Moving in - please bear with me...

(37 Posts)
DLCC Wed 11-Dec-13 10:58:46

Me again. Please bear with me, but I’m finding the advice really helpful (my previous bedroom allocation post). We’re due to move into a house on the 16th January (myself, DP, his two DS’s and my two DS’s) I have found the last couple of weeks a little niggly between as we are trying to do what’s fair for our own children. I think I’m getting cold feet…..

DP came over last night and was saying that he was organising a charity bike event for next year which involves a weekend away with work, he also spoke about a weekend away with his eldest on another bike ride (I’m not sure who’s looking after his other son? Me?) and at the top of his Christmas list was, ‘ski fund’, when I asked what he meant by this he said he was going to ask family for Christmas money so he could take his boys skiing and if I, ‘sorted myself out’, (financially) I could go too. I work part time and cannot afford to go skiing, I own a house that is to be rented out so my rental income plus salary will help pay my share of the rent and bills on the new place. I wouldn’t expect him to pay for us to go skiing but I kind of thought that as we were all becoming a family these sorts of things would be discussed? Holidays, weekends away etc?

Another thing is that at his current place he pays for a cleaner/ironing lady to go in once a week but when I said, ‘Oh does that mean we can have a cleaner in the new place, ha, ha’, he said no, who’s going to pay for that? So I’m assuming the cleaning and ironing are down to me?

He is away for about three weeks on and off in January with work and as he has his boys 50% of the time (every Wednesday and Thursday night, plus EOW weekend) he usually takes them/picks them up from school. He said he is going to get his Mum to come down and cover his 50% so she will take them to school/after school activities. I can’t as my children go to school in the opposite direction so it’s physically impossible. His Mum lives a 2.5 hr drive away so she will stay with me while he is away. He said, 'but it’s ok as it’s nothing to do with me she’ll be doing all the childcare’, well it is something to do with me as she’ll be living in our house while he is away, and as nice as she is, I’ve only met her four times!

Kaluki Wed 11-Dec-13 11:35:40

Slam on the brakes!!!! He sounds like a selfish arse!
If you are moving in together why is he calling all the shots? Holidays and weekends away should be joint decisions. So you will be paying half of all the bills etc but he can still go on a skiing holiday and leave you behind? I would insist on all of us going or none of us.
Regarding the cleaner - your cleaning/ironing workload will be doubled and you have to just put up with that while he swans off on holidays that only he can afford?
And as for his Mum staying over - No no no!!!! That is a nightmare waiting to happen.
You either have to have a strongly worded talk to him and make it clear you won't be walked over or call it off.
Its good that you have your own house still.

UC Wed 11-Dec-13 11:40:39

Ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh dear!!!

Sorry, lots of things to worry about here for me..... Some issues here to discuss before you all move in together....

In my experience (I think we are in pretty similar situations, 4 boys, all similar ages?) the first few months in the "blended" house were awful, lots of arguing, lots of jostling for position. Does your DP really have to go away for most of January, leaving you to cope with this with his mum? Can you put off moving in until February?!

The other things also need discussing before you move in. Yes, decisions involving weekends away, childcare etc need to be discussed before final decisions are made. Those decisions impact on everyone, so they should not be made unilaterally by one person.

Is he expecting you to be there with all 4 kids on the weekends he's going away, or is he going to make provision for his two - e.g. with his ex, ie. swap weekends or something? It is one big presumption that you will just do it. I remember saying to my DP before we moved in that I was not moving in with him just so that he could get an unpaid childminder while he was at work (he was only able to have 50/50 care of his DCs once I moved in, since before that there was no-one home!). Since then I have had to put my foot down about school holidays as he had assumed I would just have all the kids home with me on the days they'd normally be here, without him taking any time off. Looking after 4 boys who are all adjusting to a new house and new step-sibling relationships is not easy - in fact it's bloody hard work, and you should not be doing this on your own.

The cleaning/ironing - is he assuming you'll just do it, or is that going to be a shared chore?

Skiing - well, I kind of see where he's coming from on this - so long as it doesn't stop you all from having a "family" holiday later in the year. I have taken my DCs skiing, without DP and his DCs - but again only after discussion, and mostly because DP doesn't want to go, not because he couldn't afford to. He knows I'd love him and the DSCs to come too. But I draw the line at taking all 4 kids on holiday for a week by myself!!!

