Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Is love enough?(42 Posts)
Is love enough…..
Just wondering what your thoughts are on this. I’m engaged to a wonderful man but unfortunately we have a long distance relationship (both single parents with sole residence with school age children). We have been together for over 5 years.
Next year was supposed to be the year that myself and my DD move to live with him. Aside from the fact that my DD is now not keen (she is 13) there are other factors that are starting to concern me. Hence me wanting to know if ‘love’ is enough of a reason to make the move.
My fiancé is a truly lovely man, kind and caring and loves me to bits. But, the reasons I am getting worried about the move are several.
1, He has two sons, 17 & 19 both still at home. The 17 yo is doing an arts access course at school having failed his exams. 19 yo did a 2 yr HND type science course which finished in June 2015 and has not got a job yet. He has tried to get various apprenticeships but not yet succeeded and tbh is always too late when applying and misses the boat. He has had an interview for 1 job in all this time but didn’t get it but aside from that, nothing. I know DP is frustrated by his DS’s reticence in getting work but when I suggest DS signs on at the job centre he baulks at this. There seems to be a lack of motivation on the son’s part and not much butt kicking from his dad. I am SO frustrated by this – especially when my DD’s have all gone to grammar schools and are conscientious pupils/students. 1 now at Uni and the other going next year.
2, I am planning to sell my house (the family home – I will have two DD’s at University by the time we move) , give up my job, leave family and friends and make my DS3 change school/leave friends etc etc. DP’s house is to be frank, a bloody tip. I know we have said that we will decorate it once Im down but honestly, it needs far more than a lick of paint. The kitchen is a jumble of units from the 80’s, there is mould in the bedrooms, the lounge has a goddawful fireplace which looks like its from the 1940s even though the house was built in the 80s. Plus there is junk everywhere. His office which is part of a converted garage – well you literally have to climb over stuff to get to his desk. I have asked where my stuff will go when we move and he just laughs it off and says I will clear you some space in the garage. I know he’s just joking but Im getting a bit annoyed because I have to get my own house ready to sell (DIY jobs which I have asked if he can help me with but he is slow off the mark with those) so I don’t think its unreasonable that he start thinking about where our stuff will go and what preparations he can make prior to us moving. We are only talking about 6-7 months time after all.
3, He lives on his parents farm and works for them but only on an hourly rate. Whilst they can’t do without him (they are both in their early 70s) they won’t hand over the reins to him and his brother (batchelor who still lives with parents at 40 yrs old) – GOD! So, he doesn’t exactly have a great income but whilst his kids have been at school he has managed ok with the help of WTC/CTC. Because he hasn’t know anything else, he is used to having his parents make all the decisions but I am not sure if I can hack that. Can you imagine having your mum/dad as essentially your bosses and ones who make ridiculous financial/business decisions? (He lives in a tied house so he doesn’t pay rent so I guess it puts him in a difficult position as he can’t really tell them to stuff it as they essentially provide a roof). We had always hoped/planned that we would run the farm together. There is also a campsite which could be something really special too. His parents are still humming and harring over bringing the two sons into the business so it doesn’t look like anything will happen anytime soon.
All this sounds so negative, but it’s the practicalities of the situation that I am getting overwhelmed with.
Yes we will have a lovely life together – eventually. He lives in a beautiful part of the world and it is my dream for us to be together and live the good life! But if things aren’t right when I move down i.e. his DS’s (will they ever leave home???) will I just build up resentment about everything I’ve given up?
I have told him I am confused about things – ok, mainly its because of my DD not wanting to move down (her father has said he can go and live with him and she seems happy with this – of course I am not) but these extra things are making me feel like its not the right time anymore.
So, is love enough? I don’t think I will ever find someone who loves me like he does – nor do I want to - we are very compatible. I do love him very much but right now I can’t see past the realities of the move.
No OP, love alone is never enough. You also need trust, respect, an ability to communicate with each other and compatibility. It sounds like you have some very serious doubts so its time to get your rational head on - like you say, focus on the realities of your situation. You are about to change your whole life to be with this man, but you need to be sure that this new life will work for you.
If your DD does not want to move, then that is something to think very seriously about. But also, your own feelings are important here. It sounds like you are seeing big red flags about possibly ending up in a situation where you are full of resentment, and obviously that's no way to live. So what you're doing is looking out for yourself. Someone else will be along very soon with more practical advice, but I just wanted to let you know that I think you're right to be taking a step back and having a good hard think rather than getting caught up in the romance of the situation. It doesn't mean that your whole relationship is wrong, but that you need to have a serious talk with your man about expectations - his and yours
Well his sons may not leave home for some time and if that bothers you (and you do say you are frustrated) I would leave it for now and make a decision when their future is more secure.
