On this week’s So You Think You’re an Adult?, a woman wants to move in with her long-term boyfriend – but doesn’t want to live in the house where his ex-wife once did.
“I’m a woman in my 40s and I’ve been dating my new partner for the last three years,” she told Moncrieff.
“Last week, we decided we wanted to move in together. Both of us are divorced, and both of us own our own homes.
“The conversation around moving in together has got a bit spoiled recently because my boyfriend has suggested that we move into his house, where he used to live with his ex-wife.
“His ex picked out the paint, furniture and even the bed we sleep in – this is her house, not mine.”
She said her partner wants to stay in that house as its close to his work and his children, and while the woman is happy to move into that area, she thinks they need a blank slate.
“I’ve suggested he rents his house out, and we rent a place nearby, but he thinks that’s a waste of money,” she said.
“I love him, love our life together and love our blended families. However, this is just one thing that I’m struggling with.”
Writer Barbara Scully agreed trying to find a new house to live in would be “a waste of money” - especially in a housing crisis.
“[But] they have to obviously compromise in some way about making his home feel like her home,” she said.
“I don’t think she should go around and chuck out every single thing that the ex-wife ever bought or put into house because I’d say his children probably wouldn’t be happy with that.
“But certainly, it needs a revamp – certainly a lick of paint, bringing in some of her stuff, putting away some of the ex-wife stuff not getting rid of them or giving them onto the children.”
Barbara said you can’t erase your partner’s past, especially when it comes to divorce and children, but there are still ways the woman can feel “at home”.
Living next door
Actress Mary McEvoy said the couple could also consider living next door to each other instead.
“I think the reinvention of how we conduct relationships and where we conduct relationships is worth discussing,” she said.
“If they are not financially forced [to live together], maybe it’s worth looking into.”
If they do move in together, Mary said the woman has already found a way to make her blended families work, and she can make living in his ex-wife's former house work too.
Barbara and Mary both recommended the bed should be among the first things to be replaced to make her feel at home.