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3) I thought living apart could be a reasonable compromise. Reasons for this are we're both more independent & somewhat introverted, set in our ways, and after my last experience, I'm not convinced I ever need to be married again, but am keeping an open mind. Has anybody else managed a sort of "separate but together" housing arrangement?

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Discussion Starter #63
How exactly is living and working abroad "frivolous and immature"?
She made the decision in her early thirties (twice) to go abroad. Each time, it seemed to be out of frustration with an ex, and her job.

Now she's dealing with a ticking biological clock, and regretting the time she spent abroad, and regretting not having saved more money and bought her own place, but still romantices how nice it was living in Europe.

If she wanted marriage and kids, she should've prioritized that.

I fully support a woman putting her career first... if that's what she wants. The "Have my cake and eat it too" kinda approach is what concerns me. Is she going to know what she wants, and how it will be when she get it, and be happy with that? Or is she going to keep jumping from thing to thing? I don't know that about her yet.

What kind of boundaries do you have with your high conflict ex? Do you placate her to avoid the conflict?

Gotta be honest...if your gf was here I'd tell her that you come with too much baggage for her and this relationship isn't a good fit.
Good boundaries. I haven't had a direct interaction with her once since the divorce was finalized, other than communications via email about our daughter's activities. We call eachother every day to let the other say goodnight to our daughter, but hand the phone directly to our daughter, and this is usually a 5 min conversation.

I've arranged to do all pickups and dropoffs either at my XW's house, or I drop off & pickup my daughter from school, so there's no direct contact there either. I text my XW I'm in the driveway, and she opens the door, and my daughter yells "Papa!" and runs to my car. So my XW is not at my house ever, or in my business.

I've also told my GF that in almost two years of living a mile away, I haven't run into XW anywhere out here. There's a major 6 lane road between us, and it really does divide the area up. People rarely walk across it. So there's a physical boundary there. And also the nature of the custody arrangement kind of prevents this... if teh XW has our daughter, she's not going out and doing "adult" things when I am, and vice versa.

Since it's only been 7 months why not put off buying a house for another year to see what happens here? You're asking a lot of someone that you currently see as a good time.
I think you (and others) are right about this, and I'm not actually rushing into anything.

It was just the nature of the argument we had that got me thinking about what I should or could expect, and wanted a woman's perspective on the situation, or suggestions on how to handle the discussion.

I do like my GF a lot and hope to make things work, so I want to consider her side of the issue, but am also not willing to make decisions that would negatively impact the amount of time I have with my daughter, or stretch me financially into bad investments.
 

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It sounds to me like you are really responsible, practical, and like to plan ahead. Your gf sounds more whimsical, live in the moment, and doesn’t plan ahead.

I think that if you both can appreciate and respect that about each other, you two will really have a great life together. The problem will be of course if you see the other person as “wrong” and think the other person should be living how you live.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
OP you seem like you have a good plan for your life with your daughter, and that you are doing a great job co parenting, as well.
thanks, I like to think so too. :)

FWIW, my GF knew I was divorced and had a daughter when we met, and has generally been very good about it. When we agreed the time was right for her to meet my daughter, she read about the best ways to meet your SO's kid and was very good about it. And my daughter seemed to like her right away.

I have some hangups given her past, as I said above.

I know staring into "the abyss" of a lifelong commitment, and/or staying in a job you might hate for a while because you have to, and providing stability for kids is scary to a lot of people. Given the way she's dropped everything in her life to move abroad twice before, I am concerned with how she would act if/when we live together... would she grow to be content in this, or would she start to resent the fact that she can't just pack up and take a job in Paris or Milan because of me? I don't know about that for sure yet. But I'm not going to make any decisions yet. If I do feel like I need to buy a place sooner than later, I will pick a time to have a conversation with her about where I'm at and what I hope she can commit to, and what I am willing to compromise or concede on.
 

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thanks, I like to think so too. :)

FWIW, my GF knew I was divorced and had a daughter when we met, and has generally been very good about it. When we agreed the time was right for her to meet my daughter, she read about the best ways to meet your SO's kid and was very good about it. And my daughter seemed to like her right away.

I have some hangups given her past, as I said above.

I know staring into "the abyss" of a lifelong commitment, and/or staying in a job you might hate for a while because you have to, and providing stability for kids is scary to a lot of people. Given the way she's dropped everything in her life to move abroad twice before, I am concerned with how she would act if/when we live together... would she grow to be content in this, or would she start to resent the fact that she can't just pack up and take a job in Paris or Milan because of me? I don't know about that for sure yet. But I'm not going to make any decisions yet. If I do feel like I need to buy a place sooner than later, I will pick a time to have a conversation with her about where I'm at and what I hope she can commit to, and what I am willing to compromise or concede on.
I also think that if she has her own kids she might become more responsible. Kids change people for sure.
 

