It’s life-changing and can be challenging on multiple levels when you decide to move in with your partner. Whether you’re married or cohabitating, taking the step towards long-term commitment can be wildly exciting and quite scary for some. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or middle-aged, in your first serious relationship or your 2nd or 3rd marriage.  Making your house a home with a new partner is a huge life change for you both. 

For established couples who are busy working, going to school or raising a family, home can become chaos central and the stopping and dropping off place for you all to touch base before going out into the world.  It’s terribly important that you make your home a safe haven and a nurturing place for everyone. We all need a space to call our own, whether it’s a den, a “man cave”, a “she shed”, or even a bedroom.  

I’ve heard from couples who move in together that it can create problems when one partner moves into the established home of the other. It’s difficult and challenging to find your place. The established partner needs to be sure to make a space for their new ‘roomie”, not just half the closet and the dresser drawers. They need to be open to changes in their home and to customizing it for their new partner to feel at home.  

We all need to feel like we belong, and there should never be a feeling of being an outsider, when you’re living with your partner. You need to be open to those changes and welcoming to your new live – in partner. This can be as simple as rearranging furniture, or you may need to buy a new bedroom set or carpeting to help them feel at home. If your home is too feminine, or too masculine in tone, you must be willing to compromise and make changes so that you both can feel at home there. This is a great first hurdle to jump over together in moving your relationship forwards towards permanency.  

It takes compassion, sensitivity, and the ability to communicate and compromise to make a true home together. Home is not just a building, it’s the contents and the spirit of the building as well. Be sure you allow each other to have your own personal space with your favorite belongings around you so that you have a place that is yours to relax, decompress, and just be. 

The happiest homes are the home where everyone feels like they belong. With older couples and blended families this is extremely important. Nobody should feel like an outsider in their own home. If you make space in your life and heart for another person or family, make space in your home as well. Making your house a home will look different and is unique to the people living there. Keep an open mind and heart when exploring your options for sharing your home together.  A willingness to listen and compromise is crucial to the success of merging your lives into one home. 


  • Stuart Fensterheim

    Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW

    The Couples Expert

    Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships. As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters. His weekend workshop, Two Days: Seven Conversations has become a popular venue for many to set off on their journey of connectedness. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel and by subscription in Stuart's Daily Notes. Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. His office practice serves the greater Phoenix, Arizona area including the cities of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa.