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Unsolvable problem?

(91 Posts)
esmeralda21 Wed 16-Mar-16 07:20:42

Not really sure how we got to here, until yesterday I thought we had a brilliant, pretty much good as it could be relationship. And now...I don't know what to think.

We've been together for coming up for 2 years. Had the odd disagreement, nothing major. We both have DC from previous relationships - mine live with me, he has his one night a week and eow.

The relationship's been a serious/long term one in both our eyes from early on, and in terms of living together we thought (within our first year) that it was probably 12-18 months off. We never spoke about any details, but it felt like a common goal we were working towards, and that he (and his DC) would move in with me. Anyway, time moved on and when we talked about it (not in much detail) last year, he quite rightly said that we'd need to create some room for his DC (and him) in my house - I had enough rooms but I had a fair few unfinished DIY jobs. So we've been working through these together, not entirely finished yet but a lot closer. Again we were saying in another year or so...

At Xmas he said he would feel uncomfortable living in this house (as it was my house with my Ex). I understand this - if the shoe was on the other foot, I probably wouldn't feel that happy either. We didn't really resolve this, because I'm not that keen to move for a few years (my DC have lived here all their lives, their school/friends are here - but they do only have a max of 3 years left in education). However it wasn't an outright no, he'd never live here - one of the things we discussed was that probably starting this summer, we'd start his DC staying over one night a week, so they got used to spending time here, and that maybe in 3 years we'd look to get a place together.

So that was, as far as I was concerned, how it was. The other part is that he's looking to buy a house - which I knew when we spoke at Xmas (it's been delayed, various reasons not really relevant to this) but was still planning on moving in with me - again still a year-18 months away, having lived in his house and then switched to a BTL mortgage (he'd spoken to his lender re this and they were happy to switch him over with no penalities after that period.

I'm not really bothered about marriage. Nice if it happens, but not a dealbreaker for me. He has over the last 2 years said he'd like us to get married, once asked me to show him the kind of engagement ring I like, for Xmas bought me a ring whilst I wasn't expecting an imminent proposal, I thought we were heading in that direction.

Anyway, last night we ended up talking about his house. And the upshot is that he doesn't now think we can live together for at least 6 years, possibly as long as 10 (when his youngest DC leaves school). He doesn't see the big deal - we spend 3-4 nights a week together, isn't that enough? Well no, it isn't for me. And I thought we had a common goal. He says he doesn't see its that different. But it is, surely?

The reason for the change? He feels it would be unfair on his DC, and involve them/him making all the compromise. At present I live about 30-40 mins from him, and 45 mins from his DC's mum (he is about 10 mins from them, and will be buying a house a similar distance away). He said if he moved in here, or we got a house in this area, his DC would be spending too long travelling, it would be unfair, he couldn't get them to school, on his weekday contact nights they wouldn't get here til 7, and so on. He says it's important he's nearby, and I am simply too far away.

But I've lived here for the duration of our relationship, that hasn't suddenly changed! I get that he hasn't necessarily thought about it, now he has and can't see a solution, other than ok, we'll put all our plans on hold for another 6 years at least.

I just don't know if that's what I want. I don't want our relationship to end. But I don't think staying as we are for another 6 or more years would make me happy. But I can't seem to explain to him why (he doesn't get what difference it makes if it's 2 years or 6, or why we need to live together at all).How do I make sense of my thoughts?

DoreenLethal Wed 16-Mar-16 07:42:10

It sounds like he was laying the foundations for not being in that space with the 'uncomfortable' discussion and you didn't bite so he is upping the explanation of why he doesn't want to live with you.

I would have said that him buying a house currently was a bit of a red flag and should have been the moment you discussed whether this is going anywhere.

I don't think being 45 mins away is a horrific amount of time for kids to travel, but ideally you could buy a house more in the middle together but that doesn't seem to have been discussed...

RealityCheque Wed 16-Mar-16 07:54:40

I'm with him on this one. Moving 45 minutes away from his kids mum is bloody batshit crazy for any loving hands-on NRP to do voluntarily. So that's a 1.5hr round trip after school for him and then back again the next morning?

It would seriously affect his relationship with them (and they would almost certainly resent YOU for him moving) and as they get older they would probably refuse to come to his (at least as often).

And then you say that you are not keen to move your kids. hmm

Why don't you move to where he is? If not now then when your kids finish school (max of three years?)

YABVVU and should have specifically discussed the obvious knock on affect to his kids.

Belikethat Wed 16-Mar-16 07:58:45

I understand his point about the school run but why hadn't he thought of that before?

I know a few couples who have waited until their respective dc have finished school to set up home together. However ten years is a long time to wait when you had discussed moving in together earlier and it's not what you want.

Is your relationship generally strong otherwise? Or could this be the start of him having some doubts?

RealityCheque Wed 16-Mar-16 08:01:13

It's not ten years though, belikethat because OPs kids finish in 3 years.

Why can't OP move in with him then?

