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DH taking no action

(85 Posts)
Sing19 Fri 23-Oct-20 08:42:24

I've just lost my temper with DH over his reluctance to take action over our house sale and although he didn't explicitly say it, he implied I was being unreasonable and I'd like your thoughts please.

We have moved abroad for his work, I was reluctant to leave my life, friends, home and career but understood that it was necessary. The house has been on the market for 16 months, 2 serious buyers, 2 different estate agents, work done that showed up on the survey, all organised by me, initially in the UK and now from overseas.

Our current buyer made an offer nearly 3 months ago and completion has taken so long because the buyer's mortgage offer has been slow to come through. We have been informed this is finally in place and on my suggestion, DH phoned our solicitor on Monday to get him to tie the buyer down to a completion date. So far we've not had word back and I've been waiting all week for DH to suggest he phones again to chase this up. The house has been empty for over a year, I'm arranging and paying a cleaner and gardener, we're paying mortgage, council tax and utilities. I'm sick of the situation and I'm sick of DH's lack of drive in pushing it forward.

He is also involved in selling a property which is part of his family's estate which should have been put on the market over a year ago. As a result of the delay the estate is dwindling due to costs related to the property.

I have expressed my frustration with his lack of action on several occasions and he says we are different people and that he is 'less pushy' than me. We use his business phone for international calls, I could email but the solicitor takes a few days to respond to them. I've now threatened to pack my bags and go home alone if he doesn't take action. If I do, it will be the end of our 37 year relationship but right now I'd happily see the back of him and both houses.


DanniRae Fri 23-Oct-20 08:52:26

I'm sorry to say that my initial reaction is fight the battles that you can win. In other words it sounds to me that he will never be the more pushy person that you want him to be - so accept it and carry on doing all the organising that you have been doing and save yourself all the stress of trying to change someone who is unable to change.
I hope this makes sense?
Good Luck!

Hetty58 Fri 23-Oct-20 09:05:18

You are fit and well, that's the important thing. Properties are just possessions.

You must know that he's unlikely to change, so, rather than get angry, just make the phone calls on his behalf. If the agent wants to speak with him, hand over the phone.

I hope that you applied to the council for the 'empty home' or 'renovation' reduction in council tax. It's often available.

You do sound rather impatient. I'd always email. OK, it might take a few days - but you have a written record of progress.

Ladyleftfieldlover Fri 23-Oct-20 09:12:25

I am afraid I would have taken over the negotiations by now! When we last moved my OH was out in Nigeria on business. He left before we had exchanged contracts and came home six weeks later after we had moved! Fortunately we had a brilliant solicitor and excellent removers. Just bite the bullet.

M0nica Fri 23-Oct-20 09:17:37

Nothing happens in house moves, whether viewings, sale agreemen, solicitor unless you badger, badger, badger. If your DH is not a badgerer, you will have to do it for him.

I and my mother had the same problem with my father after my sister died. He was of the old school that believed that you gave Instructions to a Professional person and they went away and worked hard on your project and came back as soon as the job was done. We could never get him to understand that nothing happens unless you are constantly on the phone reminding those involved each day of the work that needs doing.

As Dannirae, so rightly says, if your DH is not of the pushy nature needed for handling house sales, then do it yourself. We can't all be perfect and a problem like this should not be a marriage breaker.

My DH travelled a lot on business and I handled all our house moves and I became adept at cultivating estate agents, solicitors etc, It really is hard work but it has to be done. So just go ahead and do it.

aggie Fri 23-Oct-20 09:33:15

I understand your frustration , it is a pain but you are better at organising , don’t let it get under your skin . The sooner you take over the better , it is so much more difficult when you are not on the spot !
Just a thought , sell your house and leave he’s family property to him
Good luck

ExD Fri 23-Oct-20 09:36:06

My DH has a similar attitude and it drives me mad, but after 60 years of marriage I know he won't change. I'm really just adding to the advice you already have and that's to get on with it and do it yourself. I think these men are afraid of making a hash of these things and are shirking the responsibility, but it does no good telling them so.

newnanny Fri 23-Oct-20 09:36:11

I think in your shoes I would just take over the role in order to get the job done and offer to sort out his family estate too. My dh is so back he is horizontal. I used to get really worked up over his lax attitude. Now I just get the jobs done myself or appoint a professional and chase them to completion and life is more harmonious at home. We agree on many other aspects of life so I just choose as the more motivated partner to.take over some jobs.

