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Is your spouse, partner, etc, happier with you since retirement?
Old 09-24-2011, 12:34 PM   #1
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Is your spouse, partner, etc, happier with you since retirement?

I am wondering if any of you retired folks have found that your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, etc. is happier with you since you have retired.

This question came about because of a comment a coworker made a few days ago. Her husband retired about 6 months ago. She commented that since he no longer has to deal with the pressures and stress of work, he is much easier to get along with, more adventuresome, and has started "surprising" her again. She implied that he is also much better at the "romantic" arts, saying it was like he was 40 again.

Your thoughts?
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:12 PM   #2
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My SO & I retired at different times . He retired I was still working . I retired . He took a job . He re retired and I stayed retired . Now I am still retired but he took a part time job out of boredom. After our initial adjustment period we settled into a nice routine . We always got along really good but now it is even easier without the stress of our jobs .
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:46 PM   #3
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While I am enjoying retirement, my GF of 5 years doesn't share the same enthusiasm for me. She is 4 years younger than me at 43. She works" in the real world " as she calls it ( no gov't pension like I have). She won't be able to retire for 20 more years! Although a mild form of jealousy may be the culprit, if everyone in my state shared her convictions, my pension would undoubtably be taken away from me and I would be back to the full time grind again She really gets her dandruff up when I take off to Vegas by myself for a few days. I always go during the week so it doesn't interfere with our time, but I still catch hell! If we lived together there is no way I could pull stuff like that off.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:50 PM   #4
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We are not retired, but when we do have an argument or irritation, it is almost always due to work pressures. I can only assume it would be better for us when retired.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
I am wondering if any of you retired folks have found that your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, etc. is happier with you since you have retired.
Absolutely!

In the megacorp world, there were so many:

and and and and and and that I just wanted to and and , but I would have ended up with the . But in ER I can and and and
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:42 PM   #6
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While I am enjoying retirement, my GF of 5 years doesn't share the same enthusiasm for me. She is 4 years younger than me at 43. She works" in the real world " as she calls it ( no gov't pension like I have). She won't be able to retire for 20 more years! Although a mild form of jealousy may be the culprit, if everyone in my state shared her convictions, my pension would undoubtably be taken away from me and I would be back to the full time grind again She really gets her dandruff up when I take off to Vegas by myself for a few days. I always go during the week so it doesn't interfere with our time, but I still catch hell! If we lived together there is no way I could pull stuff like that off.
Excellent reason to not live together. I have a similar situation. My GF works, and although she is older than your lady, she is dedicated to her career and also has no pension so expects to work a long time. Almost every single woman I know expects to have her nose to the grindstone for good long while, even though none of these women are exactly young. The exceptions are public workers, and a few with really good divorce settlements and one with a good inheritance who managed to hold on to it.

It is part of nature for a woman to expect to be taken care of; so people like you and I will always be a somewhat bitter pill for women who see themselves as modern indentured servants. I don't expect a woman to pay her own way, but I also am not putting them on my payroll with lifetime benefits.

Ha
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:47 AM   #7
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I am wondering if any of you retired folks have found that your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, etc. is happier with you since you have retired.
Your thoughts?
Absolutely.

Much less fatigue, almost no nightmares, better sleep, more energy, more time to run our lives our way, more choices about how to spend our days... what's not to like?

The worst cases seem to be the husbands (and they're almost always the husband) who have a strong workplace identity but have to leave work before they're ready and end up spending all day in the house with their already-retired spouses, who used to be accustomed to running the house their way. He essentially becomes a squatter looking for a management project while she just wants her quiet & space back.

Our daughter was delighted to discover that I'd be home all day, presumably baking cookies in the kitchen when she came home after a hard day at school. (I think she thought we parents went into suspended animation when she went off to school each day.) Then she mutated into a teenager and was no longer so amused at our constant presence in her life.

Now that she's in college, having a retired parent is cool again.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:40 AM   #8
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For us it worked out well. We are both much more relaxed now than ten years ago.

While I do have a full time job now, it is definitely low-stress and I have the option of going part time or quitting altogether. I can get time off when I want, the hours agreeable and the commute is a brutal 3.4 miles. If both traffic lights are red it might take ten minutes.

