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How can I get over myself..

(140 Posts)
Polarbear2 Sat 27-Mar-21 19:24:25

I live with my OH. Have done for 10 years. We’re not married. I own a house where my daughter lives. The house which is now my home will go to my OHs children if my OH passes before me, as it should. I will have to leave and find somewhere else to live or go back to my house.
I had problems accepting this but have decided I’d rather be with my partner than not. I love him and by and large enjoy our time together. It’s not perfect but what is.
My problem is that I can’t get engaged with the house. It’s a big house and I’ve decorated it - my OH wasn’t bothered and it needed refreshing. The garden is large and I enjoy gardening (in fine weather) so I spend time looking after it. My OH pulls his weight with that. But I keep feeling resentful that I’m putting effort into something that I have no ownership of. My OH wants to build an extension and redesign the house. He keeps asking my opinion and I don’t want to engage with it. I don’t really want him to do it as it will eat into our retirement time, but I understand he has this dream so I’ll support him as best I can. I just can’t bring myself to engage with it in terms of choosing flooring etc. I keep saying ‘it’s not my house, it’s your choice’ and he then looks sad and disappointed. I feel I’m being mean and childish. I’d really love us to sell both houses and buy something between us where we both have ownership but while I’ve said this and he has ‘nodded’ I don’t think it will happen. How do I get my head round this and look at this house as my home in the proper sense?? I need to reframe somehow.

welbeck Sat 27-Mar-21 19:32:42

your situation sounds very precarious.

Sara1954 Sat 27-Mar-21 19:39:42

I would feel exactly the same as you, it would be like renting a house, and being asked to love it and maintain it as if it were your own.
I don’t know the answer, of course he wants to leave something to his adult children, but you are important in his life as well, and this leaves you in a very vulnerable position.
It sounds like you don’t really want to rock the boat, but if you don’t make some changes, you’ll become more and more resentful.

Polarbear2 Sat 27-Mar-21 19:40:43

It is in a way although I have my own house so I’ve got a safety net of sorts. But what’s my choice? Leave and live alone and miss him dreadfully? I’ve been there and my instinct was to stay. I thought I could just accept the situation and what will be will be and all that - but it’s hard.

Sara1954 Sat 27-Mar-21 19:53:11

It just seems that he’s being a little careless of your feelings, he can’t expect you to throw yourself into refurbishing a house that you have no entitlement to.
Does he realise how sad this is making you?

SueDonim Sat 27-Mar-21 19:54:03

That is an unsettling situation. He could change his will so you can stay in ‘his’ house after his death until you also pass away or decide you want to move on.

Polarbear2 Sat 27-Mar-21 20:03:16

He realises but his children have made it clear they won’t accept anything less so he feels torn. I think for me, I was married 20+ years and always ran the house and decided on the decor. My ex wasn’t bothered and he worked 6/7 days a week so I made my own decisions in a way. I always asked his opinion of course but he wasn’t bothered. I then bought my own house post divorce and of course that was all mine to do with as I wished. I was there 7 years before I met my OH and moved in with him. I don’t get to make any real decisions about the house anymore. Which I do understand- it’s his baby - he built it. I wish I could find my peace with this.

H1954 Sat 27-Mar-21 20:09:32

Why couldn't he grant you 'right to reside' so you can remain in the house until you die f he dies before you?

Polarbear2 Sat 27-Mar-21 20:09:33

I’m reading this and see my inner control freak shining out at me. Hey ho.

Polarbear2 Sat 27-Mar-21 20:12:33


Why couldn't he grant you 'right to reside' so you can remain in the house until you die f he dies before you?

Because his children won’t accept that. They don’t engage with me. I wasn’t the cause of his divorce, and they aren’t unpleasant, but they aren’t friendly either. They are quite an avaricious family.

TrendyNannie6 Sat 27-Mar-21 20:16:59

I would feel exactly how you do I’m afraid, I couldn’t accept your situation, I too lived with my partner for over twenty years before we got married, but it was my home, I don’t think you are being mean or selfish, as you say you have explained to him telling him how you feel and he’s just nodded, but as you say you don’t think it will happen, it doesn’t sound to me as it will as he’s talking about extending and redesigning it! I think I would feel like a lodger knowing that if the worst comes to the worst I’d be outed! Sorry if that sounds harsh but it’s how I would be feeling

Smileless2012 Sat 27-Mar-21 20:18:14

"He realises this but his children have made it clear they won't accept anything less so he feels torn" well it has nothing to do with his children does it.

He could decide to sell the house and spend all of the proceeds living life to the full for as long as he's got left and that would have nothing to do with his children either.

Doing as SueDonim has suggested IMO is an ideal solution and TBH Polarbear if I were in your OH's position what my children will or wont accept wouldn't affect my decision.

cornishpatsy Sat 27-Mar-21 20:23:02

You do not know which of you will die first or when it will be. Instead of focusing on that time of your life maybe you should stick to the here and now. Your future is ok as you have another house so do not need to worry about it.

Enjoy this time making a nice house and garden for you to benefit from now.

Does your daughter decorate and look after the garden in your house even though you could sell or move back in at any time.

