Thank y'all all so very much for the thoughtful replies. You all have given me a lot to think about.
Mom2SammyandJoe - I think you kind of hit it on the head. We really don't have a dream together. I have my own personal dream, and it seems like he doesn't have one at all. He talks about saving money, having an emergency fund (we had a rather large one and all of the unexpected expenses surrounding our youngest son's birth / death ate most of it up) and eventually doing things like buying a house, but he won't really talk to me about it. He refuses to talk to me about a time line.
I have been trying and trying to talk to him to no avail for the past couple of weeks. He knows how unhappy I am here, and he keeps promising that eventually we will move. I can't seem to make him understand that I need a time line.
I don't have to work for financial reasons; we are by no means wealthy, but by budgeting carefully we can survive on his income alone and pay our bills on time and budget for big purchases, like a new winter coat, stuff like that. I have told him over and over that the main reason I want to go back to work is so we can save money. My plan is to take my work expenses out of my paycheck (gas, work clothing) and then put the rest in savings and not touch it. I figure we could build up a fairly big cushion quickly that way.
Vaske - you are right, I don't have a lot of personal items around. I am a minimalist, living in really small spaces all of my adult life has required it. I think it is time for me to invest some time and money into things to hang on my walls. I know how to do my own matting, and it wouldn't be all that costly for me to take some really great photos and matte them and put them in nice frames. If it were up to me I would have Bob Marley and Janis Joplin tapestries hanging on the walls and funky paper lanterns in the dark corners, but that is not my DPs style at all. He prefers Pottery Barn chic, and to decorate our home in that manner would require a lot more money than we have. He has the attitude that if it isn't the best, then its just not worth it.
I think you are right about rearranging the furniture, too. Our living space has a lot of unused space because I am terrible at placing furniture. I have a computer desk with a docking station against one wall, but the reality is, its never used. I just use the laptop in my lap on the couch or the dining table, I never feel the need to hook it up to a full keyboard and large monitor. So, I should put that in storage until we have more space. I don't think I can move the dining table without changing the light fixtures around, and that sounds intimidating to me. There is a light fixture in the space that is designated for the table that is low hanging, and obviously meant to be over a dining table. I think it would look weird with anything else over there.
Jennlyn - we have a concrete stoop that runs the length of the front of the duplex, so its shared with the neighbors. Its not deep enough to even sit a folding chair on, so its pretty useless. I adore plants, and I would love to have some inside, but I don't have a green thumb, to say the least. I need to research house plants that are hearty and don't require a lot of sunlight, since we don't get a lot of sunlight in the house.
Frugalmum - Its amazing to me what you endured in order to be able to realize your dream of a really nice home. I think if we had a specific goal in mind, this would be a lot easier.
My DP started his first day at his new job today - which also came with a slight increase in base salary. He will be training for 8 weeks in a town 25 miles to the east of us, and then after that 8 week training period he will be working in the biggest city in our state, about 35 miles west of where we are now. So, its good for now that we are centrally located, but I am really hoping that after his training and he knows where he is going to be exactly, we can revisit the buying a house and moving issue.
In the mean time, I am going to do something to work towards personalizing this place. New curtains and a pretty rug can't cost that much, and its about time I get some pictures on my walls. And I am going to be pondering how to rearrange the furniture. I'll post pics of my progress as I go, because its just so much more fun to be able to share it with someone.
Thank you all again for the thoughtful and thought provoking replies. I am so glad I posted this here - MDC is the closest thing I've ever had to a sense of community - y'all are wonderful.