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Can't decide if this is a dealbreaker....

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Spirit13 posted 6/26/2013 11:20 AM

I'll try to explain this but it's complicated.

Background: My SO and I have been dating a little longer than 2 yrs. We've talked about marriage, but the general time frame is engagement in at least 1 more yr and marriage in another 1-2 yrs after that. No living together. My DD has some significant learning disabilities and needs to be in a special school. She might be able to go to public high school but not sure yet. She has 6 more yrs of school before she graduates. Even if she goes to a public school - it would have to be a REALLY good one because of her issues. It isn't my decision to make alone. I currently live in an excellent school district with a school that could be a possibility for her.

My SO lives in a townhouse he renovated for the purpose of being a rental. It isn't very nice overall and he wants to buy a house. He has a bunch of things in storage and he just doesn't like the townhouse. I agree - it's kind of crappy. At the point of marriage, he doesn't want to live in my house. He says it is too big and doesn't have a big enough garage for him. In reality, I could build a bigger garage and I think it is just that I lived there for a long time with my ex and that's ok. I get it. I'm willing to sell it.

The problem is that he is house shopping NOW and he is looking at houses in an area that is

1) to far for me from work/my daughter's current private school (would mean 2 hr commute ea way)

2) does not have good public school system

I have talked to him numerous times about how I simply can't live in this area and I am upset he is looking to buy here. I feel that if he is thinking he would get married in 3 years and he won't move into my house then why would he buy something I can't live in? He continues to insist that he will sell whatever he has "when the time comes" but it makes no sense to me. Why would he put us in a situation where we have to sell 2 houses when he could buy one we could both live in? I have talked to him multiple times and explained the situation and even offered a compromise. I told him that since it was probably just an additional 3 years after marriage until my daughter graduated - I wanted him to consider living in my existing house. That would give me my good school district. Then after she was out - I was willing to live in ANY place he wanted thereafter. No limits. I also told him if he picked a house in same school district I would move there. He only said "hmm...." to my compromises and I've heard nothing since (2 weeks ago).

Last night he told me he went through a house in that same area that he really liked. He said he was going to check out a few things, but probably was going to put in an offer on it. Honestly, I was so upset. I feel really ignored and that his actions don't match his words (that he wants to marry me in the future) because to me if he really wants to be married he would be doing things now that are helping set us up for the future, not buying real estate that I/my daughter can't live in. There is a part of me that just wants to break up with him now because I am so sad. I feel that I've seen this part of him that doesn't put "us" first and I don't want to wait 3 years to see IF he is really going to sell this house. You know what I mean? I've never seen him not be true to his word, but I feel very "unheard" on this issue and like my extremely legitimate reason (daughter) is being pushed aside.

Am I being unreasonable or too controlling on it? Too horomonal?

Amazonia posted 6/26/2013 11:29 AM

I understand where you're coming from, but I do think you're overreacting.

In no particular order, thoughts that stuck out to me:

1 - he is saying he will sell the place, and move to your daughter's school district when/if you two are ready to get married. You have to trust him. (ETA: If you can't trust him, then you have bigger issues.)

2 - if he already owns one rental property, he could consider renting the home he is currently looking to buy, or renting your home, when you two move in together.

3 - he hadn't actually rejected your compromise. Another variation might be that he move in with you while his house is on the market, and after it sells, list yours and then start looking together for a new place in your daughter's school district.

4 - while you're talking about marriage, and both serious about each other, it's 3+ years down the road. That's longer than you've even been together yet. Maybe I'm overly cautious, but I won't rearrange my life for someone unless it is 100%. You aren't even engaged yet; it would seem extreme for him to buy a home based on your daughter's school district. Maybe that's just me though.

[This message edited by Amazonia at 11:29 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

Got2GO posted 6/26/2013 11:47 AM

You and your daughter are what's important. This site is full of stories about people who have put someone else before themself and got burnt.
I don't know your whole story but I can only guess that someone has wronged you to bring you here. Stay focused on your daughter and yourself. Obviously this guy is focusing on himself. Stay put, get your daughter through school and if he still around then marry him.

