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Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 08:37 AM   #1
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Domestic Adjustments after ER

I'm bailing out in January at age 58. DW is 9 yrs younger & needs to work a while longer to build up her own retirement accounts & pension. Actually she mostly enjoys her work & wants to keep at it for a few years.

We have discussed the impending changes in our arrangements & how it might impact our relationship, in terms of roles, expectations, etc. Note that we generally give each other a LOT of slack & get along great.

There are, naturally, things I am looking forward to doing - travel being the most obvious example- that she won't be able to join in on. We've talked about how I might go alone to places she wouldn't be especially interested in anyway. And I've talked about how, while I naturally would take up more of the household responsibilities, I am also looking forward to having a lot of unfettered time & don't want to have a bunch of honeydo's laid out for me.

Question: How have others made & weathered these adjustments, especially if your SO hasn't retired yet ? Have you experienced friction, resentment, or other problems?
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 10:26 AM   #2
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobot
Question: How have others made & weathered these adjustments, especially if your SO hasn't retired yet ? Have you experienced friction, resentment, or other problems?
Most of the people here have outstanding marriages able to weather all sorts of changes that might cause lesser mortals to crash and burn.

OTOH, at times I consider myself among those in the burn ward, patiently awaiting my skin grafts

Ha
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

Ha
Quote:
Most of the people here have outstanding marriages able to weather all sorts of changes that might cause lesser mortals to crash and burn.

OTOH, at times I consider myself among those in the burn ward, patiently awaiting my skin grafts
You are being very honest here, Ha! It is my observation that many people who have strong marriages still visit the burn ward on occasion...* I do have the opinion that marriage is not for the faint of heart!*

oh, and a sense of humor helps!

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My wife is so glad I'm no longer working, as I have completed finishing the basement, all the projects are done, built her a new garden bench and run her errands for her. If I go on a fishing trip without her for a week, it is very obvious the services that I am performing on a daily basis.
You are an amazingly smart man, Cut Throat! I have new found respect for you!*

You are absolutely correct in saying that when you are gone, what you do that might be taken for granted is prominently missed!

Been gone, been missed!!* *8)

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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobot
Question: How have others made & weathered these adjustments, especially if your SO hasn't retired yet ? Have you experienced friction, resentment, or other problems?
It's worked fine for us. It works better if you've had a marriage where the duties & chores are shared, and where neither spouse depends solely on the other for their support & entertainment.

Here's other threads on the subject:
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...89656#msg89656
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...52331#msg52331
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...24699#msg24699
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...sg5020#msg5020
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 11:54 AM   #5
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat

My wife is so glad I'm no longer working,....
Wise councel, CT. In my case, I've been coming home so wasted from work lately that she has said on more than one occaision "Why don't you just leave NOW? What difference does a few months make?" Gotta love her..
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 11:55 AM   #6
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobot
Question: How have others made & weathered these adjustments, especially if your SO hasn't retired yet ? Have you experienced friction, resentment, or other problems?
I have been retired 20 months, DW plans to work another two years and then see about RE or part-time. I always cooked, but now I clean as well. I do all the PITA chores that we used to both have to do on the weekends. And - TA DA - I drive her to and from work, a huge plus from her perspective. I can only do that because the car commute is pretty easy (DC - Capitol Hill to downtown) but she doesn't want to drive and Metro - while convenient - is nowhere near as nice as a chauffer.

My few separate trips have not been a big deal.
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 12:02 PM   #7
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

Forgot to mention -- I am an early riser so I generally get up before her. I think she would get irritated if I slept in while she got up for work.
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 12:30 PM   #8
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
Forgot to mention -- I am an early riser so I generally get up before her.* I think she would get irritated if I slept in while she got up for work.
Hmmm... after reading about the alternatives, burns don't sound nearly so bad.

Ha
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 12:33 PM   #9
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
Forgot to mention -- I am an early riser so I generally get up before her. I think she would get irritated if I slept in while she got up for work.
When I take a day off I HAVE to stay in bed drinking coffee & reading & maybe watching the news while she enjoys her alone time before going to work.
Sigh, the sacrifices we make....
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 12:43 PM   #10
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

My Granddad retired in 1971 when he turned 55, and Grandmom didn't retire until 1980, when she was 56. I remember Granddad did all the cooking, and also did a lot of stuff around the house such as cleaning, repairs, etc. Grandmom only worked about 2 miles away, and often came home for lunch. And Granddad often watched me when I was a little kid, too. So I don't think Grandmom felt too slighted that he retired 9 years before she did!

And I do remember that she took a lot of time off work and they took a lot of camping trips.
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 01:28 PM   #11
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

Somewhat related...

Some statements that my wife has shared with me that she has heard from some of her friends whose husbands have recently retired ...

1. Your husband will constantly be in your way and you'll wish he was back at work.

2. Your husband will be totally board within weeks and wish he was back at work.

I just don't get it!
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 01:47 PM   #12
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

Despite all the advance planning, it's going to be a period of adjusting. There will probably be feelings and situations you never expected.

