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Does anyone else live in the house that DP shared with BM?

(38 Posts)
NotActuallyAMum Thu 11-Aug-05 15:05:13

I'm really struggling to settle in the house - DP says he doesn't think about his ex being there with him and I do believe him, but whilst he might not, I certainly do! I've lived with him now for nearly 9 months and don't feel any happier or more settled than I did on day 1. DP and I have just "bought" the house - I've given him a very large chunk of his divorce settlement - and we're having a joint mortgage, it's all due to be completed next Friday (at last!) and I am happy that it's finally going to happen but I'm also upset that I have to live in a house that I don't want to be in. DP has, grudgingly, agreed that if I can't settle in 12 months he will move but I know he doesn't want to move and think he'll be angry with me if I don't settle. He has been absolutely fantastic in letting me change anything that I've wanted to but I still don't feel comfortable in the house.

I'm also having to get used to being a step-parent which is completely new to me (I have no children) and I feel that this alone is hard enough.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Alannah Thu 11-Aug-05 19:11:56

OMG - I feel for you - I couldn't do it. I'm not sure if I can give you any advice but I know that I would be looking for a house to make a home for your new blended family. My dp was trying to insist that we lived in the same neighbourhood as bm but I'm afraid that I have scuppered that idea as I really feel that it was inconsiderate of him to ask. Good luck!

Lonelymum Thu 11-Aug-05 19:17:50

I can guess you are talking about the ex partner of your current partner, but what does BM stand for please?

NomDePlume Thu 11-Aug-05 19:32:40

Birth Mother

Lonelymum Thu 11-Aug-05 19:34:25

Oh really confused now! I thought it was BL**dy something! Is that dp's BM or the BM of the kids you jointly bring up?

purpleturtle Thu 11-Aug-05 19:40:48

It'll be the birth mother of the children that NotActuallyAMum is step-parenting

Lonelymum Thu 11-Aug-05 19:48:33

Thanks PT! You are still sane I see, even tho in the middle of PT.

purpleturtle Thu 11-Aug-05 23:40:11

ah well, I'm slightly cheating on the pt, because dh finished work at the end of July, so I'm letting him bear the brunt of most things!

NotActuallyAMum Fri 12-Aug-05 08:27:12

Alannah thanks for your reply - I too think it's inconsiderate of him to expect me to live there. He says that if it was the other way round it wouldn't bother him but I really think this is different for women, I don't think there are many women around who would be happy to do this.

Don't think I made this clear in my original post but his daughter (she's 12) doesn't live with us, she lives with her mum but visits regularly. I'm finding it hard enough being a stepmum, albeit part-time, and I think I've got enough to think about trying to cope with that.

I know that we can move in 12 months if I'm still not settled but 12 months is a long time to be unhappy and uncomfortable in my own home.

lunavix Fri 12-Aug-05 08:33:34

I wouldn't have moved in personally, I know that doesn't work for everyone but I'm terribly touchy about this sort of thing.

basketcase Fri 12-Aug-05 08:39:44

I insisted we went into rented until his house was sold - too many memories and imagined memories.
After renting for a while we were then ready to buy our own house. Feel fortunate that we were able to do it with a rest from mortgages and felt that we were doing it with no additional unwanted involvement.
I really feel for you and suggest you start to look now - 12 months is not a long time scale. Why has he set 12 months? Is there a logical reason or is he just trying to force you into delaying a decision he won’t be happy with?
Can you arrange a better compromise? Difficult if you have already agreed to this 12 month thing but I would sit him down and tell him how hard you are finding it all - being a step mum and having to do it in this house. How about agreeing to start to look around the area, that you will do the initial legwork and he will join you to just look if any seem a good bet. You have just had the house valued and so you must have a good grip on your financial situation, how much you can afford.
It took us 14 months from starting to look to actually selling and buying another (thanks to delays, drop outs, gazumping, second buyer needed etc.) so if 12 months is your timescale, it would be reasonable to gently start the process.
I can understand that he might be reluctant after jsut completing the last set of paperwork and wants a break from it all, but if you are not happy then it is not fair to expect you just to put up with it.
Perhaps wait a couple of weeks before broaching it and pick your moment carefully ?
Good Luck

Squirrel3 Fri 12-Aug-05 09:25:46

I couldn't do it, I can fully understand why you are finding it difficult, I would find it impossible!

NotActuallyAMum Fri 12-Aug-05 09:30:00

lunavix - yes I'm very touchy about it too but I didn't realise it until after I'd moved in! If I had known how much it was going to get to me I wouldn't have moved in with him.

basketcase - I have already agreed to wait 12 months before we start looking. I have to say that at the moment we can't afford to move. His divorce has just cost £55,000 (I gave him £40,000 towards it, aren't I good?? we re-mortgaged for the rest). Solicitors bill is up to £2,200 so far so we just can't do it. There was no particular reason for the 12 months - I did say that I would try to settle there so he suggested 12 months which I agreed to. I'm hoping I'll start to feel better when it is actually our house next Friday and not "their house" as it has been up until now.

