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Moving abroad

(43 Posts)
MrsChristmas123 Sat 02-Jul-16 17:10:53

Hi please may I ask for some honest advice
I am 60 divorced and financially independent. My children are all grown up and settled. I am retired.
I want to rent my house out and work as a volunteer in Spain although I'm not sure in what area.
I have been with my partner 3 years but we don't live together. He works from home doing a 12 hour day and is two years from retiring.
He is devoted to his two children aged 30 and 26 and his grandson aged 6 whom he sees regularly every week. He helps them out financially physically and emotionally. He is an excellent father and grandfather. He is 57. His family don't see me although I don't know why although I suspect it is easier for my partner to keep things separate.
I have never discussed my plans with my partner because I suspect he would be upset and would miss me and would not understand.
I just want to live a little and experience that lifestyle.
My partner is good to me but I know his family come first.
Am I being selfish.
I asked my partner once about living abroad and his little grandson coming to visit the holidays and he said his daughter would never allow it and so the subject was dropped. He didn't seem to take the idea seriously.
I am already learning Spanish.
I love my partner but I just feel life is passing me by.

MrsSchulman Sat 02-Jul-16 17:19:52

You should definitely go. It's only Spain. You can come back and forward to see him and he can come and visit you.

MrsChristmas123 Sat 02-Jul-16 17:21:56

Just to add one thing to my message. We are dancers and dance together most nights which we really enjoy. Sometimes my partner gets very tired and stressed with his boss his job his children and his grandson. His son has s drink problem, his daughter is a single parent who works full time and his grandson has adhd. My partner helps out minding in the holidays, pays his daughters rent and his sons debts as well as helping his brother out. This is why we don't live together because there is so many pressures. I live alone and like my solitude. If I left my partner behind because he can't come with me I would feel I'd let him down. He says he can cope with these pressures because he has me.

fattyfattytoadgirl Sat 02-Jul-16 17:32:41

For what it's worth, I think you should go for it.

It's all well and good that your partner is helping his family financially and practically, but it doesn't sound like he has much of himself left over for your relationship at the end of the day.

You're three years in and still haven't met his family?

He may be a perfectly good man, but it sounds like you are so easy-to-be-with that he may be forgetting you have needs and desires for your life too. His life sounds very complicated and you sound so undemanding that you are just getting whatever's left over and perhaps being taken for granted just a little bit.

I believe if you don't fulfil this longing you have, you may come to resent your partner for it and it will cause difficulties in your relationship further down the line anyhow.

Spain isn't so far away and the decision need not be irrevocable.

(1) You will love Spain loads and your partner will find a way to be with you.
(2) You will love Spain loads and your partner won't step up and you may realise you are not so high up his list of priorities.
(3) You will hate Spain, but be glad you gave it a go. You will also learn a lot more about your partner by his support or lack of it in the interim.
(4) You will stay as you are and feel life passing you by and becoming more resentful by the day with your partner.

Major life decisions are tough. I wish you all the best.

MrsChristmas123 Sun 03-Jul-16 00:19:20

Thank you for your replies they were really helpful.

I remember a few months ago we argued about his situation and how it impacted on us and he said that I hold all the cards. When I first knew him he was estranged from his family but they came back to him. His family have met me a couple of times but weren't friendly. My partner says that the only way to get with his kids is to make a big fuss of his grandson.

It is all very one sided. He says he loves me.

Spain here I come.

Wish me luck!!!!

fattyfattytoadgirl Sun 03-Jul-16 15:25:49

Hello there, Mrs Christmas!

My tuppence worth coming up:-

It's strange he says that you hold all the cards. Yes, in the sense that you CAN go and he can't stop you, yes you do. However, he doesn't seem up for a practical discussion in how he can support you emotionally and continue your relationship if you DO go. It's like you either stay the way you are (unfulfilled) or you go and he has no interest in working out the best way to handle things from there.

I wonder if the fact he was estranged from his family before means that he is too scared to make a move incase they don't want to know him again? I don't know.

It's strange his family aren't friendlier towards you. If he helps his grown-up children so much physically, emotionally and financially, they maybe see you as some kind of threat to that?

I am glad you are giving Spain a try. Your partner may well be a nice enough man, but it sounds like you are really shut out from so much of his world and his family appear to call all the shots on what he can/cannot do if he wants to see them. There's no need for all that to limit your life though.

So happy for you (and a little bit envious too thanks to our rotten summer!!!).

