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Old 03-05-2014, 11:28 AM   #141
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As a general question (not just for the OP) how much of post-retirement arguing is due to the size of the shared living space?

While I am not yet retired DW and I don't see arguing as an issue, since we have both shared and individual interests both inside and outside of the house, and we balance our shared and individual time.

We have three finished levels on an acre of land, and there are days when, unless we make an effort to see each other, we might not know the other is home. No kids at home at the moment, so nothing gets real messy. We agree on "his" "hers" and "ours" zones inside and outside the house, with the simple rule to keep the "ours" zones neat and clean but let whatever want happen in our zones. Even in our shared ares we can be working on different activities and may not talk to each other for hours, but are just happy for the others' presence.

We don't see each other having increasing conflicts, but then we have a big enough house where we are not "forced" into each others presence all the time. While we do consider downsizing, I'm wondering if that may lead to more arguments because we won't have as much living space.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:34 AM   #142
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And, in other news, it appears that being angry is really bad for you:

Seeing red? Angry outbursts increase your risk of heart attack: study - National | Globalnews.ca
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:32 PM   #143
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That common male to female communication issue is actually covered in the Gottman materials. Women are more likely to want a sympathetic ear when men tend to be more problem solvers.
But woe be to us ladies who are the problem solvers, when faced with venting men (or women)! Nothing more puzzling!
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:48 PM   #144
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But woe be to us ladies who are the problem solvers, when faced with venting men (or women)! Nothing more puzzling!
Yeah, they make the point it isn't an absolute trait of either sex, but statistically women tend to want to be listened to while men jump into giving advice, sometimes which starts out as "let me tell you what you are doing wrong currently...."

This never ends well.

This boyfriend in The Onion article below wisely and uncomfortably seems to have risen above his innate desire to give unsolicited advice and just become a sympathetic listener:

Boyfriend Forced To Express Secondhand Outrage | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:56 PM   #145
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As a general question (not just for the OP) how much of post-retirement arguing is due to the size of the shared living space?

While I am not yet retired DW and I don't see arguing as an issue, since we have both shared and individual interests both inside and outside of the house, and we balance our shared and individual time.

We have three finished levels on an acre of land, and there are days when, unless we make an effort to see each other, we might not know the other is home. No kids at home at the moment, so nothing gets real messy. We agree on "his" "hers" and "ours" zones inside and outside the house, with the simple rule to keep the "ours" zones neat and clean but let whatever want happen in our zones. Even in our shared ares we can be working on different activities and may not talk to each other for hours, but are just happy for the others' presence.

We don't see each other having increasing conflicts, but then we have a big enough house where we are not "forced" into each others presence all the time. While we do consider downsizing, I'm wondering if that may lead to more arguments because we won't have as much living space.
Bingo! My "spot" is usually upstairs and he's downstairs in the den. (Of course, he isn't retired yet so we'll see when the yelling starts in a couple of years. ) We have always been pretty good at "co-existing" because we know when to leave each other alone.

In Brewer's case, he has a young family so there are more issues involved than for those of us whose children are grown and gone. I can remember feeling a lot of resentment if I felt the "workload" was unbalanced when our children were younger.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:10 PM   #146
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Women are more likely to want a sympathetic ear when men tend to be more problem solvers.
It took a couple of years for that to sink in for me with DW. She had to spell it out in short sentences using one syllable words but I finally got the message.

While I know what to do, I still don't understand the why. If it doesn't fix the problem what good does it do? Yes, I understand that it makes her feel better, but it still doesn't fix the underlying problem.

That is a very difficult thing for a guy to understand.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:27 PM   #147
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And, in other news, it appears that being angry is really bad for you:

Seeing red? Angry outbursts increase your risk of heart attack: study - National | Globalnews.ca
Which tells me retirement was a very healthful thing for me! Last few years I was pissed a lot of the time. Used to sheepishly come out of office and apologize to some of the ladies who I knew had heard me spouting off complete with F bombs. I think they appreciated it but thought it was all quite humorous; I got along well with folks in immediate proximity thankfully. If not they could have taped one of my tirades, taken it to HR, and had me gone! I do miss some of the people...sniff....BUT NOT ALL!
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:33 PM   #148
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Mars Venus thing explained for those with a sense of humor..

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Old 03-05-2014, 03:38 PM   #149
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I anticipate this happening when we retire in the next year or two. It happened a little when both children left home. We both like to be alone for periods of time and if we are both home in each other's business, I can see this happening. But I think we would both agree that it would still be better than working.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:21 PM   #150
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It took a couple of years for that to sink in for me with DW. She had to spell it out in short sentences using one syllable words but I finally got the message.

