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Am I being selfish?

Amiselfish_
Community Member

Am not sure how to start. But a bit of background first might help. Husband and I (2nd time around for both) have been together almost 10 years. Married almost 4 and lived together for 4 years before that. We have 4 offspring between us all of whom have lived with us off and on during the time we have been together.

A bit over a year ago when we finally got the place to ourselves we agreed that the children were not coming back again (all are well into adulthood and have moved out and come home at various stages since becoming adults).

Recently the eldest requested to come back with his girlfriend for a couple of weeks until they picked up the keys to a rental property. It was short term and we said ok. At the time I stipulated that it was definitely short term and that they were not staying indefinitely. Husband confirmed and agreed with this.

A few days ago husband says - the kids dont want to rent, they want to buy and I think we should let them stay whilst they find a place. I immediately said no. Whilst they have been with us for a few weeks they have not contributed financially and I was fine with that as it's short term. Husband indicated that we should allow them to stay and help them to save as much as they can whilst they try to find a place to buy.

Am i being selfish? I don't want them in my house. Since being married husband and I have had one or more of the adult childten living with us more than we have had alone time. We need our time. We need our own space and whilst I agree that you help your kids out where you can they are adults now and surely it's time they stood on their own two feet.

Husband told me at the time of the argument that if it came to a choice between his son and me then he would choose his son. And if I didnt like that I could leave. I've since being staying with a girlfriend and trying to work things out in my marriage.

Husband has since said he regrets those words. But they were said and they hurt. A lot.

I am now not sure where I stand or where my marraiage will go from here. I'm interested in the thoughts of others.

10 Replies 10

Doolhof
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Amiselfish,

Welcome to the forums. Hopefully other people who have been in similar situations can help you out with this.

To me there are many angles in your post. I can understand you wanting/needing time with your husband alone.

Your husband obviously wants to help his son.

It would be a great advantage and a boost to the children having the ability o save for a home of their own.

Then back to you needing time with your husband, that is very important.

Is it possible for you to see a counsellor with your husband?

If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been with your girlfriend, and how long do you intend to stay there?

Have you had any contact from the son and his girlfriend since you moved out?

When/if you return home, is it possible to have a family discussion about what has happened and why you took off?

Can you ask for/request help financially and otherwise from the children if they stay?

Can you make it clear to your husband that you desire time with him? Is it possible for you to go on "dates" to get the spark back?

Words said in anger can be very regrettable. Once they are out of the mouth, there are no taking them back. Conversation and communication will help to ease the pain the words have caused.

Hope you find a suitable solution.

Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Amiselfish~

First off welcome to the Forum. I imagine it's a big step to take and in fact you have come to a place were many others have similar problems and want to help, to tell you what happened with them.

I'll tell you a little about my arrangements. In my first marriage, which lasted 25 years before my wife passed away we did not have any limitations on our arguments, we said the first thing that came into our heads. I guess more by love for each other and our basic natures we survived those arguments, though both of us were very hurt at times.

When I married again I made a pact with my second wife that no matter what the argument we would never say anything that was impossible to take back, or even overly hurtful. We both remembered the hurt of our previous marriages and did not want to inflict it on each other. It's worked well for 20+ years.

Why do I say all this? If you did not have such an agreement with your husband right at the start human nature says either or both of you will go 'too far' in an argument - and regret it later. Sad but true.

So your first question is can you forgive your husband and in time trust him? Perhaps it would depend on what he does now.

On to part 2. Kids at home. If you have an agreement between the two of you - no kids at home from now on - then your husband is breaking that agreement unless it is with your permission. Just discussing it is fine. Under some circumstances that might be ok - say one of the kids had a terminal illness for example - you might then agree, but that's not the case.

Another question for you: assuming the kids don't stay till they buy a house can you trust you husband in future? I guess it might depend on his actions now.

The kids knew they were there on sufferance short term - why break that agreement? Perhaps they thought your husband was the 'weak link' who could then talk you round, perhaps it was their intention all along.

If it was me it would all come down to future trust and love. Will you husband put you first? If you don't want anyone else there with you its very understandable.

These are my views based upon 2 marriages where neither had been divorced. That being said I would not demand my offspring live with us, and similarly my wife would not demand hers do either. In fact I don't think either of us would be too keen even if we both agreed, at our age we need space, peace, tranquility & to look to each other.

YMMV

Croix (who calls anyone under 50 a kid)

Thank you for your feedback.

In answer to some of your questions

"Is it possible for you to see a counsellor" - we live in a rural area and it takes sometimes 4 to 6 weeks to get an appointment. We need sime resolution now.

"how long have you been with your girlfriend, and how long do you intend to stay there" - I am at day 4 - unsure of how much longer it's dependent on a resolution with hubby.

"Have you had any contact from the son and his girlfriend" - none whatsoever.

"is it possible to have a family discussion about what has happened and why you took off" - I hope so, but I am so hurt at moment that I am not sure I am ready for that and I think part of the problem is that hubby doesn't want them to be upset over what has happened.

"Can you ask for/request help financially" - we can but the money isn't really the issue the issue is that we had an agreement that it was short term and I feel the original agreement should be adhered to.

"Can you make it clear to your husband that you desire time with him" - I have tried to make him understand this but I'm not sure that he gets it. He is telling me that I just need to deal with it and get over it.

It's very hard to get over such hurtful words.

