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House Improvements

TwoDozen posted 10/13/2020 10:21 AM

Hi Guys. Not my 1st post but certainly a new topic for me and would appreciate the combined wisdom of SI on this one

Dday was December so we we’re 10 months in. I’m in R for recovery and would say I hope to get to a place where R = reconciliation eventually but a lot depends on WGF and whether I’ll actually get to a point of acceptance etc.

Anyway It makes no sense to me during these early days to treat GF in anyway other than how I would like to be treated so there is zero friction at home, we date, we are in HB, and we are a great team with respect to our children.

However whilst I am undecided on the future and maybe for some time I don’t know what to do with respect to minor and medium property improvements.

We jointly own our home which was actually under major renovation during her A and now have a number of final things that need to be finished. Some of these would be essential if we wanted to sell the place and some are on the mice to have if we continue to live there.

I told WGF Friday that I am okay to do the essential items ie we pay from our joint money but that I need some time (undefined) before I will commit to the nice to haves that won’t affect property value.

My question, we can’t live in limbo forever and I know that I will always have the option to separate but how long can I keep us in limbo with regards to the things we would like to have in the house. I realise I am not the cause of this but I just don’t know how long I will take to reach a decision to be “all in” if ever.

Oldwounds posted 10/13/2020 12:11 PM

There is no time table to decide your path going forward or what repairs to house or relationship you want to make.

You definitely don't want to rush to a decision of being "all in" either.

Personally, I think you have to know that your partner has changed, or is changing to be a safer partner worthy of you staying around.

It took me about two years to truly believe my wife's efforts were real, and not temporary. So, year three was when I pushed back all in and the results were immediate, because my wife had been all in since -dday. She just needed me to catch up, and she understood it would take me a while.

Wintergarden posted 10/14/2020 05:32 AM

Nothing has ever got done in our house in a hurry. But some updating happened during his A (from what I read in here, it was probably a release of his guilt over the A)

Now 20 months later there are things being done that we've put up with for years. His reason is that it's got to look it's best when we decide to sell (it will be too big for two) I'm just going with the flow really.

Some things can't be put off, but its hard to focus on a home when your heart is breaking. Don't feel you have to rush anything.

This0is0Fine posted 10/14/2020 11:42 AM

we can’t live in limbo forever

No one lives forever in any condition. Embrace the uncertainty. Do what you would do regardless of what WGF wants. Do you want the "nice to haves" or not? If anything you do makes her upset or she decides is something she'll give you hell about, then you can just end the relationship. Your responses don't have to be proportional or rational. There is a great deal of freedom available within a relationship that is knowingly in limbo if you truly are willing to accept that any little thing, or nothing at all could be the end of your relationship.

As much as possible, make the relationship a condition you want and enjoy.

Notthevictem posted 10/14/2020 17:49 PM

Is she pushing these things or...?

oldtruck posted 10/15/2020 02:32 AM

i do not know your story.
i do know this, when they cheat on you before they married
you odds are they will cheat again.

these odds make WGF a bad candidate for recovery. cut
your loses and dump her. i have seen this happen to too many
betrayed BF before.

TwoDozen posted 10/15/2020 03:54 AM

Thanks all for the feedback

For clarity the money required to finish these “nice to haves” will wipe out almost all our savings and therefore my “safety net”

WGF would like to get back to normality ASAP, not aggressively pushing for these things to be done but flutters eyelids if you know what I mean

I feel like this whole situation has put both our lives in limbo. For example we always wanted to buy a bigger house, obviously I won’t do that today but I feel like I will never do that now. It seems to me the only way either of us can have a full life will be if we separate as I don’t know if or when I will ever be able to be “all in” again.

How long is it okay to feel like that?

For the record I am in IC and have been for 7 months. WGF has resisted till now only reading HTHYSH begrudgingly about 4 months ago. She is open to IC now and we have a meeting with IC for her next week. I spoke with the IC and she certainly sounds like she will hold WGFs feet to the fire which I have struggled to do myself.

Notthevictem posted 10/15/2020 06:51 AM

WGF would like to get back to normality ASAP, not aggressively pushing for these things to be done but flutters eyelids if you know what I mean

Hell, I wouldn't be doing any of the house improvements beyond what were needed to sell the house until I trusted again. What's the point of home building with a home wrecker? How are you sure she isn't remaining in the relationship because of the finances instead of actually wanting to be with you?

TwoDozen posted 10/15/2020 07:21 AM

@notthevictem my point exactly.

I’m not sure I was ever really plan B (sure does feel like it at times) I think with my WGF it was cake eating as OP was never a viable LTR

I guess my question is what is reasonable as long as I have a plan B. It just seems right now that I’ll always have a plan B now for the rest of my life. Or to put it another way, I havnt decided what plan A is.

Notthevictem posted 10/15/2020 07:56 AM

Well, for me what I did was put together a master plan. Of course, I wasn't sleeping much at the time, my mind going a million miles an hour, and I thought doing so was at least a productive use of my emotionally-induced insomnia.

I'll admit, I planned like a mad scientist and my if/thens were pages long. Years later, looking back, I can see it as an exercise to try to regain a feeling of control in my life.

I'd suggest the same exercise for you as well. You're asking about the home improvement stuff, but what you're really asking is 'do I still have a reason to be invested in this relationship'?

The short answer, of course, is no. You don't.

