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MAN NEEDING ADVICE - PLEASE READ(29 Posts)
Need some advice please.
My partner and I have been together for 12 years. We have a 2 ½ year old daughter. We aren’t married.
When my partner and I first got together we both owned our own homes. In 2009 we decided to make the step and move in together, get a puppy and take the relationship to a more committed level. It was agreed that I would sell my house as it seemed the better option for traveling to work, lifestyle and dog walking. I wasn’t overly happy to sell my house but understood it was a sacrifice I would make on behalf of the relationship. As a consequence I had to move further away from my family, I had to give up some hobbies I really enjoyed and I had to give up my pet cat that I was very fond of because he couldn’t get along with my partners cat.
Shortly after I moved in and with the pressure of having a boisterous puppy running around the place things became strained and pressures built up. I realised my life I enjoyed before was over but was committed to making the relationship work so adjusted my lifestyle and the things I enjoyed to fit in with my partner. Similarly she had to come to terms with another person living in her house and it was probably equally difficult for her.
After accepting my life had changed things settled down and the relationship began to work for us and we were happy. However, in the meantime her house location became a little on the rough side. Cars were being stolen from the street, vandalism was on the increase and groups of young adolescents would cause trouble on a night time especially when they had been drinking alcohol .
We decided it was time to move and buy a house together. My partner’s parents had moved out to the country a few years previously and it was always my partner’s intention to move close to them as they got older and I wanted to ensure my partner was happy. By coincidence a property in our price range had just gone up for sale in her parent’s village. The property ticked all the boxes for us. Having viewed the property twice we both fell in love with it and decided to put an offer in which was accepted.
I was happy to move out to the country because I knew this is what my partner would have wanted to do in the near future anyway. I suppose I did push for the move more than her simply because I knew we would have to relocate near her parents at some point anyway. The house was perfect for us and similar types of properties within our price range don’t come to market very often. The only negatives from my point of view were the increased mortgage payments and travel expenses, additional travel time to and from work and I was again moving further away from my own family including my twin bother whom I am very close to.
Nevertheless I was happy to move there for her and we had a nice couple of years together. My partner could see her parents on a daily basis, I could walk the dogs and the village felt very safe. We were content there and decided to take the relationship on another step and try for a baby.
My partner became pregnant and we were over the moon. Soon afterwards we or should I say I began to look at our current living circumstances. The house, in my opinion would be too small for two adults, two large breed dogs, a baby and all the clutter that comes along with the arrival of a new born and accumulates year on year as they get older. I explained to my partner we should look for a bigger house and she resisted trying to reassure me we could manage and reminded me of the reason why we had moved there in the first place…. her parents. OK fair enough I backed down and agreed to see how things pan out.
Our daughter arrived and as predicted the house felt like it was half the size it was before. Not only that but the location of the property, being quite isolated, began to irritate me and the two issues I had with the place soon began to wear me down. I began to hate my daily 2 hour drive per day to and from work. The road to work is probably the most dangerous in our region and there are often car crashes and fatalities. I’d been in numerous near misses along that road but on one of these particular near misses I had my baby daughter in the car with me after picking her up from nursery. This shook me up contributed to a bout of anxiety and depression which I have under control by taking medication.
With the isolation of the house it takes at least 2 hours driving on a weekend to get anywhere. I’m the only one that drives so I’m relied upon by my partner to take her places. She complains about the poor public transport where we currently live so I feel obliged to taxi her about the place.
Another major issue for me is that the schools in the area aren’t great either and time is ticking to make an important decision on her educational path.
About 6 months after the birth of my daughter I was offered the chance to buy my sister and brother out of the old family home. This is a house I’d grown up in from the age of 3 till I left home at the ripe old age of 24 or 25. The property is twice the size of the current house and my parents haven’t lived there for 6 years. It was redeveloped 7 years ago and is currently used as rental income for my parents. Not only is the house twice the size but the garden is huge, roughly 4 times the size we have now and it’s perfect for my daughter and our dogs. We’d be buying the house for 2/3 its value given 1/3 is already mine. I was told by my parents that if nobody wants it then it’ll put on the market for sale and the proceeds would be split 3 ways.
I mentioned the prospect of moving to the bigger house to my partner and she told me she doesn’t want to move to my old house despite me putting in the vast majority all of the money to buy it anyway. The house happens to be in a very attractive, popular and sought after location. Public transport is fantastic , shops are abundant and within 5 minutes walking distance from the front door and the schools are top rate which is in complete contrast to our current location.