I think you need a very big talk..... And it's best done now, before you move in and these things become major issues. Maybe (looking on the bright side!) he just hasn't thought these things through....?)

Good luck with it!

DLCC Wed 11-Dec-13 11:57:52

Dear both, thank you for your responses. So far we have only paid the admin fee £300 so haven’t forked out for the whole deposit/first months rent, so it wouldn’t be a huge disaster if we pulled out….

UC, we are in very similar situations, our boys are 10, 9, 8 & 4.

The story is that we have seen this house for rent which is the perfect location, size and within budget. It is only available for 12/18 months as then it and the land are going to be redeveloped, this is fine for us as hopefully in 12/18 months we will have decided whether we want to buy together or go our separate ways. The 16th January is the soonest we can move in and the agent was quite funny about it as they are having to take it off the market so wanted us to move asap, I’m not sure they will agree to having it empty and off the market for a further month? I could ask the question I suppose.

My main concern is that I will be used as free childcare I think. He will be away most of January but not the weekends. I can also see the holidays being a problem, at the moment he takes holiday to cover his share of the school holiday although a couple of times he has had to get his Mum/sister down as he hasn’t had enough holiday. I will definitely be putting my foot down with regard to that.

Asking his Mum to come and stay without even talking to me first is a bit off I think, she’ll be there in the evenings with me and as I said I don’t really know her that well? I’m not sure how to broach this…

I’m not too fussed about the skiing as long as like you say, we have a family holiday later on, but with regard to the other weekends, he didn’t ask whether we had anything planned or would I like to go, no mention. He just announced that's what he was doing...

I’m thinking of a list of questions to compile…

peppersquint Wed 11-Dec-13 12:06:21

walk away ..........and please don't look back

UC Wed 11-Dec-13 12:39:56

Your situation was mine 4 years ago. Almost exactly the same ages.

Honestly, the first few months were the hardest I have ever lived through. I think I responded on one of your other threads about the problems we had. We only got through it by the skin of our teeth to be honest. It is much better now, but we are 4 years down the line.

My DP and I discussed the "free childcare" issue before we moved in, and I still found I was becoming resentful a couple of years down the line. You really really do need this out in the open before you move in, and find yourself in a situation that makes you stressed and desperately unhappy, with a partner who just doesn't understand.....

Don't let the agent bully you with scare tactics. This is a massive move, and a huge change for all of your DCs. Make sure you are happy with it, and comfortable with the expectations you and your partner have of eachother. After all, you could continue as you are.....

UC Wed 11-Dec-13 12:41:25

Is your DP good at communicating? If I were you, I'd say we need to discuss some worries I have about our moving in, and how it's going to work. Maybe pick the 3 most important ones to you?

lunar1 Wed 11-Dec-13 13:24:46

My family and I once missed the boat we were meant to catch to go on holiday, it sank. I think his recent revelations have just give you the equivalent lucky escape.

catsmother Wed 11-Dec-13 13:30:27

Clearly, you need a very frank and very detailed conversation about the nitty-gritty of how your joint household is run before you commit any further. I suppose it is possible he's "just" being crass and thoughtless, but on the other hand, it would appear that you have already been "consigned" to "women's work" in many ways (housework, childcare) and then, to boot, you might argue that he doesn't see you as an equal as he's gone ahead and made all these plans which do affect you, but without seeking your opinion first.

I'd actually find it very hurtful to be excluded from holidays just like that without any opportunity for discussion. Of course there's nothing intrinsically wrong with either of you holidaying with only your respective children per se, but once you're a "serious" couple and are sharing a home together, then these things have to be considered as part of the wider picture, as in, how much annual leave do we each have, what can we afford, how much time do we want to spend together, and, is it "fair" that the higher earner (or the person whose family gives generous cash gifts) gets to do stuff which their less well off partner can't afford ? Which then also ties in with how you organise finances of course ........ do you split everything 50:50, or do you make proportional contributions based on income, or do you just put everything in the pot ? (am assuming it's not the last one or else it wouldn't be a question of him saying you could come skiing - how gracious - if you can afford it).

Given that moving in together is a pretty significant "next chapter" in your relationship, it does strike me as odd that he has so many plans on the back burner that don't include you. This is supposedly your honeymoon period (if it can ever be that with four kids) and whilst you don't give up your identity when you move in together, you might have expected that his first thoughts over holidays would be to plan something with you .... with separate holidays being considered afterwards.

