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Old 09-09-2007, 07:31 PM   #61
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I see many women with whom I'd hop in bed just because of who they are, but my spouse considers that to be sexist guy thinking...

Nords, I meant the kind of person they are (their personal qualities not necessarily their personal appearance.)
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:41 PM   #62
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Wow, I missed a great thread. Now I'm starting to get worried. SO has five more days to work. Then we will be facing all this fun stuff. But somehow I don't think he'll be like Oldwizard. He's already told his boss that part of the reason he needs time off is so I don't have to do so much around the house while I am still working.

But up 'til now there's never been any debate or argument about who does what. If you feel like it you do it, if you don't you don't. If no one feels like cooking we eat crackers and cheese. If no one feels like cleaning the toilet it gets dirty.

He mows the lawn because it's physically a bit of a stretch for me (ok, I could do it, but he can't stand to see me doing it).

I wonder how it will change when he's not working
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:47 PM   #63
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Nords, I meant the kind of person they are (their personal qualities not necessarily their personal appearance.)
Well, yeah, sure, that's what I tell my spouse too...

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I wonder how it will change when he's not working
It'll be ever so much better!
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:59 AM   #64
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Uh Oh. I'll be doing nothing, I mean retired, six months before DW. It might be prudent to have a little man-to-woman chat before something heats up over my having all of this time on my hands. Thanks for the heads up guys.

Wizard, just curious, but was your DW in favor of your RE decision, or was it a contentions issue before you did it? Better get her talking soon, or you may find out she has a very personal reason for wanting her "full" retirement check in a few years.

I'm always impressed with the women on this board and their candor. Thanks for the insights. I need to start thinking about where I can contribute without making it another full-time job for me. I know! I'll design an inventory pull system for the pantry that would allow me to see what to shop for with the common items we always need. That would be fun, and we'd be more organized too. I wonder if DW would consider that meddling. Nah...
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:03 AM   #65
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I know! I'll design an inventory pull system for the pantry that would allow me to see what to shop for with the common items we always need. That would be fun, and we'd be more organized too. I wonder if DW would consider that meddling. Nah...
Ruh-roh... I can recognize another nuke.

A couple comments like that put me in charge of grocery lists, dishwasher duty, & kitchen cleanliness for nearly two decades. I've only been able to wriggle free in the name of teaching our teenager her independent-living skills, and spouse is still mulling over the possibility that she's been tricked. You can be sure that I no longer complain about what I see on my daily inspections & audits...
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:43 AM   #66
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Old Wizard, I talked to a fairly recent retiree client last week who is pretty old-school and he excitedly told me that he has been taking cooking classes and has gotten so good that his wife was having a ladies luncheon and he was preparing all the food for it! She was obviously thrilled at his new skill-set. She had been the cook for all those years before he retired and now that he had some confidence, he was blossoming (not resentful) in this (for him) fun new role. It is all in how you look at it, I guess.

Something to think about....
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:03 PM   #67
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I have read and re-read the various posts here.

What were your contributions to the household prior to RE? She cooks, cleans, handles the $$, etc.... Your lawn, grounds, and misc. maintenance issues must be visions of perfection if this was a partnership prior to RE. (dare I ask if she is responsible for those too?) If not, well, no wonder she is so grumpy. Ditto the overall vibe of the responders.
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:15 PM   #68
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Well I'm certainly getting a lot of opinions, which is what I hoped for.

I don't want you folks to think I'm some kind of a "slug" and I don't normally "keep score", but for the record ...
  • 2 weeks ago we spent a week at a rented cabin. We each cooked lunch for ourselves once during the week. The rest of the time we fixed our own breakfasts (cold cereal) and lunches (sandwich) and eat dinner out every evening. DW washed the dishes and I dried them at the end of the week
  • Last week breakfast and lunches were done independently, as always. DW made dinner once (I was out that afternoon with our son) and I made dinner twice. The rest of the time we had leftovers or went out to eat. She did dishes once (after I told her I would do them in the AM) and I did them twice.
  • Last night, after making dinner, I did the dishes. When the DW came in the kitchen after I was done, and I was told, "You have to do a better job cleaning the sink !"
Sigh

Of yeah, after coming back from the cabin, independently, I did some shopping (mostly veggies for dinner). We did our "big" grocery shopping together, as usual, on Sunday
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:46 PM   #69
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You need to stop keeping count and start communicating because she sounds really mad about something !
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Old 09-10-2007, 04:20 PM   #70
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Last night, after making dinner, I did the dishes. When the DW came in the kitchen after I was done, and I was told, "You have to do a better job cleaning the sink !"
Sigh
Oww! I feel for ya!

