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What effect did retirement have on your marriage?
Old 09-25-2019, 09:55 AM   #1
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What effect did retirement have on your marriage?

I will be retiring within the next year at age 62. Naturally, my spouse and I have sometimes differing opinions on how we would like to spend our golden years. We agree that it is important to see our grand kids regularly, without being on a set schedule as day care providers. We also agree that maintaining two residences (one north, one south) is, for the time being, desirable.

On other things we are on completely different pages. For example, one of us would like to do a lot of international travel, while the other dreads the thought of struggling through the hassles associated with staying in a foreign country. One of us is comfortable with, and in fact desires, a significant amount of alone and stay at home time, while the other prefers frequent socializing as a couple. One of us would prefer to spend more time up north, while the other wants the opposite.

The obvious answer to dealing with these disagreements is compromise and tolerance by both of us. Of course, this simple answer works for some and not for others. I would be interested in hearing from those out there that have struggled with this type of marital discord post-retirement.

Are there people out there who were happily married until retirement came along? And conversely, are there people who were struggling and found that retirement significantly improved their relationship? And if you are out there, would you be willing to share stories of how your story turned out?
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:59 AM   #2
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Great for me. Retired 11 years now. DW retired two years earlier and she liked that time alone. Took several years getting used to having me (laying) around.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:23 AM   #3
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For example, one of us would like to do a lot of international travel, while the other dreads the thought of struggling through the hassles associated with staying in a foreign country. One of us is comfortable with, and in fact desires, a significant amount of alone and stay at home time, while the other prefers frequent socializing as a couple. One of us would prefer to spend more time up north, while the other wants the opposite.

The obvious answer to dealing with these disagreements is compromise and tolerance by both of us.
I'm in a similar situation. DH is very much a home body, and would be quite happy sticking with our pre-retirement trip schedule (a couple of long weekends away, and one big trip a year.) These traits aren't a surprise, though, and didn't manifest post-retirement. This is just who we are and it's all worked out.

So for any trips we do take, I know I have to show the initiative and do the planning, and get him to warm up to them. He recognizes that I want to travel, and wants to be reasonable, as do I.

And I take one solo trip a year too. I have a small business so I tie my trip around some trade shows that take me to a great spot that I like. But even without the business I'd recommend that as an option. Especially if there's an activity you'd like to do that your spouse has zero interest in.

As far as socializing at home, DH has never been much of a fan so I've always chosen my battles there for which things he really should come (mother's day at my sister's house) vs. those I can do alone (a meet up with old work friends).
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:48 AM   #4
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There are many, many ER's in your shoes. It helps to have both parties in agreement on lifestyle, but husbands and wives often have different interests.

We have two homes--one in town and one on the lake across town. Maintenance of both keeps me out of the house.

But we're both very frugal and we are trying to outdo each other in finding cheap international travel online. So far, my wife's winning. We stay at home, and seldom do any domestic travel in the U.S. Only time we leave town is to go to one of her doctors--or when we go to the mountains in our camper. We returned from Spain and France in June, and she's heading for U.K/Paris/Barcelona again in a month with her older daughter. Then we found a $437 round trip to Berlin for Spring--the only major European city we've not been to.

The main thing is that retiree coupless need to find something that interests them--and something to look forward to. We're just thankful that we have the resources after living relatively frugally to do what we both enjoy.
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:03 AM   #5
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I am entering my 5th year of retirement and can say that our marriage has been just fine. My DW is still w*rking (much to my dismay) but does so from home...so we are together ALOT. Most people are amazed that we get along so well, but we are really best friends. We do have different hobbies and she has started taking advanced baking classes, so that gives her a break from me a few hours a week.

As far as plans after retirement, I think in the OP's case...compromise will be the answer. You don't have to travel internationally ALL THE TIME, nor do you have to be a homebody ALL THE TIME. A little give and take will go a very long way.

I'll also add that what you envision your retirement to be will most likely not mirror WHAT it will be. Yes, we all plan but like the rest of life, those plans do tend to change.
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:50 PM   #6
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Yup - compromise. DW joins me on one longer trip each year and a half dozen regional ones. Beyond that, I take several more. DW considers my solo trips as a vacation for her.