It does seem, based on what you've said so far, that potentially he benefits from the new arrangement more than you if he's assuming you'll pick up the slack re: cleaning and childcare. So he has less work to do while you have more ? That is certainly something that needs to be nailed down. Okay, you work part time, so it might well be fair that you contribute "extra" hours to the house, but once you've reached 35 or 40 hours work - be it paid or otherwise - then you alone shouldn't be doing any extra required. That should be a joint responsibility. The Mum thing is also very presumptious .... she could well be lovely but having her stay could well feel awkward for both of you and whoever it is, an extra body in the house undoubtedly creates additional work, you have to consider what to cook, where she's going to sleep, how the bathroom works in the morning and so on (you don't need me to tell you that). More than anything it is damn rude to invite someone over without talking about it first ..... almost as if he considers this new place to be his house and that you're a "guest". This might be how he feels deep down if he earns more and kind of ties up with him planning to go off skiing without stopping to think how you might feel about that. Really, he seems to be behaving more like a single man than someone about to commit to their partner.

I'd be very concerned about all of this. It doesn't bode well and he's coming across as very selfish and quite possibly rather "superior".

Geckos48 Wed 11-Dec-13 13:31:59

I dont understand why you are arranging to all move in together and then him be away for three weeks? Wouldn't it make much more sense for things to stay the same until he is around for a bit more of the time, its going to be weird for his kids, coming to a house which wont a bit feel like their place with you and your family living there. They need there dad through that period to help them feel comfortable and involved.

I think he is being hugely unfair to them, not least what he is doing to you!

How long have you known this man?

Orangeanddemons Wed 11-Dec-13 13:45:17

Cannot believe he his going away in the period you are moving in together. We had 3 boys between us in a blended family, and the first few months were terrible. I don't know how we stuck it out tbh!

As for washing cleaning, we I did my ds washing and dh did his dc's washing. It may sound divisive but it worked for us.

Watch him on housework, the biggest shock to me was how much housework there was in a combined family when you are just used to doing your own

Eliza22 Thu 12-Dec-13 08:43:57

Please, step away (or at least a good few paces back) from this relationship. I see nothing positive in this arrangement for you and fear you will be very unhappy, very soon after moving in.

I'm so sorry I can't be more positive for you. thanks

Ragwort Thu 12-Dec-13 08:53:30

Do not move in with this man; you have all these issues already and you are not even living together. There will be all sorts of other problems that you cannot possibly see at the moment.

Step away. Carry on 'dating' if you want to but if I was you I really, really would not live with someone who wanted to have such 'separate' arrangements and was clearly just looking for an unpaid cleaner/childcarer.

What exactly do you get from this relatinship?

purpleroses Thu 12-Dec-13 09:24:59

That sounds like a huge amount of things to work out before you move in together.

I don't think any of the things he's suggesting (no cleaner, some separate holidays, mum to stay) are completely out of order, but he absolutely can't just assume they're find without discussion first. I'd pull on the breaks fast and look to living together maybe in September once you've got some of these things resolved. You'll find another house if you need to.

And I'm speaking as someone who has moved in with a DP with DCs of similar ages to your ones - but we spent months first working out a huge amount of detail about how lives together would work, how much we were one family vs two families, who would pay for what, who would sleep where, and expectations in terms of of caring for each other's chidlren. I think you'll find it really really tough if you move in together first and then try to work all these things out afterwards.

I'd also be quite cautious of renting to see how it all works out without being as sure as you possibly can be first - we've been living together 18 months now and the thought of separating and tearing the kids apart from each other would be horrific.

Orangeanddemons Thu 12-Dec-13 17:44:42

I would keep the cleaner too. 4 dc and 2 adults is a lot to cope with, and you will find your housework doubles when you move in. It did for me, and that was with a dh who pulled his weight all the time

Idespair Thu 12-Dec-13 18:02:12

This is a major undertaking to blend your families. He seems to think it's the answer to all his problems (domestic and childcare). And let me get this straight, he wants you to give him money for Christmas? So he can go on holiday without you? Him taking one of those older boys skiing and leaving the others behind could cause huge problems.

I don't mean this flippantly, but do you know exactly why his last marriage broke down? I bet his exw is well rid of this sort of shite and you should be careful before taking it on.

