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Moving in with DP – WWDY?(3 Posts)
I've been in a relationship for 18 months now, I'm 37 and he's what I would call a young 46. We get on very well, are on the same wavelength, lots of shared interests and similar tastes, no kids.
Both of us own our own homes, around 10 miles apart. He lives in a cosy 2 bed cottage full of character (in the village where I grew up and where my parents still live) and I have a 2-bed terrace in the city (not as picturesque, but inside it's got my stamp on it and it's my independence)
Lately we've had the conversation about moving in together. It's what we both want and what we see as the next step in our relationship as we love spending time together. The problem is, where to live.
My place just isn't big enough for the two of us and he's suggested that I move in with him and rent my place out. My problem is, that it's the cottage he bought with his ex, who he was with for 13 years. Inside the cottage the decor is incredible (she is an interior designer and she chose it) and from what I know of her she is beautiful too – both in looks and personality. It was her who fell out of love with him and ended the relationship but part of me can't help comparing myself to her and wondering whether he would still be with her if he had the choice. Nothing he has said or done reinforces this, it's just my perception of what a lovely person she is.
The point is that I just don't feel comfortable moving into the house where my DP shared so many years of his life with his ex – it just feels so weird, like there would be echoes of their relationship all around me and DP would compare me to her, consciously or subconsciously.
Buying a place together is out of the question – DP got himself in a lot of debt taking out a loan to buy his ex out of the house which affected his credit rating and nowadays I work freelance, meaning it's so much harder for me to get a mortgage.
I would like kids (or at least one kid) in the future with DP and I'm conscious that time is running out, so staying as we are, living apart, really isn't an option.
Has anyone else been in a similar situation to this? What did you do?
If your place is too small and it is sensible to move into his place from a space point of view then I think it's reasonable to have the conversation with him that you would want to redecorate it according to both of your tastes, and not his and his ex's taste. It doesn't matter if the decor is incredible, if it makes you feel uncomfortable then your DP should be sensitive to this. If he resists this idea then I would be concerned that he is putting the superficial appearance of the house above your feelings. I don't think it necessarily means he wants to retain the decor because he holds a candle for his ex though - he might just argue that it would be a shame to undo what you have described as incredible decor. Would you be happy to live there if it was redecorated? Your comment about her being beautiful and lovely suggests you feel inferior to her which is sad because regardless of the circumstances of their splitting up, he has chosen to be with you now.
Hmm. I think there are possible two issues here for you to unpick and have a think about.
1/ Your insecurity about his ex. If your relationship is going to go the distance, you need to feel certain that he's choosing you. Not as his second pick, but that if she came back all eager he'd still choose you. That might involve the two of you having some honest heart to hearts, or some counselling for you to work on your self-confidence, or just you making a decision to choose to trust your instincts, if you feel that he loves you and wants you and is completely over her.
2/ If you become certain about all that ^ then you need to get over yourself about the cottage, or find another solution about where the two of you live, or delay moving in with him until you can. If you genuinely like the cottage as a home, you should try for the first option. The memories he has of her he'll have wherever he lives. And since in the end they broke up, actually even the good memories will all be a bit tainted by that.
Listen, I live in the home I shared with my late DH. I have so many memories here - mostly very happy but a few very sad. And I'm in a new relationship now and if we take it forward our only practical option would be my chap moving in here. Which he's fine with, because it's my home. Not my late husband's. And because he spends time here already and can see that it's not a shrine to someone I loved and lost.
There will be minor changes you can make that create a big difference in the feel of the place, remember. You may even find out that your boyfriend has done some such things. Before I first invited mine to stay over, I ordered a new bed, but it had a 14 week lead time and that was too long to wait. In the meantime I bought new bedlinen, very different from my old sets, and moved the bed to a new place in the room. It was massively cathartic. If he moves in, there will be his furniture to accommodate and I fully expect that this will involve replacing some of mine with his. It perhaps doesn't suit the space quite as well, but it suits him, and that's more important. Don't be shy about asking for all this kind of thing, and using your imagination with the space.
One final thing just occurred to me. Ultimately, if you're going to have children together then it's best to get the full legal protection of marriage. But since you own your own property and he has large debts, get some legal advice first. There's nothing wrong with using your head as well as your heart.
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