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Dont know whether to stay or go

(12 Posts)
HumboldtFog Tue 23-Oct-12 17:08:19

NC for this one.

Sorry it will be long, don't want to drip feed.

DP and I are both divorced. Things have been going very well between us, although neither of us feels the need to rush into marriage again, we had been talking about getting engaged next year and have looked at rings. We hadn't set a firm wedding date but were thinking 2-3 years from now.

DP's father, who lived 150 miles from DP, was living alone and has been increasingly unwell over the past 6 months. In June he had a spell in hospital and when he went back home it became apparent that he wasn't managing very well, even with carers coming in twice a day. His health got worse over the next few weeks and it looked as if he was rather seriously ill with perhaps only about a year to live. All summer, DP was going up to see him every weekend, spending the two days there, then driving home. We discussed it and realised that this situation was not going to work long term, and so DP decided his father should move in with him At the time this decision was made, DP talked to me about it all, asked my opinions, I fully supported him and it definitely seemed like the best thing for both DP and his father.

So here we are now a few months later. DP's father had a hospital appointment two weeks ago and it turns out that his diagnosis is very different to the one he had been given before he moved in with DP. He can be treated and should see a big improvement in his health in the next few weeks. This is great news and he's really had a new lease of life in the last week since finding this out.

However, here's the problem. DP went into this thinking that his father probably didn't have very long to live and wanted to do the best he could for him. He certainly can't (and won't, and I wouldn't expect him to) now ask his father to leave. But I realised last night that this now leaves me in a dilemma. His dad is early 70's. He could live for another 20 years.

I'm 50-ish, I'm too old to hang around forever, I'm tired of living alone, eating alone, going to bed alone, and I know that I want a committed live in relationship. I want the full package. I can't bear the thought of giving up a good, decent man, who I love very much, but neither can I stand the thought of god knows how many more years living on my own and feeling as if my life is hold. I'd been very happy taking our time but also looking forward to building a life with DP. It's out of the question for me to move in with both of them. But neither of us are getting any younger and I want us two to have some great years together as a couple, after all who knows when either of us may start to develop ill health etc...

So, I don't know what to do, and thought I'd put it out there to the wise women of MN to ask what they'd do in this situation.

CailinDana Tue 23-Oct-12 17:24:59

I was going to post but then I thought I'd better check my facts. Am I right in thinking you love your DP and that he is a good and kind man who has, with considerable inconvenience to himself, gone out of his way to look after his dad? And that because of this kindness you are now considering breaking up with him?

HumboldtFog Tue 23-Oct-12 17:30:25

I knew someone would come back with that which is exactly why I've had to NC. Yes, if you want to put it like that. But my perspective is that DP, his Dad, and I all thought his dad was very, very seriously ill. DP wouldn't have done this if he'd known what he knows now.
I'm guessing you're quite a bit younger than me. I'm sorry if I sound like a bitch but I'm aware that my own time on earth is passing rather quicker than I'd like - both of my parents died when they were under 60 so I may only have less than 10 years left myself - and I'm fed up living on my own, I want to share my life fully with someone. I don't think that's wrong.

CailinDana Tue 23-Oct-12 17:35:36

No, I can see that, but I'm just thinking that you don't seem to consider your DP to be very special - it sounds like you feel you could find someone just as good as him who will live with you quite easily.

No relationship is straightforward and to me what's important is that the person you're with is someone you love who treats you kindly. Isn't it better to have a good DP, albeit not exactly as you want, than to have no one at all?

What's stopping you moving in with DP and his dad?

PostBellumBugsy Tue 23-Oct-12 17:42:48

I don't understand why you can't share your life fully with your DP - regardless of where his Dad lives? It wouldn't be my top choice to move in with a potential partner's father - but if I loved the partner in question & felt he was the right one for me and that's the package, I'd do it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 23-Oct-12 17:43:21

I actually understand why you wouldn't want to move into a 'Steptoe' type situation. However, now that he is on the mend and enjoying a new lease of life, your DP's Dad may well decide that he would rather be independent again. He's only 70 after all. With a bit of encouragement, maybe he could be persuaded to move out into a retirement community nearby. Seems a pity to give up on someone when there are lots of possible solutions there for the taking.

HumboldtFog Tue 23-Oct-12 17:44:00

God no, I don't think I could find someone just as good very easily at all.
I just sort of have this feeling that I'm not being true to what I want for the next stage in my life, which is a committed live in relationship.

I can't move in with them because the house is too small, IMO, for the 3 of us especially with the adaptations DP has had to make. I think it would be very detrimental to the relationship if I moved in.

I did only just have this thought last night and I'm still turning it over in my head. I probably sound completely irrational at the moment. That's how I feel too.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Tue 23-Oct-12 17:45:00

Why can't he ask his father to leave? Surely if he is well enough he should be living independantly.

CailinDana Tue 23-Oct-12 17:46:17

You seem very focused on an ideal, which is a surefire way to be disappointed IMO. DP's father could move out, you could move in and then one of you could get ill. Or one of you could need to move to different part of the country for some reason. You just don't know what's going to happen, and pinning all your hopes on only one possibility isn't really sensible.

I would never throw away a good relationship just because it wasn't absolutely perfect.

HumboldtFog Tue 23-Oct-12 18:29:41

I think you're right CD.
I also think that this is about my own fear of my time running out. For some reason this last few months I've been horribly aware that nobody is here forever and I've been feeling anxious about all the things I've not achieved in life. Dare I say it, probably my version of a mid-life crisis smile

I haven't spoken about this to DP and will not until I've got my head clear.

Smug, Dad has taken to living with my DP like a duck to water. He loves the house, he loves having company, and frankly he likes having his dinner cooked (by DP!) every night. He's got no desire to move out and I'm not sure it's fair to ask him to move out now that he's settled.

olgaga Tue 23-Oct-12 18:43:55

Well I'm about your age, a bit older - and I do know what you mean! All our parents are now dead but frankly we went through a terrible 15 years and I had a baby in the middle of it too. That isn't about to happen here obviously, but I do understand why you feel reluctant about sharing the active time you have left with someone else's elderly dad.

I think partly it stems from your own parents being dead too. It does change how you feel about your own mortality.

Unlike a long married couple, you do have a choice, and that also makes it hard.

I would give it time - 4-6 months should be long enough to see how things develop.

Your DP's dad might be the first to get sick and tired of living with him as he recovers - many older people cherish their independence, especially if he's used to that.

olgaga Tue 23-Oct-12 18:45:50

I have to say I don't think your DP is doing him any favours cooking him dinner every night! He needs to live his own life alongside his dad's - not be part of it like that.

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