One of the discoveries is that the things some people get so worked up about just don't faze me. As another retiree who also works there put it "I'm here 'till I'm not." That makes a huge difference.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by haha
Excellent reason to not live together. I have a similar situation. My GF works, and although she is older than your lady, she is dedicated to her career and also has no pension so expects to work a long time. Almost every single woman I know expects to have her nose to the grindstone for good long while, even though none of these women are exactly young. The exceptions are public workers, and a few with really good divorce settlements and one with a good inheritance who managed to hold on to it.

It is part of nature for a woman to expect to be taken care of; so people like you and I will always be a somewhat bitter pill for women who see themselves as modern indentured servants. I don't expect a woman to pay her own way, but I also am not putting them on my payroll with lifetime benefits.

Ha
Your thoughts are always spoken more eloquently than I could ever do. If I put her on my payroll, then I would have to go back to work. She maintains she doesn't want to get married, but taking a woman (no offense to any on the forum) for what she says as literal, has gotten me in trouble on more than one occasion!
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:42 AM   #10
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This question is kind of tough to answer.

When we went through the Katrina disaster together, we were both yanked out of our usual daily lives and context. We learned so much about each other. I think we became much closer.

Retirement is sort of like that (absent the heartbreak, mind-numbing exhaustion, etc). We are seeing so much more of each other every day, and we are seeing each other in a different environment than before and dealing with different challenges than before. This is part of the retirement adjustment that people talk about. We are redefining ourselves and still trying to maintain who we are. At the same time, we are confronting our aging, which is something that one can put off thinking about while still working. Also we are trying to adjust to disparate and flip-flopping financial situations. I think our relationship is evolving and deepening, though time will tell.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:57 AM   #11
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I don't expect a woman to pay her own way, but I also am not putting them on my payroll with lifetime benefits.

Ha
A wise position Ha......

Sadly, I have two lifelong friends who wound up divorced late in life. One seems to be doing better than the other.

#1 is overwhelmed with a desire to take care of and protect his girlfriends. Even when they are more financially secure than himself, he must pay for everything, appear to be making most of the decisions, provide food and shelter, etc. Over the decade or so since his divorce, he's had a series of "special friends" and seems to be drained both mentally and financially. All past romances are now considered to have been painful mistakes.

The other friend has several lady friends. He's a well groomed guy who knows how to make conversation, dance and order from the wine list. He loves to cruise and takes several a year, all with one or the other of the ladies who pays her own way although they are traveling as a couple. He never volunteers to help with a car problem, fix plumbing or mow grass. These are independent, smart women who can take care of themselves. He seems much happier than friend #1 who is overwhelmed with the instinct to be "the man."
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by haha View Post

It is part of nature for a woman to expect to be taken care of; so people like you and I will always be a somewhat bitter pill for women who see themselves as modern indentured servants. I don't expect a woman to pay her own way, but I also am not putting them on my payroll with lifetime benefits.

Ha
Ha , I have to disagree with you .Most of the women I know are very independent and do not expect to be taken care of especially financially . What most independent older woman want is a companion, someone to help with occasional physical chores and a lover who appreciates her .
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:21 PM   #13
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Ha , I have to disagree with you .Most of the women I know are very independent and do not expect to be taken care of especially financially . What most independent older woman want is a companion, someone to help with occasional physical chores and a lover who appreciates her .
Moe, I think you have a very good point, especially with your summary of what older single women want. But you, as I, know only a subset of women, ( though a larger group than I know) and the ones you know have been like you, very financially successful and independent. But as a group, I think statistics suggest that single women are not in very good shape financially, and I actually think that many of them are in denial about how rotten their prospects are. If they understood better, they might run more realistic ads on the dating services.

I get my information from sitting and drinking at dances, and likely people who are out late at dances are not the world's most disciplined. There is possiblity that men tend to avoid entanglement where they can see need likely to show up, and thus the circulating single women could be more likely to be those with sketchy finances. I know I would have a lot of trouble not coming through when someone I was intimate with had needs. So best to try to avoid this situation when possible. Not very romatic, but neither is life as we get on.

Also, I did not mean to imply that women are looking for financial salvation in the person of a man- my comments were made only with respect to Muilligan's comment about getting some resentment about his freedom as compared to his GF's being tethered to a job.

Ha
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:17 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by haha
Moe, I think you have a very good point, especially with your summary of what older single women want. But you, as I, know only a subset of women, ( though a larger group than I know) and the ones you know have been like you, very financially successful and independent. But as a group, I think statistics suggest that single women are not in very good shape financially, and I actually think that many of them are in denial about how rotten their prospects are. If they understood better, they might run more realistic ads on the dating services.

