Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Hi Carolyn! We’ve been friends for over a year, dating for almost six months, I’m late 20s to his early 30s. Financially, moving into his house (that he owns) makes a lot of sense, but some friends and family are against it because “it might not work out” and we aren’t married.
We both feel like this is an excellent opportunity to save time (traveling daily to see each other) and money, and test the waters to see if we do well living together. We love each other deeply and have a really secure relationship. How soon is too soon to live together?
Saving time and money are terrible reasons to move in with someone, and water-testing doesn’t cut it either. Here’s why. Inertia is one of the most powerful forces in human existence, despite how eager we are to credit our logic and judgment. Yes, you’d save time and money, and yes you’d find out how well you share space, the logic is hard to refute — but you would also be ceding so much say in your relationship to the inertia of being together. Moving in with someone is tempting and romantic. Moving out of a home you share with someone is about as fun as ripping off a layer of skin.
What that means is twofold: that you’re now focused mostly on arguments in favor of moving in, and inclined to dismiss arguments for not doing it; and that, when you do move in, inertia will push you not to take seriously any signs your relationship isn’t working. Having all your stuff in one house invests you deeply in making things work, even when you have clear evidence you’d be better off apart.
So, “too soon to move in” is before you’re certain you’re in this for good. You can still spend most of your time in his place, testing waters. Just have your place available as insurance against committing by default.
Yes, it’s expensive to do this. Divorce is much more so.
Dear Carolyn: My husband brings home supplies from work all the time. I’m not talking office supplies, but everything from cleaning to medical supplies. It upsets me so much that he would jeopardize our livelihood on stuff he doesn’t even need. He says he'll stop but he continues. He can quote Bible stories all day long but when I give him Biblical references to being honest, he just gets really angry at me.
My son notices the items and it bothers him, but I am afraid he'll emulate his father. Stealing is so wrong.
I find it hard to take my husband seriously and am resentful that I have to live in fear of him getting caught. His thefts are looking like hoarding and I am embarrassed to have people over. It makes me feel very isolated. What do you recommend?
Please reverse that isolation and call the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s Helpline, 800-950-6264. Leave a message if no one picks up; NAMI has a stated goal of returning every call.
You don’t just need an explanation for your husband’s behavior — you need a plan to keep your family on the rails, and a way to talk to your son. Take care.
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