The long answer is while YOU might not, the kids certainly do. That's not a reason to stay if you're being walked over. Ultimately you have no control over what your wgf does. What you do control is yourself and how you act and think. You have to consider questions like 'what's best for the kids?' 'Can we survive if we financially separate?' 'How will my children's daily lives look if we do?'

Again those are all starter questions for a plan.

I would like to point out the obvious manipulation tactic that I hope you don't run across: if your wgf EVER says anything along the lines of 'this wouldn't have happened if we were married' I'd exist the relationship faster than road runner on fast forward.

TwoDozen posted 10/15/2020 09:10 AM

Haha we’ve been engaged for 23 and a half years now. We never got round to it (never felt we needed it) and it’s certainly not on the cards now.

My pension is safe

somanyyears posted 10/15/2020 09:36 AM

..after so many years together, (common law) doesn't she get half of everything, including your pension?

..re: the house, finish all the projects that will maximize your investment and bring top $ results if you need to sell quickly.
..as long as both of you share the reno costs equally as well.

OH... and see your own lawyer about possible outcomes that might impact YOU.

And be cautious when selecting contractors for anything major.


TwoDozen posted 10/16/2020 04:13 AM

@SMY there is no common law in the U.K. in my situation there would be no alimony just child maintenance which could be kept at zero if 50% custody agreed. So that only leaves joint ownership of house and contents, the latter is also not protected by law so either of us could claim to own the furniture with no proof we would have to find an amicable solution and avoid courts completely.

Bigger posted 10/16/2020 07:09 AM

I don’t think you are in a good place.
I went through your posts and you really never share your story. The best is your thread “Todays the day”. From that I gather that you and GF have been together for about 25 years and that your method of dealing with the affair was basically to say “OK. Don’t do it again” and then move on.
Your GF hasn’t done any IC, you two chose to keep the affair a secret and life just goes on.

Look – I’m an old-timer here on SI. A number of posters (maybe rightly) think I’m too pro-reconciliation. All I say is R is possible from nearly all situations. I also say R isn’t necessarily the best outcome and NEVER the only outcome. Divorce is also a good, realistic option.
What I do my best to prevent is exactly what you describe: Limbo.
What you two are trying to do is live with the great big pink elephant that follows you around. Ignore it long enough and you adapt to the smell of elephant-dung and the elephant snores that keep you awake some nights. Sad fact is that in 2-3 years you might manage that.

To salve your conscience, you have … well… senseless thoughts about how to fix the house while still enabling you to separate without more financial commitment. The real commitment – the one you will never get back – isn’t financial, but TIME.

Look – if the infidelity had been the end-the-relationship line in the sand you wouldn’t be there. I doubt you WANT to live in indecision. I doubt you signed up to be an elephant-tamer.
Considering you mostly post in the reconciliation forum this is what I suggest:

Commit to reconciling.

That’s it. Plain and simple. Doesn’t mean you reconcile or that it’s easy. It simply states that from now on you work at getting yourself and your GF into healthy reconciliation.
But it also means an acknowledgement that to R you need truth, you need clear and verbal commitment from her, you probably need outside help – be it IC, MC, couples therapy, online courses, DVD’s, books, couples weekends… whatever.
Reconciling is also realizing that it’s like bailing water out of a boat. Stop or ease up and you sink before you reach shore.

CaptainRogers posted 10/16/2020 08:20 AM

2D, I was waiting to see what other folks came through to say before chiming in. There are a myriad of moving parts, but I'm going to zero in on this one:

For clarity the money required to finish these “nice to haves” will wipe out almost all our savings and therefore my “safety net”

As a guy who makes his living advising on financial issues, I'll do this without sending a bill 😁

Regardless of what is happening in a marital relationship, whether you two have been married for 30 years and infidelity was never part of the equation, or if you were a 55-year old single guy without any debt, or anywhere in between, my advice would be exactly the same.

NEVER wipe out your savings for a "nice to have" anything. The safety net is a safety net for a purpose. It is not a stockpile of cash that should be raided whenever there's something shiny and new available.

Can some smaller things be done with dipping slightly into that savings? If so, do what you find to be most desirable at a workable dollar amount and set a savings goal for the other things.

Ripping away your safety net for a want almost always results in the same thing...a catastrophic event that would have been made easier if that safety net were still in place. In removing the emotion from the situation, the logical, rational decision is to not rip through the savings in order to finish all the little improvements at once.

Slow & steady.

sisoon posted 10/16/2020 12:00 PM

It took me 2 years of would work by both my W and me before I felt confident that our R would work, and that was with a W who started the work of R on d-day.

Being uncertain about your future with your WSO at 10 months out makes perfect sense to me.

TwoDozen posted 10/19/2020 03:21 AM

@Bigger thankyou I really appreciate you have taken the time to go through my posts and give me your valuable insights.

@CaptainRogers thankyou as always for your level headed advice.

@sisoon thankyou for letting me me know I’m not the only one who lives in indecision

I had a conversation with my IC many months ago on this and I was telling him that since the A I wake up everyday with a choice. It was always there but of course I’d never thought about it pre A. Anyway I said I don’t know how I can live the rest of my life waking up and having to make this choice every single day. His answer was if you leave you won’t have to make that choice every day anymore.

It’s true I have told very few people - those I have told, my IC, my best friend and my brother all tell me to leave. Not because of the A but because of her post A behaviour and their perception that I “won’t get over it” I don’t want to tell anyone else so as not to make the decision no longer my decision if that makes sense.

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