TrendyNannie6 Sat 27-Mar-21 20:24:11

Just seen your next post after I had posted mine, so his children have made it clear to him they won’t accept anything less, hmm, oh dear, not a nice situation for you

Deedaa Sat 27-Mar-21 20:24:28

Polarbear2 it's really nothing to do with his children. It isn't for them to accept or not accept. Would they expect to take precedence over you if you were married? Most people would think they are very lucky if he chooses to leave his house to them rather than his partner.

I would find it very hard to take much interest in a house that was never going to be mine, even if it is his baby. But you may be a nicer person than me.

EllanVannin Sat 27-Mar-21 20:25:32

I would demand that he writes you into his property so that in the event that he dies before yourself you'll remain secure and also in a position to sell if you so please, thus giving his family the proceeds rather than living as you are doing.
With your name included on the property, witnessed by a solicitor you can't be thrown out at least.

The situation as it stands is in no way an incentive for either making improvements or even staying there.
You should be living your lives and not stressing about what's being left for the offspring.

Polarbear2 Sat 27-Mar-21 20:32:15

Thanks all. Some great comments. cornishpatsy I think your reply is kind of where I’ve got to. I decided life was worth more than a house. I get to live in a nice house (I pay my way) and have a lovely garden to enjoy. I should relax and enjoy it. The future will take care of itself.
As for my house - funnily enough no she doesn’t decorate it and it has no real garden. She works hard and has little time. SO - to scratch my decor itch - I’ve started this week on redecorating it. My theory is it’ll be nice should I decide to leave here. And/or it’ll be nice if I have to sell it or rent it. My daughter will probably move on soon as she’s now in a position to get her own place.
Sorry for the offload. I was just feeling rubbish about stuff. This extension plan isn’t helping. You’re a good bunch.

Urmstongran Sat 27-Mar-21 20:39:03

These are you’re gut feelings Polarbear and they are yours and valid. This situation isn’t going to get any easier. Given that your partner wants to spend time and money on his house it’s actually going to get worse. Your resentment will grow. You know this.

Communication is key here. You both need to talk, not just pay lip service in the hope that something will magically smooth things over.

The best thing in my opinion? Sell both houses and buy something between you. Maybe on a pro rata basis so it’s fair. Or sell your house and if his is bigger, just get him to match you. This might leave you both with money in the bank too.

His family are avaricious? Tough. He has a life to lead, not be the custodian of their inheritance.

Sit down. Talk. Divvy things up to do what’s fair by both of you. If he has money in the bank afterwards, he can gift his children (tax free) some of it every year (c. £3k p,a.) if he chooses to. That way his adult children don’t feel marginalised. Or he can hang onto his money until his death and they can share it out then! See a solicitor. Draw up wills that make living in this new, joint house equable for both of you. His kids are living their life why shouldn’t he (and you) live yours too? Good luck whatever the outcome.

nadateturbe Sat 27-Mar-21 20:51:46

The best thing in my opinion? Sell both houses and buy something between you. Maybe on a pro rata basis so it’s fair. Or sell your house and if his is bigger, just get him to match you. This might leave you both with money in the bank too.
good advice.
Better to think of your home as "ours"

Why is he letting his children dictate? They aren't more important than you. Our children (we are in second marriage) would never think like that.

TrendyNannie6 Sat 27-Mar-21 20:56:34

Ours certainly wouldn’t either nadateturbe but as the Op states in her post they are quite a avaricious family, and it seems their father is putting them first

Polarbear2 Sat 27-Mar-21 21:06:44

Thanks urms. You’re right. I’ve proposed the pro rata idea. It’d give me some ownership and I’d be in control of my own future should he die first. And, I know he agrees with me - it’s the most sensible, most obvious option. But he’s scared of his children. They have a very fragile relationship and he’s scared they’ll disappear if he doesn’t do as they wish. He does lack confidence. His late brother dominated him all his life and I get the impression his ex wife was very dominant too. He’s a nice guy who just wants to keep everybody happy. I don’t want to be yet another dominant person in his life. I want cooperation and partership. It’s very difficult. My kids would never think like that. They want me to be happy and have a good life. His family aren’t like that. We will talk again.

Urmstongran Sat 27-Mar-21 21:20:33

Ah. That explains a lot. The “walking on eggshells” life. Poor man. His adult children have got the upper hand (and they know it). But here’s the thing. He ends up living the life of a marionette.

But if that’s his nature and you love him I guess acceptance will have to be good enough.

Hithere Sat 27-Mar-21 21:23:07

The issue here is not the house.

Your OH is making plans and prioritizing his children, not you.

Redhead56 Sat 27-Mar-21 23:31:17

Before we married we sold both our houses to start on neutral ground. I would not have it any other way. I have two children my then partner had not been married and had no children.
I insisted my children were named in our will as the beneficiaries. To protect their inheritance when we passed away. It's your choice what you do but I am not convinced you are happy with the arrangement.

Redhead56 Sat 27-Mar-21 23:39:14

I should have mentioned there was a lot of opposition to our marriage from relatives. On my partner's side that's why we were very specific with property and wills etc.