We bought our (tiny!) starter home 39 years ago, thinking we'd certainly move a few times as our family grew--but we never did. I raised a family of 5 kids in a 1700 sf 4 bedroom home. Tight quarters, as it were. We are in a split entry 7 stairs up and down and the laundry, family room and my craft room are all downstairs. I am running up and down all day long. There are 11 stairs from the back deck to the back yard, 14 stairs into the attic (accessible only from the garage) where all the decorations, camping stuff, etc is stored, then 5 stairs down to the basement entrance of the home.

We only have a single car garage, my hubby's car is newer than mine, so it "gets" the garage and I park on the side of the house and in winter--wow, sometimes shoveling out is just too much for me.

Hubby is perfectly content to stay here forever. I, however, am exhausted. Up and down all day long, and I do all the yard work and all the housework. Hubby still works FT, at a desk job, but he is tired at the end of the day, comes home, eats and goes to bed. I don't think he's been in the basement for 2 months, the back yard? Over a year.

I had a nasty fall down the stairs a few weeks ago--nothing hurt but my pride and my forearm which blossomed into glorious Technicolor bruises. Have been asking hubby for handrails for 37 years since he tore out the originals. He says I need to watch my step....(handyman coming next week to install handrails.)

I have arthritis in my back (2 surgeries) and feet & hands. Many days, the mere thought of what I have to do with the up and down makes me want to weep. I hate that my car is exposed to our brutal winters and summers. I hate shoveling the snow so I can go anywhere in the winter (no, he does not shovel snow, either). I worry about breaking an ankle or leg now that my one foot is partially numb from the surgery on it, my balance is not perfect.

I have been talking about moving to a house of similar size (1700 sf is pretty small) but with a different footprint--no stairs and accessible from a DOUBLE garage to the house so I am not hauling groceries in the house and up 7 stairs--all year long.

He is 100% opposed, says I am too young to act so old (I'm 61) and I agree. But I am looking forward and I'm not going to get MORE spry and energetic. I want to make this move BEFORE he retires and I'm willing to take 100% of the "workload" of looking for and remodeling someplace for our needs. All he wants is a kitchen, bathroom and his big bed and the TV. WHERE those things are, he cares not.

My SIL is a realtor and comes across places all the time that are just right. Hubby will not even consider looking. I don't get it--he's not attached to any neighbors here, he hasn't had much of a hand in any of the landscaping or the yard, or decorating our home-- I do not see why driving to a different address upsets him so.

I know he never feels well--and that's why I do all the stuff. All I ask of him is to work, and I work PT, seasonally, so I can't really ask him to step up at home, he travels a lot and his job is very stressful. Yes, I have spoiled him terribly--but it's time for a change.

How do I bring this up and make it happen? I don't want the kids to have to drag us out of here, with him kicking and screaming. I want to do it thoughtfully and with a lot of time--which we have. Our current home is paid off, we are almost at the point, financially, where he can retire. I am afraid that once he does retire, he'll go to bed and that will be it. His only plan for retirement is to sleep.

I'm sure I am not alone in this. I just cannot break through his total lack of indifference. He doesn't seem to care that I am so tired, thinks I am the sprightly 22 yo girl who moved in here with him! (Sweet, but no, the old gray mare is wearing out!)

Sorry so wordy--just, well, in need of advice!

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Start packing your boxes Midkid and to your SIL to find you a new space.

To ask permission is to seek denial.

My bet is if you present it to him as a fait accompli, he won't object.
Go on that assumption.

And if he does object?

"This is what I need. I'm sorry you're not in agreement". And proceed.
Helpful Answer (7)

Midkid, thank goodness a handyman is coming to install handrails. What a relief, at least you will have something to hang onto when walking down the stairs. It's downright scary without them.

Like what is it with these guys that refuse to move into something that is safer as we age??? My sig other refuses to move, too. Hope, never, no way. And how I love to hear his excuses for not helping around the house. His stomach hurts, his leg hurts, surprised his hair doesn't hurt.

