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Keeping my DW from killing me
Old 11-13-2013, 11:17 AM   #1
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Keeping my DW from killing me

Ran across this at this Blog and thought it was a good share... been thinking about this as my DW is retired and I'm a few weeks away... guess now that I'm prepared on the financial side, I'm taking the emotional and mental inventory of to-dos...

Top 10 List-How to Live Together 24x7 in Retirement
10. Bite your tongue and donít verbalize those snippy comments that may flit through your head. Take a deep breath, and if something is still bothering you tomorrow, itís time to talk
9. Donít work on projects together. Unless you are a saint, this usually results in lots of yelling. When we were selling my house, we found that if we each did separate tasks, we got more done and were much happier.
8. Decide how to divide household chores to avoid resentment. And donít expect a thank you for every load of laundry or every meal you prepare or every oil change or tire rotation.
7. Do not spend every waking minute together. You donít want to lose yourself especially at a time when you are already on shaky ground of creating your new retirement identity.
6. Give yourself permission and time to enjoy your own hobbies. If possible create separate hobby, office or man cave space so you can get away to enjoy these activities.
5. Cultivate your own friendships, and donít object when your partner wants to hang out with friends. Life is more interesting with a wide variety of friends, and we really enjoy sharing experiences and conversations weíve each had with friends.
4. Keep your own sleep schedule. My sweetie is the energizer bunny and gets by with limited sleep. I canít keep up with his energy, and he doesnít do well with my 8 hours of sleep.
3. Agree on your financial plan and how you will spend money. Have some discretionary funds for each of you to spend without asking permission.
2. Talk often and get your feelings out in the open. Even though we may be doing our own thing, we touch base often throughout the day and find out whatís happening with each other.
1. Laugh often. Some of our best times are when we laugh at crazy things that happened in our day. And for some reason we have a lot of those.
Every day I continue learning how to live with my sweetie 24x7. Itís an ongoing challenge to learn what works and to make changes along the way, but Iím definitely having far fewer ďyouíre making me crazyĒ kind of days. And the fun and laughter I expected in retirement comes much easier.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:40 AM   #2
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For some, divorce may be simpler than the doing the list ... .

Seriously, I worry about my life after retirement with DW. I am not perfect, in fact, far from it. DW OTOH is a stickler for details and let me know what I screwed up more often than I care for. I probably need to find hobbies and man cave big enough to hide from DW whenever.

Is there a marriage retirement agreement (like prenuptial) that is legally binding ?
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:46 AM   #3
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It's not really that hard, although I suspect a lot depends on your pre-retirement relationship. We were already doing pretty much everything on the list. The only one we aren't doing is #7. We spend about 95% of our time together. We actually have to work at finding individual things to do. We've been this way for a long time, so I doubt it's going to change much. If we start getting on each other's nerves we can go do something apart for a couple of hours, but that's all it seems to take.

We don't do #9 much either. We seem to work together pretty well.

I think this list is for people that aren't used to being together a lot. I have seen a number of people get stressed out in retirement. What's the old saying? "Twice the husband for half the paycheck"?
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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Luckily, Frank and I aren't married and don't live together so this is not an issue for us right now. However, I have thought about it as we will surely want to live in closer proximity to one another as we grow old.

We both really like our "alone time" and having our own space, that nobody else will mess with. If we ever decide to live together, we have discussed either living on the two sides of a duplex, or in a home that is easily divided in two. By that I mean either a home with a mother-in-law suite, or at least one with two living areas.

Maybe this is a good time to set up a "man cave" and whatever the opposite might be called (a "woman cave"?). My brother has claimed his very large walk-out basement as his own, and his wife has the main floor. That seems to work for them, for the half of each year when they are not off traveling to the ends of the earth, or at their other home in Maui.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:03 PM   #5
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Nice list, and I really recommend a strong dose of #1
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:45 PM   #6
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Having DW at home all day after she joins me in retirement is a little daunting. Hopefully I won't hear "I'm bored. Entertain me." too often.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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Having DW at home all day after she joins me in retirement is a little daunting. Hopefully I won't hear "I'm bored. Entertain me." too often.
No problems Fuego, just giver her your high limit credit card.

