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Love Letters

Our house ties my husband to his ex, and I need out

I don’t want to divorce him, but I want to leave until we can settle it.

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Q. I met my husband about a year after he broke up with his ex. After being together for a few years, we got married about a year ago. He’s a wonderful man and a match for me in all ways. But. I moved into his house about a year after we started dating with the understanding that there was an agreement to sell the house within a few months. His ex’s name is on the house, and every year she comes up with another reason not to sell it. We can go to court over it, but it opens a huge can of worms since their children’s schooling is based on the shared house.

The inability to move from the house has me feeling trapped and anxious. It seems there’s a lot of talk between them about the house, but nothing ever comes of it. The whole dynamic between him and his ex has pushed me to the point where I’m ready to leave.

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I love my husband and have no plans to divorce, but I don’t want to be in this house anymore. I want to pack up my things and move out until it is settled. I want our own place that we can build and grow together in. Is this unreasonable? I can see that he’s trying, but he’s also very timid and afraid to push too far because of the possibility of losing the primary residence for his children. Is moving out a solution to my anxiety? We’ve been to a marriage counselor over this, but didn’t get resolution.  – Stuck

A. Please do not move out. Living apart won’t help you “build and grow together.” If anything, it sets the precedent that you get things done as a couple by setting ultimatums. That’s no good.

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I understand why you want this resolved as soon as possible, but it sounds like you’re being somewhat unreasonable. The man you married was not on his way to selling his house. Sure, there was an “agreement,” but it doesn’t sound like there was a real plan in place. It’s always more complicated when children are involved.

The bottom line is that you can’t expect these problems to disappear so you can have the life you want. You say he’s trying, and that means a lot.

Instead of a marriage counselor, it might be time to see another lawyer or financial adviser. Find out what other couples do in similar situations. Going to court might not be the only option.

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Try to focus on practical solutions. Your husband is out of ideas — but he does care.

– Meredith

READERS RESPOND

I get wanting to completely move on, but divorces are messy and become even more complicated with kids involved. Contemplating leaving your husband because of a situation you knew about from the beginning sounds selfish. SHRTC8KE.

The mother of his kids is always going to be a part of his life, and it sounds like that is the real root of your issue. -RICH1273-

Letter writer, there are lot of people who would be grateful to have a house, any house. JIVEDIVA

Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to meredith.goldstein@globe.com.
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