Here are some of my suggestions, none of them will set you on the course to becoming a spineless bootlick:

1. Your job in the early AM is to get her out the door on time, or earlier. This may mean a little help here or there, or it may mean staying out of the way! It is NOT the time to bring up issues of discussion, new ideas or anything else of the sort! Don't do it! Wrong time!

2. Clothes - Towels are pretty much indestructible, as you know. So, become the Captain of Towels. You decide when to wash and dry them. Err slightly on the side of energy in-efficiency and do them often enough, so there is no "I have to do it myself!" type of self-righteous behavior out of DW. Fold and deliver them to their proper places promptly after drying them. Don't expect a thank you. You are doing it to please yourself.
If it settles down after weeks, ask her if you could take on just a liitle bit more washing duties, but just a little bit more as you need to get the hang of it. If she says no, just say OK without any attitude.

3. When you didn't do whatever good enough for her - Say, "I'm Sorry", without an attitude... and say NOTHING more about it. If you were a bit sloppy, try to do better the next time. But if you did it well but still got a complaint, just carry on.

4. Don't expect Thank You's - It would be nice to get them, I give them, hopefully you give them too. But if you don't get them, don't call attention to your handiwork, just proceed. You are your own boss. If You are happy with what you did, it probably is good enough. So bask quietly in a job well done. Come back here to the forum to get encouragement if you need it!
I'll give you an "atta boy" anytime!

5. You still are a go-to guy. Many years of experience and ability have developed that. If you have a few particularly irritating mannerisms, try to ID them and work on them. But no need to re-invent a different person, no reason to whack yourself in the head with a hammer to try to be a dummy now.
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:53 PM   #71
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Oww! I feel for ya!

Here are some of my suggestions, none of them will set you on the course to becoming a spineless bootlick:

1. Your job in the early AM is to get her out the door on time, or earlier. This may mean a little help here or there, or it may mean staying out of the way! It is NOT the time to bring up issues of discussion, new ideas or anything else of the sort! Don't do it! Wrong time!

2. Clothes - Towels are pretty much indestructible, as you know. So, become the Captain of Towels. You decide when to wash and dry them. Err slightly on the side of energy in-efficiency and do them often enough, so there is no "I have to do it myself!" type of self-righteous behavior out of DW. Fold and deliver them to their proper places promptly after drying them. Don't expect a thank you. You are doing it to please yourself.
If it settles down after weeks, ask her if you could take on just a liitle bit more washing duties, but just a little bit more as you need to get the hang of it. If she says no, just say OK without any attitude.

3. When you didn't do whatever good enough for her - Say, "I'm Sorry", without an attitude... and say NOTHING more about it. If you were a bit sloppy, try to do better the next time. But if you did it well but still got a complaint, just carry on.

4. Don't expect Thank You's - It would be nice to get them, I give them, hopefully you give them too. But if you don't get them, don't call attention to your handiwork, just proceed. You are your own boss. If You are happy with what you did, it probably is good enough. So bask quietly in a job well done. Come back here to the forum to get encouragement if you need it!
I'll give you an "atta boy" anytime!

5. You still are a go-to guy. Many years of experience and ability have developed that. If you have a few particularly irritating mannerisms, try to ID them and work on them. But no need to re-invent a different person, no reason to whack yourself in the head with a hammer to try to be a dummy now.

Great post !
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:28 PM   #72
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Oww! I feel for ya!

