I'll try and be concise. Been with DP for 3 years. He is approaching retirement age, I'm early 50s. I have 3 children -17, 12 and 10. His two kids are adults with their own children. He has a one bedroom housing association flat and I privately rent a two bed house. I work part time and get tax credits and child benefit. He works full time, demanding and physically draining job, variable shifts-11 hour days, night shifts into the early hours of the morning. The wage is not great. He has stated his intention to his employer, gov and pension companies that he will defer retiring as he doesn't think he can afford to retire.
We have discussed marriage and living together and agree we want that, however it just doesn't seem practical from a financial point of view. Ive been on the government website to see if I can work out what our situation would be re tax credits etc and it would appear to be doable. But there are so many ifs and buts.
Things will change a lot over the next few years. My children will (possibly!) leave home. My partner might retire. Our income sources will change from wage+wage+tax credits+child benefit to (my increased) wage+ his pension+????? I'll say it, he may die much before me.
So do we chance it financially? Do we go through that upheaval of moving everyone to the necessary bigger, more expensive home which then may become become superfluous if children move away necessitating another move when we will be quite a bit older? Does he give up the security of his housing association flat?
Or do we continue as we are, 20 minutes apart, eating separately, sitting alone each evening. Him getting in dog tired, flinging a ready meal in the oven and having a wine before falling into bed. I'd love to look after him, cook him proper food. He likes to drive over mornings when he's not working and give us a lift to school. Sometimes he stays over. Sometimes I stay at his when my children see their father. In some ways it suits us both. I miss him so much though. I want us to be that old married couple.