I’ve suggested trying it out for 1 year and if after that time she feels the same way then we can move somewhere else as a compromise. She said no. The house fits all the criteria we need and I’ll be heartbroken to lose it but accept, begrudgingly that it has to go if neither myself, brother nor sister want it. I’ll be even more heartbroken to know the house has slipped away from us without even trying it out for 1 year. My daughter would love the outside space and the closeness of my family and her 4 young cousins. It’ll be such a shame for her not to experience a large family setting. She doesn’t have this in the current location and only see’s her cousins on the odd occasion but not enough to develop a relationship or bond.
Anyway the crux of the argument is my partner does not want to leave her mother alone in the village. Her father died 9 months ago and her mother who is now in her 70’s would be alone.
I’d suggested we all move together but this has been hit with resistance from both my partner and her mother.
I can understand that my partner feels torn by the idea of leaving her mother behind. However she’d only be a 50 minute drive away so we can get to her very quickly if need be. She can learn to drive and visit when ever she likes also her mother can drive and visit whenever she likes. I’d made this very clear to my partner. I’ve also made it clear that the reason for moving is primarily to find a bigger home in the right location with the best schools for our daughter and to reduce our monthly outgoings by quite a considerable margin, approx. £500 per month, which would be enough to make a real difference to our lifestyle. The fact my family live in and around the town is secondary to my argument and is not the primary reason for wanting to move back. I’ve lived apart from my family for 15 years so this is not the driving force behind my desire to move back to my home town. My work travel time and expenses would be cut in half which is great for me because I get more time with my daughter in the morning and evening. On top of that our mortgage and childcare costs would be dramatically reduced. The public transport is so much better than our current location and the town is right in the middle of where we like to be for weekend activities. Plus I’d be away from that horrible road I have to drive along sometimes 4 times a day. It fills me with dread every time I have my daughter in the car.
Anyway she refuses to agree to the move and maintains that she has to stay close to her mother who is in good health I should add. She thinks it’s unfair to leave her mother to go and live near my family. I’ve explained that this is all for our daughter and our relationship and that her mother could easily sell up and move to the same town if she wanted. We could even build a detached bungalow in the garden for her mother to live in if needed. My partner is adamant that she does not want to move into my old house or my home town or any where near it for that matter. She wants to remain within 10 miles of her mother. This has really rocked the relationship to the point where I know I will come to resent her, if not already, for not attempting the move for our daughter’s sake and that she has not even considered my strong personal feelings and attachment to my family home and town.
In hindsight I’d still make the move to the village for my partner because at the time it was the right thing to do. She and her parents have benefited a lot from having each other close by in the last 5 years but priorities change and what was once important yesterday doesn’t mean it is equally as important today. Things changed dramatically with the arrival of our daughter and our priorities changed so I’m sorry to say the reason for the move to her parent’s village is redundant to me now. My daughter has to come first.
The 3 questions I need to ask are. Am I being selfish?
Am I being unfair by asking her to move away from her recently widowed mother?
Is it unreasonable for me to ask her to try my old home for 1 year?
I just want the best for my daughter but feel my partner is putting her mother before me our relationship. I don’t get the feeling that what I want matters to her. I’ve said we could wait and begin to make steps to move next spring. I get anxious that time is ticking and before I know it my daughter will be grown up and we’ve wasted a portion of our lives in a place I really don’t want to be. I just don’t know what to do and really fear for the relationship and more importantly our little daughter.
This has been dragging on for 3 years and it’s really getting me to the point of despair so much so it’s started to have a quite severe and detrimental effect on my mood and it has all but destroyed the relationship. My partner argues that she doesn’t see the current relationship as strong enough for her to make the move and be away from her mother. It’s a vicious circle I’m in at the moment. The relationship is failing because of where we live and its effect on me. I would like her to take a leap of faith and move but it’s like compromising with a brick wall at times. She says the relationship has to improve before she even considers moving. I’m utterly convinced a move would be the right thing to do. I don’t want the relationship to fail.
This is very complex. To me it does seem she is getting her way on everything, and you seem reasonable on the face of it, but we'd all have to hear her side, too to make any reasonable recommendation. Can you find a good marriage counselor to work with, and try to sort this all out?
Wow, that was a long post. It sounds like it makes sense to move to the bigger house. I have a question though. Does your partner get on with your family?
I was just thinking about this and trying to put myself in her shoes, and trying to think why I wouldn't want to move. (Apart from being further from her mother).