Spirit13 posted 6/26/2013 11:48 AM

Thanks Ama,

I appreciate the comments. I do trust him in the sense that I don't think for one minute that he is lying to me or has some secret hidden agenda. I am just really sad that he is showing me this side that isn't more.... I don't know.... "forward planning" and acknowledging my concerns and easing them with some conversation.

I should have added a couple points but it was getting so long.

1) The place he is looking at is NOT an easy sell. It is in a remote area, with property and would be the kind of place that would take longer than average to sell. My house is also a hard sell.

2) He told me up front over a year ago that he wanted to include me in his house hunting because it was his hope that this would be a house we would live in together. Honestly, this was probably a big mistake because I went into this process with this in mind and when he looked at things that didn't work for me I was like ??

More than anything I guess I am bummed that he continues to push forward with these houses after multiple conversations and with no acknowledgement of my compromises. I'd feel better if he said "Hey, I'm making an offer on this house and I know how you feel about it but don't worry because when the time comes....etc etc." or "I know you talked to me about compromising on the school districts, but I've decided to make an offer on this house, but assuming everything works out - in a few years I promise you we will find a way to make DD's school situation is ok.. etc etc."

Instead I just get "Hey I went and looked at this house and I really liked it so I think I'm going to buy it."

There is absolutely NO mention of the discussion we've had about this issue and the implications of his buying a house there. That is what bothers me. It is as if my concerns don't exist.

I think writing this out helps me solidify what really bugs me.

Spirit13 posted 6/26/2013 11:51 AM

G2G -

I am 100% staying put. There is no question about that. I would not move my daughter to a worse school for him. The question is whether this is enough to show me that I have a serious issue worth ending the dating or if I should give it more time. We already had more time on the pre-planned timeline. I am just looking at his behavior and wondering how much this tells me

Amazonia posted 6/26/2013 11:51 AM

I think writing this out helps me solidify what really bugs me.

I'm a verbal processor too, so I really get this.

What you wrote in your second post (disregard) would bother me a lot more than the simple act of where he is house hunting.

jennie160 posted 6/26/2013 12:32 PM

I have talked to him multiple times and explained the situation and even offered a compromise.

Have you specifically asked him what his plan is? Had a conversation about how it will all play out?

I find that when SO and I don't seem to be on the same page, having a sit down one-on-one conversation and hashing out all the details really helps put both of us at ease about the future.

Maybe your SO has it planned out in his head and really is planning on selling the house when you get married but hasn't communicated that with you well enough. I know that SO and I both are terrible about making plans in our heads but not communicating them with each other.

Spirit13 posted 6/26/2013 13:02 PM

Well, I have discussed this several times. He says "Oh, when the time comes I'll just either convince you to move to my house or I'll sell it." He has a very nonchalant attitude about it. But, the thing is that the house he wants to buy is the kind of house it could take a couple years to sell. It just seems like a bad decision to me.

As far as more detailed plans than this - I am very much a planner and he isn't. So our styles are playing out in this scenario.

jennie160 posted 6/26/2013 13:27 PM

"Oh, when the time comes I'll just either convince you to move to my house or I'll sell it."

That would bother me too. Seems kind of assumptive and manipulative to me. Is he normally pretty accommodating or do you find yourself the one doing most of the compromising?

SO an I were in a somewhat similar situation about a year ago. We are LD and he was looking at buying houses in his town. I felt like he was just assuming I would be the one to move when the time came. But when I asked him about it he said his plan was when the time came, he would move to my city and would rent out the house. He never once assumed that I would be the one to move.

If your SO has a pattern of being unaccommodating and uncompromising this would be a dealbreaker.

Crescita posted 6/26/2013 13:38 PM

Have you discussed what about this particular area is calling to him? Perhaps more importantly, how he feels about being a step parent and living with your daughter? It does seem your plans are a bit divergent so it might be time to sit down and find a common path.

lieshurt posted 6/26/2013 14:14 PM

"Oh, when the time comes I'll just either convince you to move to my house....

