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Old 04-25-2014, 08:03 PM   #1
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Hello everyone, I am new to this site and to the world of "working wife with a newly retired husband" - it has been two month since my dear husband retired from working with the federal government for 39 years! He is driving me up the wall ...although he helps around the house and tries to know his way around the kitchen, it bugs me to know he is sitting home doing nothing while I am out working a full day, this not how I envision retirement, we were supposed to retired together! I have no plans to retire yet I run my own business and have a very nice social life. Any advised on how to cope with him sitting on the couch all day? Glad I am able to vent.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:16 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. I think your first step is to try and identify why it bothers you that your husband isn't working any more. 39 years is a long time to have a career, so it certainly doesn't sound like he is lazy. Is it possible that you enjoyed your career more than he did, so you don't have the motivation to give it up but he did?

Do you need to work or do you feel you have enough money to retire yourself? If so, there is nothing wrong with choosing to continue working if you prefer to do so. But why be upset with your hubby if he wasn't enjoying it and you don't need the money he was earning to retire comfortably?
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:45 PM   #3
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I hate to pile on but 39 yrs seems like a long time to me too. However, he should (like I do) take on full responsibility for taking care of the house, cooking, cleaning, walking the dog, etc. while you are working. And/or he should be doing something "productive" with his time such as volunteering or pursuing a serious hobby. If he is truly sitting on the couch for months on end while you are w*rking then that is not right.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:58 PM   #4
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OkCupid could help him get out an about.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:15 AM   #5
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If I had 39 years of federal service and decided to retire and my wife was not totally happy about my decision I would be one pissed off guy.
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:13 AM   #6
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Any advised on how to cope with him sitting on the couch all day? Glad I am able to vent.
Maybe he can come work for you, part-time, or what ever hours he chooses, pay or no pay. This will give him something to do. To you, he will also be 'productive'.
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:17 AM   #7
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I hate to pile on but 39 yrs seems like a long time to me too. However, he should (like I do) take on full responsibility for taking care of the house, cooking, cleaning, walking the dog, etc. while you are working. And/or he should be doing something "productive" with his time such as volunteering or pursuing a serious hobby. If he is truly sitting on the couch for months on end while you are w*rking then that is not right.
Well, I wouldn't personally enjoy sitting on the couch for months on end, but I still don't follow why someone would be bothered if that is what I chose to do. If I worked hard for 39 years and built up enough savings to retire, and that's what I want to do with my free time, what's wrong with that?

I do understand that helping out around the house is important though. I wouldn't want my spouse working all day while I sat home and then expect them to do all the house chores. But if they get the house chores done and then sit around the house all day, I say fine with me.
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:23 AM   #8
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Hmmmm. Sounds like the two of you didn't discuss his retirement plans ahead of time, or you didn't realize how you would react to the actual act of his retirement. My DW still w*rks, as a school teacher.
She was supportive of me from the get-go. Nevertheless, I asked her a dozen times, if I asked her once, if she'd really be OK seeing me sleeping in bed while she left for w*rk. It's worked out fine for us.
Not every day, but she often gives me honey-do tasks, which I am certain to complete. That might be something for you to consider to get more comfortable with him staying at home.
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:27 AM   #9
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Did you and your hubby never discuss your joint retirement plans? Was his departure date a surprise to you? Federal employees max out their pension at 40 years of service. He's likely collecting nearly 80 percent of his high 3 -a great situation, most working would kill for.

If he's only been out of the work force for 2months, he's likely still in his adjustment phase. It sounds though like a sit down is in order so that you can jointly develop a schedule of house responsibilities, heavily tilted to the non working spouse.

If you are jealous couldn't you begin to scale back your work? As a business owner could you scale back to 4 days a week and see how that goes?

My husband retired from the federal government in 2008 after a 36 year career. I run my own business from my home. I work part time now and love the balance, while DH is happily retired and never looks back.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:42 PM   #10
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If all your husband is doing is sitting on the couch, consider that he might be depressed. It is a major adjustment for him too.

Getting active doing something he enjoys can help."How to Retire Happy Wild and Free" is a good resource for exploring activities and interests. You might want to look at together, as no doubt you are planning your own retirement.

Another suggestion I have is to take responsibility for your own feelings and take him off the hook. That might help him feel better too. DH and I have been married 30 years and he only had a steady work for about 6 of those years. At times it was difficult and I was resentful, but we knew that was our life plan from the beginning of the relationship. Once I stopped being resentful and started appreciating him more, everything got much better.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:40 PM   #11
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DW retired early from teaching and I was glad for her. She spent a lot of time reading, going to exercise classes, and was generally happier than I had seen her for some time. We also got to spend more quality time together. As to how she deals with ME, now that I'm retired also, sitting around the house and enjoying retirement, well, you'd have to ask HER.