Ha
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:53 PM   #8
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It's not really that hard, although I suspect a lot depends on your pre-retirement relationship.
+1

Perhaps I'm strange but DW and both see more time with each other as a huge benefit. We have both common and separate hobbies, and common and separate friends, so its easy to spend time apart from each other... but we both enjoy the time we have together. We fortunate it that we're both fairly fit, like to be active, and easily entertain ourselves. Out health won't last forever but while it does we want to share that active time.

Working and raising rambunctious kids meant there were many periods when we had to practically schedule time to be with each other, as well as allowing each other weekly "boys night out" and "girls night out" time. FIRE + Empty Nest = a lot of time for each other. Even just working on our separate hobbies in the same area can be a lot of fun. So I'm looking forward to it.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:56 PM   #9
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Can't remember the source of the follwing, but I do like it and live by it:

Wife to recently retired husband, who, it seems was getting underfoot abit too much.

I married you for better or worse, but not for lunch. Now go and find something to amuse yourself with.

The smart alecs may say he could find a female entertainer for the midd-day. Sounds good in theory.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:09 PM   #10
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Wife to recently retired husband, who, it seems was getting underfoot abit too much.

I married you for better or worse, but not for lunch. Now go and find something to amuse yourself with.

The smart alecs may say he could find a female entertainer for the midd-day. Sounds good in theory.
You know, I think the thing that you alluded to is the best reason not to be married as you get older. Rare that your single girlfriend will say "no more loving for you, Buster". But I know plenty of married guys who got cut off years ago and they are still afraid to start something with another woman because they doubt that the judge will say "no spousal settlement or alimony here, she withdrew a central part of the marriage deal". More likely your punishment will be increased because you have become the Bad American Male.

I don't think this is necessarily the wife's fault, it may have been a very long time since DH bothered to attend to her emotional and physical needs. Still, it sucks for all concerned.

Some of them become world solo travelers in retirement, or join the Peace Corps, or take any way to get themselves far out of town. And who knows what the women do, it's not something I really want to discuss with some guy's wife.

Ha
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:17 PM   #11
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It's not really that hard,
Different DW, different outcome. Divorce rate among baby boomers is high according to all the stats. I don't need a stat to know that. My wife and I play golf and are sometimes paired up with another couple (typically older than us). Almost all of them are in their 2nd, 3rd marriages and recently married.

DW = divorced wife to some ;-)
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:39 PM   #12
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No issues here. I look at her and still see the beautiful bride I married 25 years ago. She still thinks I'm "the best thing that ever happened" to her.

Of course I do make sure she has a supply of chocolate when needed.
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:07 PM   #13
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Of course I do make sure she has a supply of chocolate when needed.
So that's the secret.....
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:29 PM   #14
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I laughed out loud at #9. DW and I are both type A personalities. Oh and we're both right-handed.
Want a recipe for disaster? Ask us to work together at folding a large tarp
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:45 PM   #15
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No problems Fuego, just giver her your high limit credit card.

Ha
It's so much cheaper to let her keep on working!

Seriously, that is a concern of mine - recreational shopping to cure boredom.

As far as getting along, it's definitely more fun when she's home on the weekends and at night. It's pretty quiet during the day. Other than our 1.5 year old running me ragged (I'm not supposed to be this worn out at 33!).
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:48 PM   #16
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Different DW, different outcome. Divorce rate among baby boomers is high according to all the stats. I don't need a stat to know that. My wife and I play golf and are sometimes paired up with another couple (typically older than us). Almost all of them are in their 2nd, 3rd marriages and recently married. DW = divorced wife to some ;-)
Good for you Rob that you can play golf with your wife, and enjoy it! I guess I can say I am more of a "traditionalist" concerning golf and only play with the guys. Occasionally we will see couples play ( though not often) and always crack a joke about the poor beat down guy who can't even get away from his wife by playing a round of golf.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:50 PM   #17
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I would have to say the secret to living peacefully in retirement is have separate areas and be best friends . We live peacefully & have a lot of fun .I do the laundry & he rules the dishwasher !
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:28 PM   #18
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Walt "Of course I do make sure she has a supply of chocolate when needed."