While I know what to do, I still don't understand the why. If it doesn't fix the problem what good does it do? Yes, I understand that it makes her feel better, but it still doesn't fix the underlying problem.

That is a very difficult thing for a guy to understand.
Sorry, that just tickled my funny bone. I must have spent several thousand dollars trying to figure this stuff out. Don't think it ever happened. Every few years I needed to take a "refresher". Most times were pretty good. We pretty much stopped fighting when the kids were about 7 & 8. Sure do miss that lady. She has been gone going on 5 years.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:32 PM   #151
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Brewer, I was curious how your ER was going. This sucks man! Sorry to hear there are adjustment issues in your household.

Can you take up drinking? Or other things that are legal in CO and tend to make one more mellow? 25% serious and 75% kidding, since you don't want to acquire a dependency.

If this is something that is adversely impacting your quality of life, I'd say figure it out.

My wife is still working, so we haven't had any adjustment issues so far. I do worry once she goes ER full time what it's going to be like. I always rib her about her comment she made one rainy day. "I'm bored, entertain me". As if that's my sole responsibility! My concern is that my "me time" might get cut pretty short if I'm in charge of her entertainment.

She still gets stressed from work occasionally, but at least I have time and mental energy to listen.

As for arguing, focus on what you are trying to achieve. That sounds stupid, but sometimes it's best to step back from the conversation and have a meta-conversation about what you're discussing or how you will discuss it. That does 2 things: identifies your communication isn't working, and provides a better method of working things out.

For example, when I think my wife's idea is dumb, sometimes I'll get pissy and instead of devoting mental energy to asking questions like "what's your motivation here?" or "what do you mean by that?" or "can you explain that?" I just get grouchy and fire off a zinger. That latter method of handling my side of the discussion usually sucks (in hindsight).
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:08 PM   #152
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I just spent a week on vacation with two other retired couples. Noticed a lot of the fighting, usually the wife yelling at the hubs, was due to actual hearing problems, not intentional hearing problems. Just a lot of frustration having to repeat over and over
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:09 PM   #153
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Why does it have to be one or the other? I see no reason why a man or woman can't be an empathetic problem solver.

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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
Yeah, they make the point it isn't an absolute trait of either sex, but statistically women tend to want to be listened to while men jump into giving advice, sometimes which starts out as "let me tell you what you are doing wrong currently...."
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:29 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
Yeah, they make the point it isn't an absolute trait of either sex, but statistically women tend to want to be listened to while men jump into giving advice, sometimes which starts out as "let me tell you what you are doing wrong currently...."

This never ends well.

This boyfriend in The Onion article below wisely and uncomfortably seems to have risen above his innate desire to give unsolicited advice and just become a sympathetic listener:

Boyfriend Forced To Express Secondhand Outrage | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
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Why does it have to be one or the other? I see no reason why a man or woman can't be an empathetic problem solver.
I agree, Amethyst. Meeting in the middle on the empathy / problem solver scale is something that members of either sex can aspire to.

According to my sources at the Onion, there is evidence that men and women value both traits without realizing it:

Friend Attempting To Provide Comfort Has No Clue What The **** She’s Talking About | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Individuals Unaware They Constitute Area Man’s Support Network | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:07 PM   #155
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But woe be to us ladies who are the problem solvers, when faced with venting men (or women)! Nothing more puzzling!
+1. There are some of us out here.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:22 PM   #156
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+1. There are some of us out here.
I wonder if it's us ladies on the FIRE forum?
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:36 PM   #157
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Why does it have to be one or the other? I see no reason why a man or woman can't be an empathetic problem solver.
I am not the one saying it has to be one way or the other or that people can't change.

I'm just relaying what was in the Gottman findings from their research on marriage. The Gottman research on marriage shows men and women each tend to have certain behavior patterns more common to one sex than the other.

The whole point of the Gottman training is to change your pattern of behaviors to ones that are more common in stellar marriages than in ones heading for divorce, including learning to be an empathetic listener when a spouse just needs to vent.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:14 PM   #158
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I wonder if it's us ladies on the FIRE forum?
To which I say -- Right On! and have at it. I don't care who fixes the problem, so long as it gets fixed.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:52 PM   #159
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Why does it have to be one or the other? I see no reason why a man or woman can't be an empathetic problem solver.
Come on. He's just trying to express the way he sees it, and there you go trying to invalidate his point of view and forcing your perspective on him. (At least this is how the conversation goes at my house when I've stepped in the "fix-it" goo again).
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:17 PM   #160
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