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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I have been married 19 years. I was 19 when we married, he was 22. At the time, we weren't too bad off financially, but decided to buy a new mobile home to put on private property in the country (land inheritance from his parents) so we could save up to build a new house later.

Well...19 years later, we're still in the mobile home. We've kept it up in as good of shape as we can, and I keep it clean. But I've never gotten much into decorating it besides painting the walls in some of the rooms, because I have always been waiting to build our bigger house.

Over the years, I've asked my husband about when we could think about building. He always says its not a good time and comes up with lots of reasons he "just can't deal with that" right now. I recently brought it up again, because we've recently been able to pay off all our debt except for his car payment. We both work full time and make a modest income. We're not rich by any means, but we make enough money to afford a mortgage.

He again got defensive and says he can't understand why I can't just be happy with our current home. I said I'd like a bigger house with a basement so we can spread out and do things like having a place to do my sewing and a place to set up my music equipment (I sing just for fun). I also said I'd like to be able to have friends over more, but it's hard to entertain in our mobile home. He accused me of refusing to see how nice I have things in life in general, and my asking to build a house makes him feel like he's not a good provider. He again put me off and said "maybe in a couple of years" when he's done with his online schooling. (He's getting his bachelors degree online and his employer is paying for most of it, so I don't see why that has to put a stop to everything.) I'd buy his excuse this time if it weren't for the fact that there has ALWAYS been some excuse not to go forward with the house, and I've waited 19 years already.

I told him it's my money too! I'm not asking him to build me a house and expecting him to pay for it all himself! In fact, I make a little more money than he does. So...is it fair that he gets to make this decision for both of us, when it's my money too and I'm willing to do the leg work, meet with the builder, the bank, etc? I feel trapped!
 

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You're never trapped.

I've read all your posts. You know what needs to be done but for some reason you're hesitant to do it. Why?
 

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My husband and I have been married 19 years. I was 19 when we married, he was 22. At the time, we weren't too bad off financially, but decided to buy a new mobile home to put on private property in the country (land inheritance from his parents) so we could save up to build a new house later.

Well...19 years later, we're still in the mobile home. We've kept it up in as good of shape as we can, and I keep it clean. But I've never gotten much into decorating it besides painting the walls in some of the rooms, because I have always been waiting to build our bigger house.

Over the years, I've asked my husband about when we could think about building. He always says its not a good time and comes up with lots of reasons he "just can't deal with that" right now. I recently brought it up again, because we've recently been able to pay off all our debt except for his car payment. We both work full time and make a modest income. We're not rich by any means, but we make enough money to afford a mortgage.

He again got defensive and says he can't understand why I can't just be happy with our current home. I said I'd like a bigger house with a basement so we can spread out and do things like having a place to do my sewing and a place to set up my music equipment (I sing just for fun). I also said I'd like to be able to have friends over more, but it's hard to entertain in our mobile home. He accused me of refusing to see how nice I have things in life in general, and my asking to build a house makes him feel like he's not a good provider. He again put me off and said "maybe in a couple of years" when he's done with his online schooling. (He's getting his bachelors degree online and his employer is paying for most of it, so I don't see why that has to put a stop to everything.) I'd buy his excuse this time if it weren't for the fact that there has ALWAYS been some excuse not to go forward with the house, and I've waited 19 years already.

I told him it's my money too! I'm not asking him to build me a house and expecting him to pay for it all himself! In fact, I make a little more money than he does. So...is it fair that he gets to make this decision for both of us, when it's my money too and I'm willing to do the leg work, meet with the builder, the bank, etc? I feel trapped!

There is nothing wrong with being ambitious and wanting a bigger house. My question is, are you pro actively looking to move upwards? Asking your husband once in a great while, does not count as being proactive. 19 years is a long time waiting!

How about buying a new house, instead of building? With the current market, it makes more sense and it is cheaper to buy a house already built. Also, the rates charged by lenders, for a house loan, are at an all time low. You could also benefit from federal housing programs, like USDA, for example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You're never trapped.

I've read all your posts. You know what needs to be done but for some reason you're hesitant to do it. Why?
That's a good question, and I've been asking myself that for the last few months. I guess it's partly because I've made the mistake of allowing him to shut me up when he doesn't agree with what I want. So in his mind the issue has been resolved and we go about our daily lives and everything is hunky-dorey. If I announce one day that I want a divorce, he'd act completely shocked and get upset that I never told him just how unhappy I was (even though he "trained" me to bury my feelings). I'd be a Walkaway Wife...I'd be the bad guy...I'd be the one ruining his life when in his mind he's done everything he can do to be a good husband but I just never think anything is good enough.

In a nutshell, I can't reconcile the fact that pursuing my own happiness means tearing his life apart. He would be devastated. I don't know of I'm strong enough to pull the trigger when the "gun" is pointed right at his head.
 

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This is going to sound rude, but....He has done a great job of training you!

You have to break his control over you....NOW!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is nothing wrong with being ambitious and wanting a bigger house. My question is, are you pro actively looking to move upwards? Asking your husband once in a great while, does not count as being proactive. 19 years is a long time waiting!

