Not Feeling at "Home"…. Really Upset, Please Give Perspective!

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Wow there is a lot going on here.  It can be very difficult to be the second wife and he probably doesn’t realize how his comments are hitting a nerve (eg. to him it’s just a garden statue).  I think that a small step would be to tell him calmly that you feel like you want to make some part of the house your own.  Start small, like redo your bathroom (a little, paint, cute pic, new bathmat etc.) and ask him to please not criticize at all because it is important to you.  The connection between physical space and emotional well-being can be hard for guys to understand, in my experience.

You have gone through a lot of change, so definitely give yourself a break.  Maybe your upcoming wedding will make things feel more new and sparkly?

Post # 5
Member
8705 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Geeze, sounds like my husband. He tells me he doesn’t care about what I buy for the house but always has a comment on it.

 

You know how I got over it? If I liked it, I bought it and I’d put it up. He can deal with it. I stopped caring about my husband’s opinion on such things and if he wants to make a snide comment about a gnome or whatever I put in my garden, I just shrug it off. He doesn’t have to like it, because I do.

ETA: In doing this, my husband has slowly opened up. I think it had more to do with sharing “his” space with someone who has opinions differing from his. For years, husband could decorate the house however he wanted whenever he wanted. Now, another person came in with opinions and wants and it was a little jarring for him to adjust to.

Post # 6
Member
1248 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@Coral99:  I think it is more that he just doesn’t get the importance to you of a ‘connection’ to where you live and doesn’t mean to hurt you by dismissing your plates or statue etc.  Probably because he doesn’t have the same need to be emotionally connected to his house etc so he’s just thinking ‘oh I don’t like those plates’, not ‘I don’t want anything new brought into my home.’

Reading your story I found it a bit hard to relate to as well, and I say that as the soon to be second wife of my FI. When we first got together I stayed often at his house that he used to live in with his ex, used all the cookware etc. that they owned together. The only time I got a bit funny was when I found their wedding cake server in a utensil drawer or some wedding photos she had stashed in some nook.  We live in a house that I purchased now but I still have some stuff in the house that she used to use (saucepans etc), we have a clock on our wall that was a wedding gift etc. I just sort of see them as objects and not tied to their relationship.

Having said that it is obviously really important to you so he should be understanding of that. And hopefully you can get to a place where you don’t take it as personally or get as bothered by having some stuff around still from his previous relationship. Given that he has a child it might bother the child a bit as well if everything gets changed and all new stuff comes in of yours?

Post # 7
Member
6812 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

@Hyperventilate:  <- her idea sounds best. He SAYS it doesn’t bother him and you have carte blanche, so just buy things and put them up and if he says something just say, “Oh I’m sorry you don’t like it, I do and you told me you want me to feel at home, right?” That should shut him right up!

Post # 8
Member
3756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I totally understand how you are feeling. The good news is, they didn’t  live in that house together. It’s unfortunate that some of the stuff was “theirs” but it’s not like he could just go buy all new stuff when they split. I was in a similar situation, it’s quite an adjustment, he had a daugher too that spent a lot of time with us. My current FI never lived with anyone before and he always makes comments about stuff I buy. I hate it. It drives me insane. I think it’s just a guy thing! I like @Hyperventilate‘s advice about just trying your hardest to ignore his negative comments and go on with decorating as you like. I think he’ll get used to it. I’m sorry about the dishes though, that one is a bummer. It sounds like he’s getting it with the talks you’ve had but that the comments are just a knee jerk reaction. He probably doesn’t even realize he’s doing it until it’s already done. A good way to handle that might be to calmly explain to him immediately after he does that, that this is something that you really wanted to add to your home and that it hurt you that he responded that way. Instead of letting it go in that moment and holding it in. I hope you can find a common ground, this is a big thing to be upset about and I can understand your fear of feeling trapped in it after you get married. I hope you work it out!!

