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Sam and looking to RE but DW work
Old 04-04-2016, 08:47 AM   #1
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Sam and looking to RE but DW work

Been working at same job for 23+ years and 6 more years of similar work before that and looking for a change. Not wanting to do the same type of work (software) and really just ready to RE. DW and I could probably both RE with a minor lifestyle change, but DW has a good job with the gov't and is not looking to leave for several years. This extension would allow us to RE then with no lifestyle change.

Are there any other husbands on this forum with DW working? While she says she's fine with it, I believe there is likely an underlying questioning of this which could lead to resentment. It may not happen, but I'd hate to go the next several years with that possibility. I've thought about potentially getting a part time job and would be doing the housework that we currently share.

Not looking for someone to make the decision for me, but rather I'd like to know if others have been in this situation and how it worked out. The same goes for husbands whose wives ER'd. Don't want to be sexist!

Thanks for any input.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:15 AM   #2
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It was not ER more of raise the children choice instead of working, knowing I'd have to work forever afterwards to make up the years.

A few years into it while I took care of the toddlers my wife started sleeping around with fellow workers.

Total surprise to me, as I thought we were happy.
Destroyed the marriage
I was a true Mr Mom, did the chores, and breakfast, lunch(for kids), and supper on the table. It didn't matter.

It's sextist, but has thousands of years of history, the man is not admired for being a house husband.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:32 AM   #3
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3+ years for me, and DW continues to w*rk as a teacher. She was fully supportive then, and 3 years later that has not changed.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:45 AM   #4
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It's a good idea to have a good long talk with DW, as ymmv, but I know for me, if DH RE'd significantly before me it would not be good. There's a mile of difference in a woman saying she is "fine" with something, and actually encouraging you.

I can't imagine myself with Sunset's situation, but there would be resentment, and then resenting not being able to complain because it's not really rational, and because I said it was ok, so then it would materialize in some passive aggressive stuff.

I know it's not pretty, but I can't pretend it won't happen so I'd rather admit it and make sure we don't even get in the situation. We've had that chat before it got close for either of us.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:04 AM   #5
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Every couple is different. Some of the DW's who took time off to raise children are finally to a point where they have good careers they enjoy and want to continue working until it's not fun anymore.

I think the most important point would be the way your spouse feels about their own job now. Do they enjoy the job, have decent bosses, a reasonable commute, adequate time off. If the answer to some to these questions is "No" I believe there is a bigger chance they might start looking at your stay-at-home life with a little envy. So in that case, maybe another year at work while you fine tune your budget would be appropriate . The key is that if your spouse does start to have job stress they don't feel back into a corner with no options.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:32 AM   #6
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DW RE'ed 15 years ago. She has been very happy, and I am happy for her. No resentment.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
It was not ER more of raise the children choice instead of working, knowing I'd have to work forever afterwards to make up the years.

A few years into it while I took care of the toddlers my wife started sleeping around with fellow workers.

Total surprise to me, as I thought we were happy.
Destroyed the marriage
I was a true Mr Mom, did the chores, and breakfast, lunch(for kids), and supper on the table. It didn't matter.

It's sextist, but has thousands of years of history, the man is not admired for being a house husband.
I'm sorry you had this experience, which you now have in common with millions of stay at home moms whose husbands were unfaithful.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:53 AM   #8
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Everyone's experience can be different or at least one of a few dozen general stories.

I know of another couple, life-long friends. He retired while she kept working a couple of extra years to qualify for pension.
I asked her in passing how things were going, and she gave me an earful of resentful emotions on how hard it was to work, while her hubby enjoyed a life of leisure.

But to look at them you would not know the underlying currents of resentment.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:59 AM   #9
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I'm sorry you had this experience, which you now have in common with millions of stay at home moms whose husbands were unfaithful.
Yep, I met quite a few of them at that time, and its wrong regardless of who does it.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:23 PM   #10
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I've been retired for 9 years while DW w*rks. I can't say that there have not been a few days when she was a little resentful that I got to stay in bed when she had to slog off into a winter storm or to an early meeting, but on the whole she has been happy with it. I have dinner ready for her when she gets home, do the shopping and most of the housework, plus keep everything running around the house, yard and vehicles. So, her life is much easier.

My concern is when she retires this summer.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:25 PM   #11
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My wife was totally supportive. I retired at 46 and she went back to work. She says I earned the right to retire so now I should enjoy it.

I'm busy all day and house and lawn are spotless when she gets home. I know she's happy because I'm getting more action in the bedroom than ever. 👍


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Old 04-04-2016, 12:34 PM   #12
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I also have female coworker that has her husband sitting at home doing nothing, he lost his job like 2+ years ago, was on unemployment for long time and was not really actively looking for job. Now he is saying that they have been just fine living on her paycheck so he does not need to take job unless it is a super offer. After 2+ years on the bench she thinks there will not be any offers unless he will really try to get one.
It is different situation but boy, does she sound mad !!! Once I asked her if she told her husband how she really feels - her answer was no, because she was very accommodating and supportive in the beginning and now has a hard time to bring it up with different view. Point is - even if your wife says that she is ok with something , she may be not and may have hard time to talk about it.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
It was not ER more of raise the children choice instead of working, knowing I'd have to work forever afterwards to make up the years.