Keep in touch!

grin flowers ¡Buen viaje!

allegretto Sun 03-Jul-16 15:30:11

I don't want to rain on your parade but with Brexit, you don't know whether living in Spain will be possible long term so whilst I agree that you should go for it - don't burn your bridges!

MrsChristmas123 Sun 03-Jul-16 16:37:07

Thank you for your replies I have really appreciated them.
Yes my partner is terrified at losing contact and they do call the shots, All the time! My partner doesn't know about my plans to move yet. We do love each other and get on well together. I just have to realise that his family
Were there before me. He doesn't need me as much as he used to now that his family is back with him. Our conversation early this year ended with partner saying that it had taken him 2 years to get them back and if we split up he would accept that and that I hold all of the cards in that respect. I don't his family see me as a threat I don't think they give me a thought! They have their dad just where they want him. He drop everything to be with them or help them. He loves them very much although they treat him quite badly.

I do feel very lonely and unfulfilled and tried to talk to him but he doesn't see it as anything to do with him.
His life is very busy with work and family and I just fill his evenings. He says it will be different when he retires but I am not sure I think it will be worse.
He has not had any relationships since his divorce and probably does not realise how lucky he has to have met someone financially independent attractive and intelligent as me. Not being vain but it is true.
I don't want us to break up and he knows that I love him too much to do that. He is so sure of me and doesn't think it is hurtful to put his families needs before mine.
Should I call it a day now and suffer the loniless and loss now or wait until I am ready move to Spain next June?

He is a real family man but it is me that does most the work in the relationship by sorting out our social life and providing companionship and the odd meal.

fattyfattytoadgirl Sun 03-Jul-16 16:45:12

I think your relationship does sound quite unbalanced in many ways. His family don't sound like they are bothered whether he has a happy love-life, so long as he's on tap for whatever they need. Your life is kind of held in abeyance because of that.

I agree he is lucky to have someone like you!

Sounds like he hasn't got you at the top of his priority list, so he definitely shouldn't be at the top of yours.

If you enjoy what companionship you are getting from him currently, there is no need to make a formal break if you don't feel up to it. It doesn't sound like you'd be leaving on bad terms or anything, just that life is taking you in a certain direction. The details will iron themselves out, given time, and you will have your answer.

You never know - your man may surprise you yet and come out to Spain grin

Ragwort Sun 03-Jul-16 16:47:41

I think you might as well finish it now and start making your plans to move to Spain - how exciting. It sounds as though you are 'useful' to him in providing him with a social life but not really a 'full' part of his life - not that it matters, but what does matter is that you are happy and fulfilled and I think by planning to move independently you will have a wonderful future. Good luck. smile

MrsChristmas123 Mon 04-Jul-16 13:31:24

Hi thank you for your advice.

I have been away for a dancing weekend with my partner and have just got back.

I have taken in board everything that you kind people have said to me.

My mind is made up to move to Spain, that is a given but I am so unsure what to do about my relationship in the meantime.

Ours is not a great relationship but it is better than nothing, I guess and, lets face it I am 60 and my age is against me to find someone else now.

When we went away for a weekend in March (this is what provoked the first row) my partner dumped me back at home on the Monday to chase around to his daughter to help with some decorating. This weekend we have just got back today and lo, and behold, he has just left me to go and collect his grandson from school..because he is kicking off because of his ADHD and there is no one to pick him up from school. Originally, my partner was to go home and get ready to go away for business for two days and was going to come back later now its to go and get his grandson from school, now I don't know where we are.

I am so fed up with my partner's family giving him the run around. He doesn't want to do it but his daughter gives him a hard time.

I can't make him be with me when his heart is with his family but I do find it difficult to understand this also pathological need to be at his family's beck and call.

My children are all off hand and only call me to say hello, how are you/

My partner is not much company at the best of times because his work commitments, family, boss, brother's problems but he is my dance partner.

Most Sundays he has his grandson all day.

He says that he loves me and I am sure he does.

This weekend was great because we were alone together without outside pressures but, as soon as we hit home territory his daughter is on the phone demanding his help. It is the same before we go away as he is either working late or helping out with his family.

I do love my partner and most of the time things are okay except he can be very boring at times!

I cannot decide whether it is because I don't want to be my own or whether I am happy with what we have got. My partner says he is happy with me but wishes his life were not so stressful.

Please can someone help me decide what to do?

