, you have given me a good perspective. It also means my children's inheritance is not messed with. I work really hard for them

Selba Thu 25-Jul-13 07:29:42

very good point!

Katnisscupcake Thu 25-Jul-13 07:45:09

Lifeisforlivingkatie, I agree with some of the others that say to hold fire as like Selba, I would also like a relationship like yours and wish my DH would bugger off for a couple of nights a week smile

But clearly a lot of this is to do with his past. Imagine never really having a 'normal' family environment since the age of 7. He is used to looking after himself and being on his own. It sounds like he's massively committed to you and your DCs/Family. But 2 years is not very long to overcome the past that he's had.

Enjoy this time, keep the fun alive and just relax smile.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Sat 27-Jul-13 01:02:28

Katnisscupcake, thank you so much for your view, I never really looked at it from the point of view of his upbringing and how long it takes to get people to shift their mindset/familiarity.

He is so used to being on his own, it's only in the last few months that he is letting me do anything for him. I will focus on his good bits, including supporting my daughter through her maths GCSE in which she got A*, making sure he always lives work I time when my son has an event at school,teaching him how to ride a bike etc.

I shall live in hope. Thank for your support.

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