A few years into it while I took care of the toddlers my wife started sleeping around with fellow workers.

Total surprise to me, as I thought we were happy.
Destroyed the marriage
I was a true Mr Mom, did the chores, and breakfast, lunch(for kids), and supper on the table. It didn't matter.

It's sextist, but has thousands of years of history, the man is not admired for being a house husband.
We had a much better experience with this route. Not sure how applicable it is to the OP though, as SAHP is much different that R.E. (Although I was SAHD with a little teaching on the side for 15 years, we plan to retire together, even to the day, unless my work demands require a short delay for me.)

In any event, I join in the chorus of "it is different for everyone and it depends on your relationship and plans."
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:38 AM   #14
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I want to retire and my husband doesn't. He actually doesn't want ME to retire either- he grew up poor and financial security is more important to him than me. My concession to this is that I will work until we have more than enough for both of us to retire immediately- a 3% wd rate on our current spending level. We live on less than what he makes. If he wants to keep working (and I think he will at least part time) he is welcome to.

I don't know if this may be a solution for you or not. If you put yourselves in the financial position that you COULD both retire and then give her the option to retire if she WANTS to and she then continues to work, I don't know how she could feel resentful about that.
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:37 AM   #15
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I retired at the end of Feb. 2012. Once I had set the date my wife retired at the end of January. She wasn't about to continue working when I didn't have to.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:27 AM   #16
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My husband has taken several "breaks" from work. He made sure to pick up my slack on the household chores - and that made me a VERY happy working wife. (Not having to clean/cook/etc all weekend is very nice. He also picked up the burden with our kids, as well - getting them after school, etc.

He retired before me - but unretired (by coincidence... LOL) as soon as I retired. He then retired for real about a year later. (The guy who was hired to replace him on his architectural projects quit with no notice - so DH went back in to work to close out those jobs.)

I did not resent DH when he wasn't working and I was - primarily because he made my life much more pleasant by stepping up on the domestic front.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:19 PM   #17
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My DH is going on his third year of ER while I'm still toiling away for at least another 5-6.
We'd planned for his exit at 50 for a long time, so it wasn't a surprise to either of us when it happened.

I won't lie, there's some resentment, sometimes. I try not to let it show, and be a good sport and all that, but there are days when I'm just irritated, not an unfamiliar feeling to the long-married folk.

He has done a few really great trips, picked up some odd jobs here and there for travel money, and gotten better about helping around the house.

My advice to you is to be attentive to things you can do to make her work-life easier once you pull the plug. And doing them without being asked is guaranteed to please. Picking up some slack in areas she's normally responsible for will endear you to her beyond measure.

And when friends congratulate you on your good fortune, be sure to say within earshot of your DW that it was a team effort.
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:20 PM   #18
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I have been retired for about a year and a half. For the most part, my DW is happy with me being retired and I don't sense any resentment. Of course, there are days when she harasses me when she has to get up and I don't, but that's about it. She is free to retire whenever she likes since we are FI without her income...but she wants to continue the slog..at least for the time being I have told her that when I turn 50, I am going to start taking LONG trips with or without her!

I will also add that she seems quite happy that I do most of the chores around the house and cook about 1/2 the time (she's very talented in the culinary department whereas I am not!)

BUT...everyone is different, so I would make SURE that she would be OK with it. If she isn't that is a recipe for a difficult retirement.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:58 PM   #19
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Are there any other husbands on this forum with DW working? While she says she's fine with it, I believe there is likely an underlying questioning of this which could lead to resentment.
My DW went from full time teaching to two part time teaching gigs (teaching a class at a local college as adjunct faculty and a little sub teaching at a middle school) while I was still working full time. Then, I retired. That left her still doing the part time work while I was totally, completely and eternally done.

I handled it the following way and it worked out OK. I thought about the things I'd like her to do, the way I'd like her to conduct herself, if the situation was reversed. Then I tried to conduct myself that way. I worked hard on managing finances and planning for her to eventually drop the part time work, which she did within a couple of years. I made an effort to do chores and run errands while she was away and didn't have to watch or participate. I tried to have dinners on her work days be a bit special and timed to accommodate her schedule. I did do some solo travel during this time and always expressed my appreciation and tried hard not to crow about how much fun it was.

She seemed completely happy with the situation. Of course, she had just finished three years of part time work while I was still entrenched in a 60 hour per week gig that involved significant travel and a good dose of stress.

There seems to be a custom in the USA that if the man is not working and the woman is, the man really needs to jump high hurdles to justify the situation. I tend to disagree to the extent that the hurdles don't need to be any higher for the husband than the wife. Do the things you'd like her to do if your roles were going to be reversed and she was home while you worked and all should be fine.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:03 PM   #20
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And when friends congratulate you on your good fortune, be sure to say within earshot of your DW that it was a team effort.
+1 Excellent advise!
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