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How has ER affected Marriage?
Old 01-03-2015, 03:34 PM   #1
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How has ER affected Marriage?

I can see changes coming and would appreciate advice and shared experiences. DW works ~30 hours a week at a fabric/quilt shop. She likes the w*rk and plans on continuing. I've always been the long-days business traveler and will be going to semi-RE in a few weeks. Bottom line: a lot more time at home.

I asked her how the change will affect our marriage and her reply was "it won't as long as you don't change my routine." That sounds easy enough, but have others had to make adjustments?
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:40 PM   #2
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It has allowed me the time to perform many chores that my still working DW use to perform.

I also get up with her every day. It seemed like sleeping in while she went to work would breed resentment.

For us it has worked out so far. She has another 2+ years until she hits the point where there are significant pension/retiree health care bumps.

I tell her that she can ER at any time if things get too bad, but everything we can do to achieve the 2+ more years for her will be time well spent.

The real questions will be how things change around here when she finally ER's and I have grown accustomed to being alone all day.....

-gauss
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Old 01-03-2015, 05:23 PM   #3
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I am single, so my thoughts/advice on this subject are worth less than zero!

Below are links to several threads dealing with this subject, with the expertise of folks who have BTDT. Good luck!

Note: this is my first (ever) attempt to add a link to a post, so I hope it works.

ER with one spouse still working

Retirement-planning-when-you-and-your-spouse-are-different-ages

Living with a working spouse

One-spouse-works-one-spouse-er
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:13 PM   #4
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My husband retired a few months before I did.

Changes I noticed:
- We divided the household chores more evenly.
- We both seemed less stressed.
- We still have kids - so we were able to tag-team the kid duties more equitably.
- We had more one-on-one time when the kids weren't around... which results in all sorts of fun.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:00 PM   #5
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We get to spend a lot more time together, and we like it.

We both changed our routine. I suggested DH stop his part-time business to retire, otherwise IMO there was no reason for me to retire. I wanted to travel. He quickly realized that was a good idea. There wasn't any arm twisting, honestly.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:12 PM   #6
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We get to end a lot more time together, and we like it.
Freudian slip?
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:35 PM   #7
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Freudian slip?
LOL!

No, just adventures with the iPad mini keypad and spell wrecker.

Like my goat-backed bonds.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:46 PM   #8
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No change here. We both retired within a couple of months of each other. We spend a lot of time together. and like Audreyh1, we have no problem with that.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:50 PM   #9
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I ER'd 4 yrs ago and DW still w*rks full time but is planning on ERing this year. I took over most of the household cleaning. I was already doing all the food shopping, cooking, and food cleanup. I took care of the dogs. I had dinner ready each night. I made sure I didn't wake her up after midnight so she would get enough sleep. I keep most Fri and Sat nights open for us to be together.

When she finally ERs I look forward to handing the housecleaning back to her and having our weekly schedule loosen up.
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:33 PM   #10
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My wife is still working for a few more months (maybe even 6-8 more, punctuated by a month or two off). I share your worries, too.

She had a 5 week sabbatical this past summer, including 2 weeks of staying at home and enjoying a taste of ER. Things went well. But I always rib her for saying things like "I'm bored, entertain me." That's not (entirely) my job!
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:07 PM   #11
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Here are a couple of things to thing about.

So one thing that really changed is the volume of dishwashing/kitchen cleaning. When you are working you generally get easy things, left overs, or buy lunch. When you are both home it's cooking and dishes 3 times a day. I am ANNOYED by this. I had always mostly done the dishes, hub takes care of the huge yard (which I didn't want) and said he would do the shopping.

Also we stopped the house cleaner and I do all the cleaning as he has terrible allergies/asthma and can't handle dust (has to leave the house when I clean) .So now I feel like I am like a traditional housewife doing all this stuff. Can you tell I am annoyed? haha

So I think it's important to think about these things - how do you divide up stuff.

Also, he is very much an introvert, head in book all the time, little conversation. I found it more difficult once we retired - I felt lonely and hurt. That has passed mostly, but you could be surprised by how your spouse prefers to spend their day.

