Posted by: CANDICE | 2013/01/08


My boyfriend and I have decided to move in and now suddenly I am confronted with all these new rules and regulations. We have been together for a few years and these things were never an issue but now seem to be very important to him.

He felt like he had no say in his previous marriage and their living arrangements and he assures me over and over again that he will never allow that to happen. He says he will never lose control and have someone take over. So suddenly I am told I mustnt do that and I cant do this.... I mustnt suggest what he should wear, ask whether he brushed his hair, where we buy our food, and ask to throw old food away. These small things I would have asked or just done before and it was never ever an issue. I have also been alone for 8 years after my divorce so I suddenly feel like I cant do what I want in his home. There are certain things I will respect and told him that I will do - like put the cap back on the toothpaste, re-use my coffee mug (cant see the point but I will do it) I feel like I am tip toeing on egg shells. It seems like its his home, his rules!!

How do I handle this? I also have my children to consider and dont want them to feel that they cannot act like children in his home. We need to move the relationship forward as we have been together for over 5 years but to be honest I am getting cold feet. Is this normal? Do couples go through these type of things before moving in together?

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Our expert says:
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Doesn't sound like an equal or wholesome relationship to start with - whence come all these rules and regulations without discussion and JOINT formulation of them ? Is he really that controlling ? Maybe as you imply, he's trying to sort out in THIS relationship what went wrong in his previous relationship, an enterprise doomed to fail.
Because he allowed someone else to over-control him, he now expects you to enable him to over-control you ?
Yet in your description, it sounds as though you have also unpacked unhelpful habits from your years as a single mom, and would prefer in some significant ways to mother him, and that also isn't helpful.

If you really want this relationship to have any real chance, see a marriage / couples counsellor together ASAP.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anon | 2013/01/08

I agree with Maria, it can be hard to settle in at first especially if both of you are used to living without a partner but there should be compromises made from both sides to be accomodating. A grown man doesn''t need anybody to tell him what to wear or to brush his hair and I don''t think asking that everyone reuse the same coffee cup is asking much either, we have the same rule in our house to avoid cups and glasses piling up and it''s so easy to just rinse it out before using it again.

I get that legally it''s his home, but I just don''t understand, moving in after years of dating just so that you can''t do somethinng in ''his'' home, isn''t suppose to be your home too now? Your not just a guest there anymore, else what''s the point of moving in together? You could ask him that and maybe point out that some of the rules he has set in place to avoid getting walked or ruled over are making you feel the exact way he felt, controlled.

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Posted by: Maria | 2013/01/08

You ask him if he''s brushed his hair and tell him what to wear? I would also react badly to that if I was him. He is a grown man, not one of your kids.

I think it''s quite normal to have a settling in period where things are difficult when people move in together. This is even more complicated when there are kids involved. I suggest the two of you sit down when you are calm and relaxed, and talk this through. You have to negotiate new roles and responsibilities. Obviously both of you are used to doing things in a certain way in your household and you have to work through the differences and find common ground.

If you battle to do this, maybe go for some couples therapy so that an impartial third person can help you?

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