I get my information from sitting and drinking at dances, and likely people who are out late at dances are not the world's most disciplined. There is possiblity that men tend to avoid entanglement where they can see need likely to show up, and thus the circulating single women could be more likely to be those with sketchy finances. I know I would have a lot of trouble not coming through when someone I was intimate with had needs. So best to try to avoid this situation when possible. Not very romatic, but neither is life as we get on.

Also, I did not mean to imply that women are looking for financial salvation in the person of a man- my comments were made only with respect to Muilligan's comment about getting some resentment about his freedom as compared to his GF's being tethered to a job.

Ha
You got the last paragraph spot on, Ha. My GF is financially self sufficient. What she is short on is time. She is only allotted 5 vacation days a year, thus I gladly go where she wants to with her vacation days. But my vacation days don't end at 5, thus the resentment begins day 6 of my "vacation" especially when it involves a plane flying somwhere.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:59 PM   #15
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I am w-a-a-a-y less stressed than when I was w*rking and that makes it much easier for me not to overreact to things around the house, which was a bad habit I got into. So things just go much more smoothly overall.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:05 PM   #16
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......... but taking a woman (no offense to any on the forum) for what she says as literal, has gotten me in trouble on more than one occasion!

Eloquently understated.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:37 PM   #17
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Ha , I have to disagree with you .Most of the women I know are very independent and do not expect to be taken care of especially financially . What most independent older woman want is a companion, someone to help with occasional physical chores and a lover who appreciates her .
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Moe, I think you have a very good point, especially with your summary of what older single women want. But you, as I, know only a subset of women, ( though a larger group than I know) and the ones you know have been like you, very financially successful and independent. But as a group, I think statistics suggest that single women are not in very good shape financially, and I actually think that many of them are in denial about how rotten their prospects are. If they understood better, they might run more realistic ads on the dating services.

I get my information from sitting and drinking at dances, and likely people who are out late at dances are not the world's most disciplined. There is possiblity that men tend to avoid entanglement where they can see need likely to show up, and thus the circulating single women could be more likely to be those with sketchy finances. I know I would have a lot of trouble not coming through when someone I was intimate with had needs. So best to try to avoid this situation when possible. Not very romatic, but neither is life as we get on.

Also, I did not mean to imply that women are looking for financial salvation in the person of a man- my comments were made only with respect to Muilligan's comment about getting some resentment about his freedom as compared to his GF's being tethered to a job.

Ha
The funny thing is...you are both right.

I was raised by a woman who was way ahead of her time. My Mom (born 1927) made her own way in life from the age of 18 forward. Yes, she got married and had kids, but she never ever depended on a husband's living.
I (born 1958) am a product of my upbringing through and through...I have always had my own paycheck. When I was married, we both had very good salaries and were able to enjoy a pretty nice life together through a mutual financial contribution. Not once did I ever consider quitting my job so I could be "cared for".

Unfortunately, not every female has had the benefit of this type of independent thinking and self-sufficiency training. I know several women who truly believe that a man's main function in her life is to support her financially.
Sometimes I wish I could just shake them enough to understand the fallacy of transferring the responsibility of support to someone else. It just doesn't w*rk when divorce and widowhood enters the picture, at any stage of life.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:14 PM   #18
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The resentment issue is a large one at times. I know many women (and men) who will work well past 65 because they cannot afford to retire. They often tell me how 'lucky' I am that I can retire early. Lucky? When they were going out after work to happy hour, I was going home to make my dinner. When they were spending big dollars on a fancy sports car, I was driving a old sedan. When they took months off on unemployment so they could hang out at the beach, I was working at some job. Lucky? I made my own luck. Just as they made their luck.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:42 PM   #19
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I think statistics suggest that single women are not in very good shape financially, and I actually think that many of them are in denial about how rotten their prospects are. If they understood better, they might run more realistic ads on the dating services.

.

Ha

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Old 09-26-2011, 03:25 AM   #20
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Thank you for clarifying, Ha.
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Also, I did not mean to imply that women are looking for financial salvation in the person of a man- my comments were made only with respect to Muilligan's comment about getting some resentment about his freedom as compared to his GF's being tethered to a job.
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