Here are some of my suggestions, none of them will set you on the course to becoming a spineless bootlick:

1. Your job in the early AM is to get her out the door on time, or earlier. This may mean a little help here or there, or it may mean staying out of the way! It is NOT the time to bring up issues of discussion, new ideas or anything else of the sort! Don't do it! Wrong time!

2. Clothes - Towels are pretty much indestructible, as you know. So, become the Captain of Towels. You decide when to wash and dry them. Err slightly on the side of energy in-efficiency and do them often enough, so there is no "I have to do it myself!" type of self-righteous behavior out of DW. Fold and deliver them to their proper places promptly after drying them. Don't expect a thank you. You are doing it to please yourself.
If it settles down after weeks, ask her if you could take on just a liitle bit more washing duties, but just a little bit more as you need to get the hang of it. If she says no, just say OK without any attitude.

3. When you didn't do whatever good enough for her - Say, "I'm Sorry", without an attitude... and say NOTHING more about it. If you were a bit sloppy, try to do better the next time. But if you did it well but still got a complaint, just carry on.

4. Don't expect Thank You's - It would be nice to get them, I give them, hopefully you give them too. But if you don't get them, don't call attention to your handiwork, just proceed. You are your own boss. If You are happy with what you did, it probably is good enough. So bask quietly in a job well done. Come back here to the forum to get encouragement if you need it!
I'll give you an "atta boy" anytime!

5. You still are a go-to guy. Many years of experience and ability have developed that. If you have a few particularly irritating mannerisms, try to ID them and work on them. But no need to re-invent a different person, no reason to whack yourself in the head with a hammer to try to be a dummy now.
Interesting. This sounds exactly like my former job as wife and domestic engineer. Especially the part about not expecting a "thank you." But also especially the part about trying to ID one's irritating mannerisms and working on them. Wives are always reading "personal development" books to help them smooth out their irritating mannerisms and get along with their husbands better. Interesting. very interesting.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:30 PM   #73
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Well, I'm late to this as well -I have a different take on it. I do agree with Nords partnership comment, but it sounds like something else is going one here - while there are some standards to be expected, one should be grateful someone is doing the chores, period, in my estimation. The offer of a maid should have been seriously discussed - bottom line, I see this as a serious mismatch of expectations and those need to re-aligned or there will be more frustration on both sides.

Both my husband and I work but we both have household chores - I do most of the cooking because I'm better at it and my standards are much higher than his - he can grill well, make salads but that's about it. I've taught him a few stand-bys that work for us, but I'm mainly in charge of that. We both do the dishes with him doing the lion's share as I do the cooking - I've taught him to package up leftover dinner for lunches (easy to stick on lunchbox for lunch at work) and we alternate breakfast duties. He does the laundry and is excellent at it. I clean the bathrooms and we alternate between dusting and vacuuming. I usually do the yardwork (we have a pernnial garden, no lawn as I *hate* mowing lawns. We both do grocery shopping of one sort or another. We feel the duties are equitably divided and I don't see things changing much in our retirement (one or the other or both).

The key is we look at it as teamwork and we don't criticize the efforts of each other - these are chores, ferchrissakes, not meant to be necessarily fun. Therefore the expectations are not overly important in the large scheme of things. Again, one's mileage may vary.
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:27 PM   #74
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The key is we look at it as teamwork and we don't criticize the efforts of each other - these are chores, ferchrissakes, not meant to be necessarily fun. Therefore the expectations are not overly important in the large scheme of things. Again, one's mileage may vary.
Well said , but anyone who still thinks OP's wife's issues have much to do with chores isn't really paying attention.

Today I was driving along and John Lee Hooker was singing-

"Baby please don't go
Baby please don't go
Baby please don't go down to New Orleans
You know I love you so

Before I be your dog
Before I be your dog
Before I be your dog
I get you way'd out here and let you walk alone

Turn your lamp down low
Turn your lamp down low
Turn your lamp down low
I beg you all night long baby please don't go

You brought me way down here
You brought me way down here
You brought me way down here
'Bout to Rolling Forks you treat me like a dog."

First thing my mind jumped back to this thread, and of course my recent experiences.