I think the move involves lots of compromising for you which I personally wouldn't do (move into a cluttered house which belongs to someone else, move my dd's school, live on a farm, give up my job.)
To answer your question I would have said yes. But after reading your op I would say no in your case it might not be enough.
No. And in the situation you describe, I would say absolutely not. Way, way too many red flags. You will never be at home in his house - neither will your DD.
It's never enough.
Head needs to overrule the heart here
How many discussions have you had about your respective opinions on things? Because from what you've written, it sounds like there are some huge areas where you are pretty incompatible and while love might be enough in some circumstances, I'd hesitate to sell my house and leave my entire life behind to join a man who, although lovely, has such a different parenting style, employment situation and attitude towards his home than I did.
Would temporarily renting your home out and finding rented accommodation nearby him be an option? And evenings and weekends could then be spent fixing the house, clearing the clutter and making it a place you'd be happy living?
If you're thinking the decisions his parents/employers make are ridiculous, and you're already wanting to put a rocket up the bottom of at least one of his sons, how would you cope with those situations when they're in front of you, rather than from a distance? You can't just turn up with a lorry load of your possessions, tell him his parenting skills are shit, his house is awful and his parents are idiots without some pretty dire consequences (not that I'm suggesting you'd do that, but how long could you do the softly softly approach for before you're utterly miserable?).
Oh come on, OP! What is it about his situation that makes you want to sell up and move your reluctant daughter there? Are you mad?
Talking on the phone and getting along well there is one thing, but when it comes to moving house, you'd have to be crazy. I pity your daughter that you're talking to her about doing this - if I were her I'd do anything rather than live like that.
No. I remember a thread here about a woman in a relationship with a farmer who had the inheritance dangled infront of him by his parents as a way to pay him pennies and keep him in the family. Nothing was ever written on paper that he would get the house and treating him like that led to him being like a child in the form of a grown man. He had no aspirations, no oomph/ get up and go. He had no reason to. His parents controlled everything so he was just had to follow orders.
How are you really compatible; this has been a LDR for the past 5 years. Talking on the phone and seeing each other occasionally does not really make a relationship.
In answer to your original question love alone is not enough and I think that if you were to move in with this man and his family, it will be the worst decision you have ever made for you and your DD.
The writing is on the wall here and you ignore all these red flags at your peril. For a start the man cannot make a decision without his parents approval and the farm is both a shit tip and money pit. Your 13 year old DD is reluctant and rightly so for good reason.
No. Please don't give up your security and your child's comfort for this trade-off. Far too many red flags and unanswered questions.
No it's is not, especially when it comes to blended families.
If you are having doubts about living with his two sons who sound pretty lazy then I'd say to you do not do it, I've been there and it was horrendous, plus you'd be putting your DD through a possibly stressful time with the move and having to live alongside two teenage boys - hate to say it, but it rarely works out as one happy family.
If you can, stay as you are until you are both free to live together, without the stresses or raising different children.
Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts, you are all saying pretty much what I already know so its no surprise and I guess its what has been slowly dawning on me for the last six months. I think I need to put the move on hold for now, if not for a few years. Its good to get other's opinions and to know that what I see as hurdles are not unreasonable and superficial.
But if the move's on hold, are you going to continue with the relationship?
One thing I was thinking was that if he's a farmer, living in a tied cottage, I doubt whether his sons would ever leave, would they? Why would they go off somewhere and pay rent if they didn't have to?
Also, you say you'd help your bf with the farming - is that a skill of yours?
As was said, head needs to rule on this one.
I think, taking all of the above, you would regret moving at this moment and the love would die. Your DD is at a difficult stage of life and I'd wonder about moving her for the next 5 or 6 years to be honest, especially as there might be a lack of compatibility with the DSs already there.
He needs to show what he will bring to your future life together. Which is more than just assimilating you into his existence just now. The family business thing is hard but he needs to be pushing them to show you what he wants for you both in the future.
You would be mad to move in this situation, I'm with everyone else, let your head take charge on this one!
Crazy to move as I don't think compatibility is there.
The biggest areas of conflict are, parenting, finances and attitude to house tidiness. You do not appear compatible on any of these.
Could you really live in a house owned by parents that is not at a standard you are used to? What will your teenage daughter make of this?
Hang fire for at least 3 years until she has completed GCSEs.
That is an absolute nightmare waiting to happen.
What's the trigger for now? Your second going to uni, his youngest soon turning 18?
