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Old 03-03-2014, 06:47 AM   #21
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DW retired two years before me. I was forced into retirement at year end, and even though she had advance notice, I think she resented my intrusion on her routine. Winters are the hardest as you spend more time inside. She now does volunteering and that helps a lot. I do the errands. Another thing we have started to do each evening is make a loose plan of what we each are doing the next day. Plus a big calendar of upcoming appointments. Some times I will just go to the library to read papers and magazines. Having scheduled away time really helps. Hang in there. The first winter was the worst. Just need to both find a way to adapt. My neighbor hunts and his wife says hunting season is her vacation.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:08 AM   #22
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I've got contingency plans for this situation, the wonderful urban fishing program they have here. Good cheap way to get out of the house for hours or even most of the day if needed. Bring head phones, kindle, some drinks, etc. and you good.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:21 AM   #23
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As a party to the problem, she's not qualified to counsel you on this one. Conflict of interest + power imbalance right there. You could level the playing field by going to a third party counselor to mediate your differences.

Or you could take a breath, put the scary gun ideas away, and remember why you love her. If you don't - make plans to leave and find happiness. If you do - sit her down and negotiate for what you need, while being open to what she needs.

Hang in there. (Hugs)
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I think that's all bullshit. I'd rather freeze to death on the top of the mountain than have the counselor take sides with their colleague.
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Your anger is showing, Brewer. This is not new; it was obvious when you left your last two jobs. Are you going to leave your marriage too? Take a deep breath and calm down, for your own sake and that of your family. You and DW can work through this, with impartial help.
I hate to pile on Brewer but I agree you sound PO'd now and PO'd on the job. You need to look inside. How about getting some one on one counseling if you don't want to start out with joint?
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:42 AM   #24
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I am a month and a half into being job free, but spousal arguments have definitely been more frequent since the separation. Anyone else trod a similar path, or am I just lucky?
Sorry to hear this Brewer, but you are not alone in this situation. In fact, when a previous company we worked for offered the opportunity of a slew of early retirements, they brought couples in to meet with a counselor in a group and couple sessions to make the retiring couples aware of what might lie ahead for their relationship. They helped the couples come up with a relationship plan in addition to the financial plan they would need for the change. I guess forewarned was forearmed. Any time you have a sudden transition tension rises. Even good stress is stress. The company felt this was as important as the financial planers they brought in to help people review their company options and determine if they were financially ready to retire.

I can understand your reluctance to go see a counselor, believing that they will side with your wife given her background, but frankly they are just as likely to see through and call her on any games she may be playing, or help her to see that her training may be perceived as manipulative when used in her own defense as opposed to helping a neutral third party. Only you can decide if counseling is for you or not, but you'll be able to make a better educated decision if you try it first.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:40 AM   #25
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I am a month and a half into being job free, but spousal arguments have definitely been more frequent since the separation. Anyone else trod a similar path, or am I just lucky?
I would say less in our case. Hope your situation is temporary.

You could consider going to counseling alone (at least at first). It would get you away from the situaiton for a bit and perhaps give you some tools/strategies to deal with it.

Or grab some beer and go ice fishing.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:49 AM   #26
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We didn't notice either an increase or decrease in disagreements. It would be a stretch to call them arguments. What is nice is that we have more time to discuss issues without the time constraints imposed by working schedules and not being tired at the end of the day when that happened.

We did find that we need some time to ourselves. (Duh!) For a while in the initial post-retirement euphoria we did everything together but then started to feel like we were "joined at the hip" as DW put it. In hindsight that is not a surprising outcome. So we do often go off and "do our own thing" and neither gets tense about it.

All in all we're closer now than ever before. And that's a good thing.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:55 AM   #27
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I think counseling in general is bullshit and have no interest in it.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:07 AM   #28
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Haven't experienced this in our lives. Sorry you are ___ (don't want to assume what your feelings are, but I sympathize with you).

My wife's parents argued constantly in their retirement years up until he died at 95. We called them the Bickerson's.

No advice to offer. I figure you know what is going on and will work it out one way or another. Can't help but have looked closely at your signature line. Don't know if that last sentence is significant. Hope it doesn't come to that.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:16 AM   #29
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One benefit of a place like this is to vent (within reason).
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:21 AM   #30
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I was lucky to be able to marry my best friend at university and after retirement we get on better than ever, but we have other friends from those days who prepared for retirement by arranging to limit the amount of time together by arranging different activities during activity including charitable activities and part time work.

I worked with one good friend who took up golf at age 58 and he explained to me that he planned to retire at 60 and he imagined that the last thing his stay-at-home wife would want is for him to be around the house all day disrupting her well established schedule, or worse, trying to make improvements. (He was head of our engineering department and was anal about written procedures and standardized work practices, and didn't tolerate fools very well). That was 16 years ago, and recently they moved to just up the road from us, and maintaining their separate interests seems to have worked really well for them.

