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    • Grayfinch85
    • By Grayfinch85 13th Jun 19, 10:54 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 23Thanks
    Husband having a mental breakdown over buying a house
    • #1
    • 13th Jun 19, 10:54 AM
    Husband having a mental breakdown over buying a house 13th Jun 19 at 10:54 AM
    Hi all,

    My husband is generally an overthinker and a perfectionist but over the last 2 years it has become so bad I don't know what to do...
    For so long he's been so fixated on buying a house, he searches RightMove almost obsessively, we saw a few but he always said no for a reason (didn't like the area etc.)
    Now we've found a house that I love that is within our budget, in a nice area and close to where I work. It has a few minor issues that were picked up on the survey but nothing too extreme (needs re-pointing, gutters and decking needs replacing etc)
    The problem is since our offer was accepted his anxiety has become so much WORSE, not better. It's got to the point that he is breaking down crying at least once a week.

    I've tried encouraging him to see a doctor but accessing mental healthcare in our area is very slow and all the while he is miserable and keeps dweling on how he thinks we are making a huge mistake

    The reasons are why he thinks this are everchanging and some don't make any sense:

    'We won't be able to fit a bed in any of the bedrooms' - I've measured we definitely can, rooms are 9ft by 10ft

    'Our monthly repaments would be more than our rent' - our rent has barely changed in 3-4 years and it's for a 1 bed flat vs a house so...yes?

    'I can't stand up in the loft conversion!' - I agree this isn't ideal but the loft ceiling is 6'3, he's 6'6 and we were only going to use it as a guest room and most people aren't his height!

    'We'll be trapped there and won't ever be able to move if the housing market collapses!' - I mean if we're going down that route why not start planning for the apocalypse and start living in a cave?

    I am trying to cope with his meltdowns but it's really hard because I'm a very pragmatic person and I have NO IDEA how to answer some of these other than by saying 'it will be fine'

    He keeps saying that he won't back out of the sale because 'he couldn't do that to me' but it's causing him so much worry and stress I'm wondering if we shouldn't just back out anyway

    What would you do?
Page 1
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 13th Jun 19, 11:46 AM
    • 2,241 Posts
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    • #2
    • 13th Jun 19, 11:46 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 19, 11:46 AM
    I'd back out of the sale.
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    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 13th Jun 19, 11:54 AM
    • 16,688 Posts
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    • #3
    • 13th Jun 19, 11:54 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 19, 11:54 AM
    I'd tell your husband to either exchange on the house or you will exchange him!!

    His reasons are ridiculous. I think being stuck renting a 1 bed flat is by far a bigger issue than anything listed!!

    Is there any private mental health you could pay for? Get him to focus ln the negatives of NOT buying it.

    The house sounds perfect, so if the mortgage is affordable Then he needs some sense talking into him. How much is rent vs interest on the mortgage?
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 13th Jun 19, 12:13 PM
    • 4,864 Posts
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    • #4
    • 13th Jun 19, 12:13 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 19, 12:13 PM
    I think you have to tread carefully here - yes he's overthinking it but telling him to get a grip is not going to help.

    So when he says your mortgage payments are going to be higher than your rent agree with him, say you've been spoilt by not having significant rent increases and that you can mitigate any potential increases by having a fixed rate mortgage.

    When he says about being trapped say well if you continued to rent then you run the risk of being kicked out by the landlord *& if the housing market collapses then everything reduces in price.

    Buying a house is scary - doubly so if you're a naturally anxious person
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    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 13th Jun 19, 12:13 PM
    • 2,588 Posts
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    Sea Shell
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 19, 12:13 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 19, 12:13 PM
    Is it the process that's giving him the anxiety or the thought of owning? Once done and dusted and you get moved, will he still be worrying about everything?

    Does he agree on a rational level that buying is the right thing to do?
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    • 8ofspades
    • By 8ofspades 13th Jun 19, 12:22 PM
    • 133 Posts
    • 132 Thanks
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 19, 12:22 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 19, 12:22 PM
    I would give him an ultimatum on the house - i.e. do you really believe this is a big mistake, or do you think it's just your anxiety? Do you think you can make this decision right now, or do we need to pull out? If the only reason he is not pulling out is because of you, you need to reassure him that if he really believes this is a bad idea, you will stand with him.

    Then encourage him to seek treatment - if not with a doctor, then self-help. There are plenty of books, self-hypnosis, meditation and diet improvements (including supplements) that can make a huge difference to the anxiety cycle if he is willing to seek them out.