Gma29 Fri 23-Oct-20 09:36:14

If you can’t bear to sit it out and let things trundle on, I would take over what you can, and just get it done. Frustrating, but perhaps more bearable than gritting your teeth on the sidelines. I can’t see your husband changing his approach now.

We are currently involved in a small property purchase, updating wills, and some business admin involving solicitors, and I totally agree that unless you constantly chase, nothing seems to happen for weeks at a time. This has been true of all the solicitors we have used. One especially is absolutely dreadful, promises things for ‘middle of next week’ and we’re still waiting 3 weeks on.

Beanie654321 Fri 23-Oct-20 09:37:11

Are you also working? If not I would take over this task as DH maybe under stress in his work. After 37 years he's not going to change, so either do it or wait. Ive taken early retirement and DH is still working. I discuss things with DH but its me who does the work.

Doug1 Fri 23-Oct-20 09:37:16

I realized a long time ago that some professionals seem to work on a 'Need to do' basis so that a lot of their work gets done in a 'back against the wall' situation. If it were me I would at least be sending them an email to bring matters to the fore then sending others at least every week until something is done.

Awesomegranny Fri 23-Oct-20 09:43:02

I suppose the question is, does he actually want to return to the U.K.? Talk to him and find out whether he seriously does want to move or what’s holding him back. If it’s just he finds dealing with agents and solicitors difficult ask him to let you take control to get the house sorted as you’re living in limbo at the moment. You’ve been a long time married, presumably happily or is this now the time to consider what you want for your sunset years? Don’t make a rushed decision.

janeparry39 Fri 23-Oct-20 09:44:16

You don’t have to pay council tax on an empty property?
I would ask for a refund!

Sing19 Fri 23-Oct-20 09:45:11

He left the country before me, I managed the renovations, packing, shipping and putting the house on the market. I'm tired to the bones of being the one that takes action, I've done it all through our relationship and only now that I'm not working (and probably have too much time on my hands) have I had time to realise this. The only phone I can make international calls on is his, it's not financially viable for me to have an international contract.

I can't work here, I can't have my own bank account. I can't leave the country, well I can leave but I can't return without the company he works for agreeing and applying to the govt on my behalf. I feel trapped. I think this might be bigger than just a house sale.

Thanks for reading and replying.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your replies.

Philippa111 Fri 23-Oct-20 09:46:02

It is difficult when others don't do things that need doing. and anger and fear can escalate when we feel powerless in situations. As others have suggested you might have to take action. Also have you tried writing a 'gratitude list'. It works for me every time. When I feel dissatisfied, angry, dejected etc I know its time to make a list of what is good in my life. Why not write down all the things you do like about your husband to find the balance again. And right now it sounds like you are a fortunate person. You could be grateful you have a husband, are financially secure, have a home, have your health etc. Right now a lot of people have none of those things. What we put our attention on grows. We are all suffering at a deeper level at this time... its not easy and people are getting tense. We all react in different ways. I think quite a few people feel like leaving their other half!!

Sing19 Fri 23-Oct-20 09:47:25

@janeparry re council tax and empty houses. That used to be the case but changed, we have to pay full council tax.

SynchroSwimmer Fri 23-Oct-20 09:48:20

Your husband probably is carrying the “mental load” of his job, the family estate property as well as the house sale.

I would just get on and deal with it myself.

It’s only now I am older that I realise solicitors are acting for you and so it’s really ok to make demands and push them - I would just continue to make a daily call or e-mail and stress to them that time is now of the essence.

