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Anyone split with partner but still living with them?

(46 Posts)
Unconventional Mon 03-Aug-09 14:28:08

I can't be the only one? (I'm a namechanging regular btw)
DP and I have been together nearly 10 years but in the last few months have decided to split for various reasons.
This was mainly my decision as I'd fallen out of love with him years ago mainly due to his emotionally abusive behaviour. We've got into so many negative patterns of behaviour with each other that it's become unfixable, and frankly I don't have the energy or the inclination to try to fix it. He wanted to try to fix it but seems to have accepted that I don;t want to.
The problem is, he won't move out because he can't leave his children (aged 5 and 7) who he adores and they adore him.
I can't move out as he'd never let me take the children with me and there's no way I could ever consider living without them, not even temporarily.
So the problem is, we're stuck living in the same house (and in the same bedroom for the time being) while not being 'together'.
Can this work? we get on ok on a day-to-day basis as friends so the children aren't living in a war zone.
Anyone got any experience of this sort of situation?

bubblagirl Mon 03-Aug-09 14:34:28

i think if it works go for it several of my friends parents i never realised as they got on sow ell etc lived together but were apart if its not negative for the children it wont hurt

Unconventional Mon 03-Aug-09 14:37:08

Really? Your friends' parents did it? I've never known anyone who has but it must be more common than we think.

ZZZenAgain Mon 03-Aug-09 14:39:51

emotionally abusive behaviour and generally negative patterns of behaviuoor that have become unfixable - as you wrote doesn't sound like sharing a household would work long-term

You do at least need seperate bedrooms. Can you build an annex of some type or restructure your home in some way for this, doesn't have to be perfect but should give some clarity to the situation.

Can you cope when he is bringing girlfriends back to the house? Can he cope if you are bringing men back?

bubblagirl Mon 03-Aug-09 14:40:03

it really is more common especially now money matters and all that people cant afford to move out get on better once pressure of relationship is gone

once all the kids were grown and were at seniors school they then got separate places which came as a shock thats when my friend said they hadn't been together for years

but they got on great and children were not affected and thats when they then moved in with there then partners they would stay out with partners but kids were in bed had no idea or if they did it didnt bother them as mum and dad were there everyday for them

bubblagirl Mon 03-Aug-09 14:41:23

they never had partners back to the house it was always staying out for the night

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Mon 03-Aug-09 14:43:08

DH lived like this for a while with his ex. They never shared a room after they split one slept on a blow up bed downstairs.
It did work for them for a short time (few months) but cracks did start appearing pretty quickly.
Day to day they got on well, it was her that broke up with him as she had met someone else but it fizzled out. She never liked it though when he started living his own life and getting a social life outwith the house. She didn't want him but didn't want anything to disrupt her life.
Things broke down to a point where she ended up booting hinm out and now refuses anymore than bare minimum (and at times not even the necessary minimum considering they have a son) of communication with him

I think her problem was that as I said she didn't want to be with him but when he started going out and getting a life (and eventually getting together with me) she didn't like it. This was now a situation she had no control over.

It actually worries me a bit when you say he seems to have accepted you don't want to keep trying as I had this with my ex. We never lived together but he stayed at his mothers and we were neighbours.
As he was still in and out most days to see the dc's nothing ahd hugely changed for him although we weren't sharing a bed anymore. Life for him ticked along as normal. This was all fine until I started getting out more with friends when he had dc's as suddenly again this was a situation he had no control over. This was really happening and we were really splitting up and things actually got extremely bad between us for several months when he hit that point.
So please do be wary of his actions. Right now the seperation is just words life has not changed hugely you share a house, a room and obviously to some extent a life still so he has had no need to properly deal with the fact that any of this is really happening.

Unconventional Mon 03-Aug-09 14:44:22

Neither of us will bring anyone else back to the house. That's rule number one and we both agree it's important for the children's sake.
We do seem to get on better with the relationship pressure off.

ZZZenAgain Mon 03-Aug-09 14:45:53

I wouldn't care in the least whether other people do it or not but I still think you need a bit of clarity in the set-up to make the point that something has changed.

It's true you need not bring a partner back to spend the night as such but if either you or dh were to have a new partner, that person would presumably call at home and after some time expect to be able to come around. I#d just keep that in the back of your mind.

Maybe dh gets together with another woman who is not keen on him sharing a bed/bedroom with his ex-wife and is not prepared to just be shunted off by the wayside. Then what? Could you cope with that, could he cope if the tables were turned?

I think you can make these things work if the emotions are not running high and the love/dependency has gone out of the relationship

Unconventional Mon 03-Aug-09 14:51:22

I suspect ex-DP may already have started seeing someone else as he seems quite chirpy. I'm not bothered in the slightest, I'd rather he was happy. But I don't know how he'll cope when I start seeing someone else. I know he'll be jealous at first but not sure how long it will take for him to get used to the idea.

Unconventional Mon 03-Aug-09 14:52:27

As soon as we have the money we'll convert the loft so he can move in there. I really don't want to share a bed but there are no spare bedrooms.

bubblagirl Mon 03-Aug-09 14:55:18

good luck with it all if this is what works then go for it not everyone would agree but if you generally get on better with out the relationship pressure then the arguments stop and it'll be healthier for the children

sleep on floor or sofa though id say make sure he knows the relationship is really over then see how it goes whilst you share a bed he may secretly hope there's a chance which could cause problems later on

Unconventional Mon 03-Aug-09 15:16:05

Thanks to those who've responded.
Anyone else?