It may be that he is just ignorant and a bit immature. Seems like he's got an army of women (you, his mum, his sister) facilitating his fabulous life with no regard for any of you.

IThoughtThat Thu 12-Dec-13 18:38:40

I think you need to have a proper sit down meeting. Take notes and both sign them grin. Try to discuss everything you can. Be brutally honest about any issues that could come up. Go through loads of worst case scenarios. Treat this as you would a buisness situation. Write things down and try to work out any areas of contention. Money, childcare, discipline, holidays, wills, housework, presents, Xmas arrangements.... Etc etc (read the step-parenting threads for inspiration)

In your second post you mention that you are not 'sure how to broach' the
Subject of the ex wife staying over. This relationship is going to be extremely difficult if you can't discuss things with one another. sad

Is there a reason you can't just enjoy dating with him coming to you when his kids are away and you going to him when your kids are away. You could have the occasional time with all of you together.

delilah89 Thu 12-Dec-13 21:35:44

Hiya, I'd just add my voice - I think you should cancel the move and stick to your own house. Don't let him push/rush you!

The doing a trial moving in thing would be very sensible if you didn't both have young DCs. 12-18mths can feel like a lifetime in a childs life, particularly during those formative years. I don't think it's something that either of you can just take a punt at, hope for the best and walk away with no scars if it doesn't work out - which is kind of what it sounds like from your first couple of posts.

Forgive me , I haven't read your previous thread, so you may have said it there, but how long have you been going out for?

I'm afraid the response on the cleaner would have been the deal breaker for me - seems like you're to be his housekeeper and nanny, but instead of getting paid you have to pay for the privilige.

Find out what the position would be if you back out - then talk to him with that knowledge. To be honest though with what you have listed I think you'd be making a very bad choice for you and your DCs if you choose to move in with him.

DLCC Thu 12-Dec-13 22:57:50

Thanks for all your posts. We had the agreement sent through today via email which means we have to put down the first months rent now and then the 6 weeks rent deposit a couple of days before we move in. The comments about how can I think I can just walk away after 12/18 months without it affecting the children have really hit a nerve. I have been so naive to think that they would be ok. I'm so unsure at a time where surely I should be excited? I have my own house where my boys and I are happy and settled for the first time in years, it's close to family, school and work, why would I want to move 25 minutes up the road? We've been fine just the boys and I for 4 years in January. I've been with him for 14 months so it's quick I know, but his rented house is being sold, we found this ideal house to rent, it just seems like a great solution, the boys are really looking forward to it. The fact that we haven't discussed money and how we're splitting things is really playing on my mind, he just seems to think everything will be ok. I'm not sure that we can go back to just dating after this? me pulling out of a house move? but if that's that case then so be it, goes on.

Thanks for all the comments, they're much appreciated x

DLCC Thu 12-Dec-13 22:58:56

life goes on that was meant to read!

IThoughtThat Thu 12-Dec-13 23:16:35

Good luck with whatever happens. It does all seem much too quick. It must be very difficult but much better to be strong and sensible and deal with it now.
thanks

catsmother Fri 13-Dec-13 05:55:26

Sorry to be blunt but I think you'd be absolutely mad to give up your current home - which you say is where you're happy and settled - to move elsewhere when the fundamentals such as money, division of labour and childcare haven't yet been thrashed out. These are the bedrock of any relationship - add in the challenges of blending two families as well, and it's even more important that you know exactly where you stand.

Listen to what your spidey senses are telling you ..... I'm really concerned you say he "just seems to think everything will be okay". This implies, to me, as if you've tried to talk about these issues but he's reluctant to do so. Why on earth would that be the case ? ....... can't help thinking that he doesn't want to discuss and work out mutually agreeable answers because once you start talking about fairness and equality he stands to "lose out" ...... whereas right now, it seems he wants to move in with you but pretty much continue to live as a single man, doing what he wants when he wants, which will invariably impact upon you and not in a good way. I'm also concerned whether this move has been prompted by his need to move from the property that's being sold from under him ..... as opposed to a genuine desire to cement his relationship with you and move it on a level ? It seems he stands to gain far more from this move than you do - and it's crazy to move effectively blind to what might happen. Okay none of us can predict the future I know, but at least most of us try to protect ourselves (and our children) by talking about, and by agreeing how to deal with the things I mentioned previously, before we move.