Good luck Brewer, it sounds like you are trying hard to be accommodating.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:22 AM   #31
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Brewer12345,
We've had more issues since me retirement. All stupid crap. It does get better, or it has in our home.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:32 AM   #32
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I think counseling in general is bullshit and have no interest in it.
You seem to be an intelligent person, so I will assume there is a basis for this opinion beyond blind prejudice. When two people are having conflict, sometimes it helps to have a referee, a mediator. IMO that is the best aspect about that industry.

You have young kids. Know that they are picking up on the vibes around them, even if they don't let on, or frankly understand what the tension is about. They are likely to think it is their fault, because that is what kids do. Are you ready to abandon any tool that might help your kids without trying it first? Do you have so many tools at your disposal to help with this crisis that you are willing to cross one off the list?

I am not trying to impose my opinion on you. You are welcome to consider it bullshit. The last thing I'll say on this thread is that no conflict gets resolved without all involved open to the possibility of compromise. I wish you and yours the best.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:35 AM   #33
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If you let it go (whatever it is that is bothering you) then your wife will relax and be fun again.

Put another way, if you win the fight you lose.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:56 AM   #34
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One of the problems is her two master's in psychology and counseling. She is an empathy and a trained counselor.
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I think counseling in general is bullshit and have no interest in it.
Not much respect for her life's work, eh?

I can see the potential for some, er, "intense" conversations.

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Old 03-03-2014, 10:02 AM   #35
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Hi Brewer,

I am sorry to see you hurting. I am glad that you have come here to talk with your friends.

My DH and I have occasional arguments, but not that frequently. I think that it helps tremendously that I work part-time 3 days per week. Also, I am usually on the computer in a separate room or reading. We only have a few TV programs that we watch together. He watches TV, reads or goes out to his garage. We exercise together and do some of the shopping together.

I was going to suggest counseling for yourself, but I see that you are against it. I was also going to suggest religion, such as praying or reading the bible, but if I remember correctly I don't think you are a religious person.

I think that I would get into an exercise program that would get your endorphins going. You might also try yoga or meditating. I have not tried either. Try to read some positive, uplifting books. Watch some good comedies that get you laughing.

Having young children, while a lovely thing, can also put stress on people and on marriages. I agree that your children will notice the stress in the household. It will not be easy for them, but not having a father in the household, would be very stressful for them also. I was confused by your saying that you spend as much time with your children as your wife would allow. It sounds like even though your wife has the degrees, that she also has some problems. Maybe suggest that you would like to take the children one on one to spend an afternoon, skating or some other kid friendly activity.

Our life used to be so much more stressful when we both worked full-time, had small children and so many after work activities. Things do get better. Hang in there, be good to yourself and I hope that things get better for you quickly. Just remember what a good person you are!
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:03 AM   #36
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I am a month and a half into being job free, but spousal arguments have definitely been more frequent since the separation. Anyone else trod a similar path, or am I just lucky?
Is your wife stressed about your new situation?

Are you?

DH and I always got along well and we each tend to spend plenty of time doing out own thing been though mostly at home. I don't think arguing increased for us.

I suspect it has to do more with a big change in both your lives. Changes are almost always stressful - even good changes.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:03 AM   #37
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I think counseling in general is bullshit and have no interest in it.
We are on a similar schedule with ER and we agree on this too.

But despite having heard the phrase "under foot" a few times since January, I'm not seeing an uptick in clashes (thankfully). This is probably due to becoming empty nesters at the same time as retirement. I think that patience and self-control are limited resources and kids chew up a lot of it (so not as much to apply to the relationship). You have a harder task than I since you have kids around. For me, when irrationality starts, I can bail out, down to the man cave (which is literally something I dug out with my own two hands and all decisions in this space are mine, including who visits). I could even just pack a suitcase and go on a little excursion, but you, alas, have an impact on children if you do that.

Steven Covey's a pretty smart guy and he says to find ways to value the differences. That sometimes takes creativity which takes patience, which is too often gone. I'm not a councillor, nor do I play one on TV, so that's all the counselling I'll offer.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:09 AM   #38
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Not much respect for her life's work, eh?

I can see the potential for some, er, "intense" conversations.
We don't discuss it.

Some people get something out of counseling, and great for them. I do not.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:09 AM   #39
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I think counseling in general is bullshit and have no interest in it.
But you are here and discussing the matter.

I went to a counselor who was about my age. He helped a bit as I talked through a problem set that had to do with a family member, not DW. It just helps to be able to share the issues. The counselor may not necessarily solve your problem.

Anyway, we don't charge here.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:19 AM   #40
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But you are here and discussing the matter.

I went to a counselor who was about my age. He helped a bit as I talked through a problem set that had to do with a family member, not DW. It just helps to be able to share the issues. The counselor may not necessarily solve your problem.

Anyway, we don't charge here.
Actually, I came here asking if others had experienced something similar. As usual, the replies were more, um, fulsome than just that.
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