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...to think moving out is not how to move forward?(7 Posts)
I’m going to try to not drip feed.
My partner and I moved in together after less than a year together. We are in our thirties. He had been staying with me 6 days a week for two months before that. It felt right for the both of us, this was before lockdown etc. It worked well for us, we got weekends on our own when DS went to stay at his dads, we did stuff together on other weekends with DS and the dogs. Everything was fine. I’m pretty sure we had already exited some form of honeymoon stage by this point.
For background, DP has lived alone most of his adult life, has lived with a girlfriend for maybe a year. The rest of the time he’s owned his own house in a few different places. He bought a house early last year in a village that we both love. The house isn’t suitable for...a child, two dogs and two cats because there isn’t a garden and there also isn’t a spare room for DP to retreat to be alone. For this reason, he moved In with me for a weeks trial, he never left. We rented his house out so that he could contribute towards living with me. I live on the edge of a city, two minute drive from the countryside but it isn’t the same as his village at all. Here, he has access to a summerhouse where he can work out, his PC is in the spare room although it’s occupied by the cats at the moment. So he doesn’t really have that room at the moment. He is a key worker (NHS) so I’ve been doing all the housework, homeschooling my son and also working full time from home. I’m very aware that working for the NHS is a TOTAL nightmare so I’ve tried to make things easier for him so he doesn’t have to worry about laundry and lunch etc.
However, lockdown happened maybe two months after he had moved in. For those two months we were managing absolutely fine, he got alone time when he finished work as DS and me were still out for another two hours. This suits him because he likes to be on his own.
Three weeks ago he informed me that if he had a choice he would move back to his house. And it has come up every few days since. He’s just not coping. He still loves me but given the current situation with his work, such as not his usual shifts and working with people he isn’t used to, he is miserable. He can’t withdraw when he’s in a house with 4 animals and a child that never leaves and just wants to talk all the time (understandably, the kids bored). This has escalated into him wanting to move back to his house that he misses, he hates someone living there and he hates living here. He spends an afternoon in the summerhouse, barely acknowledging me because he needs that time to himself. He won’t answer if it’s this house or living with us. I don’t think he knows, he’s just really attached to his house, my house isn’t his home. I get upset but I hide it from him, mainly because I think my emotional reaction isn’t fair given that he’s under a lot of pressure. I don’t think me being upset helps.
I am putting this down to lockdown cabin fever and being as understanding as I can. I’m not shouting at him, but I can’t help but get upset. When the tenancy ends and he could gain possession over his house, if he still wants to move back there on his own I have said I would understand but can’t promise I won’t be heartbroken. I was honest with him and said that I feel like him moving out would be a step backwards, I love living with him, he is my best friend. If he wants to leave, I need to protect myself and my child and I’m not sure that staying in the relationship would be good for us. We deserve someone who will stick with us when times get tough? I love him so much, but I love my child more than anything. How would he understand someone leaving? DP suggestion is, he moves out but it’s okay he will still be here 6 days week so not much will have changed. I just don’t understand that concept, move out, we both operate different households but he will still be here? That doesn’t make financial sense BUT it clearly makes emotional sense to him. I don’t see how we could move forward from there because if he loves his house that much, he won’t be willing to give it up for us to move somewhere together that he is happy with. He’s all over the place and I’m trying my hardest to leave him be because I can’t comprehend the stress he’s going through. But he is stuck here for 5 months at least because he can’t move into his house with his tenant. Am I being unreasonable to think if he does want to move out in 5 months that my heart will break? I don’t want to emotionally manipulate him, it’s hard to balance my needs/wants with what could keep him sane. Maybe we are just not compatible and I should let him go.
He has said, moving out doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me and he doesn’t understand why I would be upset by him leaving when it would be the best thing for the both of us. I disagree, it might be the rent thing for him but not for me.
Am I being unreasonable, help me see it better from his perspective please.
YANBU - it’s hard to see this as anything other than a step back, really. He obviously does care about you, but his priority is his house and his own preferences. He doesn’t want the relationship to move forwards - he wants it back on a more casual basis which is more convenient for him.
