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Old 08-29-2007, 07:05 AM   #21
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After finances, this is one of the concerns that I have heard the most from people when talking about retirement.

The article touched on the other non-financial concern that I have heard in a round about way... the loss of identity (perhaps ego) from work. People appears to state it in indirect ways (use different words).
I really don't understand this. How is being a retired (whatever you did) less of an ego boost than being an active (whatever you did)? I think it gives you more leeway to spin a good story about things that happened during your years working in that occupation.

The article says, "With the absence of affirmation professionals get from their careers and with no boss or business demanding their expertise anymore, retirees are often left searching for self-worth. " This implies a HUGE lack of inner confidence. It is beyond me how anybody could get anywhere in life, with that kind of attitude. It seems to me that you have to believe in yourself, before others will believe in you.
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:39 AM   #22
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No doubt about it living with someone is hard .It requires sacrifice and compromise but living apart in a relationship loses the spontaneity and intimacy that make a relationship worthwhile .If you can't stand to live with someone because they are a little messy ,how are you going to stay with them through the truly awful parts of life ( holding their hand during chemo ,saying they look beautiful when they are bald ,sitting by their bedside for 24 hrs in ICU ,wiping their droll after a stroke ) .That is commitment .The rest is going steady while nice it's not deep.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:34 AM   #23
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Moemg

Moemg,

Your comment is an example of what I get every time I discuss my relationship with anyone. That is why I generally do not even mention him as a part of my life when I meet new people.

Most people have a cookie-cutter idea of what a real "relationship" is. Our 17-year relationship is indeed deep and abiding. He is the ONE for me. I am the ONE for him. We have already been there for each other through thick and thin, and I can assure you that he will be there when I am buried (assuming I go first since I am 10 yrs older). I have been married, been connected at the hip to someone 24/7. I'll take this forever relationship (call it going steady if you want) any day over what I experienced in my prior life. For me it works. Doesn't sound like it would be your cup of tea, and most people would not be interested in it. I understand that.

As Want2 said, this is not for everyone. It is just one way to conduct your life and love relationship when you are over 40 and have been around the block a time or two. It takes all kinds in this world of ours, and for this to work you absolutely must be very mature, self-assured, have a strong self-image, and the couple must have complete trust and respect for each other. And even then there are some kinks to work out.

Relationships by any name are tough to work out. If someone finds a winning formula then I say bully for them!

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Old 08-29-2007, 08:34 AM   #24
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No doubt about it living with someone is hard .It requires sacrifice and compromise but living apart in a relationship loses the spontaneity and intimacy that make a relationship worthwhile .If you can't stand to live with someone because they are a little messy ,how are you going to stay with them through the truly awful parts of life ( holding their hand during chemo ,saying they look beautiful when they are bald ,sitting by their bedside for 24 hrs in ICU ,wiping their droll after a stroke ) .That is commitment .The rest is going steady while nice it's not deep.
I agree that for many people, commitment is tied to marriage and/or where one lives.

Speaking for myself, only, I would have to say that where we both choose to live (and/or the fact that we do not choose to marry) has absolutely nothing to do with that sort of commitment, or the depth of same. Period, end of story. I am not going to relate some of the things that Frank and I have been through together over the past seven years to substantiate that (but trust me, they would meet or exceed your definition of "truly awful parts of life").

It has to do with one, and only one sort of thing - - how we choose to live under normal circumstances.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:53 AM   #25
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[
Your comment is an example of what I get every time I discuss my relationship with anyone. That is why I generally do not even mention him as a part of my life when I meet new people.

Most people have a cookie-cutter idea of what a real "relationship" is. quote]


Believe me I am as liberal as they come about relationships .I have no cookie cutter ideas on them .Whatever floats your boat or works for you I say Good Luck . I have also been married twice ,divorced once ,widowed once and I've seen a lot of people who try to hedge their bets on being hurt or financial destroyed by being in semi-relationships . I don't blame them divorce or being widowed is hard and nobody wants to go through that again but as the song goes " I hope you'll dance " .
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:26 AM   #26
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Also if I offended anybody I'm sorry .It was just my thoughts on the subject .Whatever works is good !
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:34 AM   #27
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I think it's great to live apart...there are no fights about how you spend your money, who picked up after the other, dropped towels on the bathroom floor.....etc.
I hate a messy house, eating food in the bed, dishes in the sink...I have dated a few guys who were not at all neat and the best part was when I could go home to my wonderful smelling house.
It all depends on how the other mate is....if you have a lot of the similar tastes/ways, then co-habitation is a good choice. For myself, it would either have to be a huge house with my side...or separate homes. I cherish my alone time and I keep strange hours waking up in the middle of the night to paint or chase the kittens around the house.....wouldn't go over well
A few of my coupled friends are just so darn sad.....they have to do everything together....I come away from those visits so happy that I am single. There is more to life than being up someone's butt all the time--pardon my french!

