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Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-24-2004, 10:42 AM   #1
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Marriage--post retirement

My husband gradually retired over several years and has been completely retired for the past year or so. I have wondered what it will be like for both of us to spend so much time together after I retire. In fact, one of the reasons I have gone part time before fully retiring is that I think we need to phase into new routines where we spend more time together.

When we go on long vacations together, we love the vacations, but I also sort of like getting back to work. I think he is glad to see me go back to work too, but he never would say so. We can get a bit testy with each other if we spend too much time together. His habits are different than mine. He is slow to get moving in the morning and I am a morning person. He likes to putz around. I like to get moving.

I don't want to blow this out of proportion. We have a great relationship and I want to be married to him for the rest of my life.

Anyone face difficulties in adapting to changes in married life that retirement brings? Any suggestions?
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Old 11-24-2004, 11:24 AM   #2
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No problem.

Paint a big line down the middle of the house... no, wait, that's for fighting siblings.

It's still a Mars/Venus compromise. I've read about couples who observe a his/hers routine during the day. They keep a soundproof bedroom so that the earlybirds & nightowls don't disturb each other. They use separate bathrooms for ablutions & grooming. They keep separate home offices as their refuges ("Knock before entering"). They meet for dinner or for arranged dates and they spend evenings together.

At least you won't have the problem of one spouse being suddenly ejected from the workplace (retired or fired) to spend all day at home. That's almost as traumatic as divorce or a spouse's death, and it may include those as well.

Communication is still critical. We find it helps if we announce our feelings soon after we're both up & functioning (although it's usually to say "I'm feeling lazy today"). It's good to know who's cooking dinner before we have lunch. Some days are expected to be busy-- the kid's last day of school vacation, the leaky roof, the blown-out appliance crisis, the Sunday classified ads & open houses, or Friday tae kwon do sparring. Other days are expected to be absolute 100% free time-- the first day of school, or any day with surf over six feet.

Compromise is also critical. My FIL is allowed to sleep to 10 AM but his life expectancy is contingent upon his being ready to drive his spouse anywhere anytime after 11 AM. I usually awake with my brain on fire between 2-4 AM but I know what'll happen to me if I share that with my spouse before at least 7 AM. I can spend all day on the computer but I immediately vacate it at her request.

It's also good to have separate play areas (even if you're not fighting siblings). Our TV and our computer are at opposite ends of the house (within hailing distance) and my spouse usually watches with headphones while I'm reading. I value my quiet 2-3 hours in the morning before everyone else is up, and my spouse gets no hassle for needing an extra couple hours' sleep. We split the household chores by preference or capability. We split the yardwork by designer creativity & muscle mass.

You must have friends. If one spouse loses them, then rent or buy replacements. Our spouses regularly arrange play dates for me & my FIL while they shop. I usually spend at least two mornings a week surfing and she does girl stuff with the neighbors or former co-workers.

But we still spend most of our time together. Home improvement is more fun with a partner, and long couple's neighborhood walks are essential. ER tends to isolate yourself from your working neighbors (especially outside the weekends) and we enjoy each others' company.

So it won't get blown out of proportion. You'll naturally arrange mutually compatible orbits that will diverge by just the right amount. You're probably already doing it, and you guys will use your married veteran's skills to maneuver, negotiate, and arbitrate without having to litigate.

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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-24-2004, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

Oh oh, I am anticipating a problem I have never thought through. I think one of the reasons DH and I get a little testy with each other when we are together too much is that our home is only about 800 square feet. There just isn't good space for alone time. I can't think of a cheap way around this problem.
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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-24-2004, 01:35 PM   #4
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

Quote:
Oh oh, I am anticipating a problem I have never thought through. *I think one of the reasons DH and I get a little testy with *each other when we are together too much is that our home is only about 800 square feet. *There just isn't good space for alone time. *I can't think of a cheap way around this problem. *
My wife solved this problem with me by moving 60 miles away. That is not a cheap solution, although it does give plenty of personal time. It suits me well enough, as she has paid her own way ever since she left, a first in our long relationship. Eventually there will be a bridge to cross, but not now (actually I would be the last to know.)

I had an aunt and uncle who married and divorced several times. Their final state was divorced but they bought a duplex, and each lived in his/her own half. As they got older, they were very kind and respectful of one another.

I just wish the love and sex side of life were as simple as the money side.

As an aside, it seems like many people on this board have more stable love lives than most of my face to face friends. Keep up the good work guys

Mikey

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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-24-2004, 01:42 PM   #5
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

Quote:
I just wish the love and sex side of life were as simple as the money side.
The money side (with a spouse) is simple? Please Mikey, give me your secrets!

I want to go all Dave Ramsey with our finances and my wife likes the finer things of life.
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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-24-2004, 04:58 PM   #6
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

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The money side (with a spouse) is simple? *Please Mikey, give me your secrets! *
Sorry, I wasn't clear.

Anything even remotely involving a woman is part of the love and sex side of life. So basically, once you have a wife, nothing will ever be simple again.

Mikey
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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-24-2004, 06:53 PM   #7
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

Darn! Seriously, i was hoping for some good insight.
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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-24-2004, 11:05 PM   #8
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

In my limited experience, the best way to cope is to not be a dick in the first place. :
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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-25-2004, 02:58 AM   #9
 
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

I agree with Mikey that once you have a wife
(husband?) nothing will ever be simple again, although
I do find the financial aspects the easiest to deal
with. But then, money issues always came naturally to me.