Now OP's wife brought him way way down here to retirement, but now she be treating him like a dog. Hmmm, I wonder if this has ever happened before in the history of man and woman? Someone exploit what looks to them like pretty good leverage?

Many thread responders understood his situation, "Sure let her go with 1/2 of your loot, 1/2 your house and more than half of your security and ..."

Hey, loss of leverage is part of ER, so if you don't dig it don't do it! Men, unless you look like Brad Pitt, you ain't got squat that looks like much to a woman once you quit your job, cause that gal knows she don't need you to enjoy a good hunk of your loot anyway.

We need tee shirts to sell to married ERs. "ER Millionaire-Will Roll Over For Food".

Ha
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:36 AM   #75
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[quote=haha;554982] Men, unless you look like Brad Pitt, you ain't got squat that looks like much to a woman once you quit your job, cause that gal knows she don't need you to enjoy a good hunk of your loot anyway.

We need tee shirts to sell to married ERs. "ER Millionaire-Will Roll Over For Food".

Ha[/quo


Ha , I beg to differ with you . We women need men more for companionship and caring then anything else .Most women today have made their own stash and are perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves but we still need you guys to make us feel loved .So maybe we need tee shirts that say "Rich women looking for love ".
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:24 AM   #76
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Ha , I beg to differ with you . We women need men more for companionship and caring then anything else .Most women today have made their own stash and are perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves but we still need you guys to make us feel loved .So maybe we need tee shirts that say "Rich women looking for love ".
Amen Sister!
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:56 AM   #77
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LOL!

OK, I admit I am getting pretty far out here- but OP's situation speaks to me. And he is not getting much understanding- mostly just "what's wrong with you boy- you better shape up." I think that is quite one-sided, based on his reports. There is no reason to think he is misquoting, after all he is looking for help.

Although many women here have made their own way, I believe that it remains true that men and woman both attract one another with what they sit on.

Wallets in one case, and you-knows in the other.

Men and women both need respect and caring, probably more than anything. But getting those can be tricky absent those deep in our mid-brains universal attractors.

Ha
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:20 AM   #78
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OK, I admit I am getting pretty far out here- but OP's situation speaks to me. And he is not getting much understanding- mostly just "what's wrong with you boy- you better shape up."
Ha, I think the OP is getting lots of understanding, along with some suggestions (OK, some are strongly worded, I admit). There are two main messages: (1) there is more going on here than a disagreement about chores and (2) if he wants anything to change, he is going to have to take the lead to - do more, talk more, or both along with calm unflappable patience.
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:13 PM   #79
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This whole thread is very interesting!

Now Mom's grumpiness while Dad is retired & she isn't makes more sense!

Wizard, I would highly recommend you to read 'Five Languages of Love' (just Google it). It might put all of this in an entirely different perspective!

I suspect your wife might see 'chores' as a labour of love from you (if you don't do it she doesn't feel loved - at least our Mom is such, Sis & I helping out doesn't mean anything if Dad is seen watching TV or reading a newspaper close by!) That's why it's so important to her! ('Chores' is Dad's primary LL too, so as long as Mom still does some of the things, such as cooking on weekends & laundry etc, he's okay. But I know that if you generally don't cook, then you may get cranky when you have to cook 1x a week, cause you may forget where the right pots are, are not up-to-date with groceries etc. So I understand Mum's grumpiness on weekends too, and expectations of 'help' - she usually goes for more complicated things too.)

I suppose you expect kind words of praise and affirmation, since that is your primary language of feeling loved, and when she doesn't praise you you lose all joy to do it (at least I am such, and have always hated to do most things at home as Mom is hypercritical and very detail-oriented - an accountant, it's excellent for her job but we haven't been too happy about it at home!)

I especially laughed at the story how a husband 'Just didn't get it' but when the author told him that when he washes the laundry (insert whatever your wife wants you to do) his wife feels like he does in the most ecstatic intimate moment of sex, his eyes lit up & he yelled, 'Bring on the laundry!'