My other half's mother smothers him, and kind of resents me for "taking her son" away from her. He's always been the golden boy in her eyes. I have completely refused to live near her because I know she would constantly pop round. We only live a half hour drive from her but I definitely wouldn't want to live in the same town. Is there any sort of issue with your family and your wife?
I may be way off track - but it was just a thought
My partner argues that she doesn’t see the current relationship as strong enough for her to make the move and be away from her mother.
This leaps out at me. She isn't commited to you and has doubts about the relationship. You need to discuss why this is and how to improve your relationship, if possible, before any further progress can be made on moving.
So she has had everything her way for years and now you want a bit of 'give' she's not prepared to even consider it?
I know what I'd be doing!
Can you afford to take on the house on your own?
Would your family help you in the initial years so you could set up there?
It's a real no brainer.
You are better financially.
Better for family time.
Better for weekend activities,
Better for forging relationships with cousins for your DD.
Better schools for your DD.
Better links for when your DD will need to get herself to school.
So what if it doesn't work out after a year?
She could probably move in with her mother if it all goes tits up!???
Could you afford to buy out your siblings, without selling the house you are in? If so, maybe it's time to separate, and you can move there alone. I'm a bit confused that your home town is 50 minutes away, but you say that on the weekend it's a 2 hour drive to do stuff?
But, to answer your questions:
Am I being selfish? No, I think you have lots of very good reasons to want to move house.
Am I being unfair by asking her to move away from her recently widowed mother? I suspect that she would have been more likely to move, if her Dad's death hadn't been so very recent. But this chance to buy out your siblings just happens to have happened now, and you would be silly not to consider this.
Is it unreasonable for me to ask her to try my old home for 1 year? No. That's a good compromise.
She needs to learn to drive. I just can't get my head around any adult not driving. Especially when living in a remote location.
Anyway, 50 minutes is nothing. It's no reason for your daughter to not see her cousins, even if you don't move house!
Thank you everyone for your comments. Really appreciated.
Yes I agree it’s a complex matter hence the rather long winded post.
In reply to you all.
mumndad37 – yes I’ve been considering a one on one with a relationship counsellor then putting the idea to my partner. To be honest I don’t know how she’ll view it and may hate the idea but we’ll see.
PenelopePitstop24 – yes absolutely. There is no issue with my family at all. Not a crossed word said in 12 years.
Singleandfabulous – I have suspected this is the case. The relationship has drifted off course since the arrival of our daughter. I’ve been in and out of depression for 2 or 3 years. I’ve done something about it in the last 6 months via doctors trips and medication and feel like my old self to some extent. However the root cause is really down to the isolation of the location we’re in, the travelling, the expenses involved just living here etc I could go on and on.
My partner has never been one to show much affection. She never ever approaches me for affection and doesn’t give it out. That’s just the way she is and I knew how she was when we got together so I shouldn't complain.
She often overlooks me around the house for example she’ll make dinner for my her but not me, she never ever makes a family dinner (that’s always me), I’m the only one who bathes and puts our daughter to bed, read bedtime stories, etc. My daughter is a tricky sleeper and I’m left trying to get her to sleep. I’m often back downstairs when it’s past 9pm and I’ve not had any dinner and nothing has been prepared for me. It’s been like this since my daughter was born so naturally my daughter sees me as the primary care giver. She calls for me during the night, she only wants me to get her out of bed in the morning, she runs to me when we pick her up from nursery etc. I love my daughter so much I would do anything for her. My partner does too believe me.
Over the last 2 years I guess the relationship has worn away and weakened so much so that I wasn’t physically there for her after the passing of her father. I feel terrible for that but with my anxiety and depression, stress of work and home life I just wasn’t able to hug her as much as I could when she cried or got upset. I left her to grieve and gave her space to do it. Personally I prefer to grieve alone so maybe I just reverted to type.
Anyway she now resents me for that and I can't blame her. This is why she doesn’t see the relationship as being strong enough for her to move with me and be away from her mother. I understand that but I was so confused by what I was supposed to do. In 12 years she doesn’t want to show or give affection and suddenly she “needs” it. I feel guilty and horrible for not being there.
hellsbellsmelons - I could afford to buy my brother and sister out providing this current house is sold and I use my half share as a deposit. I’d prefer it if we all moved a s family though.
HuskyLover1 – sorry for the confusion. 1 hour there 1 hour back. I absolutely agree she needs to learn to drive. I’ve been telling her for 10 years to get some lessons booked. I’ve offered to teach her myself to save costs.
This relationship is all kinds of fucked up.
