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One Spouse Works...One Spouse ER
Old 02-03-2014, 09:20 PM   #1
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One Spouse Works...One Spouse ER

Recently ER'd, but DW is still working (not by choice). Does anyone have any interesting stories or advice for coping with this situation? Does the working spouse get jealous, mad, glad, relieved What's your story?
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:38 PM   #2
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DH retired in 2010. At the time I intended to ER with him, but I was asked to continue working part-time and I agreed to. Since then I worked from 1 to 2 days a week. Until middle of 2013, I would go to the office once or twice a week. Since then, I've worked from home.

One difference is that this has been from my choice. DH has always been very careful to tell me I can quit any time I want to. I don't think it would have set too well with me for him to tell me that he was going to retire, but that I had to keep working.... Of course, there can be situations where one spouse needs to continue working to qualify for a pension or something but that wasn't the case for us.

Particularly when I was driving to the office (very long commute) twice a week I did expect DH to do most of the errand running. I wasn't jealous of DH being fully retired since I was the one who chose to continue working part-time.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:46 PM   #3
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I wish my DH would retire!!! And I will be working for at least ten more years. DH is 15 years older, however. He is on-call or working every other weekend and I cannot wait for the day when we have every weekend free. We financially could do it but he is not emotionally ready yet. Hopefully it will happen sometime in the next 1-5 years.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:20 AM   #4
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Does the working spouse get jealous, mad, glad, relieved What's your story?
Sure, all of the above, at varying times. But hey, it is all part of the larger plan, and I know when my checkout date is going to be, more or less.

Some days I make snarky comments, some days I'm very happy for him. That's how it was before he quit, too.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:23 AM   #5
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Some Most days I make snarky comments, some rare are the days I'm very happy for him. That's how it was before he quit, too.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:31 AM   #6
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Does anyone have any interesting stories or advice for coping with this situation?
Some degree of resentment may be unavoidable but I think the real key to minimizing that is to make sure you rebalance home work loads appropriately. How you split chores when you were each working full time should be very different then how you split them when you're retired and she's working.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:50 AM   #7
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I retired in 2007, DW has to w*rk two more years to get a pension with paid health care. Sure, at times she resents having to go to w*rk while I sleep in, but when she comes home, dinner is ready, errands and chores are done, as I do all that I can to make her life easier. It is truly no heavy lifting on my part.

She also realizes that my retiring early probably saved my sanity, if not my life. And for the most part, she likes her j*b.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:27 AM   #8
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We are in a similar situation. I ER'ed a year ago due to a buyout opportunity (timing not really my choice). She was working about 32 hour a week and switched to full time to get the healthcare. As travelover said above, I do as many errands, chores, and meals as possible to balance the load. I was concerned she would feel resentment, but she claims that life is way easier than before and she has no issue. It probably helps that during all the years we raised a family she had the financial option to stay home buy never wanted to give up her part time job. She always wanted a "life" outside the home to vary her interests and activities. She says she would get bored too easily at home. I think it really depends on the individual.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:25 AM   #9
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DW ER'd 3.5 years ago while I continue to w*rk. I honestly have never had a second when I resented her for it. I plan to join her not more than 2 years one more year from now, if the creek don't rise.

I think her biggest problem has been loneliness. I'm looking forward to helping her with that.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:55 AM   #10
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Some degree of resentment may be unavoidable but I think the real key to minimizing that is to make sure you rebalance home work loads appropriately. How you split chores when you were each working full time should be very different then how you split them when you're retired and she's working.
Jon-NYC,

I think your comments reflect DW's sentiments exactly! Going to get the kitchen cleaned up as we speak.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:02 AM   #11
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I ER'd almost 4 years ago and DW still works (by choice). She is certainly not jealous and even wonders how I can stand to stay home all day. But her life has certainly become easier. When we both worked, our weekends and evenings were not very satisfying. We had to go grocery shopping, run errands, pay the bills, do household chores, etc... Now I take care of that stuff on week days and our weekends are more likely to be spent hiking or at the beach now. She feels more energized at work. She even acknowledges that my ER has allowed her to advance her all-important career. She can focus on her work and, because I am not tied to a job, we are mobile and she is able to take advantage of far-flung opportunities.

But I don't know if things would work out the same way if she was working out of necessity.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:42 AM   #12
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Some degree of resentment may be unavoidable but I think the real key to minimizing that is to make sure you rebalance home work loads appropriately. How you split chores when you were each working full time should be very different then how you split them when you're retired and she's working.
As long as the home man or woman assumes the roles of a pre-WW2 wife, everything should be fine. But likely most of us would prefer continuing to work. And I believe it is an unusual homeperson who fills these roles with much gusto.

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Old 02-04-2014, 11:46 AM   #13
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My strategy was to retire with enough coin to keep the housecleaner, the yard guy, the plow guy, etc.

Of course there's still cooking. But I like to cook.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:51 AM   #14
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It helps in my case that DW wants to work but doesn't have to. And we have a little one at home so I contribute as primary caregiver as well.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:53 AM   #15
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As long as the home man or woman assumes the roles of a pre-WW2 wife, everything should be fine. But likely most of us would prefer continuing to work. And I believe it is an unusual homeperson who fills these roles with much gusto.

Ha
Since you are single, do you feel like a pre-WW2 housewife when you clean up your condo, go to the grocery store, or pay the bills?
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:57 AM   #16
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..........And I believe it is an unusual homeperson who fills these roles with much gusto.........Ha
Just getting to wear the cool apron makes it all worthwhile for me.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:03 PM   #17
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Since you are single, do you feel like a pre-WW2 housewife when you clean up your condo, go to the grocery store, or pay the bills?
No offense meant to you. I believe that a single person who sets his own (or her own) rules for how spic and span things need to be is in a different position from someone who has a spouse who feels that (usually she) has final say over what is acceptable. Things should always be neater when the labor will be done by somebody else. For many perhaps most of us, autonomy is sweet.

Anyway, I am not giving truths, just one man's opinion.

Ha
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:05 PM   #18
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Just getting to wear the cool apron makes it all worthwhile for me.
Like this?
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:07 PM   #19
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No offense meant to you. I believe that a single person who sets his own (or her own) rules for how spic and span things need to be is in a different position from someone who has a spouse who feels that (usually she) has final say over what is acceptable. Things should always be neater when the labor will be done by somebody else.

Anyway, I am not giving truths, just one man's opinion.

Ha
I don't know a lot of women who would enjoy spending the night in a pigsty. So unless you have given up on dating, I don't think you really set your own rules for how spic and span things need to be.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:09 PM   #20
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I don't know a lot of women who would enjoy spending the night in a pigsty. So unless you have given up on dating, I don't think you really set your own rules for how spic and span things need to be.
True dat.

I keep a much less clean house than my DH. So him being home means that the house is actually presentable for company!
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