You might try to get your wife to read the book after you read it yourself, or read her some passages aloud. (Yes, there are examples of similar situations - not of RE, but of failure to appreciate and such.)
My parents did read it (I bought it to them), there were no miraculous over-night results to speak of - or maybe there were, I wasn't living with them at the time, but it did make a difference.
Dad cooks, Mom does laundry on weekends and buys groceries on her way from work, cleaning the house is shared. Dad still prefers doing stuff around the house and repairs. The dishes - and by that Mum means clean 'whole kitchen work area' including the sink - that depends (and has been subject of occasional quarrel and Mum's grumpiness if it all awaited her). Ideally, dishes are put in the dish-washer after lunch and washed in the evening, or next morning. My Granny has a thing about washing the dishes the same day too, must be a generational thing. (Sis & I are thoroughly unaffected.) It may depend on the foods and smells and type of kitchen too.

I am not a 'housekeeping' type, or 'naturally organized', so I found great help on these sites: FlyLady.net: Your personal online coach to help you gain control of your house and home (she even has tips on shining the sink! Though I'm not sure how environmentally friendly they are) and Get Organized - Organizing Tips and Ideas to help you get organized now. (a forum there too)
The main concept for less clutter is having assigned space for things (shelves/baskets/...) - and having routines helps too.

There are other sites, on being organized and menu-planning (there is even the concept of 'once-a-month or once-a-week cooking' (and eating from the fridge) though I'm not sure how healthy that is!)
But I like planning menus for a week in advance, so there's no stress on the day of cooking and figuring what's in the pantry.

Somewhere on these sites there's an idea that both husband and wife have a 'Darling, please...' list of 'to do's' and have assigned time when they both do something from each other's list (followed by something fun for both).

My Mom & Dad hate the idea of having 'to do' lists, but if asked the night before they may tell what they want done the next day or week. - But one must ask always, they don't volunteer this information, and Mum has sometimes been seen as expecting everyone to read her mind and know what & how she wants something done too. We sometimes joke about it. I tell her I wish I had the superpowers of telepathy to read her mind, but it's not working - not yet, at least!

Also, it is not enough if she just tells or shows you something! (Mom has a knack for pulling things out of ones hands and doing it herself - not very motivational, or a learning experience) I realized you have to insist on doing it yourself, under her supervision - like an apprentice (with a humble attitude & inquiring mind: 'How do you clean the sink so that it shines?' - let her show you first, and supervise you 2nd at least once when you do it on your own) to actually get the knack for it! It can be something really simple you'd never have thought of on your own! - Maybe you could ask to be her 'apprentice' once in a while, regarding certain things? Dad enjoyed having me as apprentice for painting the room! And I had to ask Mom to be her apprentice to do the laundry, several times!)

Word of caution: WEAR GLASSES if required (Dad & Granny don't want to and often the dishes are half-dirty, which is not nice)

You could also then ask your wife what she would like to have done (and write it down so you don't forget it) or show her a schedule you come up with (maybe after browsing the FlyLady and other sites), and ask her opinion or further suggestions. (Is she happy with once-a-week cleaning like my Mom, or does she want the kitchen swept every day? If it seems too much for you, negotiate - or delegate, as has been suggested.)

In the morning, I am very cranky before breakfast, so asking me anything before I ate is a no-go! After breakfast is better, unless when I'm in a hurry! A friend also wants total peace in the morning. And I need to be left alone when I'm hungry (eg after returning home) or I get cranky.

So, could you consult the day before at least? (If you plan weekly and check things weekly, and keep track of things yourself, this may get easier anyway! You could plan menus together weekly!)

Sorry if I gave too many suggestions - hope some of them will spark off inspiration for a better co-existance together!

Well, good luck!
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:59 PM   #80
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Wizard, I would highly recommend you to read 'Five Languages of Love' (just Google it). It might put all of this in an entirely different perspective!
I'm glad someone mentioned this book. It's fabulous! It's the one book I wish I had read when my marraige was going downhill. But I'm convinced that the ideas could improve any male-female relationship.

And about needing men for companionship and caring. Hmmm. A man who was great company and wonderful in bed would be my first choice. My second choice would be a man who was wonderful in bed and good company. I don't have a third choice.
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