Moving in with a partner? According to the couple therapist Holzberg

Is Love the answer to all questions? Not quite. It also makes quite a few. Psychologist and couple therapist Oskar Holzberg answers them all.

In short:

That you can expect feelings of rejection and territorial struggles instead of great happiness.

Now in detail:

Lukas and Diana say they don’t understand each other more. They love each other, but at the moment, they are frequently in their hair. It is getting worse. They later tell me that they have only been living together for a few weeks: she moved into his house, where he had lived as a child. Now I’m confused. Isn’t that quite obviously the reason for their conflicts? But when I say that, the couple is again irritated: No, it was a dream come true for them. Finally, living together, in the green, with plenty of space for the planned children. You had everything you wanted now. But what they have is a fierce territorial struggle that they don’t want to admit.

Moving together is always a challenge.

Moving together is always a challenge. The colossal round lid chest from 1784, the only heirloom of his uncle Balduin, does not come over the front doorstep. He declares war on every gem in her hundred-piece 1950s vase collection. She wants the room to the garden as a bedroom; he wants it as a study. Is your English country house crockery on the breakfast table or his Swedish design plates from now on? And why does she always put the yogurt in the wrong fridge compartment? What is good, coherent, and natural for us goes to our partner as completely senseless and superfluous on the biscuit and vice versa. We have to clarify, negotiate, put back, and find compromises.

Oskar Holzberg, 66, has been advising couples in his Hamburg practice for more than 20 years and is frequently asked questions about relationships. His current book is called “New Key Sentences of Love” (242 pages, 20 euros, Dumont).
© Ilona HabbenAnd all this applies all the more when suddenly two are in the area leave the fragrance brands that someone previously claimed for themselves. Then one struggles to conquer its place to remain a guest in one’s apartment forever. And the other struggles to give up what was usually loved and taken for granted without feeling pushed out and dominated by the intruder. That’s what happens between Diana and Lukas: they are angry with each other. He feels continuously criticized because nothing is good enough and right anymore. She feels small and dependent, as if she and her needs are worthless. As a couple, it is easy to get into a parent-child dynamic.

Why it is rarely as easy as you think

It would be best to clear the apartment empty, after sharing Rebuild plans, and then move in together again. Then there will be no argument later about the photo print selected by the ex. But that would be expensive and time-consuming. And it will happen more often, especially for cost reasons, that one moves into the other’s apartment if the rental and house prices continue to explode and more and more patchwork constellations are looking for living space. So it only helps to realize that it is rarely easy.

But what couples can do is go through all the rooms and plan in detail how the apartment should look. And let each other understand the stories that bind them to particular furniture and things. Only when we know what his record collection and their soft toys stand for. Only when we collectively grasp the emotional meaning can we set up together as a couple, where previously only one had his territory.

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