I have a good friend who is married to his 2nd wife
for quite a few years. He has an office about 75
miles from his home, and during the week he lives on
one side of a duplex he owns. She lives in the house.
He goes home some weekends, but many others he just takes off on "adventures" Sometimes he doesn't
show up for weeks at a time. Now, I am pretty
relaxed about taking off by myself, but if I am not
adventuring I tend to be at home.
Their system seems to work great for them. He told me once that he thought it saved their marriage.
Different strokes!

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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-25-2004, 05:40 AM   #10
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

Here it is Thanksgiving morning and I am cruising the Internet on one end of our apartment while my husband is in the kitchen making dressing and doing mysterious things to a turkey. All for my relatives too. This is a good day.

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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-25-2004, 07:28 AM   #11
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

Martha_M:
Check out this site. Everyone needs a refuge.

[ftp]http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/[/ftp]

Quote:
In my limited experience, the best way to cope is to not be a dick in the first place.
TH-good to have you back and truer words were never spoken. Tho not yet retired, I would suppose more time together would only serve to exacerbate any problems previous to ER. Hmmmm, I have some work to do.

Judy



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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-25-2004, 08:19 AM   #12
 
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

Hello Judy! (Hey TH, I missed you too). My "refuge" is in
Texas, where there is no chance of bumping into my exes (this should be singular but it does not ryhme)

Seriously, I have pondered this issue. Over the past 40 years, I was married for 37 and one of us was always working. Truly, I'm not too sure how it would
work out if we were both here at home a lot. On the other hand, I tend to be off "hunting and gathering"
most of the time, so maybe we wouldn't get in the
other's way.

John Galt


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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-25-2004, 02:29 PM   #13
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

TH:

Welcome back. Missed You. This forum wasn't the same (and wasn't as fun!) without you.

Toejam
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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-26-2004, 04:54 AM   #14
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

Quote:
Martha_M:
Check out this site. Everyone needs a refuge.

[ftp]http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/[/ftp]



Judy


Cute houses! They are kind of like upscale versions of my husband's hunting shack in the woods. My husband inherited the shack and it has been in his family a long time. I am told his grandparents didn't get along that well, so his grandfather spent most of the time at the shack. It is one room,stuck way off in the woods, and heated by an oversize cook stove. Anyway, no one had heard from the grandfather for a while, so one of his sons went out to the shack to check on him. Grandpa was lying dead in the snow.

Sometimes when I am cranky, my husband asks if I want him to go and spend a few days at the shack. He never says I should go, when it probably should be me.
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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-28-2004, 11:44 AM   #15
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

Quote:
At least you won't have the problem of one spouse being suddenly ejected from the workplace (retired or fired) to spend all day at home.
Even though my husband works only part time (he consults), there were about 6 weeks this fall where there didn't seem to be any consulting stuff coming in. Not that unusual when working on contracts let by the Feds, but I could tell he was worried. It seemed to throw my whole routine off. Things are back to normal (consulting-wise), so I guess everything is OK.

We do have separate offices, which is great if you can manage it. And we're both introverts, so not being together all the time seems natural.

I think mostly you need to expect a settling in period. And to appreciate that you have different rhythms. Maybe all you need is a "time-out" chair.

arrete
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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-28-2004, 02:17 PM   #16
 
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

This is slightly off topic, related mostly to consulting.
I used to consult, and I understand those periods
between assignments can be filled with anxiety. It never bothered me much (just like being
unemployed never bothered me much). However,
I have some friends (neither retired) with the husband
basically running a one-man consulting firm, They
both go through an ordeal when he is looking for his
next job. Fortunately, she has steady employment to carry them over the rough spots (teacher). But, she wants to retire. Remains to be seen how they will work it out,
especially if she is drawing a pension while he is
still scratching for work. I think he has poured most of
his financial resources into the business. Not uncommon.

John Galt
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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-29-2004, 04:28 AM   #17
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

When my Dad retired at 55 (2 yrs ago), my mom started a new career and took a job 2.5 hours away (she's a minister, so her housing is included). Dad says he didn't retire to move from the home he built, so he stayed put. It's rough on mom, but I think Dad enjoys it more. Also, they seem to spend more quality time together than they did before. My DH has already warned me never to try it.
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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-29-2004, 05:04 AM   #18
 
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

I knew another guy who only went home
(Georgia I think) for the holidays. This went on for decades while he lived out of state. They finally
got a divorce when he decided to marry a long time mistress. I did hear about a trend toward
PMBLA (people married but living apart). Like I said, different strokes..............

John Galt
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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-30-2004, 04:51 AM   #19
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

The conundrum is together but separate. The missus and I have had a alot of preRE practice as we have worked mostly at home together for the last 10 years. One receipie we favor to stay separately together:

Take 2 LazyBoy recliners add 2 laptops infuse with a shared high speed internet connection...BAM!
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Re: Marriage--post retirement
Old 11-30-2004, 05:34 AM   #20
 
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Re: Marriage--post retirement

One of our laments is that we did not meet when we
were both younger, for a lot of reasons. ( An aside........
for about a year in 97-98 we lived within 25 miles of each other in Michigan, but we never actually met until
I had moved back to Illinois in 2001) Anyway, I was fully
retired when we met with no desire to work any more.
We think it would have been fun to work at something together, but you can never be sure how that will turn out. I recall friends predicting divorce
when my first wife and I started working together. We did
split eventually, but it had nothing to do with the work.
In fact, as I recall that arrangement was just fine.

John Galt
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