Thank you again for your thoughts.

Dear Amiselfish. I sort of tend to agree with you on this issue. While it's commendable your hubby wants to help his son and gf, he also needs to consider your feelings too. To say (in anger) that if it came to the 'crunch' the sons feelings would take precedence over yours is a bit over the top. Would you and your hubby be agreeable to the son renting a c'van on the property while he and gf search for their home? It could take quite some time for them to find something, negotiate a price and settle everything legally with previous owner, or to build (if they decide on that avenue). If they have a van, you would have your privacy, they would save as there would be some rent, but not as much as if they resided in a c'van park. Lynda

Great thoughts. Thank you.

"we would never say anything that was impossible to take back" - that would be my ideal. I've often said to hubby that I only ever say what I mean and mean what I say and that he should try to do the same. Sadly, he often says hurtful things during arguments and then days later apologises and says "I wish I could take it back" it does break down trust and feelings and leaves me unsure where I stand.

"Perhaps it would depend on what he does now" - what he is doing now is telling me that he has gotten over the argument and that I need to get over it too. I don't feel that we have dealt with the issue properly and I can't just 'get over it'. It would be great if I could be like that but right now I am very hurt.

"why break that agreement" - that was my question to hubby. And yes, I feel that they thought he would say yes and that I would say no. I am also questioning myself about whether it was the intention all along. A bit like thinking once in the door it'll be hard to throw them out. I feel a bit used and yes the trust has been broken all around. I asked hubby why he even considered it when he knew exactly how I felt and that we had previously agreed it was not to happen. His response was that he thinks we should do anything to help the kids out. They already have a sizable savings. They are not destitute, sick or jobless and really they need there own space as much as we need ours. They've either lived at our house or the girlfiends mothers since being together and it's time they stood on their own two feet.

It's now become a horribly awkward, uncomfortable and sad situation.

I dont feel comfortable in my own home and how do I walk back in as if nothing was wrong after the words that were said?

Great thoughts. Thank you."we would never say anything that was impossible to take back" - that would be my ideal. I've often said to hubby that I only ever say what I mean and mean what I say and that he should try to do the same. Sadly, he often says hurtful things during arguments and then days later apologises and says "I wish I could take it back" it does break down trust and feelings and leaves me unsure where I stand."Perhaps it would depend on what he does now" - what he is doing now is telling me that he has gotten over the argument and that I need to get over it too. I don't feel that we have dealt with the issue properly and I can't just 'get over it'. It would be great if I could be like that but right now I am very hurt."why break that agreement" - that was my question to hubby. And yes, I feel that they thought he would say yes and that I would say no. I am also questioning myself about whether it was the intention all along. A bit like thinking once in the door it'll be hard to throw them out. I feel a bit used and yes the trust has been broken all around. I asked hubby why he even considered it when he knew exactly how I felt and that we had previously agreed it was not to happen. His response was that he thinks we should do anything to help the kids out. They already have a sizable savings. They are not destitute, sick or jobless and really they need there own space as much as we need ours. They've either lived at our house or the girlfiends mothers since being together and it's time they stood on their own two feet.It's now become a horribly awkward, uncomfortable and sad situation. I dont feel comfortable in my own home and how do I walk back in as if nothing was wrong after the words that were said?

Thank you Pipsy,

A van really wouldn't fix the problem. They would still need to be in the house for showers, toilet, laundry etc. Not much different from the current situation.

And yes, the process of them getting there own home maybe a long one which is why I feel I need to stand my ground on this. What was originally a couple of weeks might turn into 6 months or more.

I know it might sound odd but I dont feel I can just be myself in my own home with others there. Regardless of them being family you still tend to alter how you are and what you do when you have other people in your home.

I also feel that by them renting somewhere now it will give them some insight into what to expect - bills, homecare, pressure - when they do finally get their own home.

They have managed to save a sizable amount thus far but that had been because they've lived with family (us first then gf mother until recently back to us).

They may need the time in a rental to evaluate exactly how they will cope with their own home, mortgage etc. I've said this to them from the start and they originally agreed hence the supposed rental property as originally discussed. But for some reason they've decided we are a better option (hmm) and then straight to their own home.

Dear Amiselfish. The next obvious suggestion is renting a van in a park. If they are so determined to own their own home (which is a good investment) they need to realize they have to be self sufficient otherwise they will have problems. Renting to buy is another option. Many rental agencies have these available as a 'starting' ground. We all need to start somewhere, if son and gf could get into a rent-to-buy scheme that would also give them a secure future, plus investment. There are several budget advice agencies who can help them with this side of things too. I actually go along with your need to 'be you' in your own home. I was in a similar situation years ago when my ex's 2 sons plus families arrived on our front door. We were expecting them, no question there, but expecting them, and have them actually stay was quite overpowering. They only stayed 2 weeks, but it was a culture shock as we were used to our space and suddenly we felt invaded. They also felt the stress so it wasn't a complete disaster, but we decided never again, either. Lynda

Yes Pipsy, they have lots of options but firstly they need to make that decision to go. At this stage I am being the bad person in requesting that the initial agreement be adhered to and the situation that it had caused between hubby and I should be the catalyst for them to make that decision.

Hubby has now said to me he has told them they need to find their own place, so we are working through what the next steps are.

I really appreciate the feedback it's making me feel more normal and less selfish in my decision to stick to my guns.

Many thanks