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Who decides where you live in retirement?

(19 Posts)
snowbell21 Fri 29-Jan-21 17:08:46

We moved five years ago to a smaller city. DH was very reluctant to move, we had lived in the last place for 35 years raising our children. We did move 3 times in that period, once to a bigger house, once an abortive move to the country which didn't work, once because we ran out of money and managed to lose the mortgage by moving.

The move to our current location was driven by me, I admit. The last of the children had left home, the house was 200yds from a major road and had a river at the back. We came within inches of flooding once and I was always nervous it would happen again.

We now live in one of a pair of semi detached cottages probably built in the 1950s. The garden is huge but steep and runs down to an A road which didn't seem so busy when we bought it but has now been named as the reason quite a few prospective buyers have turned it down.

The elderly man who lived next door has died and a young family have moved in with three primary school age children, we now know that the soundproofing between the houses is abysmal. I am being driven mad by the noise of the children in the house and garden and by the road itself. I can't sleep on the side of the house with the busy road if the windows are open. It's a fast road and much noisier than the one we used to live near!

DH reluctantly agreed to put the house on sale, we have had about 20 viewings with no success. We took it off the market over Christmas but he clearly has no intention of agreeing for it to be put on the market again if he can help it. He is going deaf so the noise doesn't bother him much and he is like that anyway, 'things don't bother him', whatever that means!

I was driven to write this by the roommate thread because the unsatisfactory nature of the house is driving me mad and the fact that he doesn't care how I feel is really upsetting me.
It hasn't been a very satisfactory marriage but perhaps I compromised because we had three children, I was working part time and he had a long commute to a job he loved. It's been hard to make friends here but I am beginning to get involved in a few things but really I want to move to the next county and start again in a better, definitely detached house. I have an activity and a group of people there that I'd like to get to know better.

I'm feeling really resentful of his attitude. He's always been rather passive and wrapped up in his interests. It's not as if he has made any real friends here although he has connected with some people through a class he used to go to.

We don't share any passions, we will watch tv together and we go for walks and talk in a general sort of way but we are another separate rooms/no sex couple. I suppose I'm lonely and unhappy and the only way I can see of progressing is to sell the house and separate. He's being difficult about that too. I wish it could be different but I feel trapped by his lazy acceptance of the house as being fine for him and I have to therefore put up with it. Does this sound like I am being over sensitive to noise? Unable to compromise? I don't see why I should stay somewhere I've come to really dislike, we should never have bought it and why we did is another story partly about our inability to agree on any house, partly the cost of the area. I can't see a way forward and just feel so depressed. Any thoughts?

NotSpaghetti Fri 29-Jan-21 17:18:07

I suppose he thought this was the "last move".
Maybe the road has got busier but it sounds to me as though you aren't happy with him.

Would you really be happy anywhere?

M0nica Fri 29-Jan-21 17:27:01

The first sentence of the OP reads We moved five years ago to a smaller city. DH was very reluctant to move, you then say The move to our current location was driven by me, I admit.

Then towards the end you say I feel trapped by his lazy acceptance of the house as being fine for him and I have to therefore put up with it.

He has moved once because you wanted to move and he didn't. Why should he have to do it again?

Reading your post, more widely I agree with notspaghetti,
'Would you really be happy anywhere?'

Urmstongran Fri 29-Jan-21 17:36:53

You’re unhappy that’s for sure. You have a group of friends and interests in the next county and are keen to move there. Your more passive, self contained husband hasn’t and isn’t. An impasse.

You need to sit down and talk together about your hopes for the future. Communication is key.

I’m unsure whether a move together is what you want. It seems that you’re thinking along the lines of splitting up. Maybe there’s someone Newhart you’d like to get to know better in that next county?

You need to be honest with yourself first. Sort things out in your head. Then talk it through. Then plan accordingly.

Good luck. I hope it works out.

lemongrove Fri 29-Jan-21 17:37:10

Make a list of all the things you dislike about your present house and location and then get him to sit down and go through it with you.Then ask him if you moved, what criteria would he like for the new house? Write it down, then say what you are looking for.Get him to agree to call the estate agent again and tell him that you are unhappy.Make sure you get it right for the next move.Good luck househunting.

Jillyjosie Fri 29-Jan-21 17:39:34

Thanks, I appreciate the comments. I would be happy in a detached house, quiet enough for me to sleep at night with the window open and I am horrified at living somewhere with lots of noise though the party wall. Is that too much to ask? Shame I don't have a house in France or I'd be there.
I also want to live close enough to the people /activity I mentioned with whom I have become close during lockdown via Zoom.