Jackstini Fri 12-Aug-05 09:33:35

Some blokes are sensitive about this too. When I got divorced it was always mutually understood that my new DP would never move into the 'marital' home. We both felt it would be very uncomfortable, him more then me tbh. I sold the house, bought a new one (small temporary option) and he moved in after a while. We then looked together to find something we wanted to start our new lives in. It took about 9 months once we found somewhere, so I agree with Basketcase - you should start looking now. Good luck

Catbert Fri 12-Aug-05 09:37:37

When DH was about 16, his parents divorced (older bro 17, younger bro 14) and shortly afterwards his dad remarried. She moved into the "family home" but I know (albeit many years ago) she was never, ever happy there. They did (to be fair) try to sell, but the market was stagnent and they had no luck. She redocorated everything, and I mean EVERYTHING and really it was no longer the house the boys remembered growing up in. However, she was delighted the day they moved, but DHs older brother was still devestated that the family house had been sold (DH never really bothered, because life had already moved on in so many ways it seemed petty to him to hold a grudge).

But the point is that despite her never really being a step mother, and the boys all but having left home, and all trace of original mum having been removed and many years later - she still was ecstatic to finally be rid of that house.

It's understandable, and I would not be happy about it.

And also, even with no children involved, I keep trying to persuade a good friend of mine to sell the house he shared with his partner for nigh on 10 years, as now that he is single, I reckon it's really not a girlfriend winner to invite anyone back to the house he bought with another woman!

Why does HE not want to move? Surely he must to a great extent feel the same way????

Caligula Fri 12-Aug-05 09:51:01

Oh blimey I don't think I'd want to do that. Too gruesome. I think there are some situations in life where moving house is a necessity, however impractical, expensive, and seemingly pointless, and this is one of them. Get down the estate agent's!!

NotActuallyAMum Fri 12-Aug-05 09:53:20

Thank you Catbert and Jackstini. He says he doesn't even think about her ever being there and the only memories he has of the house are happy ones with me. They lived there for about 3 years. He also says the house has had so much done to it he doesn't want anyone else to benefit from it all - which I can't understand because we could easily find another house with everything done and also if the work wasn't done the house wouldn't be worth as much as it is.

Catbert, yes I agree your friend should definitely move and have a fresh start for himself.

Caligula Fri 12-Aug-05 10:03:09

This thread has reminded me of someone I knew years ago, who was trapped in a house she had shared with her violent xh, who had simply walked out on her and her 3 kids one day and totally disappeared. She had a tiny protected rent there and simply couldn't afford to move. As she was in the shit, she gradually developed a drink problem and became an alcoholic. Then someone bought her house from her landlord, and offered her £30,000 to enable her to move (this was about 15 years ago, so it was a significant sum of money). Within 6 months of moving, she sobered up and has been dry ever since.

I really think what enabled her to become sober, was the fact that she escaped that house where she'd been so unhappy. And she'd never quite consciously realised just what a downer it was on her living there.

I think if you try and force yourself to settle, it will always be a subliminal downer on your life (I'm not suggesting you'll become an alcoholic of course - not that close a parallel - but I do think it's important that you're happy in your home and really feel it's yours.)

NotActuallyAMum Fri 12-Aug-05 10:46:34

Thank you Caligula - wise as always

I reckon DP thinks I should just be able to live there without question and not think about the house's history. He knows I'm unhappy and uncomfortable with it but I really don't think he understands why I've got a problem with living there

swiperfox Fri 12-Aug-05 10:52:42

You sound exactly like i was when i moved in with dp. When his ex moved out and i moved in, he left it to me to get rid of all her stuff!!!

I had to re-decorate and convince hm to get rid of all the furniture they had bought together. Apart from the fact it was all her stuff with dp, her taste was awful

He said that it didn't bother him and that she was gone and none of the stuff meant anything, it was just furniture, but i couldn't handle it.

That was 5 years ago and 3 houses later there is still a wardrobe that needs to go!!!!!

(Even more crass - he wanted to keep the wedding rings that he had bought for him his ex to use for us and still brings up that i made him get rid of them!!!!! )

Alannah Fri 12-Aug-05 13:36:45

I think that the moral of this thread is that, very obviously, women feel completely differently about things like houses and furniture. I have a guarded respect for 'vibes' and I do believe that buildings retain atmosphere so why would anyone want to live in a building where they had been in an unhappy relationship? I don't know men? can't live with them, can't live without them!

kama Fri 12-Aug-05 13:48:10

Message withdrawn

kama Fri 12-Aug-05 13:48:54

Message withdrawn

Catbert Fri 12-Aug-05 13:57:28

Houses are just houses at the outset. But they become homes - and the two are different things.

Your fella might not understand the importance and see only the material value, but this is a lot more than bricks, mortar and the cost of redecoration. It is the places where we define ourselves, the only real place where we can make our mark and discover our identity as individuals and as families. It should also be our safe place, where we feel secure and Caligula's post illustrates only too clearly how the wrong environment can cause a loss of self and cause misery. Surely if your partner cares little about the house and what it means, he should be noticing the fact it means something negative to you?

It's not about trying to settle or get comfortable. I doubt you will achieve that. It's about starting out comfortable as a family. I think you are only going to achieve this by buying a family home all together.

NotActuallyAMum Fri 12-Aug-05 15:05:36

Swiperfox that's awful - I know what I'd tell him when he mentions it!

Thank you all for your confirming what I thought - I'm very tempted to print this out and show it to him!

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