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Old 04-26-2011, 03:50 PM   #1
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Need help, please!

Husband and I are both 59. He is a compulsive gambler who over our marriage has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Has been in recovery for past 3 years. Despite his losses, he worked a good job, made very good money, and amassed an adequate retirement account. I took over control of all money/bank accounts 3 years ago so he no longer has access to money to gamble (at that time I was ready to divorce and we compromised with the understanding that he could have no control/access to money and could no longer gamble if he wanted to stay married to me. If he wanted to gamble, fine, he could do as he wished but we would be divorced and all assets would be split 50/50.) He chose to stay married.

Over the past few years he continued to say he wanted to retire "soon" but the "soon" was never really defined and no goal set. Also, no real reason to retire - they paid him well, treated him well . . . all pressure on him was FROM him. His territory moved from East to Midwest but he refused to move, insisted on commuting instead (adding to his stress I am sure - I would have moved without problem, but he never discussed it as a possibility and when I asked if we shouldn't move to the midwest he said he didn't want to).

Without discussion or warning, he calls me in early February and tells me he is retiring in 10 days, it is a done deal. I was at work and he was out of town, so I asked as many? as I could but all I could get was that he was going to retire and work out a package (his company does not do packages). Over the next 10 - 15 days I kept questioning him and got vague incomprehensible answers.

Well, finally it comes out that he was miffed about something that happened over the holidays with support staff, felt his boss didn't back him up, got in a snit, refused to attend a meeting and essentially they fired him since he would not attend the mandatory meeting. He insisted he wanted a "package" and they said they don't give packages. They were very willing to work with him and didn't want him to retire or leave. They were willing to work out lots of different paths for him, but he dug in his heels, said if they wouldn't offer him a package they could fire him, and they did just that. Idiot.

As he is telling me this, he is stressing how wonderful retirement will be for him, he retired, wanted to retire for a long time, etc. Oops, he just found out that health care will cost us over $500.00 a month for the next six years until he is old enough to collect medicare and cost may go up. I was furious with him - didn't care if he retired but to do so in this fashion was self destructive and dishonest with me. Our son is still in college and we still have college expenses for the next year. Certainly retiring in a years' time would have been reasonable.

Now, almost 2 months later, he sits at his home office in the basement doing who knows what. He sleeps and naps and rests a lot. He spent all day yesterday installing a new kitchen faucet.

He continues to drink in a binge fashion, takes antidepressants, has gout, doesn't listen to any advice from his doctor or me.

I continue to work part time and right now he is collecting unemployment.

I realize this isn't a typical retirement quandry but I want to separate out what may be typical adjustment issues with retirement from his lifelong history of bad behavior. I am very near the end of my rope and ready to end the marriage.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:11 PM   #2
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My first reaction is that you need heavy duty counseling together or separately before you decide what to do.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:42 PM   #4
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Wow, what a venom-filled rant.

Good luck.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:54 PM   #5
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Wow, what a venom-filled rant.

Good luck.
Perhaps justified though
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:01 PM   #6
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Perhaps justified though
We only have one side of the story, but I hear resentful undertones of a control freak who can't stand the thought that hubby isn't busting a nut all day. But who really knows?
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:08 PM   #7
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I too suggest counseling. Best of luck.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:09 PM   #8
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Wow. Any takers?
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:12 PM   #9
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We only have one side of the story, but I hear resentful undertones of a control freak who can't stand the thought that hubby isn't busting a nut all day. But who really knows?
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:20 PM   #10
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Wow! This is WAY beyond our pay-grade.

Rather than take suggestions/advice about marital issues (and yes, these seem to significantly surpass "typical adjustment issues") from anonymous people on a site dedicated to early retirement, I would strongly agree with BWE and that you head immediately to counseling.

Life is too short to be that unhappy.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:22 PM   #11
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We may have only one side, but the other side may not be much difference. I take her at her word that he is a recovering gambler, and lost several hundred thousand bucks. That he is in recovery. That he might not like being in recovery therefore over reacted at work, and most likely got fired. Still her questions seems to be 'What is typical for a new retiree'.

I can't speak for others but nothing in the described situation relates to my typical retirement, except, that I do take a nap every now and then, and pretty much do what ever it is I want to do all day long.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:25 PM   #12
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My first reaction is that you need heavy duty counseling together or separately before you decide what to do.
My guess is that this whole situation has very little to do with retirement and much to do with unresolved issues from the past.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:26 PM   #13
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Yikes, OP registered today, made first post today. Almost like wanting to get her version of the "story" to this site.

I hope that she does seek counseling and also that Mr. gets the same message, for HIS sake.

These type of stories, always seem to be wanting validation that their version and any actions were/will be justified.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:30 PM   #14
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The only part I can relate to is taking all day to install a new kitchen faucet !
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:35 PM   #15
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We only have one side of the story, but I hear resentful undertones of a control freak who can't stand the thought that hubby isn't busting a nut all day. But who really knows?
So, how is you marriage counseling business going?
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:40 PM   #16
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So, how is you marriage counseling business going?
Just as well as your market-timing newsletter business.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:47 PM   #17
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tullynut,

Welcome to this board.

Sorry to hear of this as your introduction to retirement.

You seemed interested in hearing about things that could be identified as retirement-related.

Everyone seems to have their own version of adjusting to retirement, but I suspect that there are huge differences between people who are looking forward to and planning an early retirement vs. someone who gets angry and forces a company to basically fire them.

I was planning and looking forward to an early retirement. Even then, there were adjustments. I felt the loss of things that I had gotten from work -- social connections, structure, a steady paycheck, mental stimulation, etc. I have since learned to create other means of getting those things.

I'm a a female. From what I've read, it's my understanding that males often have their self-identity tied in closely with their jobs, so a sudden loss thereof might throw them into a depressive state.

You seemed concerned that your husband had taken all day to work an a faucet. I have noticed, that without a deadline, any task of mine can take a lot longer than it would have back when I was working and pressed for time. I've heard many others on this board mention having similar experiences.

I wish you luck in handling this difficult situation.

omni
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:05 PM   #18
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Thanks for the replies, positive and negative ones. I am sure that I am still harboring a lot of resentment and anger. We have both, singly and together, attended counseling and both of us attend gambling addiction 12 step programs.

I have not had a lot of time to process this latest change in our marriage and it is yet another major surprise change to process so I am sure my discontent comes through loud and clear.

In looking, reading and researching about early retirement, I continued to find references to the fact that depressed men often take early retirement. I do not expect my husband to work forever, however, the debts incurred by his gambling were very, very significant and a few years more work would have made a difference. That said, I was supportive of his decision to retire earlier - my concern is that it was a totally impulsive decision that occurred without any discussion or plan and burned all of his bridges with a very good and supportive employer.

Other articles talked about depression developing after retirement when the individual discovered that it wasn't all fun/games, that changes in structure and routine took a greater toll than expected?

TIA
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:20 PM   #19
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Just as well as your market-timing newsletter business.
Congrats, glad to see you are doing so well. You are practicing in NJ so your style probably works.

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Old 04-26-2011, 06:42 PM   #20
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tullynut;

What you are describing here is someone at risk for suicide, not just maladaption to early retirement. Here is a site with many resources Suicide Prevention: Spotting the Signs and Helping a Suicidal Person.

DD

Quote:
Now, almost 2 months later, he sits at his home office in the basement doing who knows what. He sleeps and naps and rests a lot. He spent all day yesterday installing a new kitchen faucet.

He continues to drink in a binge fashion, takes antidepressants, has gout, doesn't listen to any advice from his doctor or me.
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