I believe this is what he is counting on.

[This message edited by lieshurt at 2:15 PM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

heartbroken_kk posted 6/26/2013 14:51 PM

Hi Spirit,

I think you are dealing with someone who is Passive Aggresive. Another term I've heard is Covert Aggressive. I agree that it sounds manipulative. I am seeing all kinds of red flags here that point to this and I'm gonna go so far as to suggest that it IS a dealbreaker because of what it says about his personality.

He is doing what he wants while making noises to suggest that he has heard you and is taking your concerns into consideration. Just enough that you think he is. And then his actions show the reverse and clamming up to avoid a confrontation about it is classic P/A.

What he is showing you is that he is not committed to being an equal partner in a relationship that is planned to last a lifetime. This is selfish.

I bet he has also implied that you are trying to be a little too controlling, or that he needs to maintain his independence in making this decision, and that you should trust that he will make it work out for you.

I call P/A bullshit. Don't assume you will have a happy life with this guy. He will piss you off over and over and try to avoid a direct confrontation every time. He will be sweet and work to smooth things over while he gets his way behind your back.

Don't doubt yourself. Put you and your daughter first. Let him know that you are watching his actions to see how you feel about him as a life partner. Let him choose where to buy a house. After all you cannot and should not try to control him. You've said what you think. See what he does. Then be honest with yourself about what it really means about what kind of power dynamic you will be dealing with for the rest of your life if you hitch yourself to him.

I hope I'm wrong and he is just struggling with giving up bachelorhood. Has he had a prior long term relationship? If so, what has he told you about why it ended?

Dreamboat posted 6/26/2013 23:02 PM

Have you asked or have you discussed why he wants to buy in the area that he is looking? What does he think is so great about the place?

I don't know him or you. He made have a reason that he feels is valid to want to move there that has nothing to do with you. Yes, he is your SO, but you have already admitted that M is out of the question for at least 3 years. And you are a single mother so your focus is rightly on your child until she graduates which is 6 years.

I am not defending what he is doing. I am just asking if you and he have really communicated as to why he likes the area where he is looking.

Spirit13 posted 6/27/2013 00:16 AM

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone.

To answer a couple of you. We have discussed at length the WHY of this area and why he seems to want to go there. To be fair, he has looked all over - he looked in the areas that were near me and those that had good school districts (about 40% of the houses he looked at) but his focus was definitely on this area and it was clearly his preference. He has already put 3 offers in on other houses over the last 6 months and for various reasons they all were not accepted. (He likes to look at short sales so they are always tricky to buy.) All his offers were in the undesirable area.

Anyway, we had an honest discussion about WHY he likes this area so much when it really ISN'T considered a super desirable area overall for my city. I'd say it is "ok" but not "great". He basically said that it is because it is affordable which is true. You can get more for your $ because it ISN'T the most popular area and further from town. The other reason he gave is simply because it is the only place he has lived. He isn't native to this city and moved here 12 years ago. He moved directly to this area and hasn't lived anywhere else. He doesn't have a large base of friends so that isn't it. In 2 years we have socially done things with his friends in this area exactly once. He is kind of a loner who mostly hangs out with me and my friends. His one grown son who lives in the state is moving to about 30 min away so it isn't a family issue either.

So, I just don't find his reasons that compelling.

We briefly discussed the situation again tonight and he told me about his hope to take the property and cut/sell the timber on one part. He also plans to subdivide part of the acreage and sell 2 additional lots from it. Then he also wants to completely renovate the home from a tiny old farmhouse into a modern home. I told him I just don't see how this happens in 3 years including selling it all considering he is finishing grad school, taking his boards and working full time. He insists he can do it all and there is no hidden agenda - he definitely still thinks he can do this and somehow live with me somewhere in 3 years. I just think it isn't realistic. He is a super hard worker, but isn't a miracle worker.