Do I stay in this relationship until I move to Spain and make the most of the times that we have together dancing, weekends away and holidays together but accept that I will always 'play 3rd fiddle to family and work commitments. Or, do I bite the bullet and end things now? He will never end it because he knows that he is onto good thing. I am not demanding, I'm easygoing and just want peace and harmony. However, if I do end things there will be no dancing, weekends away, holidays, the odd laugh together and I will be very much alone. My children live far away and I only have my brother who lives far away and my elderly mother who has alzheimers but is being cared for. My partner will never be lonely because he has his family and work and would probably find a new partner very quickly....dancing or otherwise which would be very painful for me.

I know my partner will accept my decision sadly (he is already half prepared..I am sure) because he understands the impact that it has on me but he is not prepared to put relationship before his family's.

What do you advise I do?

Thank for your advice, support and is so appreciated.

Mrs C

hellsbellsmelons Mon 04-Jul-16 14:10:27

This man is not right for you long term and you know it.
So why stop yourself finding someone more compatible with you?
You may meet someone who is in a position to go to Spain with you.
You just don't know what is around the corner.
Don't 'settle'..... Life is too short!!!

Cabrinha Mon 04-Jul-16 14:21:47

You know what?
Take Spain out of the equation and I'd still think you should cut him loose!
You say you love him, but say it's not a great relationship and you put more effort in.
Just because you're 60 doesn't mean you should settle!

Would you be happier with him as a friend and dance partner, but not in a relationship? Because then you wouldn't think twice about going to Spain!

I'm not going to expect you to answer a personal question about sex... but unless you fancy the arse off him and are enjoying that side of things, I don't really see what he is except an OK but not great companion.

Keep dancing with him, leave him to sort out his baggage, and make your future plans with excitement!

(echo PP about not doing irreversible things until you know the Brexit situation though!)

One thing I would say though - you mention a few times about his family not being interested in you. I don't think it's a big deal, especially because they were estranged and also generally sound selfish. You're just their dad's girlfriend at an age when you'll never have to be a part of their lives. I can see that they might not really care - not for any bad reason, just not interested.

MrsChristmas123 Mon 04-Jul-16 15:23:41

Thank you all so much..this is really helpful...!!

Now we are getting to the 'rub of it' (to quote the Bard).....

When we spoke (or argued with him storming off in a huff..which he does a lot when things don't go his way) about this earlier in the year, my partner said that he understood my position in that I am, to all intents and purposes a single person and he accepts that he has the baggage of a married man still..his choice by the way. However, when the subject of dancing came up he said that he could dance with me if he thought I had found someone else..he said that it would be too painful. I said that I not found someone else and that I loved him. So, that's me sown up like a 'b'''''dy kipper! He knows how much I love dancing and how hard it is to find a male partner. He more or less told me that he would never dance with me as a friend or lover if I had someone else.

As to regards the sex...he was hopelessly inexperienced having been married for years (I was his first relationship after divorce) and I have taught him everything I know ( I have divorced for years) socially, it will be painful for me to see him with someone else. However, the sex is now brilliant because he is so tired and stressed from work and family commitments.

I would LOVE just to be friends and be dance partners but he's having none of it 'cos he knows that would be the end of my one lifelong passion.

It is very difficult decision to half of me thinks let it go and enjoy the dancing but the other thinks I'd be better on my own.

What do you think?

Thank you again for sparing the time with your advice.


MrsChristmas123 Mon 04-Jul-16 15:25:59

Correction..he said that he could NOT dance with me if I found someone else more compatible and the sex IS NOT brilliant..

Vagabond Mon 04-Jul-16 15:37:44

Mrs C, you're going to Spain anyway. Keep him in your life until you go. Enjoy your dancing.

You said he was boring. Perhaps its a relief that you don't spend more time with him?

Keep the status quo, plan your plans and enjoy your sweet time with him until you go.

Perhaps one day, he will realise that being his daughter's dogsbody isn't the best of things and he'll shake himself up.

Try to think of it from his perspective....he has his family back in his life and he's scared of losing it. Your independence probably terrifies him.

I admire your willing and ambition to move to Spain. Go Shirley Valentine, Go!

ravenmum Mon 04-Jul-16 15:39:34

Is it just me or is he a bit manipulative, saying you won't be able to dance, and hinting that you are being pushy by saying the cards are all in your hands?

Cabrinha Mon 04-Jul-16 15:56:49

Yep - manipulative and likes to throw hissy fits. And something of a passive project too - very unattractive. It's like you've done some volunteer work here, let alone Spain shockgrin

Studying with him temporarily or forever just cos there are a dearth of male dance partners isn't a good idea.