Unconventional Mon 03-Aug-09 15:41:18


NewLeaseofLife Mon 03-Aug-09 19:20:52

Not read all the thread so sorry if I am just repeating whats already been said.

My H and I decided we would do the same thing, it was going to be best for DS and us money wise.
It didnt work out. The same problems kept coming up and we still argued. he has now moved out and things are a lot better. He is still here most mornings as he takes DS to Nursery and pops in most nights to say goodnight/put DS to bed. It seems to be working ok like that. He still has a lot of contact with DS but we have the distance we need to start living our own lives. There are still the occasional rows as we havent finished sorting out all the finances etc yet but it will get better in time, Im sure.

I hope that helps.
Good luck

Unconventional Mon 03-Aug-09 20:58:16

Newleaseoflife, how long did you manage it for?
I do think the best thing for all of us would be to live separately but he's adamant that he's not moving out and I definitely can't. I wouldn't restrict his access to DC in any way - he could see them every day if he wanted to. Still he won't go. So we have to try and make this work.

Unconventional Mon 03-Aug-09 21:26:56


secretskillrelationships Mon 03-Aug-09 21:42:51

Having decided to split, we tried to stay together for the summer holidays for the sake of the children. Lasted about 2 weeks, unfortunately. The old problems didn't go away, he failed to keep his end of the bargain, etc.

Once we had told the children we were separating, things have been better between us, or at least appear so. But the reality is that I've accepted that he no longer a partner in our relationship so no longer need to argue when he isn't pulling his weight. He stayed for a week after we told the DCs.

I was, I think, hoping that when he saw I was serious he would reconsider. However, having seen his behaviour from a less emotional standpoint, I'm not sure I'd want him back grin.

NewLeaseofLife Mon 03-Aug-09 21:53:52

We tried it for a couple of months. I really feel so much better now he has moved out and DS seems to have adjusted quite well.
I am sorry you are stuck in this situation.

lilac21 Mon 03-Aug-09 22:28:52

Been doing it since January, separate rooms since Feb (he was v resistant to that because it was too 'final'). We effectively have no relationship at all, when one of us enters a room the other leaves it. The kids (nearly 10 and 12) know that we sleep separately but haven't worked out the implications. We are not having a family holiday this year and they are wondering why.

I am planning to move out with the children because in his opinion this is HIS house, because he paid the mortgage when we had one. I can't afford to buy his share (£350k) and I don't think if he moved into a rented flat or similar he would see that his right enter this house had changed. He would expect to come and go as he pleased and treat as if it is still his house. I know this from conversations we have had and he still has loads of his stuff in what is now my room.

We are seeing a mediator on Friday to try and move forward. I have also been subject to emotional abuse, unsurprisingly it only got worse after I told him that the relationship is over. We have been married for 13 years.

I honestly don't think it works, and those few weeks of continuing to share a room were some of the worst. I simply couldn't sleep like that and wouldn't change clothes in front of him, it was impossible. I have used this time to save money, luckily I have my own salary of 40k a year and we have no joint finances. I plan to move in the spring when I can afford it.

Don't think it it is the best situation for the children. I would hate my girls to think that this is the sort of relationship they should aspire to or accept. They deserve so much more, so do I and so do you.

dazedandconfused Mon 03-Aug-09 22:50:25

I was going to suggest, like lilac21, that you see a mediator and begin to discuss the practical implications of not being together. Sounds like you might need the help of a third party to get your H to start understanding what it all means.

You might have to consider moving to get your own space, and agree who's having the children when etc? I guess it's possible to live together for a short period but I'm sure you'll come to a point when you want the space and privacy to get on with your own life.

My H and I live 5 minutes away from each other and he sees the children most days - overnight twice a week. It was v difficult at first - he wouldn't have the children at all as a kind of revenge on me for wanting to split - and because he was very upset. Things are much calmer now (2 years on) and we're actually trying to work things out, which is hard work but I'm hoping will be worth the effort!

Best of luck. It's good to be unconventional imo - whatever works and there are no rules about separation.

Swedes Tue 04-Aug-09 17:05:21

Unconventional - What are your circumstances? Do you work, which of you is the primary carer to your children (or perhaps you both work and truly share the parenting)?

I would find it horribly stressful to share a room with someone with whom I was no longer having an ongoing relationship. Lack of privacy and stuff would be terribly stressful and bad for you both.

For how long might you be able to keep up this arrangement? If it's only short-term or a year or two, is it really worth putting off the inevitable? Will it be any easier on your children in two years?

Unconventional Tue 04-Aug-09 23:43:47

Swedes, I work part time and am the primary carer, have been since DS1 was born. Dp works long hours but spends time with the DC in the mornings before work.
DP sees this situation going on long-term, until the DC are old enough to leave home. I don't think it's sustainable for more than a couple of years.
I think the DC would handle it better at this age, where they don't understand that much about relationships, than when they're older, but he won't budge.
Actually, we're making an effort to be nice to each other and the atmosphere at home is pretty calm and pleasant. But I still don't want to share a bedroom, so the sooner we can sort that out, the better.

hayes Tue 04-Aug-09 23:51:19

my ex and I had similar story to yours we lived together for 5 months but weren't togther, didn't share bed etc in the end I met someone else as did he then it wasn't practical to live together. I moved out into rented accomodation which was difficult at time bt for the best

Unconventional Tue 04-Aug-09 23:56:14

That's the thing - it's fine now, when the split has just happened but what about when we meet other people? Our new partners aren't going to be happy about us living together.
It's all just so complicated.

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