OTheHugeManatee Wed 16-Mar-16 08:09:36

Why is it him who has to move?

There doesn't seem to have been a discussion of the scenario where you both move into a new place together.
Mid I were your DP I would feel a bit like it was me doing all the compromising.

esmeralda21 Wed 16-Mar-16 08:13:06

His job is actually mid way between our houses. So after school (for example) it would be 20 mins to pick them up, then 40 back to mine. As opposed to 20 + 10.

Why don't i want to move? Like I said my DC live with me full time, they don't have another home. What will I do in 3 years, kick them out? Or just leave them behind? I'm not sure after what would then be 18 years living where we do (outskirts of London, excellent commuter links etc) they'd want to move away.

I couldn't move before 3 years because there would be no way of getting them to school. The compromise would be moving somewhere equidistant but i feel that disadvantages my children more - but perhaps I'm being unfair?

I thought our relationship was strong, I had no reason to think otherwise. I just feel confused now, like everything has changed.

Joysmum Wed 16-Mar-16 08:14:38

So you both rent out your homes and move into a new house to you both in the middle.

You are expecting him to all the compromising.

RealityCheque Wed 16-Mar-16 08:18:56

You are right esmerelda. You ARE being unfair.

I guess your kids will probably go to uni after 18? If so, as long as you have room for them at your shared place why does it matter where it is? What about their dad - could they stay with him?

If they don't go to uni and get a job instead, can they not rent your house of you to cover the mortgage until they are ready to move on?

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 16-Mar-16 08:21:23

Move in 3 yrs. There's no reason why your adult DC shouldn't move with you. They might be at University at the other end of the country anyway.

I do agree with your DP that he seems to be doing all the compromising.

Have you posted about this before? Are you the lady with the half unfinished house that has been like it for years? (apologies if not)

esmeralda21 Wed 16-Mar-16 08:34:19

It's quite unlikely one of them will go to uni, and probably 50/50 the other will. Once they work, they're quite likely to commute to London (20 min train journey from here). Their father doesn't have any way of accommodating them (other than on a sofa) so they couldn't/ wouldn't stay with him.

I would honestly feel like I was leaving them behind if i moved. I worked with a woman a few years ago who moved away to live with her new partner and his kids, and left hers (18-20) on their own. They couldn't afford to pay the rent and ended up homeless. Bit extreme and i know my situation would be different but i just remember how sorry I felt for her children.

He said exactly what has been said here - that it's him doing all the compromising.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 16-Mar-16 08:41:38

Why couldn't your adult children move with you? I can understand you not wanting to move before they leave school.

Honestly it is an unsolvable problem because you won't make any effort to compromise!

It's all coming across as a bit whining about why you can't do anything or make any changes.

Accept the things you cannot change, have courage to change the things you can, and have wisdom to know the difference.

esmeralda21 Wed 16-Mar-16 08:43:55

Thing is, I am not sure though that me agreeing to move somewhere equidistant between us is going to change anything. I was very upset when we discussed this (because I felt the rug had been pulled from under me) but it did seem he was saying 6 years whatever. Not 6 years to move into my house (which I know he wouldn't) or to live near me, or even to live somewhere between our homes, but 6 years full stop.

I may have misunderstood that, like I said i was pretty upset. But I keep coming back to his 'whats the hurry to live together' comment. I honestly don't think 5 years in is rushing it.

ginandmoregin Wed 16-Mar-16 09:01:58

How old are his DC? You say 10 years til his youngest leaves school, so I'm guessing his youngest is 8?

I see your point but I do think YABU and he is just trying to do what's best for his DC. If they are used to him dropping them off at school after his contact days it would be unfair on them if he couldn't do that anymore. He is just trying to put his DC first, which is a good thing!

As your DC are older, I think it is you who will have to make more of a compromise. I don't see why you couldn't move closer to him, making sure your DC still each have their own room in your house. Make sure they learn to drive when they're old enough, or live somewhere on a bus/train route, and they will still be able to stay in touch with their school friends.

springydaffs Wed 16-Mar-16 09:28:25

You also need to bear in mind that you need to leave a bit of space after your kids leave home for uni (or whatever) - it can be very unsettling to lose their 'family home' at the same time.

I think you're upset bcs the getting married idea looked to be imminent re getting you a ring sizer present. Now it turns out it's at least 6 years away. That's moving the goalposts a bit - but I assume he's realised as it gets closer that he doesn't want to uproot his kids.

springydaffs Wed 16-Mar-16 09:28:32

You also need to bear in mind that you need to leave a bit of space after your kids leave home for uni (or whatever) - it can be very unsettling to lose their 'family home' at the same time.

I think you're upset bcs the getting married idea looked to be imminent re getting you a ring sizer present. Now it turns out it's at least 6 years away. That's moving the goalposts a bit - but I assume he's realised as it gets closer that he doesn't want to uproot his kids.

esmeralda21 Wed 16-Mar-16 09:52:25

He has his DC one weeknight each week, so does one drop off/ pick up a week - that would still be possible if he lived nearer me, or between our locations - but it would involve an earlier start and much longer journey. I can see why he'd prefer not to do that.