Your wife won't cook you a meal when you're in the house anyway
You didn't comfort your wife when your father died
But if you work full time and commute, how can you do 'everything' for your child? That doesn't make any sense.
It sounds to me like you have two emotionally distant and likely depressed people living in the same house, but not together. Small wonder your wife doesn't want to move away from her recently widowed mother, in that situation.
I think you both need intensive counselling.
I agree this is why I'm here.
I did offer her comfort but not on every occasion she became upset. I hope that makes a bit of sense.
I leave the house at 8 to get to work for 9. Leave work at 5 to make sure I get home for 6.
This bit stood out to me
I was happy to move out to the country because I knew this is what my partner would have wanted to do in the near future anyway. I suppose I did push for the move more than her simply because I knew we would have to relocate near her parents at some point anyway....
Nevertheless I was happy to move there for her
It sounds like the initial move was at your behest, second guessing her. Which is fine and it's worked, but I don't think it's fair for you to be saying she's had all her own way when the first move was pushed for by you.
Also, you say about a million times that you just want the best for your daughter. I'm sure that's true. It is probably going to piss her off if you keep saying it though because the implication is that she doesn't!
I can see why your wife doesn't want to move again if the relationship is rocky, she is still grieving for her dad, and she's got used to having the support of her mum and providing it back. You're asking her to take a huge leap of faith, trusting you to be right, and the trust isn't there if the relationship is rocky.
Can you try relationship counselling?
Although I think you have reasonable grounds for wanting to move, it's as other posters said - you pushed for the first move, so now I think it is slightly unreasonable for you to push for this one as well
It sounds as though it's more of an issue with the relationship. Pressuring her to move house won't help with that.
I suppose it's fundamental to any relationship to find a way to make decisions. Either one person is the decision maker; or, more healthily, there is a process of negotiation, compromise and mutual agreement. You need to find this process - perhaps use a therapist as an intermediary
Stop driving her places. She'll soon hate the country.
Thanks everybody for taking the time to read this and making helpful comments. I guess counselling is really the only way forward seeing as though it's been suggested by quite a few of you. It's something I'll try and I hope my partner joins in. One thing that this has confirmed to me is the relationship is on very rocky ground. Writing all this down and reading it back to myself has made me realise how shit a position we're in right now. Whether or not we can fix it I've no idea nor am I confident that things will turn out ok.
Start acting like a team rather than two people who live together and have a child together. Get your MIL onside about the move and your dp will probably decide it's a good idea. I agree that if you stop giving her lifts she will either decide to learn to drive or get sick of village life.
I suspect you are underplaying your mental health issues. You've been anxious and depressed for a long time which isn't easy to live with. You need to acknowledge that and commit to getting and staying well. Communication is key. At the moment it sounds pretty awful.
Your first post was hard to read without paragraphs. Especially being so long.
The dangerous roads would really bother me.
You're not selfish IMO.
Your partner does seem to be thinking about herself and herself alone though.
Is she bothered that you aren't married? Maybe that's why she doesn't see commitment in the relationship?
I completely understand why the current location isn't working for you. I know several couples where one half became very depressed after a move where it worked for one and not the other. It is a horrible position to be stuck in. However, whether it works for her or not, if it isn't working for you to the point of making you ill, then WHY does your DP still want to stay? I can't imagine feeling happy somewhere that my DH hated to the point of depression. Also the family home you want is really not all that far away from her Mum, it isn't as though you want to move hundreds of miles away! We live in a rural location and drive that distance all the time to get to larger shops etc. I'm also surprised that your partner isn't more bothered about being near to a really good school?
To me, you both sound sad and unhappy. Your partner seems to be living alone while living with you, making food just for herself etc (I think that is particularly strange) . She is obviously stil grieving, and I sympatise very much with that-I know I felt very out-of-kilter with the world for at least a year after my father died. I also felt lonely, as although DH was sympathetic, he hadn't been through it. Perhaps your partner feels that only her mother can understand how she is feeling? I hate to say this but you don't sound like a couple. You sound like two separate people with a child in common. I do think that relationship counselling would be a good idea, at least then you will know whether your partner is actually committed to the relationship or not. Have you ever thought that your partner may have Aspergers? I did slightly wonder that from your post, for various reasons. I may of course be completely wrong, it is just a thought that came to me. Clearly you can't go on like this. If she won't go to Relate and she won't consider your feelings then I don't see how you can go on- if that happens then perhaps selling the home you have and each getting somewhere else would be the best move. Sorry things are so rough.
