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Old 03-03-2014, 10:23 AM   #41
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I had many years as a SAHM while DH worked. I managed everything daily and suddenly there was another person's opinion and presence to deal with. But we have been married a long time and have always been best buddies so I had to loosen up and let go of some things out of respect for him now being home all the time. It's his house too, and his retirement, and I want him to enjoy it.

We haven't had arguments but more of just adjusting to operating in the same space. It's little things that come up, like dishwasher loading/usage, daily bed making and clutter control. Little stupid stuff that gets annoying if you let it. And I'm the one who has to take a deep breath and put it in the proper perspective.

One of the reasons that I love my part time job as a school crossing guard is that it's an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon that is "my time". In the summer I'm an usher at a outdoor concert venue and even though I'm with 15,000 other people, I can count it as my alone time.

DH doesn't golf or hunt or fish or go to a gym. He rides his bike, has a garden in the summer or shovels snow in the winter. Sometimes the only time he goes anywhere is on thrift store adventures with our older son.

My sister's husband just retired last November. Before it was even official she had him all scheduled for what she had planned for his retired life. She told him what time to get up, what time to go to the gym, what time to be home for lunch, what days she committed him for planned activities. I just told her I don't tell DH what to do with his time.

Eh, if it works for her.....

Brewer, I'm sorry you are not loving your new life everyday. Yes, there is some adjusting, for both of you.

What are you arguing about? Or is it just that you are home most of the time and she needs some space?
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:25 AM   #42
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Actually, I came here asking if others had experienced something similar. As usual, the replies were more, um, fulsome than just that.
That's the ER-Forum added value

If you are just looking for a short yes or no, in my case, yes, with all of my friends that ER'd, yes, with my folks, yes, and with family members that are not yet retired, it'll happen.

I think is is not so much a problem to resolve as it is a phase to get through, but what do I know. Good luck.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:33 AM   #43
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Actually, I came here asking if others had experienced something similar. As usual, the replies were more, um, fulsome than just that.
OK, fair enough.

My wife was clearly struggling (only a bit) to cope after I suddenly retired after a company downsizing. I was nervous too about how I'd fill the days and how the finances would work out. But we coped quite well as we enjoy activities together.

She still cooked but I was more available for some minor house chores and my usual fix-it, gardening, bill paying, etc. I upped my exercise levels and added some new activities to fill the days.

I think it takes several months to a few years to get used to such a major change after decades of the working life. Financially, I was just getting used to things after 5 years. Then we had the delightful 2008 market meltdown. I'm happier now after 5 good years. Money does matter despite what some say.

So hang in there.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:35 AM   #44
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OK, as to what is our experience we've had no issues. But then again approaching 44 years together would not have expected.

Yeah, you've gotten some unasked for advice apparently. I'll add mine. I agree that in general I don't agree with counseling, but in fact did benefit from it on issues not related to relationships. One thing I absolutely believe is that I get ____ up if faced with issues all I do is listen to the voice(s) in my head. It's been MY experience that I cannot think my way out of some problems by myself. If you want no advice that's fine. But from your tone I'd say you should find someone you trust to discuss the issue and explore solutions or alternative approaches. Best of luck Brewer....
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:49 AM   #45
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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?
Pretty common that friction increases with retirement, as it often may with any significant change in life circumstances. Most find that at an increase in 'personal time' (at least temporarily) may help matters settle in to a new & mutually acceptable routine. I found this article interesting-

How Retirement Can Hurt Your Marriage (And What You Can Do About It)

BTW- I know you said that "counseling" is BS, but sometimes the honest advice of a trusted relative or good friend can be useful too.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:50 AM   #46
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Perhaps part of the reason for the "unasked for advice" is only seeing one side of the issue, and not presuming that is the only side. I just wish the OP the best and that it all works out.

One of my brothers is retired and he and my SIL have been getting along better than ever. About 8 years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer and that ordeal (as they told me) helped them realize that each was the most important thing to the other. She has been cancer free for 6 years, and that was one reason by brother retired at 60, so that they could spend more time together. His comment that struck we was "once we realized tomorrow is not a guarantee, so many of our differences seemed very petty".

While I'm not retired (yet), threads like this help me (and DW) from a planning perspective, and we hope it works out for the OP.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:02 AM   #47
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I think having a husband around the house all day would feel like a co-worker or a boss hanging around in a person's office all day. It would be uncomfortable. I would probably feel like a hostess and feel a responsibility to talk to you. If you're being needy especially.

You're both going to have to figure out a way around this.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:10 AM   #48
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Now that I'm home all the time, my partner never comes home to an empty house. There are times when he asks me if I have anywhere to go today, meaning he would like some alone time.

And when he took an extended vacation last month, there were times when I was counting down the number of days until he goes back to work so I can have some alone time for myself.

I think there are very few couples who truly want to be around each other 24 hours a day. The more individual activities each person has, the more they have to share when they do have some time together to enjoy each other's company.