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I do like my GF a lot and hope to make things work, so I want to consider her side of the issue, but am also not willing to make decisions that would negatively impact the amount of time I have with my daughter, or stretch me financially into bad investments.
Wise move.

Re your daughter, if your GF pushes this and you end up in the city, I can see down the track your daughter not wanting to spend much time at your place, simply because of the long days she'll face getting to and from school, and frankly, I wouldn't blame her, that would suck for a kid.
 

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Discussion Starter #69
someone else suggested I update this thread:

we agreed to compromise a bit, and while we'll be living in the city, it's the side of the city nearest my current suburb, and a fairly "suburban" kinda place on its own; we'll have a backyard, a single-family house, etc.

she agreed to get dinner prepared on the nights I pick up my daughter, so when we get home, food is ready & we're not eating dinner at like 8 pm. that's nice.

It wasn't a completely cordial discussion over time, but gradually got better. I think we're both learning eachother's boundaries and manner of speaking... I can be very blunt and direct, and... also dry & sarcastic sometimes. She is not very direct sometimes, but I'm learning not to assume that means she's trying to be manipulative, instead of just thinking aloud, or talking things through. baby steps...
 

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We've been together for 7 months.
Way too soon to be talking about buying houses and living together.

1) From a woman's perspective, would you move into a house your BF bought on his own... or is it really that important that it be "a joint endeavor"?

I think it depends upon the house, how much room, how close it is to a job if I had to commute (I'm working from home these days so for me, that's not an issue) and if I thought I'd have a better quality of life. I don't think throwing money away every month by renting is a long term solution.

When my daughter was a child, I didn't compromise with anyone about where I lived in proximity to her. While I grew up in the city, I moved out to the burbs because her dad lived out in the burbs and we wanted to make things easy on her with regards to her schedule. We were rare in that we put her needs before our wants and ego.

1a) Is there anything I could do to make it more palatable... like let her decorate? Give her joint ownership in a pre-nup if we have kids?
I don't think this is her issue. I think her issue is that this house you want in the burbs is near your child's mother--despite what she's telling you. But no, I wouldn't give her joint ownership in anything until she was your wife and don't have kids until she's your wife.
2) Does this situation look like a long term deal breaker?
If she doesn't let go of her intransigence, yes.

3) I thought living apart could be a reasonable compromise. Reasons for this are we're both more independent & somewhat introverted, set in our ways, and after my last experience, I'm not convinced I ever need to be married again, but am keeping an open mind. Has anybody else managed a sort of "separate but together" housing arrangement?
Given her attitude, I'd keep separate living arrangements for the foreseeable future--- at least until your daughter has gone to college.

If living in the city and living the single life is so important to her, then let her go have that single life. You've got a father to a child life and so you have much different considerations than she does, not to mention obligations that come before her.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
Way too soon to be talking about buying houses and living together

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I think it depends upon the house, how much room, how close it is to a job if I had to commute (I'm working from home these days so for me, that's not an issue) and if I thought I'd have a better quality of life. I don't think throwing money away every month by renting is a long term solution.
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When my daughter was a child, I didn't compromise with anyone about where I lived in proximity to her. While I grew up in the city, I moved out to the burbs because her dad lived out in the burbs and we wanted to make things easy on her with regards to her schedule. We were rare in that we put her needs before our wants and ego.
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I don't think this is her issue. I think her issue is that this house you want in the burbs is near your child's mother--despite what she's telling you. But no, I wouldn't give her joint ownership in anything until she was your wife and don't have kids until she's your wife.

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If she doesn't let go of her intransigence, yes.
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Given her attitude, I'd keep separate living arrangements for the foreseeable future--- at least until your daughter has gone to college.
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If living in the city and living the single life is so important to her, then let her go have that single life. You've got a father to a child life and so you have much different considerations than she does, not to mention obligations that come before her.
Well, her and I have now been together for about a year...

Everything I've said so far in this thread has now gone sideways, since my XW, without almost any notice, moved as far away as she's able to under the divorce decree. We had a geographic restriction of two counties, and she moved to a very rural area, right at the county line, 30 miles away farther away from where I am, and WAY farther away from the city.

I'm talking to an attorney now about what I can do about this, as I might have to go to court to amend the divorce decree if she doesn't agree to compromise and drop our daughter off at my place, instead of me picking her up.

As if all this isn't enough, my GF got transferred to a new office on the opposite side of our metro area from all this.

I might have to, for at least the next year, just rent a house nearby. I think my offer to my GF would be "I want to live with you, and I know this isn't your ideal situation, but if you make the sacrifice of the longer drive to work, I'll cover the entire rent myself"

I think she's more open to living here anyway, since my XW is no longer in the city.
 

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I think living apart is the answer. First of all, she's not likely to enjoy the whole daughter business unless she grew up with a lot of younger siblings. Most childfree people don't like, though they may understand why, men always catering to the kids over them or the ex over them.