Jillyjosie Fri 29-Jan-21 17:41:14

Thanks also for the last two posts which I've only just seen.

geekesse Fri 29-Jan-21 17:41:39

Moving house isn’t going to solve all the underlying problems and the resentment you have built up between you. If you can start to communicate effectively and discuss what you each expect from the other, you may be better placed to decide together whether to move or stay put.

I’ve known a few people over the years who have seen a house move as a solution to all their problems, and one or two who were serial movers. That’s a jolly expensive way to deal with problems!

sodapop Fri 29-Jan-21 17:49:24

Sounds like the problem is more with your relationship than the house Snowbell no amount of moving will resolve that unless its to separate establishments.
I agree with Urmstongran you need to sort out what it is you really want and be honest with yourself.

Artaylar Fri 29-Jan-21 17:57:46

I'm not entirely happy with where we are living now. Its a lovely property, but in a very isolated rural area, we've been here for just over 5 years.

I find that its a bit tooooo quiet and out of it for me, but my very much homebird DH is as happy as a pig in muck here and moving would turn his little world upside down. He dosent ask for much and I wouldnt want to really push a move knowing that it would be very unsettling for him and he would not be happy.

The 'deal' that I have with him (in non Covid times at least) is that its A OK for me to go off on holidays without him plus visiting peeps in different parts of the country.

It works for us while we are both still fairly healthy and active, though if we are still around in years to come, it might not be so practical, particularly if neither of us can drive.

Another take on this.........on holiday in the Canaries once year I once got chatting to a bloke who lived there while his wife still lived in the UK. They were still very much married and spent time together with one another a number of times a year. This 'living apart' arrangement seemed to work very well for them.

biba70 Fri 29-Jan-21 18:03:42

Not easy- for sure. We moved here to look after my parents, but they have gone now. We bought this big pile as we fell in love with it, and it cost us a lot of money to make the big move. At the time, we could (before 'B' and 'C') just come and go as and when we pleased, back and forth. But now is has all changed and I would like to be nearer daughters and grandchildren- but OH has put his foot down. He is very happy to visit UK often, which is why we have kept a flat there, and daughters, and close family and friends, all have space to host us- but he has made it perfectly clear this is his last ever home, forever, and that is it.

I have promised our girls and GCs I would back to UK if ever left on my own.

NotSpaghetti Fri 29-Jan-21 19:18:17

Who are we talking to... Jillyjosie or snowbell21?
I'm confused.

Jillyjosie Fri 29-Jan-21 19:41:04

Oh, FGS, I'm confused too. I've had a terrible day and a terrible week during which my 'old' laptop, all of 5 years, ha, ha, started downloading a Windows update in the middle of a zoom session. Said laptop is now wrecked, so much reset by the software that I have thrown my hands in the air and given up. I set up a new name because I couldn't fulfill the password or email address requirements. Except this is a different device and I was feeling so upset when I posted that I didn't see the name. I can't cope, I'm switching off, I'll deal with this tomorrow assuming I've got time to fiddle about trying to get the system to let me in to delete one of the names. I hate these things, once computers were useful, now they they endlessly mess everything up. Thank you Not spaghetti, you have a strange username. I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

NotSpaghetti Fri 29-Jan-21 20:57:16

Well, Jillybell (if I may call you that) I hope tomorrow is a better day!

Urmstongran Fri 29-Jan-21 21:28:38

I was confused too!

PECS Fri 29-Jan-21 22:01:51

We moved 10 years ago. DH would have been happy to stay in Sth London but both our daughters moved 25 miles south to the same place I did persuade him being closer to the grandchildren would be supporting our DDs. We are now well settled and happy here. We have made new friends locally ..though we still ..pre Covid... made the 40 minute journey regularly back to see pals. We are lucky to have a positive relationship still.. we have had a few bumpy times but mostly very happy in our almost 55 yrs of knowing each other & are pleased to spend our retirement & lockdown together. Won't move again unless it's into some care facility...

Jillyjosie Sat 30-Jan-21 21:10:05

I do feel better today, not least because DH said he woke up thinking of all the problems with the house and why not sell it and I woke up thinking that if he loved the house so much, ok, we'll stay and I'll see how things work out! I feel hopeful and relieved and thanks for some very insightful comments.

I was surprised to discover that it is now possible to simply join GN by signing up with Google! I had no idea until I was in a computer stew. Now to sort the names, poor Snowbell!

NotSpaghetti Sun 31-Jan-21 00:01:19

Great news about the house!

FarNorth Sun 31-Jan-21 01:29:34

Great news that DH isn't so thoughtless as you imagined.
You both need to have a good discussion of the house question - and of your relationship.