If he really cares for you he'll understand your misgivings. 14 months is quite early to be moving in anyway - if that alone was your objection, he shouldn't blame you for getting cold feet - but the other stuff .... if he can't, or won't understand why this is worrying you so much then I think it'd be very telling, and you might just have had a very lucky escape.

Geckos48 Fri 13-Dec-13 07:35:40

I don't think this is all doom and gloom, you could quite well carry on seeing each other and living in separate homes, there is a possibility that he is just so eager about the move it is coming across differently to how it's intended, I would go for dinner with him and talk through everything, at the end of the night, if you are happy, put down a deposit, if not then don't.

delilah89 Fri 13-Dec-13 16:06:53

I am drawn back to this thread. I have a really strong sense that you should stay put. It's sometimes hard not to 'go with the flow' when someone's being assertive (albeit in a passive way) like your fella. I think you need to stand firm. Bring your boys up yourself and keep him as a boyfriend/live-out partner (at least for now).

You're experienced enough to know that domestic/childcare duties all too often fall to the woman unless the man proactively takes them on. It's not fair on your boys to spread yourself thinly (caring for his boys too) if they're not getting the return in exchange.

Protect yourself, and them.

ShesYourDaughter Mon 16-Dec-13 16:30:11

As someone whose current partner escaped the sort of relationship you are about to enter into I'd say stay away.

My lovely lady had her self esteem and self confidence almost completely eroded by a husband who assumed all he had to do was give her housekeeping each month. And a pittance at that, out of which she had to deep and clothe the children. Never a penny for her to spend on herself.

He was then free to spend any money he liked on sports gear, trips away, you name it.

After they split up he even tried to split the debts he had accrued sending himself on training courses in London, going to sports training camps abroad 50/50 because, as he claimed, they shared everything.

Don't believe he'll change, my partners ex told the kids he would take them skiing in the school holidays, then sent them to his mums for the week while he went away with his friends. And told the kids he was working!

And his mum brings her cleaner round to do his house, and does his laundry while she's there. He's in his mid forties!

Run !!!

DLCC Thu 19-Dec-13 09:14:05

An update from me! after pushing to look at finances in more detail it emerges that after paying all bills/utilities and food at the rental place we would be left with £392 between us at the end of the month, which would have to cover all personal stuff for him and I and cover all activities/clothes/school stuff for my boys. Thank God I did push otherwise he'd have gone ahead, paid the deposit and THEN found all this out. So we're not moving! (small hurray!) it was £392 at the end of month (but he was still able to save £500??)

Anyway. I'm staying put and he is looking into buying the house he is renting and we'll see how things pan out over the next year or so...

I feel like a weight has been lifted and I'm so glad I stood my ground with regard to trying to sort things out BEFORE we moved in.

Thanks for all your words and advice, it really helped x

Geckos48 Thu 19-Dec-13 10:26:51

Great! Glad you avoided that! He was saving £500 were you able to save anything? Doesn't sound very fair to me!

caramelwaffle Thu 19-Dec-13 10:46:21

I think you made the right decision.

Good luck with everything and have a happy New Year.

IThinkThat Thu 19-Dec-13 10:48:30

That's a great result. Now you can relax and, hopefully, still enjoy each other's company. I think 'dating' sounds like a good plan. All the fun but none of the 'rubbish'

Have a great Christmas.

Eliza22 Thu 19-Dec-13 10:50:24

This sounds good! More time to assess and plan (or NOT plan). I wish you luck and happy holidays fsmile

DLCC Thu 19-Dec-13 10:56:08

Many thanks everyone, and a Happy Christmas!

DLCC Thu 19-Dec-13 10:56:42

PS Absolutely Geckos!

sparklesparkle Thu 19-Dec-13 12:19:02

phew! brilliant decision! xx

UC Thu 19-Dec-13 12:27:36

DLCC I am so pleased to read this. Do you mean you'd have £392 left at the end of each month, after HE had saved £500? And you, what had you saved?

I think this is a VERY lucky escape!!!!!!

Have a lovely Christmas!

DLCC Thu 19-Dec-13 16:33:53

UC, yes exactly! I had saved nothing. I feel so relieved it's unbelievable!

daisychain01 Sun 22-Dec-13 21:08:04

This is a really happy ending. Well done for being strong! Happy 2014 with your boys! X

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