    Anxiety is a long battle, it doesn't sound like this is something that will go away on its own. If he isn't in the place to make the decision jointly with you, its probably better to accept that and put buying aside for now (unless it's imperative you move asap).
    • Mistral001
    • By Mistral001 13th Jun 19, 12:41 PM
    • 3,955 Posts
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    • #7
    • 13th Jun 19, 12:41 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 19, 12:41 PM
    I think a 6' 6" tall person complaining about not wanting to buy a house which has a 6' 3" high loft conversion is behaving quite reasonably. Why would the OP think that it was and unreasonable complaint and one of the signs of mental illness?
    • Soundgirlrocks
    • By Soundgirlrocks 13th Jun 19, 12:55 PM
    • 672 Posts
    • 1,028 Thanks
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 19, 12:55 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 19, 12:55 PM
    I can't offer much help other than what has been mentioned by others - rationalising out his fears etc. Whilst he his waiting to see a doctor he might find ashwagandha (Indian ginseng) supplement helpful, its an ayurvedic herbal remedy and seems to be very helpful with anxiety and stress
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 13th Jun 19, 1:23 PM
    • 3,335 Posts
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    ska lover
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 19, 1:23 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 19, 1:23 PM
    I would pull out, if my husband was in that state of stress over it

    and just take things more slowly

    I am wandering if he doesn't like change

    I hate change

    Moving house is so hard and even the thought of it gives me the wibbles. I mean you could find the perfect house in a wonderful area, and end up next door to the neighbour from hell. I think that is the problem for me, however much prep you put in, there are no guarantees
    The opposite of what you also true
    • seashore22
    • By seashore22 13th Jun 19, 1:30 PM
    • 1,308 Posts
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    As a person prone to anxiety, I have some sympathy with you husband. The things he is worried about are perfectly reasonable and people react differently to changes in circumstances. You say that you're pragmatic, but he isn't you.

    9ft X 10ft bedrooms are ok, but not exactly spacious are they? Is this the size of the main bedroom? The height in the loft may not bother you, but I assuming that you're not over 6ft tall. I wouldn't be too happy either if I couldn't easily access 1/3 of the house I was helping to buy. Perhaps this house isn't the right one after all.

    As for the crying - we have been going through a massively stressful time recently and not one week seems to go by without either me or my husband in tears. Quite honestly it's a release from the tension and I know I feel better afterwards. Crying isn't a sign of weakness or mental breakdown. It's a natural reaction to pain, unhappiness and stress. Perhaps we would all feel better for a bit of a crying session. (only half joking)

    What I'm trying to say is, yes it's annoying, but cut him some slack. I hate house buying and selling with a passion. Can you tell?
    • MrBrindle
    • By MrBrindle 13th Jun 19, 1:34 PM
    • 198 Posts
    • 75 Thanks
    Read this post and completely sympathised with your husband. I am also prone to stress and anxiety, currently tgoing through a terrible patch right now.

    Our house move last year affected me badly, and I'm still not right unfortunately. I regretted the move and don't think I was mentally in a good place at all during the time.

    I would think carefully about your next step, as the actual move itself may tip him over the edge. I'm pretty sure I had a breakdown, but I would call mine a functional breakdown, if there is such a thing.

    I'd echo the thoughts of others about CBT, mindfullness and maybe counselling.
  • archived user
    Family member was like this...did not want to move out of their small flat. Why do we need to move? It's a waste of money etc?

    Moved. Loved it, never looked back. Don't listen to your husband, people like that never move (like my parents) because NOTHING is good enough. But when you get moved, he'll thank you.
    • Candyapple
    • By Candyapple 13th Jun 19, 1:42 PM
    • 3,332 Posts
    • 2,806 Thanks
    'We won't be able to fit a bed in any of the bedrooms' - I've measured we definitely can, rooms are 9ft by 10ft
    Originally posted by Grayfinch85
    Is that the largest size bedroom in your house? The smallest room in my house, the ‘box room’ is 10ft x 7ft and the previous owners had a double bed in it – it was cramped and made the room look very small. Would you have space for wardrobes? Chest of drawers? Would you both have space to walk around the bed or would it be up against the wall so one person would have to climb out/over?

    'We'll be trapped there and won't ever be able to move if the housing market collapses!' - I mean if we're going down that route why not start planning for the apocalypse and start living in a cave?
    Originally posted by Grayfinch85

    He has a point. The market is very unstable right now and depending on what the prices are like for your area, you may end up in negative equity and forced to stay for many years. Which would be even worse if he really doesn’t like the area or discovers there are bigger / costlier jobs that were hidden that need work doing to which 9 times out of 10 there always are...

    If he’s only staying in the sale because of you, then guaranteed if / when you move in he will find any little thing to nitpick at and it will all be ‘your fault’ for moving there. You may find that your relationship breaks down because of it if he starts playing the blame game.

    Crying every week is definitely not normal. I would back out of the sale so at least that aspect of his stress is removed from the situation and then tell him as the NHS waiting list is too long, he needs to seek private therapy / counselling to address his underlying issues so that you can both move forwards in a timely fashion. There’s no way you should be looking at houses right now if his mental health is in that bad a state.
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    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 13th Jun 19, 1:48 PM
    • 2,215 Posts
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    I sympathise because I analyse any major decisions from a what if x, what if Y angle and even when it is decided I still worry. My husband is the opposite and says ' we will cross that bridge if/when we come to it!'