Well I'm sorry you've been criticised for the length of your op. Very unfriendly.
So hard to really work out what's going on because there are two sides to the story... but you're very unhappy.
Out of interest, why aren't you married? Is she working; who is the greater earner?
I suspect your anxiety and depression would improve if you weren't trapped in a relationship and location that makes you unhappy.
I would forget about the family home as rushing into something could cause more problems.
You need to do less driving- change job/ stop giving wife lifts/ use nanny for DD.
You need to speak to a solicitor to find out what is likely if you separate - access to DD/ finances / would you be main carer for DD etc
Counselling for you alone to start with then both of you together if possible.
Do you have a good gp and treatment for depression?
The present arrangement isn't good but don't rush into anything.
btw I'm sorry things are so fraught
It really is quite a risk coming onto an internet forum with complex difficulties like this - yes, sometimes people post who have great clarity and wisdom (and experience) but it's a risk. Much better to take it to the professionals - whose job it is to unpick complex difficulties with skill and kindness. It's not a given you'll get kindness on somewhere like here op.
Could you book some therapy for yourself?
I've brought up the marriage suggestion on many occasions to test the water and she isn't overly fond of the idea.
We both work and I earn almost twice her salary.
I'm certain she doesn't have Aspergers syndrome. She's just doesn't think when it comes to me either that or she feels uncomfortable showing any type of affection so much so she avoids it. She's never truly opened up to me about it. Even just getting her to offer to make me a cup of tea when she makes one for herself has been a struggle. It can be very demoralising and hurtful to be looked over time and time again.
I've been taking 40mg of fluoxetine for 6 months and it has really made a difference especially with the anxiety which I can control to a certain extent. The near miss in the car last November set it all off. Difficulty sleeping, difficulty swallowing, flashbacks at night, heightened stress levels etc. My gp commented that I may have mild post traumatic stress syndrome which manifested itself a few weeks after the incident. I rarely cry. The last proper time was the death of my grandmother 5 years ago but following the near miss I had to pull the car over and I wept like I'd never done before. How we never crashed head on to a car overtaking on the other side of the road is beyond me. I literally closed my eyes and pulled the steering wheel down to the left. Looking back at my daughter who was none the wiser made me break down for a good 5 minutes. Utterly terrifying I have to say and I dread having her in the car with me on that road which unfortunately has to be driven on if we're going anywhere.
I'm desperate to move from here. It dominates my days morning to night. However my partner has told me she will not and cannot leave her mother or take her granddaughter away from her.
So that's the situation I've faced for the last few years. Ironically it was her father who was pushing me to buy the old family home and we both knew it would be a struggle to get my partner to agree. He wasn't wrong there! He was a practical man and a good friend to me and had my back on most things involving minor insignificant disputes with my partner. Things you could laugh off you know? Men vs women sort of things.
The issue of custody has entered my head constantly. I'm petrified I'd be frozen out which has been partially threatened by my partners mother if we separated ( that's another story). I'd accept nothing less than equal custody of my daughter and I'd push To be the main carer if I thought it was in my daughters best interests. As it happens I think she needs both parents equally involved in her life. Coming to an agreement about schooling is a daunting prospect if we were to separate.
I often feel we're falling into the trap of "staying together for the kids" scenario. I've read this can actually be bad for children and thinking about it logically you can see why. I desparatley want us to be all happy together but I'm prepared to go my own way if I think we're damaging our daughter. I'm sure my partner feels the same as me.
Anyway thanks again for all the comments. Much appreciated
Springydaffs - thank you for taking the time to comment again. I came on here with an open mind. I wanted absolute and brutally honest responses to my 3 questions so if I get a short sharp kick up the backside by somebody fair play. I haven't come on here for kindness I just wanted to know if I'm being a shit by pushing for a move because my partner does. Having said that its been nice to read yours any others supportive posts. Thank you very much
It's getting late my typing and spelling has gone all naff.
One thing- perhaps it would be better/more honest to admit to both yourself and your partner that the other house being close to your family/being a familial house is the driving force behind your reasons for wanting to move to it.
Your initial post reads very much like your want to say that your reasons for wanting to say are all logical and practical whilst all her reasons to stay are emotional, so reason is better than emotion, therefore she's being unreasonable as your option is better.
In fact, you both have a number of both logical, practical and emotional reasons for your house choice. It'd be far easier to sift through them all and decide if you see it in that way and stop trying to rule one option out as "invalid because emotional". BTW emotional reasons are often very valid.
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