Your recent post screams that you don't actually love him. I don't blame you! You said you'd love him to be a friend and dance partner... not "oh no that'd be awful he's my boyfriend".


1. There will be other male dance partners - OK, not easy - but you're not looking now!

2. Dancing with a female friend is preferable to being held to ransom by Mr Manipulative Sulky Crap Sex

3. He likes dancing and you're not actually after anyone else - I bet he'd still dance with you!

I would... Call it off with him citing your Spanish plans and his other commitments to save feelings. Tell him you're not looking to start any new relationships because of Spain so let's carry on our friendship and dancing.
This can be a lie:
- look for a new dance partner anyway in case he gets sulky
- be open to more romance elsewhere despite Spain, if you want grin

He really doesn't sound a good catch.

MrsChristmas123 Mon 04-Jul-16 16:26:22


I just had to laugh at Cabrinha's name 'MrSulkyCrapSex'...I think that name fits well....I am sniggering as I write.

I have just had a phone call from MrSCS and he has told me that, not only did he have to pick his grandson up from school he had to sit in the lesson with him for 2 hours to give the teachers a break.

The more I hear your opinions about my partner the more the 'scales are falling from my eyes'. I have never spoke to anyone about this before and it is making such a difference to me to hear other people's views.

My partner earns a lot of money but is always penny pinching because he spends a lot on his family. He has a huge mortgage. We did talk about him renting his house out and moving in with me a while ago but I soon backtracked when I realised what this would really mean!

So, to recap, boring sex, boring company, a skinflint and a shedload of baggage...mmmm...what on earth did I see in this guy?

I really liked your idea of explaining to my partner that I am moving to Spain and don't want another relationship because of that but to still to continue to dance together. That is a stroke of genius on your part. He may accept that especially as he has accepted that he has got a lot on his plate - family and work wise. This would mean that I could look around for someone who is more free than my partner is, or at least a dance partner. I think both of these are going to be hard to achieve but all I can do is give it a try.

Men are notorious for not wanting to dance...but I won't know until I try. I am a member of several dance clubs and can still dance with female leads..not the same but Hobson's Choice..I've been there before.

If anyone has any other advice, tips or anything, please let me have no idea how much all of you have helped me with this. I have wrestled with this problem for about a year. Not wanting to be on my own with no social life against tolerating someone that bores the pants off me!

Cabrinha Mon 04-Jul-16 17:03:30

Bored with him or bored without him!
Except that when bored without him at least you can be looking for something else!

And even if you meet someone fab, it's always good to try to keep a healthy social life going that doesn't rely on them smile

fattyfattytoadgirl Mon 04-Jul-16 18:31:47

Just loving the advice you are getting here and I agree 100% with it.

Cabrinha's name "MrSulkyCrapSex" was inspired. Laughed out loud at that one grin

I agree with the poster who said carry on with the dancing with your man AND look for someone else if you want. Why not? He's not giving you enough commitment and is showing no interest in finding a way for your relationship to develop.

You haven't sewn yourself up like a kipper by what you said in the past. I know what you mean though, I've always tried to stick exactly to what I once said, even though it's no longer relevant. But things have changed and so have you. He's promised you nothing, so you should have no misplaced loyalty towards this man.

You sound like a lovely, intelligent, accomplished woman. There is no reason to believe you won't find another man. Maybe more than one man wink People older than you get married every day.

His blinkered, narrow, crabbed life doesn't have to define yours.

Tellmewhyohwhy Mon 04-Jul-16 18:36:51

You will never be satisfied with someone who bores the pants off you. You will always be looking for something more (well you are, you're going to Spain!) Even if he went with you I don't think he would be enough for you. You sound completely sorted and at a different stage of life from him.

fattyfattytoadgirl Mon 04-Jul-16 18:46:20

From the Guardian link below -

"According to figures published by Britain's Office for National Statistics, marriage in 2012 was up 5%, the highest total in any year since 2004 and older men and women, the silver splicers, are especially enthusiastic. It's never too late to say, "I do". The number of grooms in their late sixties increased by 25% (2011-12) while brides of the same age went up by 21%. One in 10 had been single, two-thirds divorced, and the rest widowed before tying the knot. So what's going on?"

Cabrinha Mon 04-Jul-16 18:58:46

Loving "silver splicers" grin

ArmfulOfRoses Mon 04-Jul-16 19:02:06

I'm fairly sure parents/grandparents can't just randomly sit in a classroom for 2 hours.

You should probably try to fit "liar liar pants on fire" in to his new name.

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