    Try and get him to read 'Feel the fear and Do It Anyway' by Susan Jeffers it is a thought provoking read.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 13th Jun 19, 1:49 PM
    • 10,145 Posts
    • 35,402 Thanks
    It is relatively so much easier with cats - you check them into a cattery, move & then keep them shut in for a few months.

    From the sounds of it (Rightmove addiction is a *nasty* thing) you have found the good-enough place at the good-enough price & are looking at getting onto the property ladder at last & he's just not ready. Yes, the loft conversion ceiling height is not ideal but the house prices of Georgian accommodation (when they come up for sale) are exorbitant.

    Would a mixture of logical support - document each concern and lay out the facts beside them plus medical intervention help? As if you want the house, it may be over an almost devastated spouse & that's harder to get a mortgage for. A GP should be able to find something for anxiety without needing to page every specialist available, and if they won't, talk to your pharmacist. Who may be able to steer you toward over the counter help as well as a more supportive GP.

    'Fit a bed' - a floor plan with feet inches & centimetres. Plus notes on the size of your current bed, which I'd guess isn't an entirely standard size. Add a sweetener if you could find & install a 7' bathtub?

    'payments' - document all current outgoings & expenses. You can exorcise this ghost with logic - and if not, then you have a much more vigorous conversation with the GP concerning reasoning ability.

    'loft conversion' - agree, and pick other battles. And/or take him for a walk in the fresh air, in a park if you can, and get him aired & exercised. Good for you both!

    'housing market collapses' - well, better trapped in your own home than thrown out at 2 months notice from your rented one.

    As he comes back with more, keep coming back here until (at over 400 reasons not to move?) you finally get to the real ones, like I'm scared, I adore the garden here, I'll have to get public transport, you'll leave me, you'll do better at work than me or I want out of this relationship but lack the nerve to say so.

    Whether this can be eased past in time for you to get the house, I don't know, but I'd consider limiting access to Rightmove (or making it an agreed 30 minutes a day) for the mental health of both of you.

    8ofspades makes a very good point - if he isn't in the place to make the decision jointly with you, its probably better to accept that and put buying aside for now.

    Very best of luck.
    Last edited by DigForVictory; 13-06-2019 at 1:53 PM.
    • kerri gt
    • By kerri gt 13th Jun 19, 2:29 PM
    • 8,138 Posts
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    kerri gt
    Buying a house is enormously stressful - even when we'd moved into ours (and I was the one who really wanted to buy because I don't want to be paying private rent when I'm a pensioner) I nearly hyperventilated on morning on the stairs realising that this was now ours and our responsibility to maintain and deal with.

    With regard to the rent vs mortgage, have you angled it that whilst your mortgage will be higher than rent, you have managed to save for a deposit and associated moving costs while renting, so you're not going to be suddenly so much worse off as you will be channelling those funds you were already putting by towards the mortgage (assuming this is the case?)

    Being tall is a problem unfortunately when it comes to ceilings, I assume he may think that the conversion could have otherwise been your master suite.

    Has he suggested why he thinks / feels staying in the flat you're in would be a much better option?

    DigforVictory offers some very good advise.

    If he is generally anxious about life has he tried any kind of meditation or yoga? I know it sounds a bit of a trend at the moment but a lot of people do find it helps calm a scattered mind.
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    • Alan2020
    • By Alan2020 13th Jun 19, 3:32 PM
    • 332 Posts
    • 256 Thanks
    House sounds terrible! The loft conversion doesn’t sound has got BC approval.
    Why don’t you post a link (you can put without the www bit) on the house buying forum and see what others think.

    I fear your husband is correct about the house and to be honest he seems to be scared of you lol
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 13th Jun 19, 4:46 PM
    • 3,867 Posts
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    The night before we were due to exchange contracts my husband sat up in bed saying that he couldn't face the responsibility of home ownership - this from somebody who was quite insistent that we really should think about having another child!

    I was in the fortunate position then of being able to go ahead on my own and did so. I have never regretted it for a moment.

    That was my choice and it worked for me.

    The business about the loft height is an excuse - he's frightened of the responsibility. In his state of mind he will never find anywhere that he's happy with. Give him one chance to seek help for these fears and tell him you'll go ahead without him. Sounds brutal but if you speak to him with the help of a suitable third party (Relate? Mind? counsellors) it could just be the way through this.
    • maman
    • By maman 13th Jun 19, 4:54 PM
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    FWIW my DD saved for years for her deposit, was 100%sure she wanted to buy, loved the house etc. I went with her to solicitors to sign final papers. After we came out I was expecting elation instead she was down and tearful. She was overwhelmed by spending so much hard earned money.

    That was 7 years ago. She's very happy in her home.
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 13th Jun 19, 6:21 PM
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    If your husband is 6’6” I presume you don’t just have a standard double bed? A king or super king won’t leave much space for anything else in that bedroom!
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