Lastly, I am the kind of person who thinks about a project, does some research and wants to start. Hub wants to mull it over in his mind, sometimes taking a year until he is "ready" to start a project. If you are like me, make a list of smaller things you can do to keep busy if this happens. We are on year 4 of retirement and finally doing the master bath, even though we budgeted and planned in year 2.

Overall, we are both easy going reasonable people so it works OK.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:37 PM   #12
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So one thing that really changed is the volume of dishwashing/kitchen cleaning. When you are working you generally get easy things, left overs, or buy lunch. When you are both home it's cooking and dishes 3 times a day. I am ANNOYED by this. I had always mostly done the dishes, hub takes care of the huge yard (which I didn't want) and said he would do the shopping.
I'd try cooking or eating simpler things while you are at home. Every meal doesn't have to be a big affair. Sandwiches, soup, leftovers. And mix in some take out or dining out.

I have noticed the uptick in dishes, too. Even when it's just me and the 2 year old here during the day. Thank goodness for the dishwasher (except it just broke and we are doing dishes the old fashioned way this week).

Quote:
Also we stopped the house cleaner and I do all the cleaning as he has terrible allergies/asthma and can't handle dust (has to leave the house when I clean) .So now I feel like I am like a traditional housewife doing all this stuff. Can you tell I am annoyed? haha
Downsize the house/yard to something more manageable? No reason to live the rest of your life in something that makes you unhappy.

So I think it's important to think about these things - how do you divide up stuff.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:13 PM   #13
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her reply was "it won't as long as you don't change my routine."
Wise words. I'd heed them.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:40 PM   #14
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Yes I am all for downsizing. He loves this house, mainly for the location, it will be difficult to get him out of here.

We already eat leftovers and such. Tonite for example: I reheated the left over shepherds pie from last nite, and made a side caesar salad. That generated silver, large glass pan, salad bowl, plates, etc. Unless you eat on paper, there are going to be dishes and clean up 3 times a day.

Personally, I would eat out more, he is thrifty on that side (we did not even use up last years dining out budget). I am going to push him on this more. I love to go out for breakfast - which is pretty reasonable.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:44 PM   #15
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Personally, I would eat out more, he is thrifty on that side (we did not even use up last years dining out budget). I am going to push him on this more. I love to go out for breakfast - which is pretty reasonable.
With the AARP card, Denney's gives you 15% off. DW and I go there for breakfast about once per week. Always spend less than $20 for both and coffee.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:51 PM   #16
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No change, didn't get along before I retired and still don't get along. That said we have been together for over 40 years so we must be doing something right. Seriously though nothing much has changed and we are both very apprecitive for being FIRE and money being the least of our worries.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:58 PM   #17
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No divorce or separation stories after ER?
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:15 PM   #18
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I expect that there will be more arguments initially until the new routine of me being around all the time rather than gone except on the weekends works out. Since my wife has been retired for 10 years I will clearly be an invader to her normal routine though I will be walking the dog in the am more than likely most of the time and so she will be able to sleep in (very much a night owl) so that will be a big plus for her. I know I'll have to go back to doing the dishes (like when she was working) but she likes cooking more than I do so I think she keep that job....unless she becomes a fan of peanut butter sandwiches
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:34 PM   #19
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Personally, I would eat out more, he is thrifty on that side (we did not even use up last years dining out budget). I am going to push him on this more. I love to go out for breakfast - which is pretty reasonable.
We buy a couple of Entertainment books each year at Costco or when they go on sale online. Our local one usually has lots of buy one get one free breakfast meals at some of our favorite places. If you are a Denny's fan you can sign up to get a free Grand Slam on your birthday. IHOP has a mailing list, too, with lots of freebies throughout the year.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:00 PM   #20
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He is funny about some things. He doesn't value eating out or fine dining. But he does value great vacations so that is good. He hates the cable bill, OMG, I hate talking about it. He likes his sports so he is not going to want to cancel.

Good idea about the entertainment books. I was thinking of creating a date bag and we pick from it once a week. If there were some coupons, he would like that.

Overall we get along really well, so no huge issues.

Here is a little more on finding out unexpected things: When I imagined retirement I thought about lots of little day trips of cultural activities, hikes, etc. He is a total homebody. I never saw this as we worked - and when we didn't work, we traveled. So this was a surprise to me. It's a second marriage, 11 years, maybe it we were together longer I would have picked this up.
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