BTW....I like the mile apart idea.....if it was next door, I would be tempted to go over and help!
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:44 AM   #28
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Moemg,

No problem . . . I was not offended in the least. I never am offended by anyone else's opinions or choices. As I said it takes all kinds, and I know I am in the minority. I was just using your comments as an "example" of why I usually don't bring it up. It is such an unusual living arrangement that few people can identify with it and really have no frame of reference for appreciating why it works for us or that it can be a really deep and caring forever commitment. I understand completely how odd it sounds to people.

In all honestly, with all my cards on the table, there is a part of me that wishes I could have a "real" marriage, but I am just not cut out for it. I truly and deeply appreciate all those on this forum who do have good marriages that have weathered the storms.

Everything is cool.
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:27 AM   #29
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DH has a relative that has lived with his girlfriend on and off for 30 years. He had a bad divorce close to 50 years ago and was never going to marry again.

While she was on a trip, he had a stroke. Medical decisions could not be made by her as their was no Power of Attorney or health care directive. We flew her back from her trip and all his relatives let her take charge. Thank goodness everyone was on the same page. He recovered. I sat down with them and got wills done, powers of attorney, and health care directives. Now all should be fine.
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:37 AM   #30
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Martha,

Great points. We have all of those documents and our wills finalized and copies in all of the appropriate places. We realized early on that it was critical to have this business tied up as much as possible. There are still situations that could be made more difficult because we are not spouses, but the tradeoff is worth it for us at the moment.

I guess we could always decide to get married just to legalize our union while still not living together. Would that tie up the loose ends?

Also, one more thing, I am pretty sure that we will eventually end up under one roof when one of us can no longer live independently. We just hope to put that off as long as possible. Both of his parents died from Alzheimer's and my father passed away end of March from the same horrible disease.

We will continue to evaluate our personal situation along the way. Lots of things can change, but for now the quality of life for us is greatly enhanced by this arrangement.
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:32 PM   #31
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Personally I think we are on to something here. If more "mature" couples would try it, they might find that life is simpler.
Hey, it's not just for "mature" couples either, though I'm not sure I qualify as a young'un anymore. My SO and I are in our 30's and have lived apart in unmarried commitment for about 6 years now. I've mentioned our arrangement here before - we're not ruling out marriage at some point, but for the indefinite future, living apart allows us to have the lives we want. I get to have a cat (he's allergic), a 10 minute commute (he doesn't mind driving an hour). We've been through enough of life's downs together that we know we're there for each other no matter what.

I'm happy to see more couples like this come out of the woodwork, maybe someday I won't get funny looks anymore when I describe our relationship...
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:49 PM   #32
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The article touched on the other non-financial concern that I have heard in a round about way... the loss of identity (perhaps ego) from work. People appears to state it in indirect ways (use different words).
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I really don't understand this. How is being a retired (whatever you did) less of an ego boost than being an active (whatever you did)? I think it gives you more leeway to spin a good story about things that happened during your years working in that occupation.
The article says, "With the absence of affirmation professionals get from their careers and with no boss or business demanding their expertise anymore, retirees are often left searching for self-worth. " This implies a HUGE lack of inner confidence. It is beyond me how anybody could get anywhere in life, with that kind of attitude. It seems to me that you have to believe in yourself, before others will believe in you.
No kidding. I've never understood one's occupation being their identity. I always felt that I was bringing my identity to an occupation-- finally, I found an occupation that could accomodate my opinion of my abilities & skills.

Those skills that made me a steely-eyed killer of the deep and a recovering nuclear engineer are eminently transferable to other profitable occupations. But I prefer the ER avocation.