If you're not ready to retire, that's YOUR decision.

Sounds like YOU have an issue you need to come to terms with.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:45 PM   #12
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If all your husband is doing is sitting on the couch, consider that he might be depressed. It is a major adjustment for him too.

Getting active doing something he enjoys can help."How to Retire Happy Wild and Free" is a good resource for exploring activities and interests. You might want to look at together, as no doubt you are planning your own retirement.

Another suggestion I have is to take responsibility for your own feelings and take him off the hook. That might help him feel better too. DH and I have been married 30 years and he only had a steady work for about 6 of those years. At times it was difficult and I was resentful, but we knew that was our life plan from the beginning of the relationship. Once I stopped being resentful and started appreciating him more, everything got much better.

I had a minor issue myself, borderline depression, for a couple months, about identity and adjusting etc. Lost about 16 pounds (gained it back). Many people here post they have difficulty with retirement - feelings of no longer being productive, not knowing who they were, feeling guilty about retirement... If that's how he's feeling, you're not helping, and if he's perceptive to how you're feeling, you might be making it worse.

To be blunt, it's not all about you.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jackio View Post
Hello everyone, I am new to this site and to the world of "working wife with a newly retired husband" - it has been two month since my dear husband retired from working with the federal government for 39 years! He is driving me up the wall ...although he helps around the house and tries to know his way around the kitchen, it bugs me to know he is sitting home doing nothing while I am out working a full day, this not how I envision retirement, we were supposed to retired together! I have no plans to retire yet I run my own business and have a very nice social life. Any advised on how to cope with him sitting on the couch all day? Glad I am able to vent.
Welcome to the board.

Has your husband pursued any hobbies in the past, or done any volunteer work over the years? Or is he someone who spent most of his time and found most of his identity/meaning in his work?

Retirement is a huge adjustment, and he may just be going through the initial stages of figuring out what to do with his time now that the structure of work no longer defines his days. I do agree that a retired spouse should carry the majority of the domestic chores if the other spouse is still w$rking, as others have posted. However, he may be going through the initial "decompression" stage of retirement before he gets his bearings. I can guarantee you that I intend to do absolutely NOTHING productive for several months after I retire! This will be easier for me, however, because I am single and no one will have expectations of me.

P.S. As others have mentioned, depression is a possibility if he feels a loss of identity, so don't rule that out.
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:20 PM   #14
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Worked for 37 years under a very rigid, demanding schedule and had always gotten up before dawn. Decided to ease into retirement after reading several posts here. I am five months in and spent the first month or so reading, sleeping, napping, staying up late, watching movies, walking daily, etc. It seems I was exhausted. Gradually have added daily exercise, occasional volunteer fun, social activities, learning opportunities, a bit of travel, house stuff, and now have a regular sleep schedule. Life is amazingly delightful. Each person has to create their own way in retirement.
My suggestion would be to listen to your husband and find out what he is thinking. Talk through your feelings and work towards a peaceful solution.
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:52 PM   #15
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Two months is nothing. Let him be and he'll soon figure it out. It's a big adjustment for him too.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:00 AM   #16
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Retirement is a big adjustment as others have posted. At only two months he's almost certainly still adjusting. DW retired (quit, actually) at the same time I did so we didn't have the issues of one working and one not.

But for the first year or so I did spend a huge amount of time doing not much more than watching TV and lazing around because I simply enjoyed not having to plan anything, do anything, or be anywhere on a schedule, which hadn't happened since I was five years old. It was a phase I went through that did pass.

Agreed with pb4uski. Give it some time. Two months isn't very long.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:21 AM   #17
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Two months?

I think he is still "exhaling".

Let him rest!!!!....I am out 16 months and people STILL hound me about "what am I going to DO?"

My answer? I've been "doing" for others for 53 years ( I am 58). From the day I crossed the threshhold into kindergarten at age 5, then school, college, jobs and then my Corporate career, I was "DOING" something for someone else.

My turn now.

Leave me alone!!!!!

When I am ready to "DO" something, I will. In the meantime, 16 months is NOTHING compared to 53 YEARS of dancing to someone elses song!!!!

Just let him chill out!!!

Your day will come to retire, and you may find you feel the same way!!!
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:57 AM   #18
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Hi Jackio,
I hope you will return with an update after speaking to your DH about your concerns. I think you both are in transition and need a little time to acclimate.
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