My fiancé and I have delayed living together for another 2 years because we don't want either sets of kids forced to move just 5 miles away! Because of the impact to their friendships, no longer being a drive away from school. And also because it's a big deal asking a child to move in with strangers! It doesn't sound at all fair on her - and does it impact her contact with her father?
Wait til your 13yo is leaving for uni. Guarantee you at least one of his boys will still be at home Which is fine for some, but not what you want to live with.
Those 80s jumble of kitchen units? So, are you going to use the money from your home to upgrade his parent's kitchen (not even his!) and then lose that when you finally get fed up that the messy bugger is WHO HE IS and you leave, feeling a fool for ever thinking a man who most be 40s/50s was going to suddenly become tidy?
Or maybe love is enough and you'll be happy in the ramshackle house surrounded by young adult boys you don't know, never frustrated that his parents won't include him in the business. And not bitter at all when they sell up for retirement, you lose the tied house you've sunk money into decorating and not really caring that your dream of running a campsite never made it?
No, love is not enough.
If you must go through with it - why are you selling your house?!!!! Please please please rent it out for a year whilst you live with him to see how it goes.
Be prepared to lose residency of your daughter over this. What 13yo would choose living with a man they can barely know (LDR) - and 17/19 year old boys when she could be with her dad?
No don't do it. I think your money would dwindle away and you would end up unhappy and with nothing.
Do his parents own the farm?
Farms generally need to stay in the family. Can u imagine being there for a long long time? You sound like chalk and cheese to me
You would be stark raving mad to consider this ! As others have said, you are not remotely compatible on key areas such a tidiness, money and parenting.
Also farming is a very hard life, especially if you are not brought up in it. And it's s very traditional community which sometimes isn't welcoming to outsiders .
You have, I assume, no experience of country life let alone farming. You are planning to help him in a family business which he doesn't even have a share in. And help him do up a house which he doesn't own and has no security of tenure.
Even if the parents split it between the two sons in the next few years ,is each half big enough to be viable ? Where would he get the capital to develop it ?
What about your work - can you get a job in the new area ?
I'm sorry but this has disaster written all over it .
You would be mad to consider this - incompatible on key issues (finances, home, autonomy, motivation, tidiness, parenting) plus the sacrifice would be pretty much entirely yours in terms of security, finances, inheritance for your children, support network, your autonomy over a roof over your head. You'd be throwing away your financial security and the strain would be massive, you would hate living there and his dc will drive you made and potentially never leave home. Plus your daughter is at probably the worst possible age for such a huge move.
No, just no. Love is never enough. And definitely not where dc are involved.
How much will you love him when you're trapped (all your money in his house)?
This isn't a fair situation. Why not tell him that?
He'll need to become an adult, get a share in the business and fix the house. Then it's fair.
Don't do it. Listen to your instincts. Respect is a huge factor in any relationship and you do not truly respect the way his sons are behaving our your dp handling of the situation.
I was (before getting cold feet about the move ) going to sell my house and downsize to a flat which I'd either rent out or if the older DDs returned to the area, they would be welcome to live in for as long as they needed while studying or working.
My DD3 knows my fiance very well we see eachother every weekend and in the school hols as i work term time. She regularly accompanies me at the weekends that we go to his house and gets in well with his sons.
I do appreciate all your comments and I suppose seeing them in black & white my choice is pretty much obvious.
Im from a rural background myself and although not a farmer am used to country life and the trials and tribulations it would bring but i think the reasons i mentioned in my first post would spoil the idyll that I have envisaged for so long.
I think the right thing to do is put the move on hold. It was originally going to be next summer before DD3 started Yr 9 and taking her options. I don't want to get too bogged down in talking about the implications on my DD as this ultimately will be the reason That I do not move anyway. I was just more interested to know what people thought about heart ruling head in a situation like mine.
Why don't you rent your property for the time being and allow your daughter to live with her dad initially. Then rent a small flat near dp's farm and then slowly and together clear stuff out. If he's running a farm I doubt he has a hell of a lot of spare time . Set yourself a time frame, so say 6 months and if things haven't got better within those 6 months, so the state of the house, his son getting of his arse etc head back home. Yes you will have given up your job, but your going to end up regretting not giving it a chance.
You might find that your not compatible enough to physically live together or that you don't enjoy living the farmer wife lifestyle - mud everywhere and dp coming home smelling of cow shit.
I don't think love is everything. You can love someone and they be completely wrong for you.
This has nightmare written all over it.
The house will have nothing done to it by the time you arrive. You'd have to do that and pay for it all yourself. Plus having to deal with his teenagers and no doubt do all or a lot of the housework etc.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.