In the end, I have decided for now that I am just going to continue to focus on my own home, my daughter and not assume anything for the future. I really love my house and there is no reason I have to move at this point and I will also just make that decision later, I guess. I'd rather have a settled plan but that isn't where we are. I am going to talk to him about the "future marriage" talk he keeps giving me though and kindly ask him to tone it down. It really messes with my head to keep talking about how we are going to be married and living together blah blah and then seeing him doing things that are not in sync with this. I'd rather we both just stopped talking about it until he felt he was really close to the point of engagement now. Then we can reassess. I had also begun this spring spending more time with a running club and some non-dating meet ups because I wanted to make sure that I didn't have too much of my social life wrapped up into just him. I will continue to do this because I am not feeling super confident at this point. He is a fantastic person overall but his independence may just not be the right fit for me.

Spirit13 posted 6/28/2013 09:55 AM


Oh boy.... this did not get better.

Last night he called me all chipper and casually mentions he put an offer in on a house. I can tell he is really excited. I am like "Oh? Where is the house?" He tells me and it is EVEN FARTHER AWAY THAN ANY OF THE PLACES I've already discussed.

I was just blindsided by this and honestly got pissed. I think it was because he was so "chipper" and presented it to me as if I would be all happy. I just said "Well, I'm sure you and your new dog will be very happy there." (He had told me as soon as he got a house he was going to get a dog.) This REALLY made him mad. Things go from bad to worse where we have to re-has AGAIN why it bothers me that he buys a house that is somewhere I can't live and he has the GALL to ask me why I can't live there and my head explodes. I mean, I have explained this so many times and I don't know if this is a joke or if he never listens to me or if the guy has early dementia or what.

We basically just hang up and I don't know where things stand because we are both just pissed. I email him later and tell him I'm frustrated and don't understand why I have to go over these reasons time and time again. It isn't that he has to make the decision I want.. it is that he doesn't acknowledge what we've already talked about and each time pretends like it is new info. That makes me crazy.

He emailed me back today claiming he had serious concerns about me because when he is excited about his good news I just rain on his parade.

I told him that he should have known that rain was in the forecast since we had talked about this a million times! It was totally unfair to hit me with this news of the house in this completely new town even farther away and then expect me to be all happy.

I don't know... I am at a loss.

Amazonia posted 6/28/2013 10:35 AM

jennie160 posted 6/28/2013 10:56 AM

He emailed me back today claiming he had serious concerns about me because when he is excited about his good news I just rain on his parade.

I like how he turns this around to point the finger at you. Classic manipulator.

Maybe it's time to really think about what you are getting out of this relationship.


Sad in AZ posted 6/28/2013 10:57 AM

Neither one of you seems willing to compromise; you both talk a good game, but in reality, you can't compromise because of your daughter's special needs(you have given lukewarm lip service to compromise, but you really don't want to) and he won't for whatever reason draws him to move to another area--it really doesn't matter why; he's just not going to change his mind.

I don't see a relationship here; I see two people who like each other but have very different agendas. I'm sure he has qualities that you love, but as far as a long-range goal, marriage to this guy seems out of the question.

OnceInALifetime posted 6/28/2013 11:20 AM

I think him living at your place for 6 years, and then you going wherever he wants, is a perfect compromise.

And of course you can't compromise around the needs of your daughter.

I get your frustration around his deliberate dense-ness. I *don't* really get his aversion to living in your home. You say it's because it would make him think of your past life with your ex. *He* has no memories of that past life, so that doesn't compute for me. His actions seem very odd.

Spirit13 posted 6/28/2013 11:42 AM

I had offered him 2 compromises. 1) live in my house for what would have only been 3 yrs until DD graduated then I would move to where ever he wanted.

2) buy a house in same district or district of comparable high quality as where I am now so I wouldn't have to put her in any kind of lesser school.

I don't feel that was unreasonable. I was willing to move to a house in another district - just not a worse district.

Oh well... irrelevant now.

[This message edited by Spirit13 at 11:43 AM, June 28th (Friday)]

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