My SO took a short (6 week) leave of absence this summer. It was amazing even during that period how dynamics changed. He started doing shopping and preparing meals and I got very used to that very quickly. Things got done around the house, which was great.

But he (the master of never taking time off) suddenly couldn't understand why I couldn't take time off to do fun stuff, since HE was free... And I really resented having to get up early by myself.... all sorts of little things that you never think about.

It was a good trial run.
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 02:51 PM   #13
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

I retired about 3 years before my wife.* She remained working for a pension and a few other benefits which would have been crazy to throw away.* The stress on her those 3 years was the worst of all her years working.* I don't believe 1 day passed where she didn't say " I wish I was retired " . . . and lots of days she said it numerious times.* I made sure I was productive during those 3 years with things that benefited us both.* *Organizing our finances, remodeling, and increasing my participation in cleaning, cooking, and domestic duties.* *If I hadn't stepped up my involvement in making her home life easier to deal with, I'm not sure it would have gone as well as it did.* Looking back now, it probably helped us to have retired at different times.* The adjustment for both of us was really easier with the staggered retirement.*
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 05:53 PM   #14
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

I am reminded of a story told to me by a coworker years ago.:

She married a man 15 years older when she was in her 30s. They didn't have any children. They were both working when they met and both continued to do so.

He retired in his late 50s and they agreed she would keep working until she could get a pension.

The first day she got home from work after his retirement, he was sitting in the recliner, looked up from the newspaper and said: "What's for dinner?"

It went downhill from there.

She filed for divorce a week later.
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 06:21 PM   #15
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

I agree with others that your goal should be to make her feel that your retirement was the best thing that ever happened to her.* Keep your home and household affairs in such great shape that all it takes for her to travel with you is to pack her bags.* Try to arrange as much mutual travel during her vacations as possible.

Trips to take when she is working are those trips you would have taken in the past without her, or ones she would just as soon pass on: visit relatives, hunting and fishing trips come to mind.* This is your opportunity to visit with aging family members without guilt.* These trips were probably not what you had in mind in retirement, but you should wait to take the great trips as a couple.*
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 06:24 PM   #16
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

It is not clear to me why one might consider that he had improved his lot in life by moving from designer of circuits, avenger of torts, or healer of wounds to being some woman's cabin-boy.

I'm sure all these working wives on the board are wonderful in every way, but it isn't bad to walk down the hall at work "Good Morning Mr...., hello Dr. .... You are looking chipper this morning Colonel."

And stopping by the fern bar full of pheromone secreting 20 somethings on the way home for a Jack Daniels on the rocks has to rank up there at least close with getting your apron on and making biscuits so wifey won't show displeasure.

Quick, be sure the range hood is working properly, our bacon-toting wives don't like odors!

Ha
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 06:36 PM   #17
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

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Originally Posted by HaHa
It is not clear to me why one might consider that he had improved his lot in life by moving from designer of circuits, avenger of torts, or healer of wounds to being some woman's cabin-boy.
Because being a designer of circuits, avenger of torts, or healer of wounds can be awful on a day-to-day basis.* All those chipper greetings are like the smiles of a receptionist.* What follows is a ream job for problems you didn't cause and have no control over.*

A contented household yields many dividends.* A home with discontent is expensive.*
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 06:42 PM   #18
 
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
It is not clear to me why one might consider that he had improved his lot in life by moving from designer of circuits, avenger of torts, or healer of wounds to being some woman's cabin-boy.

I'm sure all these working wives on the board are wonderful in every way, but it isn't bad to walk down the hall at work "Good Morning Mr...., hello Dr. .... You are looking chipper this morning Colonel."

And stopping by the fern bar full of pheromone secreting 20 somethings on the way home for a Jack Daniels on the rocks has to rank up there at least close with getting your apron on and making biscuits so wifey won't show displeasure.

Quick, be sure the range hood is working properly, our bacon-toting wives don't like odors!

Ha
Keeping our house in order is as much a priority for me, as it is my wife. So for me, I look at it as following my own adgenda instead of the Mr., Dr. and Colonel.

A judgement every person has to make. I love my wife and it's an easy choice for me. Did I tell you about the 'fringe benefits'?
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 06:47 PM   #19
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

I recall visiting some friends in Maine during snow season. The wife had to go to work, and to do so, she needed the driveway shoveled. The husband offered her the use of his gloves. They're divorced now.
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER
Old 09-07-2006, 09:16 PM   #20
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Re: Domestic Adjustments after ER

DH retired 5 years before me (on disability). After he healed to his current level, he always cooked dinner on the weekdays -- I did weekends. He did the laundry and ran whatever errands needed to be done. All the little things he did really took a burden off of me. Now that I'm retired, we split the cooking depending on who has an idea for dinner or who has the most energy. We joke about who cooked last and what consitutes "cooking". I do have to run my own errands now because he has less energy now and has his own hobbies which utilize what energy he does have. I'm starting to get use to going shopping on my own, but I'd rather have him along.

OP -- It will be so much easier to want to do things around the house when you RE and get your life back!!
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