My boyfriend of two-and-a half-years bought a “fixer-upper” house 10 years ago. I rent a tiny apartment.
We've talked about living together one day.
The obvious solution is for me to move in with him, but his home needs a complete overhaul, not just aesthetically, but for safety reasons.
He won't even have anyone over but for two longtime friends and me, because he’s ashamed of its state.
I’m willing to put my current rent money into helping fix it up. I gently encourage his "to do" list on the weekends so I can help, or to plan a few days to empty junk and clutter.
Since it's not MY house, I don't have any say.
I think he's overwhelmed by the amount of work needed to bring the home up to code and make it "girl friendly" (his words), so he avoids it.
I've hinted at him selling it and us buying together in the future, but he first must get the house in "sellable shape."
If he doesn't start making some decisions I feel we’ll never move forward. I’ll begin to resent that.
How do I let him know his procrastination is driving me nuts?
We're almost mid-30's, and his run-down house is holding our future hostage!
You’re already resenting his inaction.
Yet his feeling “ashamed” shows that he’s not just procrastinating but highly sensitive about what others will see and think:
He spent the money and has nothing to show for it.
Try a different approach - encourage progress instead of urging it.
Research local builders who’ve transformed fixer-uppers. Show your boyfriend any good ideas you find, without pressuring him.
Find out the costs of a “junk removal” service, suggest inviting the two close friends to help (order pizzas and drinks) and make it fun to start clearing out.
Be positive; try to develop a project mentality as a couple.
If you get nowhere after a few months of upbeat, enthused approach to changing the house from a divisive issue to one of working together, take a break.
You’ll both need time to re-think whether the ramshackle house remains his priority, instead of you.
In 2016, my husband of 56 years, passed away suddenly. One son had a breakdown, lost his job, and lived with me while he got professional help.
Another son and his wife, on bad terms with him, disapproved of my taking him in.
My daughter-in-law reacted harshly when I defended my right to help my son.
She accused me of many horrible untrue things and threatened to take action against me if I ever contacted her again.
My son also believed that I was at fault. I’ve not seen my granddaughter since, and seen my son rarely.
How do I reconcile this treatment by family members?
There’s history here – a severe rift between the brothers - that you can’t control and may not be able to change.
You may know what caused this (and are ignoring that history), or not.
The son who had a breakdown was clearly already vulnerable. The rift between the two prevented his brother from feeling any empathy.
His wife strongly supports his attitude.
Your naturally maternal rescue mission is seen as you having chosen a side.
Tell your near-estranged son that’s not so, that you love your children equally.
Say that if they have bad blood between them, it’s their business and their right to deal with it.
Hopefully, he’ll accept that and you’ll start to see your grandchild again.
Reader’s Commentary “When one person loses the desire for sex why should he/she resent the other person finding someone else for sex?
“We accept our spouses having other partners for cards or golf. After the children are gone, why not the same attitude for sex?
“There are lots of older women who’d love to have a willing man for some sex and lots of men who feel the same way.
“Monogamy has its place and benefits, but there are times when it does not work.”
Ellie – A logical-seeming “solution” doesn’t always hold up against emotional reactions.
Yes, some people (of all sexual identifications) can handle the idea of an “outside” sex partner to service physical desire.
Of course, both members of the couple would have to agree on this.
Problems arise, however, with having an outside lover.
Most people still want to feel loved and emotionally bonded with their life partner.
Tip of the day:
A house that divides a couple won’t become a home.