How to not live in the suburbs.
October 24, 2013 4:52 PM Subscribe
My husband and I are at an impasse. Please help.
posted by snarfles to human relations (46 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
About Us: We are both 30ish and have been married about two years, known each other for twelve. We don't have children, but we'd like to have one in the next five years if all goes as planned.
Background: Before we moved in together (which was about 2 years ago), I lived in a tiny apartment in a major east coast city; he lived in the suburbs of a much smaller east coast city. I loved my apartment and the city, but a compromise led us to his house in the suburbs. On the whole, it was the best decision for the two of us. We both have great jobs here in the small city, and a lot of family and friends within an hour. Living together has been a joy.
The Problem: I cannot stand living in the suburbs. I hate driving. I hate taking care of a yard. I hate having too much space. I hate the quiet. I hate the dark. It just doesn't feel right.
Over half of our (not that big) house is empty, and it is creepy and uncomfortable. Yet, I have no desire to fill it: I hate shopping, I hate stuff, and I hate decorating. I also hate cooking (and so does my husband), which means that our beautiful kitchen is basically an unused showpiece. We are also both totally uninterested in making the house look nice on the outside. The grass is cut but there are no flowers, and no homey touches. I guess this would all be fine if I didn't mind looking at an undecorated empty house, but I can't stand it. Yet, I would never, ever want to spend my free time gardening or decorating (and I don't want to spend money to pay someone to do it either -- I'd rather go on a trip or two). I long for the days of a 600 sq ft apartment with fully functional space and not an inch to spare. In those days, I felt like the city was my home, and my apartment was just a place that held my clothes. I still treat my house like that, but it isn't working.
I desperately want to move to the city -- not the big city where I was, but the smaller city where we work. I would love to downsize and buy a 2 bedroom apartment downtown and be able to walk to work, to restaurants, to cultural events, etc., and not have to worry about caring for a house anymore. My husband is really not interested though; he thinks kids grow up with yards, in suburbs, and he's really not budging on this. To be fair to him, this is also is a place where families don't typically live in apartments -- the downtown area is fairly young and mostly single. He's looked at a few apartments with me, but he's always commenting that the kitchen or something else is too small, at which point I remind him that we don't actually use the kitchen. (We love trying new restaurants... downtown). My personal theory is that he is trying to make us the traditional suburban family that he'd like us to be, instead of embracing the people that we actually are. And I really don't know what to do about that.
We've compromised on many, many major life decisions in the past 5 years, but there just doesn't seem to be a middle ground here. So what do you think- is there something I'm not seeing? Is there a way to show my husband that an apartment could be awesome? If all else fails, can you help me love the suburbs?