For a lot of our travels, I let her choose the destination(s). Then I put my travel agent hat on. For the ones that I want to go on, she can opt in, but seldom does, We're both okay with that.
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:55 PM   #7
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Great! DH/me get along better, have more things to laugh about and share. Our lives are more relaxed and our health is better (mentally and physically). We have outside interests "do our own thing" but do many things together. Our communication is so much better than it was while working.
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:59 PM   #8
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Our differences are not that stark. We both like to camp and do some traveling. We like out of the country trips in the winter so we're aligned in that. We'll take a couple smaller trips apart from each other. We have a blended family so she'll go see my step daughter and kids a couple more times than I do. I'll go help my son across the U.S. with some projects and see our granddaughter.

Daily we about 50/50 on doing things together or apart. She can take six hours and shop. I cannot. I'll meet "the boys" for drinks and cigars late in the afternoon. We know when we get on each other's nerves then will call for a day apart. It's really a negotiated settlement. All good though.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:02 PM   #9
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Life together was good. Life together is now even better.

Young grandchildren have caused us to travel a bit less than we planned but we still take at least one long trip yearly. That seems to be enough because just staying home is like being on vacation. We've been able to spend more time with our joint and individual interests.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:25 PM   #10
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Fifteen years in and doing well. Took me a while to understand that it was OK for me not to be with her all the time and that time alone/separate is what she needs.

At first I'd feel a bit guilty if we weren't together all the time but after several beatings she convinced me that she needs her own time and space.
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:29 PM   #11
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We have been married for 12 years, and I have been retired for 10. When I first retired, we traveled with a vengeance. as we checked off things from our bucket list, we started to slow down.
After 51 trips 500 travel days, and 17 cruises, we are down to one big trip a year.At our ages, 81 and 76, we are slowing down.
Since we were both widowed and married later in life, we are grateful to have found each other. We did not have to go through the child raising tribulations and other problems young newlyweds would have. Also, we are both FI, so there is no tension over money.

Life is good!
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:16 PM   #12
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At first I'd feel a bit guilty if we weren't together all the time but after several beatings she convinced me that she needs her own time and space.
I am imagining the reaction if a wife said that about her husband...
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:00 PM   #13
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We bicker pretty often since we've been retired, so I'd have to say retirement didn't have any effect on our relationship.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:03 PM   #14
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Fifteen years in and doing well. Took me a while to understand that it was OK for me not to be with her all the time and that time alone/separate is what she needs.

At first I'd feel a bit guilty if we weren't together all the time but after several beatings she convinced me that she needs her own time and space.
Similar situation here. We both love to travel, but don't approach it the same way at all. On overseas trips, it's not uncommon for us to split up after breakfast and not see each other again until dinner.

We are also very comfortable taking trips on our own, each to pursue their own interests.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:06 PM   #15
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The DGF likes to be lazy and sleep past noon. I found someone else (female) to do stuff with. Easy peasy.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:20 PM   #16
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The DGF likes to be lazy and sleep past noon. I found someone else (female) to do stuff with. Easy peasy.
My DGF would never be comfortable with that scenario, but hey...
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:22 PM   #17
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My DGF and I spend a lot of time together as also best friends. Most of our friends are couples, so that works too.
I can do more physical things overall, so this difference hinders some of the vacation possibilities like hiking, camping, etc.
Overall, we both feel blessed to be able to retire early.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:46 PM   #18
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Great! DH/me get along better, have more things to laugh about and share. Our lives are more relaxed and our health is better (mentally and physically). We have outside interests "do our own thing" but do many things together. Our communication is so much better than it was while working.
+1

Yup
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:35 PM   #19
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The DGF likes to be lazy and sleep past noon. I found someone else (female) to do stuff with. Easy peasy.


Thatís what I did. Husband is a homebody and I am outgoing and socially active with a love of dancing. I found someone else who is perfect for hanging out.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:48 PM   #20
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My DGF would never be comfortable with that scenario, but hey...
I didn't say she was comfortable with it. But I am.
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