My partner's sister actually has a great relationship with her husband. They do everything together, and I have never once seen them get on each other's nerves. But I always believed they were the extreme exception to the norm.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:11 AM   #49
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We've always given each other maximum space/time apart. That's just how we are. Even separate vacations at times. Much easier without kids, so I can see how that makes it different for you. Once we were both retired (new experience, since DW finally hung it up for good less than a year ago), we saw no difference in our interaction.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:17 AM   #50
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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?
Eh, you're just lucky....

In our case, DH's job was stressful. Added to the stress was managing 47 employees that were scattered all over the country. He had to be on top of everything and had to constantly put out fires.

He had the j*b mindset when he retired and it lasted for a few months. His personality was not so much like a drill sergeant, but I think you get my drift...

It takes time to shake out the cobwebs and get used to the new 'normal'.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:24 AM   #51
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Brewer, let me tell you what some retired friends of mine do each weekday. Most have been retired for a few years and have faced similar experiences you are facing. They agree to meet each morning at the local Burger King for breakfast and have some talk about each other's plans for the rest of the day. This group is growing and I may join it soon (I was invited). Some guys hit the golf course and some have projects they are working on like building a fence, etc. This group probably is not uncommon in most metro areas. A little bit of new friendship and bonding goes a long way here.

Now I don't know if you have retired friends, or if you are in an area where a bunch of you could get together daily (depending on who's around), but it makes for a better start of the day than meeting with DW.

If this is not your cup of tea, maybe get a part time job? I have a friend who retired from HP as a Director of something or other, and he found a three day a week job at Home Depot. He loves it and digs in hard there.

Well, it's clear that you need to change something or adapt somehow. It's not easy for guys and gals who worked a long time to end up in the situation you describe, but clearly, you are not alone.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:26 AM   #52
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I have only been retired for a month. So far I don't think there is much change. With work stress and 24x7 mental drain removed, my mind seems to belong to me again. Therefore there are fewer instances of, "weren't you listening when I said ...". Improvement in that area may have compensated for an increase in intellectual discourse.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:42 AM   #53
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You need to look inside. How about getting some one on one counseling if you don't want to start out with joint?
Hey, it's Colorado; why not start with a joint?

Brewer, I'm not married (been there, done that, twice...) and not FIREd yet either, so no help there. I somewhat agree that "counseling", as defined as someone else "solving" your problems, is BS. But I did attend some counseling sessions - four, because that's all the HI would pay for... - after a particularly hurtful breakup. I just needed to talk to someone who was willing to listen, even if for a fee. The counselor mostly did just listen; no foofy, feelgood Oprahesque gobbledy gook, which I probably wouldn't have listened to anyway...
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:45 AM   #54
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It's been a real rough adjustment for me. I've added stuff to do most days away from the house just so I get some space. Hopefully it will get better over time and actually it is a bit better than it was the first 6 months.

Good luck!
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:58 AM   #55
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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?
After I retired (she was stay at home Mom) my former wife got frustrated with me taking the kids to play tennis or go fishing. It was her choice to do other things, but never the less if she got very frustrated she might yell "Why don't you get a job?". I never said back, why don't you?

I've made it clear before that I think a youngish married man is much better off with a job or business than home subject to his wife' s moods. Most people here seem to strongly disagree. But then, we all know that this forum is a special planet.

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Old 03-03-2014, 12:03 PM   #56
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yeah. We are both pretty strong in our opinions of what should be done and by nature are problem solvers. I tend toward a minimum effort for maximum result; she is strongly result oriented with no thought toward effort expended. Makes for some problems when she no longer has a crew of mechanics to boss or her own fiefdom to rule and I no longer handle the day-to-day alligator wrestling with the rentals. Coupla chiefs with a lack of indians.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:07 PM   #57
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I think counseling in general is bullshit and have no interest in it.

I have to say, I agree with you. I think talking to a reasonable friend is probably just as good. Counselors are a huge waste of money and sometimes make matters worse. In our society counseling is sacred but that's because many people have no one to talk to anymore.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:22 PM   #58
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A friend of mine once said about her husband retiring "great, half the income and twice the husband. Just what I need".

They're divorcing now, 35 years in.


Could she be stressed about a financial situation that seems more precarious? My wife has real problems with the idea of living off a portfolio. She's wired to view it as 'burning through savings'. Spreadsheets may convince her intellectually, but emotionally it's hard for her.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:28 PM   #59
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My MIL had to go out and get a job after the FIL retired just so they didn't have so much time together. She's still doing a 20-30 hour a week job at 74 and loves what she is doing.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:19 PM   #60
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I think counseling in general is bullshit and have no interest in it.
I tend to agree.

What are your schedules like? Although DH isn't retired yet, one thing that works in our favor is that he is a night owl and I get up earlier. I think everyone needs alone time. I turn in around 10 to do some reading and he is in the living room until about 1 or 2 am.
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