My partner has asked me to move in with him but my sons aged 18 and 20 won’t relocate

DEAR DEIDRE: EVEN though my partner has asked me to move in with him, my sons aged 18 and 20 won’t relocate. 

I’m 43 and two years ago, after a decade alone following my divorce from their dad, I met a lovely guy. He is kind, hard-working, loving and gets on with my family every bit as well as I get on with his. 

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But he lives an hour’s drive from me, which has made it tricky to spend as much time together as we’d like.

Things have got more serious over the past year and he has now said he would like to move our relationship forward.

He’s asked me and my sons to move in with him.

I love him and feel it’s time for a change, so I am very keen to accept his offer. The problem is my children are both insisting they can’t and won’t move. 

They want to stay in the area where they grew up, near their friends and social activities. While they are old enough to live alone, I can’t afford to leave them in my rented house — and they can’t afford the rent on their low wages and student loans. So they’re either going to have to find somewhere cheaper to rent or come with me.

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We’ve reached a stalemate and it’s starting to cause problems in our otherwise good relationship.

I’m torn. They think I’m being selfish but I love them dearly and have put them first for the past 20 years. They will be independent soon and now it’s my chance for some happiness.

Should I put the move on hold just to keep my children happy? Or should I put my foot down, say I’m going and they can follow me if they like?

They will always have a roof over their heads but in my partner’s home, not my old one.

My partner isn’t putting any pressure on me. I just don’t know what to do for the best. 

DEIDRE SAYS: This is a very difficult dilemma and I can see why you feel so torn. Change can be scary and all this probably came as a shock to your children. 

If no other options are possible, a little patience will go a long way. 

Give your children a year or two to find alternative arrangements and be clear that after that point, you will be moving on – and so will they. 

Reassure them you will support and always love them but they need to start testing their wings.

Although your children won’t be homeless, they could get some useful advice on housing from Shelter (shelter.org.uk, helpline 0808 800 4444).

You also might find it helpful to discuss this with Family Lives (familylives.org.uk, 0808 800 2222), which provides support on parenting issues. If your relationship is strong enough, your partner should be happy to wait.

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