Second, you don't want the same things. She's ready to stay single and living in the city. It doesn't sound like she's at all ready to settle down with a family to me. I mean, in what universe is it preferable to live where you have to take public transportation and walk everywhere and try to carry bags of groceries home like that? Does she even cook? How? She may not like suburbs because she's never tried it. But it doesn't matter. Sounds like what she wants and what you want are two completely different lifestyles.

I've let a guy go because of those type differences before. No way I was going to live in NYC in a closet when I was already in my own ranch home with a backyard and a dog door. And what a waste of money when you could live much better somewhere else.

There are people you can love but not be able to share a home with for all kinds of reasons. I think the most important thing is you both want the same thing and value the same thing, and you don't. I would say this isn't permanent. If either of you gives up your lifestyle, you will just come to resent it once it's not a honeymoon anymore.
 

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Well, her and I have now been together for about a year...

Everything I've said so far in this thread has now gone sideways, since my XW, without almost any notice, moved as far away as she's able to under the divorce decree. We had a geographic restriction of two counties, and she moved to a very rural area, right at the county line, 30 miles away farther away from where I am, and WAY farther away from the city.

I'm talking to an attorney now about what I can do about this, as I might have to go to court to amend the divorce decree if she doesn't agree to compromise and drop our daughter off at my place, instead of me picking her up.

As if all this isn't enough, my GF got transferred to a new office on the opposite side of our metro area from all this.

I might have to, for at least the next year, just rent a house nearby. I think my offer to my GF would be "I want to live with you, and I know this isn't your ideal situation, but if you make the sacrifice of the longer drive to work, I'll cover the entire rent myself"

I think she's more open to living here anyway, since my XW is no longer in the city.
I googled because each state usually has miles you can move when you share custody, but Nebraska appears to be quite lax and just need a judge's permission under certain guidelines (good reasons) to move out of state, so you may be screwed and end up having to follow her around the next so many years. Ugh. Most places won't let you move them where it's a big long car drive. Don't agree to anything with her! Disagree, take it before the judge and make it be HER who has to do all the driving.
 

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Well, her and I have now been together for about a year...

Everything I've said so far in this thread has now gone sideways, since my XW, without almost any notice, moved as far away as she's able to under the divorce decree. We had a geographic restriction of two counties, and she moved to a very rural area, right at the county line, 30 miles away farther away from where I am, and WAY farther away from the city.

I'm talking to an attorney now about what I can do about this, as I might have to go to court to amend the divorce decree if she doesn't agree to compromise and drop our daughter off at my place, instead of me picking her up.

As if all this isn't enough, my GF got transferred to a new office on the opposite side of our metro area from all this.

I might have to, for at least the next year, just rent a house nearby. I think my offer to my GF would be "I want to live with you, and I know this isn't your ideal situation, but if you make the sacrifice of the longer drive to work, I'll cover the entire rent myself"

I think she's more open to living here anyway, since my XW is no longer in the city.
Don't agree to pay everything! You want a partner willing to invest in the relationship, not just someone taking advantage of you financially.
 

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I might have to, for at least the next year, just rent a house nearby. I think my offer to my GF would be "I want to live with you, and I know this isn't your ideal situation, but if you make the sacrifice of the longer drive to work, I'll cover the entire rent myself"
What?! No. That sounds desperate. Stop twisting this into a pretzel trying to make this work.
 

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What?! No. That sounds desperate. Stop twisting this into a pretzel trying to make this work.
I think you guys are right about this.

Going forward, I'm presenting it (nicely) more as a "take it or leave it" option, eg "Here's what I need to do. I hope you understand."

I don't really care about the money for rent, honestly. I'd be renting a place that I could easily afford, and I don't have any concerns about her trying to take advantage of me financially. I've seen she's honest and decent on that front. If I told her she didn't have to pay rent, I'm sure she'd insist on paying utilities and groceries then.

My bigger concern is whether if she decides to move in with me in the suburbs, she fully appreciates the decision she's making, and makes it as a mature adult. I told her she needs to view this as making a decision to join a family or not, but I don't think she's fully grasped that, or - maybe more importantly - made peace with it in a way that won't lead to lingering resentment when she wants to go out at night, or take a trip but I have my daughter that weekend.

I can understand her reluctance here. I would not like to be in the same position if I was single. Still, she tells me she loves me and wants to be with me, and she would never try to come between me and my child and understands I have to take care of my daughter's needs first.

Compromising on a place didn't work, and I'm not looking forward to trying it again. And with the potential legal fight with the XW coming up, I think in a month I'm just going to make the best decision for my daughter and I, and let my GF figure out what she wants to do for herself.
 

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I think that’s a very good idea.

Her words may say she‘s fine with joining a family but her actions have often said otherwise. My suggestion is to slow that down. The big issue for her very likely is that she feels her time to have a baby or two is running out and she wants to move that (and you) along quickly. But moving things quickly at this point doesn’t benefit you or your daughter. Taking stock of the situation does.
 
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