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Thread: Living With Someone After A Long Time Alone

  1. #1
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    Living With Someone After A Long Time Alone

    The last few days I have been trying to sort out feelings I can't even quite identify as I move the last things out of the tiny house and into the house we bought. I think we (I've) been so caught up in the excitement of getting the house cleaned out and ready to live in it has overshadowed any feelings of anything that are bound to come up.

    I think I am starting to acknowledge and deal with all the recent changes and the huge commitment we just made to each other. I am actually a bit sad to move out of the tiny home even though it was feeling quite claustrophobic at times; I realize I could have stayed there easily for a while longer. I think what I am mourning is a loss of the feeling of complete independence; I have my stuff and my space,he had his stuff and his space, and we came and went to each others places at will, or easily said "I need a studio night" or "I need to play my guitar tonight" which was code for "I need my space." Now that we live together I think we need to be able to honor that need for space, which should be quite doable because of the way the house is laid out. But it doesn't feel the same as when we lived in separate places. I think that is just something we are going to have to get used to as an "official" couple sharing a home.

    I'm still having a little anxiety about the money spent but most of the major stuff is out of the way (for now). We do need to get the driveway fixed because with all the moving and driving cars and trucks up this steep, rocky incline, we've got it all torn up and at some point my Honda Accord will not make it up the incline.

    But getting back to a few disquieting feelings: I haven't shacked up with someone since I got divorced in 1992 and it feels weird to share a space with someone else. I tend to want to control things and he is the complete opposite. I am clean and fairly organized, he is a slob and completely disorganized. I have a way of doing things in a fairly timely manner and he does not. I am constantly trying to remember to not be as controlling as I would naturally want to be, but I do have to remind him about important things that need to be done because they would effect both of us in the long term. Other stuff I am trying to let go and remember that he is an adult and has and can take care of his own stuff (just not the way I would do it) but that is his problem. I just hate to see good money wasted on things that should have been taken care of earlier (like late fees, etc). But that is his money.

    This is a good lesson for me - remembering boundaries, remembering I am a person in my own right. I will deal with my stuff, he can deal with his, and somehow we will develop a plan for dealing with the together stuff that is comfortable for both of us.'

    'I am sure this will come up a bit going forward, but I just needed to acknowledge some weird feelings and get it out of my head. I wonder if he is feeling the same things? We should check in with each other tonight.

  2. #2
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    You have lived alone for a long time so it will be a adjustment. My husband is similar and we deal with it by him having his messy space such as his office, shed and garage. As far as wasting money ours is together so I handle everything financial.

  3. #3
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    When it comes to the house and stuff that affects both of you, I would recommend a good desk/wall calendar to put notes on.

  4. #4
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    That is so understandable. I'm an introvert, and love my alone time, even though I've been married 42 years I still need it. I was worried when we downsized from 2100 sq ft to 700 sq ft. Maybe because we've spent 80% of our time here in nice weather, it hasn't been bad. He has an outbuilding/workshed and a boat and I have an office and a travel schedule, so it's not like we're in each other's shadow.

    But you're right--sharing space demands a different way of life, and it is an adjustment. Sometimes it's hard to compromise. Lately DH gets angry if I make the bed because he thinks it messes up his CPAP (it doesn't--I carefully move the mask and hose to the nightstand, but he still gets mad). So now I make MY side of the bed and I don't touch his. Sounds weird, but it makes me feel better that at least my bed is made--if it weren't for the fact that when you stand in our living room there's a clear view to the bedroom, maybe I wouldn't care as much.

    I think you have to "accept the things you can't change and change the things you can." Try to work out some basic ground rules and let the rest go. Having a companion around you love and respect is worth these irritants, IMHO. But the transition is definitely a challenge.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    One good thing is that you have the maturity and life experience to know that it can be resolved and worked through.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  6. #6
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    One good thing is that you have the maturity and life experience to know that it can be resolved and worked through.
    ^^^ This. I was on my own for almost ten years after my first marriage; DW on her own (well, single parent, but...) for almost twenty years. Moving in together was an adjustment and continues to be one (though not on the same scale). DW's retirement in several months will cause another adjustment or two.

    But we know we can make those adjustments. And we know how important they are to make. Always having to live with her idea of order or my idea of esthetics, without any ability to negotiate them in common areas, could create a breeding ground for resentment. We're conscious of making sure both of us are happy with arrangements. We keep a common checking account for most of our expenses, but each of us maintains a small account that we don't have to negotiate with each other. Each of us has one room in the house we can decorate and keep as orderly or disheveled as we please without judgement but we agree on a standard for the common areas. We know how critical it is for each of us to have our alone time. That will have to be renegotiated once DW is no longer out of the house for 50-60 hours a week at work. But we'll manage it because both of us want it to work.

    SQ, you'll figure it out, too. Just don't be surprised if the answer in some areas is not "agreement" but "containment".
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  7. #7
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    I am dealing with some "uneasy" feelings too about being with DH 24-7 since retiring. I did not realize how hard it would be at times to get along after years of working and being away for much of the day. Our core personalities are starting to clash more often so it is crucial to either go along or get along. I am trying to volunteer, join groups, garden etc and he is content to sit in the basement surfing and reading. We both have our own space separated by a floor so that part is good. Right now, we are bickering about "decorating" the basement but I finally caved as that is his space and if he wants everything dark and brown, oh well. It is where the TV is though so I find it depressing to be there. I am actually looking forward to a little solo trip he is taking in a few weeks just so I can have some alone time.

  8. #8
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    Right now, we are bickering
    haha, DH told my DS, in an effort to explain our behavior to him, that "that's what old people do. They bicker." it sounds so demeaning, but it's a wake-up call to me to pay attention to how I'm communicating. Yes, DH and I bicker all the time.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    haha, DH told my DS, in an effort to explain our behavior to him, that "that's what old people do. They bicker." it sounds so demeaning, but it's a wake-up call to me to pay attention to how I'm communicating. Yes, DH and I bicker all the time.
    I have told my friends that the day DH and I stop carping at each other is the day they will know we are getting a divorce. On that day it will be apparent we don’t give a damn.

  10. #10
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    The last 8 years of my second marriage we never argued because I didn’t care. I was just waiting for the youngest to be 18.

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