One friend told me her solicitor dragged on 2 years with something - and he freely admitted to her that it always sat in the bottom of his in-tray and he only worked on it when he had finished everything else!

Another (dynamic) friend told her solicitor “I am only placing this work with you if you undertake to do a completion in 2 weeks - and he did. I learnt from that ?

CrazyGrandma2 Fri 23-Oct-20 09:48:32

I can only offer you my mother's mantra: "Time and tide waits for no man; if you want a job doing then do it yourself!"

As you can probably guess I am the organiser/adminstrator in our house. It works for us both.

Sparklefizz Fri 23-Oct-20 09:55:13

Sing19 I can't work here, I can't have my own bank account. I can't leave the country, well I can leave but I can't return without the company he works for agreeing and applying to the govt on my behalf. I feel trapped. I think this might be bigger than just a house sale.

I think you've hit the nail on the head - this is bigger than just a house sale. I hope you can work things through.

ADBJF Fri 23-Oct-20 09:58:22

I am guessing in 37 years this is not the first time you have the role of organisation monitor?
I speak from experience if both selling/ buying and moving abroad leaving behind family and friends .
I wonder then if "housegate" and the threat to pack your bags is the real reason for such unhappiness ,but missing the life you left behind.
Starting again in a new place is never easy and with cirona restrictions all the more hard.
You dont say how far away you are from UK but if funds allow could you not consider buying a small flat in the area you left as a bolthole for trips back.
Unless there us more going on in your relationship than the house,id get on and do it.
I expect it may be quite tough for your husband as well in a new job in a new country,being the new boy is never easy and guessing he is of an age when getting and keeping a job is a big worry for him.
I hope you work it out.

Lollipop1 Fri 23-Oct-20 09:59:00

After 50 years of marriage I have come to the conclusion that I love my DH half the time and spend the other half of the time planning my escape! I'm a 'doer', I plan, activate and complete all of the important jobs. If I wait for him to tackle the jobs, Hell will freeze over. I become frustrated then angry at the lack of motivation. Pick your battles and play to your individual strengths. Do what you're good at, leave your beloved to do his thing. This way your properties will get sold and you can get your teeth into something else, yes, there's always something else to be done.

M0nica Fri 23-Oct-20 10:02:54

Sing19 your last post puts a very different complexion on matters. I deduce that you may be living in the Middle East or Gulf area, in which case you have my deepest sympathy. I know enough of working in those areas that DH and I early agreed that we would never accept an expat job there, no matter what the finacial advantages. DH worked in the oil industry, so it was always a possibility.

As you said earlier, taking a posting like that has definite pros and cons - and the cons are the very difficult living conditions, especially for women. I can see that your property problems are just the last straw, or should I say haystack, in what is actually a deep-rooted and structural problem in your relationship. You need to make your deep unhappiness clear to your DH and try to reach an understanding about it and then work to a solution. I obviously do not know your financial situation, but money isn't everything and sometimes personal relations are more important.

I think this current problem, is like an iceberg. Theproblem you discuss here is the 10%. The 90% is hidden underneath it.

lexigran Fri 23-Oct-20 10:05:18

Unfortunately house sales are like that, We're selling an empty house to a cash buyer and it has taken over three months and still no completion. I keep phoning the solicitor but they are waiting for the buyer's solicitor so we just have to wait too......angry

Princesspickles Fri 23-Oct-20 10:07:05

We are currently in a similar situation with selling two properties. It has taken for ever even with a good relationship with our buyers and constant badgering solicitors. Both sales involve mortgage applications. My understanding is that in the current situation the wheels are turning very slowly due to the complexities of financial regulations, Covid and large number of house sales currently. Having said all of that you must feel very frustrated and also having to deal with all the changes in your life. Take heart you are closer to the end than the beginning. Big hugs ?

Theoddbird Fri 23-Oct-20 10:07:05

I do t understand why your husband has to make the phone call...maybe I am missing something here. Why cant you do it? Makes sense to me.