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I'm happy to see more couples like this come out of the woodwork, maybe someday I won't get funny looks anymore when I describe our relationship...
Maybe it's not the cohabitation. That cultural icon of respectability, Gene Simmons, has been happily unmarried to Shannon Tweed for two kids and over two decades. Those funny looks might be coming from people wondering if you're going to breathe fire too...
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:53 PM   #33
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I'm about to introduce this concept here. DW, bless her little blonde head, thinks having me at home means I have nothing better to do. Not that I don't love talking to her, but the constant updating on everything all day long tends to wear off the novelty of togetherness.
DW and I both have our alone time and space. She watches TV and I play on the computer. And we have our time together.
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:43 PM   #34
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Maybe it's not the cohabitation. That cultural icon of respectability, Gene Simmons, has been happily unmarried to Shannon Tweed for two kids and over two decades. Those funny looks might be coming from people wondering if you're going to breathe fire too...
I'd happily be breathing FI/RE, but I suspect your firebreathing reference zoomed over my head. Maybe I should change my name to dragonlady?
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:01 PM   #35
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I'd happily be breathing FI/RE, but I suspect your firebreathing reference zoomed over my head.
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File Type: jpg Gene Simmons version of FIRE.jpg (20.2 KB, 2 views)
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:50 PM   #36
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I notice that the strongest proponents for living separately in this thread are women. I’d bet money that a national poll would confirm this in the general population. A strong woman tends to do just fine without a man in the house. The traditional rolls in a household put more of a burden on the woman than the man, centering the household. I’ll bet most men, from experience or genetically, who knows, accept the supporting roll at home. Then men retire. What was a part time effort for the woman now becomes a much bigger problem, taking more time and energy than ever before simply because he’s around. You’ve heard the old saw where one woman is bemoaning to another, “My husband retired. Now I have twice the husband and half the income.” We men always chuckle at that, but thinking about it, I never remember a woman finding too much humor in it.

I worked in a factory years ago that had a seventy-something year old woman working in production. She often look so tired to me, so I asked her one day why she didn’t retire and take her pension. It turned out her husband was so demanding of her that she was escaping to a job. The poor woman never got any relief in her life.

I learned the hard way that trying to dominate a strong woman only leads to pain and heartache, mostly mine. My wife and I will both retire next year. Wish me luck.
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:02 AM   #37
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I can certainly identify with the lifestyle Want2 and TexasGal have described. I see (and know) too many couples (retired and/or empty nesters) who are basically unhappy due to the tension going on between them. Too often couples stay together in the same dwelling because of finances or because it is the 'expected' thing to do in society. IMO, it is particularly hard on the female for all the reasons already stated. I have seen too many instances where one or the other of the couple (usually the female) have to create a new life outside the home to get away all day.

All the power to the both of you!
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:13 AM   #38
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The reason that I think I would like living apart is that I established my home with one man, my husband. He was the only person that I would ever want to be married to....and now he's gone. It's just the thought of only being married to your soulmate thing. Anyway, that is how I feel right now. Who knows what I will think in another few years.

Also, now that I'm a widow, I think back on how much work I've done over the years. I loved my husband dearly, but yes...there was a lot of work involved...physically & emotionally.

My mother was also a widow - my father died when I was two. My mother remarried when I was ten. To put it mildly I was kinda a brat to my step father. It's just the family dynamics thing that gets involved.

So, for me, the idea of living apart sounds good. I could have companionship, travel mate, etc., without the legal/family hassles.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:28 AM   #39
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I can certainly see the positive points to it .Believe me there are days when I would like to drown my SO in his cornflakes but there are most other days when I'm glad he's around .We are all getting older so at some point we may be living with that person for health reasons and if that idea doesn't scare you you've hit the jackpot in relationships.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:11 AM   #40
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My SO and I plan to live together when one of us can no longer live separately due to health concerns. Living apart helps 2 extremely independent & very opinionated people have the space they need in order to be able to conduct a loving and committed relationship at the ages of 50 and 60. I have no doubt that we would have married at age 25 if we had met then, and I am confident that we would have ended up in the dumper. Neither of us was cut out to share space with anyone 24/7. It took me several marriages to figure that out. He knew it when he was 20. We both enjoy solitude. We both enjoy setting our own agenda. We both enjoy our separate pursuits and then love to come together to discuss them.

I think we have the best of all worlds with our situation, but as I have said time and again, it is not for everyone. Most people can't do it because of distrust or insecurity as well as being unable to live in unconventional arrangements, and certainly children play a role in this decision along with age. I can't imagine this being an acceptable arrangement if you have children you are raising. It would only work if your kids are long gone IMO. If you care what people think, you might not be able to do this type of thing. No one ever understands it and most people don't really think you can possibly truly love each other if you are not willing to live together. Obviously I disagree.

Relationships are so very challenging under any circumstances. If one is not fortunate enough to have found a lifemate early, it is my opinion that the older you are the more difficult it is to make a new life with someone. People do it, but I admit that I don't have what it takes to share space with another person no matter how much I love them.

Necessity (chronic & serious illness) will change my perspective. I will deal with living arrangements at that time, but until then we couldn't be happier. I honor his individuality and eccentricity and he honors mine. We have a really good thing going and our lives are enriched by being willing to forego the conventional and embracing what works for us. I am not even suggesting that anyone else try it. It is just what works for us.

Kudos to all who attempt coupleship in whatever form, especially later in life. It is a worthwhile objective to share life with someone special regardless of the details of how, when, where, and for how long.
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