How about buying a new house, instead of building? With the current market, it makes more sense and it is cheaper to buy a house already built. Also, the rates charged by lenders, for a house loan, are at an all time low. You could also benefit from federal housing programs, like USDA, for example.
As far as being proactive, every time the subject has come up, it has always ended with "not now, but maybe after [xyz] happens..." So I wait patiently until [xyz] happens, bring it up again, lather, rinse repeat the same thing over and over. I'm waking up to the fact that "maybe someday" isn't ever going to happen unless he has a major change in his motivation and attitude.

As far as buying an existing home, we did discuss that as an option at one point. But whether we build or buy an existing home, it doesn't matter. The facts are he always gets to decide for both of us and our son that HE doesn't want to go forward with it. HE can't deal with that right now, etc.

Why is it that he gets to say no, too bad, we're not moving or building right now because HE doesn't want to, but I can't say yes, too bad, we're moving or building because I want to? I don't see how there can be a compromise on this decision.
 

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As far as being proactive, every time the subject has come up, it has always ended with "not now, but maybe after [xyz] happens..." So I wait patiently until [xyz] happens, bring it up again, lather, rinse repeat the same thing over and over. I'm waking up to the fact that "maybe someday" isn't ever going to happen unless he has a major change in his motivation and attitude.

As far as buying an existing home, we did discuss that as an option at one point. But whether we build or buy an existing home, it doesn't matter. The facts are he always gets to decide for both of us and our son that HE doesn't want to go forward with it. HE can't deal with that right now, etc.

Why is it that he gets to say no, too bad, we're not moving or building right now because HE doesn't want to, but I can't say yes, too bad, we're moving or building because I want to? I don't see how there can be a compromise on this decision.

You need to be assertive. Your marriage is not just about HIS needs. If he can not comprehend that and continues to overlook your needs and wants, perhaps its time to consider a more drastic solution.
You definitely deserve more and waiting is 19 years, is more than enough!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone. You don't know how much your comments help me to feel empowered to at least allow myself to think that my needs are important too. It's a start...

It's sad when I feel more comfort and support from complete strangers than I get from my husband.
 

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Remember, buying/building isn't just a decision that is handled like flipping a switch. Maybe it would be helpful to handle it like a series of steps, so that addressing each successive step with him seems less daunting than the overall task of going to the bank for the loan. Remember, he has never said that a new house is out of the question. Why not ask him to put his money where his mouth is? Tell him that you are willing to handle the details of setting up a savings plan for the downpayment. If he was really serious about ever buying a house, why wouldn't he committ to letting you put aside a little from each of your paychecks towards the downpayment (especially since you make more)? Who in their right mind would agree to building a home in a couple of years without putting a plan in place to have all the money needed by then? After a little accumulates, maybe the next step is for you to start talking to builders on your own? Select plans? All of this without actually making a committment. You can let the whole process start to take a life of its own.

Having just bought a new home, I found that it was a buyer's market in my new area, so I lean towards buying over building. Owners were willing to negotiate like never before - especially the homes that had been turned over to the banks. And mortgage rates were the best they have been in years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So you won't ruin his life but you're okay with him ruining yours? :scratchhead:
I hear you. That's what I need to work with the therapist about. I need to get to a place where I can stop feeling responsible for everyone else's happiness at the expense of my own. I think deep down I've always been made to feel like my only needs in this marriage should be making my husband and son happy. If doing so made me happy as well, then I must be doing it right. If doing so didn't make me happy or wasn't what I wanted, then something must be wrong with me, my attitude, my priorities, etc.

This is how I've been made to feel. I think my husband lacks true empathy. He can't or won't see that I might think differently or have priorities that aren't always in line with his and that just because they are different than his, they're not wrong.
 

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Is a separation in the back of your mind at this point? From your other posts its clear neither of you is happy in the relationship.

So why on earth would you want to get involved in a huge joint project like building a house together? It seems to me that that would really close the trap.

Right now you're only 38 and you've paid off your debt. You have a decent job. You have a chance to create your OWN home and to find a man you can actually enjoy sex with. You deserve those things.

What if deep down he wants to end the relationship (gaining 100 lbs. is an excellent way to create distance) but is stuck in inertia or is waiting for you to do it? Maybe a separation is just what he needs to talk control of his own life.

My advice would be to continue counseling and not make any major financial decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Is a separation in the back of your mind at this point?

And if so, why on earth would you want to get involved in a huge joint project like building a house together? It seems to me that that would really close the trap.

Do you have kids?
The house issue has been an off and on point of contention for years. I've brought it up many times, and every time I get told "absolutely not" and how selfish I am to even think about that... This most recent time I brought it up, his reaction really struck a raw nerve. That's why I posted it up - i wanted to know if I was so unreasonable like he made me feel.

But since this recent episode, you're right, now I don't know if I even want to go ahead with it anymore. We do have one child, 14, who desperately wants to move out of this mobile home.
 
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