Tell you what, regarding groceries, check to see if any grocery store is in partnership with Peapod. Peapod is an on-line service that will deliver to the house and bring in the groceries to your kitchen. There is a delivery fee.

Stop doing the yard work. Hire someone. Get a cleaning crew to come in once a week. Maybe if hubby sees the expenses that might make him change his mind, or not. Have him pay for it.

In winter use hubby's car, or if you can't or don't like the vehicle, go on strike. Stock up prior to a storm with cereal and milk, so when you can't go out to get groceries because your car is frozen to the side of the house and there is a foot of snow in the driveway, well dear it's Cheerio's for dinner. Or would you prefer oatmeal?

Mine was spoiled big time by his Italian mother, then his late wife use to do everything for him. Why on earth did I take him on, maybe I liked a challenge but at my age and just trying to recoup from 7 years of helping my very elderly parents, I am too tired to keep trying. We constantly snip and snarl about it.

Time to start downsizing stuff in the house. Maybe that will give him a hint, or maybe not.... [sigh].
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Just so you know. In my first marriage, in the last 5 years or so I campaigned for a change of venue. We clearly needed something different from what we had. I was told I was wrong, that we had to stay in our house.

We divorced for other reasons and he made EXACTLY the move I'd been proposing for years. YEARS.

Me? Downsized into a coop that is handicap accessible with fabulous public transport options, walkable shopping, etc.

Everytime it snows, when the leaves fall, when his plumbing breaks, I gently laugh.
Helpful Answer (6)

My wife decided back in June that it was time for us to downsize. I was not apposed, just shocked. I was not expecting to downsize until an investment matured in 5 years that would make fixing this house and buying a new one much easier than we are finding it to be.

We have found a house in another city that we close on later this month. We have had our house inspected so that we can go ahead and have things fixed. Some of the work will have to wait until we are completely out of the house. It will be a nice move once this is over. I'm going to miss my man cave out in the unattached garage, but I can have a new one built in the loft over the carport and garage.

My wife has a very bad knee which sometimes goes out. So, we needed a house with more open space that is easier to get around when she needs her transport chair. We raised two boys in a house with 1,800 square feet and are downsizing to 1,500 sq. feet with a much smaller yard to maintain. The city that we are moving to is where most of her doctors are anyway.

I wish you the best in getting your husband to move for your health and who knows what health needs he may have that a smaller place would be better to be in.
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If you needed a wheelchair, would your husband be opposed to you using one? I see this as similar. You have a health need for a changed environment. Now is the time to arrange that. With SIL, narrow it down to three choices. Tell hubby he has final say on which one you move to, but that the move is going to happen. If he won't choose, you will. And then follow through. This whole process will take months. We can all hope that he will gradually come to accept the inevitable. Whether he does or not, you need a healthy environment.

If this were just about being sick of looking at the same walls, he should have as much say in the appearance of the house as you do. But this is about your health needs. It is as if he is trying to stop you from using a wheelchair when your health care providers say that is what you need. It would be a mistake to let him make that decision.
Helpful Answer (5)

Following along FF's line of thought:

The paragraph beginning "I know he never feels well..." says it all. It's time for you to start feeling unwell.

Hire someone to shovel the snow and to clean the interior of the house.

See your ortho doctor again and tell your husband your doctor has advised that you limit climbing stairs and hire someone to shovel the snow.

Think of everything you don't feel comfortable doing and gradually start doing it, hiring some else if you can find someone.

That could include meal prep; maybe serve some frozen dinners a few times, succumb to fatigue, arthritis, whatever, and lay down or go to bed shortly after dinner (wait long enough so that you don't get indigestion though). Maybe even leave the dishes to the next day - your back can easily bother you if you don't have a dishwasher.

The goal is to make him recognize that he's not going to get the same kind of service as you grow older and that downsizing is appropriate.

And truthfully, there will come a time when your energy level diminishes, and napping and letting things go will become mandatory.
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H*ll of a good rant Mid!