However what i can't get away from is would me compromising actually make any difference to this 6year timescale? I'm not sure.

I honestly thought we were moving towards engagement/ living together in 3 years. Now it feels as though he isn't necessarily bothered about living together, because it wouldn't be any different to what we have now?

He also said he felt I was giving him an ultimatum / backing him into a corner which i felt was pretty unfair and not what i was saying at all sad

Jarlin Wed 16-Mar-16 10:13:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 16-Mar-16 10:15:11

Just coming back to say I can see why you're upset as it must feel like he's moved the goalposts, and kept on moving them. No wonder you are feeling a bit like he's been stringing you along.

But I do think you've been a bit intransigent as well. Plus as his children are younger I can see why he'd not want to make compromises that significantly impact the amount of time he has with them, that would affect him for far longer than changes would affect you.

esmeralda21 Wed 16-Mar-16 10:41:15

We have a couple of nights a week, plus the weekends he's not got his DC. I guess that's fine for some people. It's fine for me now, but I just don't know if it's fine for another 6 years or more.

whimsical1975 Wed 16-Mar-16 11:19:56

Hmmmm... so basically, he's very happy with the current situation (relationship and living arrangements) and doesn't feel that there's a need for anything to change in the foreseeable future, whereas you're not particularly happy and do see a need for change in the foreseeable future.

There-in lies your problem.

You want more and he doesn't. You know that old saying "where there's a will there's a way"... yup, that!!

I might have this wrong but I suspect that your hesitation to compromise is largely based on his noncommittal attitude towards your relationship. I'm guessing that if he had sat you down and said "I love you very much, you're the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with, lets meet each other half way and find somewhere for all of us to live together that doesn't result in only one half of the family bearing the burden of a move" etc, that you would be much more willing to consider moving closer to him.

I would be very reluctant to uproot for a man whose not been 100% clear about his intentions...

I think you need to have a very honest chat with him. It might be that he's realised he doesn't want to get married again, doesn't want to live with a partner etc etc. If that' the case then it's best you know that now.

Joysmum Wed 16-Mar-16 11:25:25

I would honestly feel like I was leaving them behind if i moved


DH and I will be moving away once our DD has gone through school, then college. We'd love to move now but don't want to uproot her. She'll have gone through and taken her driving test and can choose to come too or stay in our home town. Tbh I think she'll move away for university anyway.

That's no different to the situation you'll be in.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Wed 16-Mar-16 11:35:29

It wouldn't be fine for me either. Nor would waiting another 3 years tbh. Life is too short to be faffing about for as long as you have and another 3 years.

He only has his children one night a week and EOW. Adding half an hour onto those drops offs is nothing. Our school commute is that daily.

Your children live with you permanently, it's a totally different situation.

He's totally let you down with the conversations you have had & buying a ring sizer etc then saying 'I'm doing all the compromising, another 6 years at least'. Apart from anything else it shows how little thought he'd given to the practicalities of it from his point of view. Nothing has changed, except he's actually thought about it.

I wouldn't want to be in a relationship where the other person couldn't see the difference between building two separate lives that come together at times and building a life together. Other people are fine with that, so that's great... I would not be.

As for not moving into your house, I can see how that might feel uncomfortable if it was immediately after you'd split from your Ex, but it has been years, you've made it your own. IF there was another suitable house in the area that you could buy together, then that would be better for him & your relationship, but maybe not your kids. They'll be compromising too if he moves in permanently and his kids are there onw & EOW, but his kids will still have their residential home unchanged. Everyone will be making compromises, not just him.

As for him complaining about 'being backed into a corner' that's crap. You are discussing your future together and how it's going to be. It's not like you've only known him 5 minutes or told him he has to do it by Easter or something.

There's more to this that he's not saying, he needs to spit it out.

pablothepenguin Wed 16-Mar-16 13:07:07

I disagree that the one night/EOW means the 45 min drive doesn't matter that much.

Being close to his children could make a huge difference to their lives as they get older. My brother used to have similar contacts arrangements but moved closer to his children when they were teenagers. Set contact arrangements became less relevant. His son would come by when there was a footie game on and stop over. He sees him a lot. On the flip side, his daughter became less keen on weekends as her teenage social life kicked in, and later she had a part time job. So being close meant she could pop in say hello, have dinner etc. He has also been more involved in their day to day lives, eg giving them lifts home from nights out - he loves this!

Anyway, long way of saying staying where he is could be a really good thing. That he sees so little of his children probably means it's really important to him to do what he can to make the best relationship possible.

esmeralda21 Wed 16-Mar-16 16:10:21

I still feel quite conflicted about this. I believe he is committed to me but part of me is saying is that what his actions are demonstrating? Because a few months ago I thought living together wasn't that far off, now it's 6 years or more, possibly 8 years from when we first got together...what if in 6 years he decides he's quite happy in his own space?...

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