Now that I like!

Seriously earlier this year when DH left megacorp for part time consulting I had to warn him that while he would be home week day mornings I intended to keep my same workout routine. Its rather involved ( lots of cardio , weights and stretching ) and something I do every morning - less on weekends so he has not really seen what I do . ( Although he appreciates the result ) I have to do it or I would totally succumb to entropy as I am a natural born couch potato .

He seemed surprised but said OK - Ill do my thing in the morning . But first week off he schedules things like oil changes in the cars for during my exercise time . Uh uh. You have all day - If you want me to go with you (to bring you back when you drop off the car ) don't assume I'll change my routine . I find if I don't put the exercise clothes on first and get it over with it's not happening . The second time he scheduled without checking about my taxi service he waited a couple of hours with a book to read while the car was serviced. (He loves to read anyhow - so I'm not that mean.)

As a stay at home Mom I always worked my day so I could be flexible in the evenings and weekends for him. So I kinda trained him not to think that I might have plans. It can be an adjustment but communication and a sense of humor go a long way. When he offered to organize my kitchen I said he could if he was taking over grocery shopping , cooking and cleanup. Otherwise I was going to organize his garage (An extra garage with his shop and classic car and a loft - " man cave" ? ) He decided the kitchen was fine the way it is.

He's sort of flunking semi retirement anyhow. He keeps getting calls to consult and has been working about 40% more than the plan. He is enjoying the work - he seems more energized than he has been in years with out all the megacorp garbage.

Hope is as he phases into less work we will phase together . My parents - both age 82 are an adorable interdependent team . An inspiration !
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:29 PM   #19
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It's all a matter of keeping the fires burning.
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:33 PM   #20
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Now that I like!

Seriously earlier this year when DH left megacorp for part time consulting I had to warn him that while he would be home week day mornings I intended to keep my same workout routine. Its rather involved ( lots of cardio , weights and stretching ) and something I do every morning - less on weekends so he has not really seen what I do . ( Although he appreciates the result ) I have to do it or I would totally succumb to entropy as I am a natural born couch potato .

He seemed surprised but said OK - Ill do my thing in the morning . But first week off he schedules things like oil changes in the cars for during my exercise time . Uh uh. You have all day - If you want me to go with you (to bring you back when you drop off the car ) don't assume I'll change my routine . I find if I don't put the exercise clothes on first and get it over with it's not happening . The second time he scheduled without checking about my taxi service he waited a couple of hours with a book to read while the car was serviced. (He loves to read anyhow - so I'm not that mean.)

As a stay at home Mom I always worked my day so I could be flexible in the evenings and weekends for him. So I kinda trained him not to think that I might have plans. It can be an adjustment but communication and a sense of humor go a long way. When he offered to organize my kitchen I said he could if he was taking over grocery shopping , cooking and cleanup. Otherwise I was going to organize his garage (An extra garage with his shop and classic car and a loft - " man cave" ? ) He decided the kitchen was fine the way it is.

He's sort of flunking semi retirement anyhow. He keeps getting calls to consult and has been working about 40% more than the plan. He is enjoying the work - he seems more energized than he has been in years with out all the megacorp garbage.

Hope is as he phases into less work we will phase together . My parents - both age 82 are an adorable interdependent team . An inspiration !
This one cracked me up. Especially the part about offering to organize the kitchen.

And I'm divorced. Thanks for the vicarious look into what appears to be a happy marriage pre- and post-ER!
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