I was going to advise you to get a hit man for hubs till I read your last post. The guys been through a lot but still, I kinda wanna smack him as I'm sure you do occasionally.

I'm 62, in pretty good shape but my wife and I just moved from the top of a mountain from a house with a bunch of steps to a small ranch house on level acreage. First thing I did was build a laundry on the first floor. OMG! How nice that is. So I agree, your planning makes sense.

Hubby, I don't know what to tell you bout this guy. Sounds like he just wants to be left alone. That's fine but why deny you some comfort. Is it time for some breaking bad?
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Has your husband always been selfish and controlling? Or are these behavior changes since all of his medical problems?

You did what a compassionate wife would do. You did not create this monster. His illnesses might have, but you did the best you could to deal with those. Don't take any responsibility for how things turned out with him.

Keep downsizing quietly. Start looking at one-level housing. I think it would be a good idea for him to have separate quarters. A duplex sounds workable, or a house with a master suit (or room to remodel for one) where he has his own bathroom, television, etc. Hire someone to clean his area (or the entire house). Or (and this is drastic) move out and leave him in your present house. Arrange the care he needs. Could you afford that?

What do you mean that he throws a fit and would "make" you move your car out of the garage? Does he get violent? Are you afraid he'll hurt you? Maybe you need to grow a thicker skin and let him rage, while you continue to do what you need to do. Or if he really is dangerous, maybe you need to carry your cell phone everywhere and call 911 if he becomes threatening.

Was he a good husband and father before his health fell apart?
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Yup--he's left me actually 3 times at various surgery centers/hospitals. I don't know why, but I DID inform the Dr. in each case that he likely wasn't going to be hanging about (even though he signed a FORM stating he would stay)--oh well, water under the bridge.

He is who he is. I married him, I didn't know he'd do the 180 dance and become a crusty angry old man. Therapy has been helping him and I appreciate his going, even though it was done under "duress", He is actually enjoying it, on some level. He was abused by his parents as a child and told constantly he was worthless and a waste of time and space. His mother is still a thorn in his side, but he avoids her at all costs and pretty much never sees her. He is realizing and recognizing that childhood traumas have played a BIG part in the man he is today.

I am moving ahead on a timeline. Hubby wants to work until I am 65 (or close to it). That gives him 3-1/2- 4 years. I want to be moved and settled in 2. SO my goal is to begin looking, culling through our stuff and downsizing the "junk" in preparation for that. Probably, our best bet will be a "fixer upper" which I can oversee the renovations on. He will have a "man cave" for woodworking or just hanging up all the tools he never uses, and he will have a den with his favorite recliner and TV, so he can get away from me. I also want a big jetted tub for those aches and pains and a very small garden. Double car garage with inside entrance to the kitchen. One big family space. All on one level. I will get my own bedroom and a craft/sewing room. Whether or not we get a "spare bedroom" is beside the point and would be nice, but not necessary.

I realize I have made him out to be some kind of monster, and sometimes I do feel that he is just super emotional (tho he thinks he is the most level headed guy in the world) and going through aging. I honestly think he is scared of dying and aging is the process--he really mourns the passing of his youth, but this guy climbed mountains, hiked 4 days a week, golfed, traveled the world---did exactly what he wanted when he wanted. I was home with kids. He has had a GREAT life.

Time will tell what happens. He is doing better with therapy, and I am learning to tell him how I feel and not feel guilty for having emotions.

If he chooses not to come with me to the "new house" he can stay with the neighbors. I think that would last 1 night.

I'm not bossy, but I am tired and learning to be more assertive and less acquiescent. He is not loving the "new me".

And that's his problem!
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Every couple is different and every personality is different, so all of our advice may not fit you. That said, if it was me in your shoes, I'd tell him, "It's too much for me and I NEED to downsize. I'm moving to a condo in 2018. I hope you'll move with me." And if it really was me talking, my DH would know that I'm not joking.
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