Post # 9
Member
370 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

It sounds like you are backing off every time he indicates he doesn’t like something as much as you do. STOP DOING THAT! I’m am certain that at some point he came home with something that just made you cringe. But I’m also willing to be that its still around because it wasn’t a “big deal”. Plates are not a big deal. Garden statues are not a big deal. You need to let yourself enjoy these things that you love even if your FI isn’t totally on board. This is part of making it into a “our house” rather than just leaving it as “his house”. Whip out those blue and white plates and start tonight. You are an adult and you are allowed to have nice adult things.

Men are generally not good at looking at things in a symbolic sort of light. You see the table he bought with his ex. He sees a place to sit and have a family dinner. It is more likely that your desire to redecorate is just something he can’t understand rather than something he is trying to be unsupportive about. I would go through the house and find the items that really bother you and ask him about the significance of each item in his perspective. Some may be important to him but others may not. Replace the ones that he has no attachment to. At the very least on your next shopping trip you should pick up a table cloth that complements your palates to put over the old kitchen table.

Post # 10
Member
2111 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

@Coral99:  I felt the same way moving in with FI. We moved in with our friends that are recently married. They moved first with all of their stuff and their new wedding gifts and the decorations and extras. Then FI moved in and filled the rest of the space with his things. Then, when I moved in, I had no where to put my things. I’m a minimalist, so I don’t have much, but whenever I was unpacking, I had to constantly ask, “Can I put this here? Where can this go? Can I move this there?” I ended up having a mini breakdown to FI because I had no idea where anything was because there was no place for me. I had already taken almost all of my kitchen things home because there was no room or we already had the stuff. I still don’t know where anything in the kitchen is. It sucked those first few weeks and every now and then it still gets to me, but it will get better. Just talk to him about how you’re feeling. I like the “This is my room to decorate. You can’t be negative.” idea. I wish I could have done that.

Post # 12
Member
1861 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I don’t have brilliant advice, but this would stress me out too. When my partner and I moved in together, we moved into a new place so that it would be OURS — neither of us feeling like we were encroaching on the other’s “territory.” I suspect there’s a little of that with your partner — having his spaced changed, even when it’s something he’s theoretically OK with.

I totally understand that moving isn’t quite an option yet, but I think you’ll feel better about the situation when that time comes to set up a new place together.

In the meantime, though — I suspect painting will help, particularly if you’ve made the choices together. If there are specific pieces that really irritate you, maybe target those for renewal/removal? You mentioned that the ex’s table bugs you — how about a new tablecloth and linens for it in a pattern you love?

As much as possible — try to work on seeing the stuff that was “theirs” as yours now too.

Post # 15
Member
370 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Coral99:  

I understand holding it in when you are upset. But that is something I’ve had to get over. Because as it turns out FI can’t read my mind and would really rather deal with it before I blow it out of proportion having stewed over it for too long. It is really wonderful that you are trying to be so respectful of your FI’s wishes since his ex didn’t let him have a say but… In your situation it sounds like he is making most of the decisions. You don’t want to become resentful of him the way he did with his ex. Don’t aim to take over all of the decision making but please speak up when you disagree.

I don’t think it is reasonable to expect him to get rid of everything that was “theirs” because that was a part of his past and some things stick. I think the sheets are something you are just going to have to let go for a while. But if he is ready for that table to be a thing of the past but not in a position to replace it… Get out the sandpaper and some paint and transform it into something new. Make it a family project and see how much artistic talent your stepson has. You can always put a table cloth over it if things get a little out of control.

I refinished a table I had been gifted and it is now a great piece in our home. Before… it was stained, wobbly, and smelled of cat urine. $30 later and it is a totally new table.

Post # 16
Member
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

It takes time, be patient. Don’t let his dislike get you down or stop you. You’ll get to a point where you’re both comfortable and on board with each others style. It probably took us at least a year of living together to get to that place.

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