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More arguing after ER?
Old 03-02-2014, 10:50 PM   #1
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More arguing after ER?

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?
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:58 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear it. Sometimes there is a lot of adjustment to do.

We probably argue less, but then we are not married, do not live together, and both of us are completely retired. So maybe some of that is helping in our case.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:13 PM   #3
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Well, the more time you have together, the more time you have to argue together. Unfortunately, I've seen this movie before.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:20 PM   #4
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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'm retired on a part time basis as of 1/1/14 (some contract work this year). When I am home during the week, I can't seem to get out of the wife's way. This is new to both of us. All the years we have been married, we both worked, but she retired about 5 years ago and seems to be content with being a stay at home wife. We have had a few "run in's" since I shut off full time work and I can feel tension at other times. I guess I need to get out of the house on days I am retired. I think we need to get used to each other again. Weather has been a bit of a problem as I am pretty active outdoors, but not this winter.

My retired friends had similar experiences and just found things to do out of the house. It seems like they have established new routines and they fit well with their wives' activities.

Give it some time, and maybe look for a way to start a different routine where you are not interfacing with DW as much at this time.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:21 PM   #5
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Frankly I am starting to wonder if I should go get some stupid little job just to have an excuse to be elsewhere. Depressing.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:29 PM   #6
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Join a gym and hang out there, maybe? Some guys spend lots of time at my gym, mostly talking to each other. I think they could be doing that to get out of the house.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:34 PM   #7
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Join a gym and hang out there, maybe? Some guys spend lots of time at my gym, mostly talking to each other. I think they could be doing that to give their wives a break.
I'd be given sh!t for that for sure. Hunting season just ended and I would be gone at least a day a week pursuing whatever was in season and edible. Did not reduce incidence of excrement storms, so far as I could tell. Small children in the mix. Perhaps if I manufactured a need for a job things might be different. Maybe I am not destined to get a break from work.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:44 PM   #8
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Look for common threads in the arguments. I can think of a bunch of random possibilities:

- She's got a certain rhythm to her days and you are interrupting it.
- You need an outlet for certain aspects of your personality (assertiveness, problem solving) that you used to express through work and now you're directing them at her, because you are not using them elsewhere. My DH does this occasionally. I remind him that he's not at work and he needs to turn his work-personality off.
- You have energy to notice things you didn't have time to notice before, and want to change the status quo.
- She (or you) need a certain amount of personal space or alone time and it has gone away.
- She might perceive you as being needy, if she's used to you being away at work and occupied.

One thing you might try: Find something to do out of the house for a few hours a day, to give you both a little space. Gym? Hobby?
One thing you might say: "Hon... We seem to be bickering a bit more since I've been home. What do you think is up?"

I have to imagine that most couples would have an adjustment period after ER and that it's a normal thing you're experiencing. Even when you love someone to death you're probably not used to being all up in each other's faces all day.

As lovely as the face might be.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:48 PM   #9
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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. Every argument tends toward a counseling session, which pisses me off royally.

I don't think finding something outside the house that is a hobby will work. If its not a necessity, my time must apparently be accounted for.

I have a safe full of firearms. Who would know if a hunting accident wasn't?
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:49 PM   #10
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I'd be given sh!t for that for sure. Hunting season just ended and I would be gone at least a day a week pursuing whatever was in season and edible. Did not reduce incidence of excrement storms, so far as I could tell. Small children in the mix. Perhaps if I manufactured a need for a job things might be different. Maybe I am not destined to get a break from work.
Did she expect that you'd amp up the childrearing and home-making time after ER? if so there might be some resentment arising from differing expectations.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:57 PM   #11
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Did she expect that you'd amp up the childrearing and home-making time after ER? if so there might be some resentment arising from differing expectations.
Its been done. She has not cooked a meal since I bailed on the job. I am as active with the kids as I am allowed to be.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:05 AM   #12
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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. Every argument tends toward a counseling session, which pisses me off royally. I don't think finding something outside the house that is a hobby will work. If its not a necessity, my time must apparently be accounted for. I have a safe full of firearms. Who would know if a hunting accident wasn't?
Ouch. Definitely a difference in expectations then.

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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Old 03-03-2014, 12:16 AM   #13
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You could level the playing field by going to a third party counselor to mediate your differences.
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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Old 03-03-2014, 01:15 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:33 AM   #15
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Sorry to hear what has come up. Keep checking in here, it is good to have people to talk to. You could look for a counselor for yourself. And if you go jointly, like a mediator, a joint counselor has to be acceptable to BOTH parties.
DW & I have a close even symbiotic relationship but she retired 2 years before me and got used to her own rhythm and seeing me off to work. Shortly after retiring we went on a 7 week driving trip to Canada & Alaska, spent much time together (220 hours just driving) and we liked it. Yet it still was an adjustment when I was home full time.
I do know one fellow who retired from where I worked (NASA) went to work for the state for 5 years to get their retirement and then came back as a contractor, he had plenty of financial resources; he simply could not be at home with his wife. Sad to see. But he wasn't happy at home when he was working. It seems to me that if you two were happy when you were working then there should be a way to be happy when retired after some adjustment. Power does shift around in relationships. Maybe try a trip together, away from home, sharing a challenge together and see how that goes. If you have a job you like then working is not a terrible thing.
Again, keep checking in and talk to friends as well.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:05 AM   #16
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How about she leave 1/2 the day and you leave 1/2 the day? Or one day you leave, next day she leaves? Or what room you share the most? Perhaps have designated times to enter that room.

Disclaimer: Not a trained psychologist. Probably a bad arm chair one too.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:53 AM   #17
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Brewer, you're not the only one to face this. There may be some fear about the the future or some repressed thoughts about the changes you are making. These things need time. I think getting out of the house on a regular basis is a very good idea.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:53 AM   #18
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Sorry to hear about your problems.
Just some thoughts:
Do not give up too early. Habits are difficult to change, but can be canged - by both persons involved.
Is there a pattern in the arguments of DW?
How did you both work on problems in the past?
Try out counselling. You both are in the middle of a life change. It takes time to adapt.
Again: do not give up too early.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:04 AM   #19
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Things were a little rocky between the wife and I in the first few months of ER, but nothing too serious and all is now good. The main issue was that she had her daily routine and did not think she should change it to accommodate my increased presence in the house. What finally convinced her to compromise was getting her to appreciate the major change I was going through by ERing and that what I was asking for was relatively minor in comparison.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:26 AM   #20
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Been retired eight years and have had a similar problem on and off. Best advice is to find something you like to do that doesn't involve her, basically you need to give each other space. My DW is a devout SDAist and I am pretty much agnostic, when she steers conversation towards religion I simply tell her, I'm not interested in that line of conversation and walk away if she persists. In addition DW is also a bit of a drama queen where there is a crisis around every corner. I on the other hand tended not to get too excited about anything other than a great golf shot. Going on 35 years of matrimonial bliss so, something is working for us.
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