I do think this could be more lockdown related than anything else - everyone is finding cabin fever hard, and situations are much more pressured as a result. It may well be that by the time his tenant has to leave, he feels differently. But if he is still adamant that he is moving out, I would question whether you want to keep giving so much of yourself to the relationship.
I think this is probably to do with lockdown, but partly just who he is. Most of us, when we got married, didn’t envisage spending day after day cooped up together with no other form of leisure activity. It could be that he’s quite introverted, and his needs in this regard are just not being met. I’m quite introverted but had no idea until I had kids. I present as an extrovert but still need a lot of time to just ‘be’. I don’t get it, even when not in lockdown, because, kids.
That said, it’s not ok for him to treat you badly because of the situation. I think you need to talk it out, try to work out a compromise for him to get what he needs. Maybe don’t make future plans about whether he stays or goes. See how things play out. Although if he’s got to mid 30s almost exclusively living alone that’s definitely a preference for him. I’d say he does need his own space so maybe work out whether that’s the summer house or the spare room and make arrangements for that to be the case.
Let him have some space. Maybe tell dc that it's to do with work. Whatever is going on with him it sounds like his coping mechanism is to retreat. Adjusting to new living arrangements is hard enough but with lockdown it's a lot harder.
I suggest he moves into the spare room to sleep, if he isn’t already. The cats will be fine without a room. Start to think of him as a lodger, he does his own laundry and gets his own meals while there. I think you need to withdraw emotionally and not hope for things to get better in five months when he’s moved back to his own home. I don’t think he is as invested in the relationship as you are. If he’s not happy with that, he can go an stay elsewhere.
It does sound like he's not ready to be in a full time relationship.
Let him more into the 'cats room' as pp said and still share bills.
He should be helping with housework, you are not his mum.
I would assume that he will never live with you again, in the proper sense.
If you want an equal partner to share your life with fully, I don't think he's the guy, as much as you like him.
Please don't get pregnant!
Thanks all, I think it’s correct that his priority is his house, I’ve definitely got that. I agree that the pressurised situation is exacerbating it. I’m going to take a step back from the situation, I’ll still be just as loving but I’m not going to plan for the future, and I’m going to assume he will leave in November. That way I can emotionally prepare myself. If he does leave I can see how I feel, am I okay for our relationship to take a jump back or not. I guess in the same way that I don’t know how he will feel in November, I also don’t know how I will. He sent me a message today to say he thinks it will get better when DS is in school again and I’m back at work. He got home at 4.30 today, I timed it so that I had already left for an hours walk with the dogs and then when I got back in, dogs went to chill in the living room and I went upstairs to watch some TV with the cats. This meant he had from 4.30pm til 7.30pm to do what he wanted on his own. He came upstairs to thank me for letting him do his own thing and he’s gone into the spare room to play an online game with some friends for a couple of hours. It’s funny because he always says he feels uncomfortable asking for time alone, but tonight hasn’t been an inconvenience for me - I’ve watched TV that he wouldn’t watch, I’m about to settle down with a book and I’m perfectly happy.
And he’s introverted, he’s nervous about playing this online game as there will be people he doesn’t know in the group, they’ve combined teams at work so he’s with people who he doesn’t know which he also struggles with.
I think he is as invested as me in the relationship, just in a different way. He doesn’t equate living together with being in a relationship, whereas I feel now we do live together that forms an important part of it. He hasn’t joined those two parts up in the same way I have.
The reason I do the housework is mainly because I appreciate the work he is doing and he’s constantly exhausted. Before lockdown, we did share it. It’s easier for me to take a half an hour break from work and stick the dishwasher on or fold the laundry whereas he gets home and is tired. So I’m not uncomfortable with that scenario - and he does remember to say thank you without me needing to point it out.
Oh and don’t worry, no pregnancy going to happen over here! The week after we DTD for the first time I got an IUD, 6th sense
Thank you, I just didn’t know if I was being a bit pathetic and unrealistic. I’m definitely going to emotionally distance myself, not in a damaging way and take each month by month. I’m also going to financially prepare myself for him leaving - for instance with his extra income I was using it to treat myself and DS (got a bloody robot hoover) but I’m going to whack all of it into savings.
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